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Amazon suspends large number of sellers for offering restricted products

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Since June 8, Amazon has suspended a large number of sellers for selling restricted items, mostly health and beauty products. Amazon sent the following notice to a large number of sellers, who have been posting on the Amazon Seller Forums:

We have removed your selling privileges, canceled your listings, and placed a temporary hold on any funds in your seller account.

We took these actions because you have listed items that are not permitted on Amazon.com. Items sold on Amazon.com must adhere to all applicable federal, state, and local laws and Amazon’s policies. Amazon reserves the right to remove any listing we determine to be illegal or inappropriate for our site.

To learn more about this policy, search "Restricted Products" in Seller Central Help. For more information on the products that resulted in this action, please review all emails that have been sent to your account with the subject line “Notification of Restricted Products Removal.”

We encourage you to resolve any pending orders. Note that any amounts paid as a result of A-to-z Guarantee claims and chargebacks may be deducted from your seller account.

After 90 days, the hold will be removed and any remaining funds will be available per your settlement schedule. In addition, balance and settlement information will be available in the Payments section of your seller account. If you have questions about these funds, please write to payments-funds@amazon.com.

If you would like to appeal this decision, please visit the Notifications page in the Performance section of your account, find this message in the list of notifications, and click the Appeal button (https://sellercentral.amazon.com/gp/customer-experience/perf-notificatio...). For information on creating an appeal, search "Appealing the Removal of Selling Privileges" in Seller Central Help.

Regards,
Seller Performance Team
Amazon.com
http://www.amazon.com

Sellers feel blindsided by this mass suspension because many of the products in question have been in Amazon warehouses for months. One seller who posted on the forum who has a 98% rating, 5 star customer feedback, and an order defect rate of 0% explained that he just purchased "$30,000 worth of inventory to sell on Amazon, signed a 3 month lease on a warehouse, and spent $1,000 on shipping supplies." (Amazon General Selling Question Board.) This is a perfect example of why it is wise to sell on multiple venues and go wide on inventory and not deep. If this particular seller is not reinstated on Amazon, he will have $30,000 worth of inventory unsellable on Amazon to deal with.

Sellers with the following types of products in their inventory were suspended:

Weight loss products

Testosterone products

Herbal male enhancement products

Sunscreen containing Lidocaine

Restricted brands

Counterfeit Disney Frozen movie products (purchased from AliExpress)

If a seller's Amazon account has been suspended, the seller can do one of two things to get their account back. They can convince Amazon the item is not restricted, or appeal to have their account reinstated. A seller only gets one appeal for reinstatement. Here are some tips for writing the appeal:

1. Keep a business tone - do not make it personal about your family, your health, or your personal life.

2. Create an action plan explaining what specific steps will be taken in the future to ensure compliance with Amazon rules and procedures, and promise never to sell restricted products again.

3. Consult with other sellers on the Amazon Seller Forums for help crafting an appeal letter. Some experienced sellers will offer free help.

One experienced seller, remarked, "Note to other sellers: If you get even one policy warning for an item, it means review every item in your inventory. Don't wait for Amazon to tell you, because by then it will be too late. Amazon expects you to be pro-active, not reactive after suspension."

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