Amazon, a titan of the e-commerce world, maintains a strict set of guidelines to ensure a fair and trustworthy marketplace for buyers and sellers alike. One such rule is the prohibition of multiple seller accounts by the same party without a legitimate business purpose. Failure to comply can result in a dreaded scenario for any Amazon seller – account suspension.
Understanding Related Account Suspensions
Related account suspension refers to Amazon's practice of suspending seller accounts that are suspected of being linked. Amazon’s policy states that sellers can operate only one seller account unless they have a legitimate business need. Sellers who violate this policy may find all their accounts suspended.
Amazon employs advanced tracking methods, such as tracking IP addresses, bank accounts, and more to detect any connections between accounts. Even if the accounts are operating from different locations, Amazon's systems can link them if there are shared characteristics. If you would like further detail on the information Amazon uses to relate accounts, click here.
1. Maintain a Single Account
The most straightforward strategy to avoid related account suspensions is to maintain just one Amazon seller account. Unless there is a valid reason to operate multiple accounts, stick to one account to avoid unnecessary complications.
2. Inform Amazon
If you have a legitimate business need for multiple accounts, there is not a lot of guidance on how to go about opening a second account. A good idea is to open a case with seller support and ask them if you meet the criteria for a legitimate business need, so you have a record. Ensure you have a compelling reason, such as selling in vastly different categories or managing a separate business entity.
3. Separate Business Information
If you have Amazon’s permission to operate multiple accounts, keep all business information distinct for each account. This includes bank accounts, credit cards, phone numbers, email addresses, and even the IP addresses from which you access the accounts. Shared information could trigger Amazon's systems and lead to suspension.
4. Diversify your Product Range
Avoid listing the same products across your multiple accounts. Even if you have Amazon's permission to operate multiple accounts, identical listings can raise suspicion.
Recovering from a Related Account Suspension
If you find your accounts suspended due to related account suspicions, it’s not the end of the world. Here are steps you can take to recover:
1. Investigate the Suspension
First, understand why the suspension occurred. Amazon usually sends a notification explaining the suspension. In cases of related account suspensions, the message may refer to "linked accounts" or "related accounts."
2. Develop a Plan of Action
Once you’ve understood the reason for suspension, develop a Plan of Action (POA). This is a document you submit to Amazon, explaining how you will rectify the issue and prevent it from happening again. It should address the root cause of the issue, the immediate corrective actions you've taken, and the long-term measures you'll implement.
3. Appeal the Suspension
After creating your POA, submit it to Amazon via Seller Central. Make sure you communicate professionally and concisely, focusing on the problem and your solution. If Amazon rejects your appeal, don’t get disheartened. Review their feedback, refine your POA, and submit again.
4. Seek Professional Help
If you find the process overwhelming or your appeals are repeatedly rejected, consider seeking help from Amazon seller consulting services. These experts have a wealth of experience and can guide you through the reinstatement process.
Navigating Amazon's complex seller policies can be challenging, but understanding and adhering to these guidelines is crucial for long-term success. By maintaining distinct accounts (with Amazon's permission), you can avoid related account suspensions and continue to thrive in the Amazon marketplace. If you do encounter a suspension, don’t panic. With a methodical approach and potentially professional help, you can recover your account and return to selling.
While it can seem daunting, remember that Amazon's policies are there to maintain a fair and trustworthy marketplace. Stay informed, keep your operations transparent, and always address issues proactively. As you continue to navigate the Amazon marketplace, these strategies will ensure you maintain a healthy seller account, allowing your business to grow and prosper.
Remember, when in doubt, reach out to experts or utilize resources available to you. After all, selling on Amazon is not just about listing products; it's about understanding and navigating a dynamic e-commerce ecosystem.
If you have a question about related accounts or a related account suspension, call, chat or submit your case to us for a free consultation.