To reinstate your selling privileges, you will need to create an Amazon Plan of Action. This letter contains five parts:
- Introductory Paragraph
- Root Cause
- Immediate Corrective Actions
- Preventive Measures
The optimal length of your Plan of Action for Amazon is between 1-2 pages. You should make the POA as concise as possible. The average Amazon rep spends between 3-5 minutes reading a POA. They basically scan the Amazon Plan of Action looking for a reason to reject the POA.
Follow these steps to make sure that your Amazon Appeal is not denied.
Introductory Paragraph of The Plan of Action
The first paragraph of your Amazon Action Plan is the introductory paragraph. You want to introduce yourself, your store name and the reason for the suspension. Usually, you want to list the ASIN’s that were involved in the suspension.
This is an example of an introductory paragraph for your Plan of Action:
Dear Seller Performance,
I am the owner of “Name of Your Amazon Store,” an e-commerce business that sells kitchen accessories on the Amazon.com platform. I am writing to appeal my suspension due to trademark complaints from “Name of Complainant” regarding ASIN “XXXXXXXXX”
Root Cause of Seller Suspension
You need to specifically address the root cause of your suspension. You need to demonstrate that you understand the reason for your suspension. For example, if you have an inauthentic complaint you need to show that the suspension is about the integrity of the supply chain. If you start talking about how how your products are not counterfeit, you are showing that you do not truly understand the root cause of the suspension.
Oftentimes there are actually multiple causes for the suspension. Each root cause must be described in specific detail. If your account was suspended for violating the fair pricing policy maybe one of your ASIN’s was flagged for price gouging and another ASIN was flagged because the multi-unit price was higher than the single unit price. You must address both causes.
Most sellers struggle to correctly identify the root cause. They confuse a copyright violation with a trademark violation. Or counterfeit violations with inauthentic violations. You need to actually understand the reason for your suspension.
Corrective Actions in Your POA
In this section you want to at least 5 corrective actions that you have taken. For example, you have removed the ASIN’s from your inventory. Or you have offered customer refunds. These must be things that you have already done.
The corrective actions should be in bullet or numbered format. It makes it easier for Seller Performance to read.
Preventive Measures in Your Plan of Action
In this section, you want to talk about what measures you have implemented to ensure that the problem does not arise again. You should think of this section as a section about business processes.
The preventive measures should also be in bulleted or numbered format. It is always helpful if your process follows a step by step order. Again, you want 3-5 bullet points.
Here is an example of how a list of preventive measures:
- I will no longer offer these products or brands for sale on my seller account.
- I will only offer products for sale on my Amazon storefront with wholesale invoices from my authorized distributor.
- Products will only be purchased directly from brand / rights owners or authorized distributors.
- I will review our product listings against the USPTO database.
- I will perform an audit each month to ensure product Images, Description, Details, and UPC code match our actual products.
Conclusion of Your Amazon Plan of Action
You want to thank the rep and most importantly reiterate that you take responsibility for the problem. You want to briefly summarize your main corrective actions and state that the problem will not arise again.
Here is a sample conclusion paragraph:
I fully understand that I listed prohibited items on the Amazon platform. I have removed the items and put in place a sufficient process/systems to prevent any prohibited items from being listed in the future. I assure you that we have resolved all the issues that caused our suspension and have implemented controls to prevent future issues.
Thank you for working with me to improve my selling procedures.
End the letter with “Best Regards,” and your personal name.
Don’t Make These POA Mistakes
Almost every single amateur POA that comes across my desk has a number of problems. Most POA’s that I review on Seller Forums are inadequate. Sellers simply do not know of the high standards that Seller Performance expects to reinstate your selling privileges. Here are some things that you should not do in your Plan of Action:
- Get angry or blame Amazon. Every seller is frustrated dealing with the maze that is Seller Support. However, you never want to show this frustration in your POA. The truth is unimportant. Even if you have been told incorrect information by Seller Support which caused your business to be shut down for weeks, you do not express any anger in your POA.
- Don’t shift the blame. I see a lot of sellers that never take responsibility for the problem in the POA. The blame is always shifted to an employee, the USPS or some service provider. Take ownership of the problem.
- The typical Amazon seller searches forums and the web and copies and pastes a POA. I can spot these POA’s within 15 seconds. I am sure a rep who reads hundreds of POAs per week can spot a copy and paste job in seconds as well.
- Mix up your pronouns. Your letter should use the first person pronoun. Even if your Amazon store employs 50 people, you want to write the letter using “I” not “we.” Writing the letter using the first person pronoun is more forceful and makes it easy to show that you have taken personal ownership of the problem.
- Don’t make vague promises. It is a waste of space. Details make you sound credible. Instead of saying I’ve reviewed the Amazon IP policy, highlight a specific section that you have reviewed.
- Don’t keep sending the same POA to Amazon. After you have been rejected, you must write a new POA. I am sure Seller Performance stops reading when they see the same POA as to what was already rejected.
If you follow the correct format and actually include the information that is necessary, you can have your seller privileges reinstated within days.