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Unfortunately, it happens far too often that Participants of the Amazon marketplace are suddenly faced with closed doors because they no longer have access to their seller account. This can of course have considerable consequences for those affected.

However, as there are completely different reasons for such Dealer blocks the problem can often not be identified immediately. Unless Amazon gets in touch and explains what misconduct led to a block.

You can now find out what the reasons for this are and what you can do about it if it does happen to you.

The problem of retailer blocks on Amazon

The Amazon Marketplace is extremely popular with retailers in Germany and around the world. Many business ideas today are based on the use of programs such as FBA or FBM on. But time and again, individual products in an account or even entire accounts are blocked.

Since two things are particularly important for Amazon, firstly its own sales and now also its profits, and secondly the Customer satisfactionthe seller is obliged to adhere to strict guidelines. If the customer is dissatisfied, this can quickly lead to a breakdown. 

While it No official statistics There are always reports of whole waves of such suspensions on the subject of Amazon merchant suspensions. In the following, I will therefore list the most common reasons that can lead to an account being blocked, but Paths to reopening of the account.

The most common reasons for retailer lockdowns

There can be various reasons for merchant suspensions. These include missed performance targets, legal violations, insecure accounts, lack of documentation or redirecting customers to their own channels.

Failure to meet performance targets and customer complaints

There are many performance targets at Amazon. For example, within a 60-day period, the rate of Order deficiencies under 1 %which Cancellation rate below 2.5 % and the rate of late deliveries is below 4 %. In addition, poor ratings and even complaints can be reasons for blocking the account.

All of these reasons are understandable, as Amazon is trying to make as much profit as possible while maximizing customer satisfaction. If the seller cannot meet Amazon's high standards, they can therefore expect their account to be blocked. As a rule, however, accounts are not blocked immediately after the first offense, but only after multiple occurrences or a combination of several factors.

It is therefore essential for the seller to keep an overview of his statistics at all times in order to be able to detect a possible infringement within one year. 60-day period at an early stage and to be able to take countermeasures.

Violations of a legal nature

Time and again, legal violations occur, for example due to the use of copyrighted product photos. If the rights holder prohibits the use of their legally protected works - and this is supported by Amazon through corresponding forms - the seller is prohibited from using their account. The affected product or even the entire account is temporarily deactivated during the verification process.

However, if your account has been blocked due to a complaint from a third party, you have not yet lost your account unconditionally. To make a Lifting the lock However, you must contact Amazon on your own initiative and find out the reason for the blocking, if this is not known. In any case, it must be clearly stated (and preferably proven) that there was no infringement.

Takeover of the account by third parties

Hackers know that successful Amazon accounts significant sales can achieve. It happens time and again that third parties gain access to a merchant's account and use various scams to gain financial advantages while damaging the merchant's reputation.

Due to the unpredictable behavior of hackers, it is quite possible that the account will be deleted due to many negative customer reviews or non-compliance with the Amazon guidelines is permanently blocked with regard to delivery times, cancellation rates, etc. The website OnlinehändlerNews, for example, reported a case in which the hackers offered thousands of products at low prices, while customers were asked to transfer the money to another account. The goods were of course never sent to the customers concerned, which led to the account being closed.

Securing the account is therefore mandatory for every trader. It is recommended that you use a secure password and two-step verification to protect your account as well as possible.

Problems with verification and documentation

To be allowed to appear as a seller on Amazon, you need a Verification on the basis of documents that, for example, the Identity check serve. If these documents are not provided or are not valid or even falsified, the account will not be activated at all. However, documents can also be requested later if Amazon checks an account that is already active. If the seller is unable to provide these, the account may be closed.

This is such a sensitive issue precisely because Amazon acts as an intermediary between the customer and the seller. Due to the legal aspects, such as KYC regulations, Amazon must be able to collect important information about its customers in a similar way to a financial institution and, in special cases, submit it to the authorities.

Even if it is sometimes not easy to find the requested documents, as a retailer you must ensure that Amazon receives all documents within the shortest possible period of time.

Redirecting customers to other channels

As the largest Online marketplace Amazon offers retailers worldwide access to a huge pool of potential customers. But Amazon pays well for this. Amazon charges sellers up to 25 % of the sales price. An amount that everyone would like to avoid.

For this reason, it happens time and again that sellers decide to retain customers they have acquired via Amazon - albeit via other sales channels such as their own website. But: Amazon sees the customer as its own customer, the seller only provides the goods. The seller is therefore prohibited from contacting customers outside of the current order. It is certainly difficult for Amazon to track down the seller, but if this happens, the account can be permanently closed.

The bottom line is that it is not worth luring customers away from the Amazon platform. Although using the Amazon marketplace incurs considerable fees, it gives retailers access to a huge number of potential customers who would otherwise have shopped with the competition. At the same time, there is nothing to be said against the parallel development of other sales channels.

What should I do if the account has already been closed?

If the account has been blocked, an objection to the blocking of the account must be submitted. Here are the instructions on the official Amazon website.

However, there are a few things you should bear in mind before lodging an objection:

    1. Take your time with the objection. Your first attempt is your best. That's why you should work out a clear plan to get Amazon to unblock your account. We can help you with this.
    2. Do not open another account. This obvious solution hardly ever works in practice. Amazon is able to link two different accounts with complex criteria, even if different names, addresses etc. are used.
    3. Always remain objective. Even if the suspension of an account can cause anger and frustration, this should not be reflected in your contradiction.
    4. Don't blame buyers. Even if your account was closed as a result of bad customer complaints, you must not blame the customer. The customer is always king at Amazon.
    5. Only consult a lawyer in an emergency. If there were understandable reasons for a block, but you believe you can change Amazon's mind, do not involve a lawyer. Otherwise, the entire process may take a long time.
Tobias Dziuba

My name is Tobias and I am the founder and managing director of the Amazon agency Adsmasters GmbH based in Düsseldorf.

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