So you’ve received the gut-wrenching email that your account has been suspended…
Now you are thinking about how to write a convincing reinstatement letter (and plan of action) that can reactivate your account.
Don’t write a single word (or god forbid submit it) until you read this article.
In this guide, I will show you how to write a reinstatement letter, the right way. I will show you how to find the root cause of the suspension. What steps to follow for your letter to be read by Amazon?
My tips and tactics are accumulated from over 2000 cases just like yours. I’ll even show you a reinstatement letter so you can see a first-hand example!
And by the way, calm down. Most suspensions are surmountable. If you follow my advice, it is absolutely possible to reinstate your Amazon account in a matter of days.
Before we start with the reinstatement letter, let’s answer some frequently asked questions…
Amazon Account Deactivated vs Suspended: What’s the Difference?
Generally, a suspended account is a lesser form of punishment with a higher chance of reinstatement.
You only have to explain in detail what you got wrong and present a plan on how you will solve the problem in the future. Account suspension limits sales on Amazon and leads to inaccessible funds.
The deactivated account is a more severe form of punishment. Account deactivation results in a complete shutdown, deletion of all your listings and banned access to your funds. Again, you can appeal, but the process is a lot tougher and you’ll need a rock-solid Plan of Action.
By the way, our restatement services are requested when the account is deactivated. Learn more about them here – aesmart.io/amazon-seller-account-reinstatement-service
Okay, how long does it take to get reinstated on Amazon?
Depends on the suspension.
Accounts suspended for late shipment, invalid tracking or something similar can be restored within 2-3 days. Just submit a clear plan of action on how you will be sending goods on time or give valid trackings and that’s it.
If you have seriously messed up – manipulated documents/invoices, counterfeits, IP violations, etc. this will take time. You need a detailed and convincing reinstatement letter to cut it.
Okay, let’s start with the real part – how to reinstate your Amazon account!
Part 1: How to craft an effective Plan of Action to reinstate your Amazon account?
When writing an appeal letter, Amazon wants you to present a POA (Plan Of Action) on how you will address the violations and deal with this problem in the future.
The POA is divided into 3 sections:
- Section 1: The root cause of the issue (the most important part). Here you have to convince Amazon that you have found the real causes of the problem.
- Section 2: The actions you have taken to resolve this issue.
- Section 3: The steps you have taken to prevent the issue from happening in the future;
I’ll show you how to properly start your appeal letter (intro).
The intro – start your appeal letter by admitting your fault and taking full responsibility for the violation
Amazon kinda wants you on your knees here…
- Admit that your performance has failed Amazon’s standards and policies;
- State that you’ve realized and addressed the violation;
- Accept full responsibility for the situation;
No tantrums. No threats. No guilt tactics. Be professional and humble.
Write something like this…
Dear Amazon Seller Performance Team:
Thank you for another opportunity to review and submit my plan of action. My performance has failed to meet Amazon’s standards and policies. I have realized and addressed the problem of LSR and created a plan of action to provide customers with the best experience.
It is critical that you admit your guilt right from the start. That is if you want your Amazon account reactivated, of course.
OK, let’s move…
Section 1: “The root cause of the issue” – what are the underlying causes for the violations?
Important: Read the following part very, very carefully. The Amazon performance team is pressured to review more and more appeals in less and less time, if you fail to nail the root cause, your case will be tossed aside for “later”.
Nailing the root cause/s is the key to reinstating your Amazon seller account.
How can you solve a problem effectively if you don’t know what caused it?
In this section, you must nail the root cause/s for the violation, here’s how to do it right…
A brutal mistake here is to explain what happened instead of pointing out the root cause of the violation.
This is key!
Amazon knows what has happened (in more detail than you might think). Amazon wants to see if you understand the causes that led to the policy violations.
The causes may be:
- Mistakes by you or your employees;
- Breakthroughs (or lack thereof) in day-to-day business operations;
- Fail to keep track of performance notifications;
- Even gaps in your business mindset (below I will show you what I mean);
In short, the flaws are on you. Here are examples of the difference between “explanations of what happened” (Wrong) and “root causes” (Correct)…
Example 1: LSR (Late Shipment rate)
Let’s say your fulfillment software crashed and several orders were not shipped on time, which triggered an LSR violation.
