Has your Amazon account been locked? And what’s even worse, you don’t know how to remove the blockage?
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Why has Amazon blocked my account? The most common reasons
Amazon is a platform that helps to reach out to millions of customers. Therefore, getting your account blocked is a big problem and something that every seller would like to avoid. Account blockage is imposed for a variety of reasons. The most common include breaking the terms and conditions, Account Health, shipping delays and negative reviews. Has your Amazon account been locked? Find out more about the possible reasons for blocking your account!
1. Having two Amazon accounts
According to the terms and conditions, it is not allowed to have more than one account on Amazon. If it’s reasonable to suspect that a seller has violated this regulation, a block on at least one marketplace or one of the accounts will definitely be imposed. Most often, both so-called Related Accounts are blocked completely. A no-win situation is when at least one of the markets is blocked on both accounts. Then you lose the access to close one of the accounts. That’s because in order to do so, the account must be working properly and be active. Thus, having your Amazon account been locked, you have no possibility to remove the blockade.
Interesting fact: In some cases, Amazon allows the same person to own two accounts. However, such cases are handled on a case-by-case basis. You will need to prove that the types of assortment are distinctly different before being able to create another account.
When can Amazon link accounts together? This most commonly happens when:
If you do in fact own two accounts, the chances of unblocking your Amazon account are practically nil. On the other hand, in a situation where the block was imposed accidentally, it’s a good idea to start by completing documents that prove you don’t own another account on Amazon. You must justify that there is no reason for the blockade!
- the details of the person in whose name the account was created are repeated
- at least one of the shareholders is listed in Identity Information on another merchant account
- the same phone number was used to verify both accounts
- bank details or credit card number is repeated
- an e-mail address, used to create an account, was given as a contact information in another account
- several accounts are logged in from the same computer IP
- the same name or address on two accounts – in case of spouses who open separate accounts
2. Mistakes in Identity Information section – no confirmed identity or inability to verify account
Identity Information is an important section for Amazon to verify your account and see who’s the seller. An inability to verify an account leads to a blockage. A block is imposed when Amazon is unable to verify any of the documents.
These are most often:
The errors are usually due to sellers not knowing what documents are accepted by Amazon. Fortunately, in this case, Amazon is more forgiving and very often sends you a Performance Notification. This way, it tells you which documents are missing. You won’t find there any precise information on what the document should look like. However, you will be informed about the possible reasons for the error.
- poor quality of the scan proving your identity
- incorrect founding documents
- failure to identify all beneficial owners – anyone holding more than 25% of the shares must be named
- incorrect address or company details.
3. Incompatibility of payment details with the data registered with the card company
Incorrect card details can also cause a blockage! If the information on your account does not match the data registered with the card company, the message Credit Card Invalid will appear.
The problem may also lie with the bank, which blocks the card due to the security protocols. In these circumstances, Amazon has no way of charging the card, which may result in a block.
You will be blocked from withdrawing funds, uploading listings, making sales and any other activities on your account. Correct details are required to use your account.
4. Copyright violations, lack of authorization and rights to sell the product
Copyright and trademark violations are some of the most serious violations on Amazon. By engaging in such practices, you are not only violating the terms of service. You are also creating an unfair competition for those who have the proper credentials, certifications and licenses.
The blockade may occur when:
Failure in appealing properly, sending documents and providing explanations will result in an account block that is difficult to reverse. Keep in mind that you need to act quickly, but also comprehensively. Even if the account blockage was imposed in error, you need to prove it.
- you sell non-authentic products
- you do not sell products of a particular brand and you do not emphasise that these are substitute/compatible products
- you violate copyrights and trademarks
5. Product not as described and negative feedback
Are you tempted to let your imagination run wild in the listing? To describe even non-existent product benefits? Or to hide certain information to make the listing even more attractive? Be very careful: this way you can damage your business and get your Amazon account locked!
The order defect rate (ODR – Order Defect Rate) is very important to Amazon. If it is above 1%, a block on the account occurs. ORD increases when:
Then how to unblock Amazon account? Under Amazon’s rules, sellers must keep their ODR rate below 1% to drive sales. If violations occur, the platform usually sends a Performance Notification first. This way, it gives the seller 72 hours to submit an action plan explaining the exceeded statistics. If the plan is accepted, Amazon will remove the account blockage, but will monitor it more closely thereafter.
- the product receives negative feedback
- there are claims under the A to Z Guarantee (AtoZ) which could not be resolved at the customer service stage
- the credit card is charged back
6. Shipping delays on Amazon
LDR, or Late Dispatch Rate, cannot be more than 4% over a period of 10 and 30 days. It only applies to orders fulfilled by the seller.
LDRs are affected by:
The Late Dispatch Rate is affected not only by the actions of the seller itself. For example, also by the actions of a courier company that fails to meet certain delivery times. Again, Amazon usually sends a Performance Notification first and waits 72 hours for the seller to respond.
- late confirmation of orders
- late confirmation of shipments
- valid Tracking Rate (VTR) – less than 95% of shipments with a valid tracking number
- other issues related to non-delivery on time.
Interesting fact: Order Defect Rate and Late Dispatch Rate are correlated. If the customer doesn’t receive the goods on time, not only will the LDR increase. They are also likely to set up a so-called claim in AtoZ, which will negatively affect the ODR statistics!
7. Cancelling unconfirmed orders
Do you ever make a mistake when entering a price or sell an item that you don’t physically have in stock and then cancel the order? This mistake could cost you your account!
If the cancellation rate exceeds 2.5% of all orders, the account will be blocked. Here, as in the two cases previously described, Amazon gives you 72 hours to prepare a plan of action and propose a way out of the situation. The more precise the explanation, the better!
8. Buying reviews and redirecting customers to external links
Positive reviews encourage potential customers to buy, but only if they are authentic. Buying reviews is a quick way to get your Amazon account locked without any warning!
Referring customers to external websites is equally unacceptable. Such behaviour is considered as discouraging purchases through the platform and will lead to a ban.
In both cases, a block can be imposed without prior warning, and may (or may not) be visible in Policy Compliance as “other violations” on the account. What to do in this situation? You should verify the news as soon as possible and check whether a violation may have occurred, for example by linking to a page outside the platform.
9. Ignoring customer messages
Do you regularly check and respond to messages and questions from customers and ensure that you meet the highest service standards? If you ignore messages about misdescribed products or notifications of damaged goods, this will have a negative impact on your Voice of the Customer (VOC). This is an indicator of your customers’ comments on your products.
If you don’t take steps to improve your customer service in the long term, Amazon may block your account. Be sure to provide good customer service and prompt contact!
10. Sales of prohibited products
While Amazon offers great opportunities, not everything can be sold on this platform.
Examples of banned products include:
- products intended to come into contact with food (including products that come into contact with the mouth of infants and young children) containing bisphenol A (BPA);
- chemical substances or compounds which are intended exclusively for commercial, industrial or professional use and are not available for sale to the general public;
- articles containing chemicals that pose a risk to the ozone layer
Please note that the list of prohibited products may look slightly different in each market. Analyse your offer carefully before entering a new market.
For permitted but hazardous items, you must ensure that you ship in accordance with all applicable laws, regulations and Amazon policies. This includes rechargeable batteries or magnetised materials.
As you can see, there are quite a few reasons for a possible blockage, but you can avoid most of them.
Consequences of blocking your Amazon account
Blocking your account causes::
- inability to make sales on the account
- loss of the Buy Box
- blockade of funds on your account
- inability to create listings
- difficulty in returning to the level of sales before the blockade.
- weaker position when uploading the Buy Box.
With a blocked account you can’t run a business and use it, which leads to financial loss. It’s also a lot of stress – you never know if your account will be unblocked, or when it will happen!
How long does it take to unblock an account on Amazon?
The time it takes to unblock an Amazon account depends on the complexity of the case. In some cases it will only take a few hours, in others… several months.
Time required to unblock an Amazon account that has been locked
The fastest processing of appeals is when Amazon, through Performance Notification, gives the seller 72 hours to resolve the issue. This usually applies to blockades caused by exceeded Order Defect Rate, Late Dispatch Rate and Valid Tracking Rate. In most cases, the waiting time to remove the blockage is less than 2 hours after the plan of action is sent, but this is not always the case. Amazon may also ask for additional clarification.
If you are unable to confirm the seller’s identity, Amazon will often send you a notification telling you what documents are missing or what mistakes have been made. You have 60 days to verify. If you exceed this deadline, a blockage will be imposed and Amazon will allow you to send an appeal with the completed documents to finish the verification process.
The blockade associated with incorrect credit card details is removed when the correct data is submitted. This usually doesn’t take longer than a few days. However, Amazon may require you to send an appeal explaining why the blockage occurred and how you intend to prevent this from happening in the future.
Unblocking an account after a violation of the Policy Compliance
The most severe treatment is given to blockades imposed for violating Policy Compliance. It is the seller’s responsibility to prove that he did not mean to break the rules and create unfair competition. This requires the completion of documents and the preparation of explanations. Each case is considered individually. In the case of a good appeal supported by documentation, it can take up to several weeks for the account to be unblocked.
In case of a Related Account, it is almost impossible to remove the blockage if the seller indeed has two accounts. If the block was imposed by mistake, it can take several days for the appeal to be processed.
Amazon account has been locked – the most common mistakes
Many sellers make a serious mistake when trying to respond to a Performance Notification or send an appeal. The information sent to Amazon should be complete and properly filled out on the first attempt. Sending messages such as “please unblock my account” or asking for more details is a simple way for Amazon to completely block any further possibility to reactivate the account.
In this case, it can take up to several months to unblock the account, depending on how many incorrect appeals have been sent. The only way then is to contact Support, which does not always end successfully even if the seller has been right.
Please note: If your seller Amazon account has been locked – do not open another account under your name, the name of a relative or a co-worker. These accounts will be blocked as well within a short period of time. In such a situation, the chances of getting any of your accounts back drop to almost zeroa.
Does every Amazon account manage to be unblocked?
Unfortunately, not every account can be unblocked. In case of a clear violation of the rules, it can be a very difficult task, sometimes even impossible.
Clear violations include:
- selling counterfeit goods
- selling from multiple accounts without Amazon’s permission
- infringing the copyrights of others
”Remember that Amazon contains a lot of information – reading with understanding, patience and properly gathered conclusions will give you the opportunity to avoid both: account and listings blocking”.
Head of Search & Rescue, Gonito
What to do if my Amazon account is blocked?
It’s happened, the account has been blocked… what to do next? How do I unblock my Amazon account and can I do it myself?
Nothing stops the seller from filing an appeal on their own. Just check the cause and prepare a plan of action by submitting it in the designated place on the platform. The plan should include a description of the mistakes or violations committed by the seller. It should also contain a list of steps to be taken to resolve them and to avoid them in the future. It must contain as many details as possible.
Don’t send incomplete information or texts such as “Why has my Amazon account been locked?”. It takes away your opportunity to make a proper appeal!
Amazon account has been locked – is it worth unblocking it yourself?
Don’t ask yourself “Can I unblock my Amazon account on my own
?”. Instead, ask the question, “Do I have the knowledge, experience and time required to successfully unblock my Amazon account
If you have no experience in writing an appeal in this case, it will be a time-consuming challenge. Keep in mind that it will not end with just one attempt. Sometimes even a professionally written appeal, prepared by someone with experience, needs to be corrected.
Important! As a seller you are usually entitled to 3 attempts to unblock your account. Therefore, do not waste any of these chances by writing unsuccessful appeals. Otherwise, after using them, the probability of success decreases and the unblocking process becomes more difficult.
It is worth relying on the experience of specialists who deal with this professionally, unblocking your account quickly and effectively.
Has your account been blocked and you don’t know how to fix it?
Tips to avoid blockage from Amazon
Instead of wondering how to unblock your account on Amazon, try to avoid it from happening. We’ve prepared some useful tips for you.
- On-time delivery first and foremost! Amazon is a pro-consumer platform, committed to the highest quality of service and on-time delivery. Delays have a negative impact on the metrics and Voice of the Customer.
- Take care of the listings. Product information should be complete, detailed and truthful. This will help you avoid negative feedback from customers.
- Pack your products carefully. Before shipment take care of the proper protection of products so that they reach the customer in one piece. If the goods arrive damaged, it will have a negative impact on your account statistics.
- Do not experiment with two accounts. Creating two accounts in the same business or name is a simple way to get your account blocked.
- Learn the rules from A to Z! The rules of selling on Amazon are the bible for every seller. Learn them carefully so you can provide the best service and avoid getting blocked. You can find them here.
Having an account blocked on Amazon is quite a problem for a seller. Knowing the current selling rules and following them greatly reduces the risk of this happening. It is true that a blockage doesn’t always mean that your selling experience on Amazon is over. However, it’s definitely worth saving yourself the nerves and not wasting your time!