- You explain what happened (Wrong): We had a technical error in the order fulfillment software that delayed several orders before we managed to fix it.
- The causes that led to violation (Correct): To be honest, we didn’t have an employee to monitor the software for bugs/issues, which led to delays in some orders and out-of-range metrics.
Example 2: Safety concerns
Let’s say your customer has an allergic reaction to your chocolate peanut sauce. By the way, if Amazon sniffs that your product might be dangerous, prepare for immediate ASIN suspension!
- You explain what happened (Wrong): A customer who consumed our chocolate sauce with peanuts did not read the list of ingredients and had an allergic reaction.
- The causes that led to violation (Correct): We omitted to add a warning in the listing and on the product packaging that the sauce contains peanuts, which can lead to severe allergic reactions and bad customer experience.
Example 3: IP complaints
Let’s say a brand owner filed an infringement notice that you are using his IP without permission.
- You explain what happened (Wrong): We have contacted the owner of the rights to resolve the issue, but have not yet heard back.
- The causes leading to violation (Correct): Our mistake was that we did not notify and request authorization to sell the products on Amazon of the brands in question.
In this section, don’t re-describe the problem or make assumptions about what happened. Write the underlying reasons that led to violation/s.
Here is how to uncover them…
How to uncover the root cause/s of the violation/s?
First of all, if you know quite well why you are suspended – you sold replicas, used products as new, forged/altered invoices/documents, IP violations, etc. you have to stop.
Otherwise, the next suspension is certain.
Note: If you have no idea about Amazon’s policies and are triggering violations left and right, it’s best to read (carefully) the policies here – sellercentral.amazon.com/help/GSNV3657R94YP9DZ
Read on if you’re serious about upping your game and reinstating your Amazon account in the process…
If you know the reasons, but you haven’t paid attention to them so far (or you expected to get away with them), now is the time to deal with them once and for all.
Sometimes the answer is obvious and there is no need to dig.
- [Example / LSR-related violations] If you know that you simply do not have enough time to send the shipments or monitor the inventory, the root cause is obvious – the lack (or bad management) of time (well duh). Either you take your Amazon account more seriously, by spending more time on it or look for helpers.
- [Example / ODR-related violations] If the supplier gives you a defective product (and you are slammed with bad reviews), but you have not taken any measures so far, you should look for a new one. End the business relationship with the supplier before the relationship ends you.
If the answer isn’t so obvious, read on…
If the root cause is harder to pin-point, use the “Five Whys” technique
State the violation and start asking why this has happened.
When you can no longer ask “Why” – you have reached the root cause.
Here are 2 videos on how to use the technique…
Here is also a helpful article on “Five Whys” – kanbanize.com/lean-management/5-whys-analysis-tool
Pro tip from Aesmart.io: Don’t be tempted to point to the first thing that comes to mind as a root cause. Dig as deeper as you can. Also, don’t ask too many Whys. You might get pointless answers.
Okay, let’s do a test drive of the technique…
Let’s say Amazon suspended your account for crappy pictures…
Ask yourself: “Why are my photos bad?”.
Possible answer: Because I used those of the supplier.
Q: Why did I use those of the supplier?
A: Because it was easier and faster for me.
A: Why was it easier/faster for me?
Q: Because otherwise I would have had to contact (and pay for) professional photographers or buy equipment. I just uploaded the pictures from the supplier and I was done.
The latter is the root cause.
This is how your POA almost writes itself… In the “Root causes” section of the reinstatement letter, you write that you lack professional photography equipment or a photographer.
Write something like this…
“I have never taken pictures of products before and my mistake was not hiring a professional photographer, which resulted in bad photos and a policy violation.”
In the section “The steps you have taken to prevent the issue going forward” (that’s what we will talk about in the next part) you will write that in the future you will either invest in equipment or hire a professional photographer for pixel-perfect photos.
That’s what Amazon wants to hear to give you your account back.
Part 2: Section 2 – “The actions you have taken to resolve this issue”
In this section, Amazon is interested in what measures you have taken in the short term to fix the issue.
Pro tip: Emphasize on things that are in favor of the customers – refunds, apologies, etc. Customer satisfaction (and making money) is Amazon’s #1 priority!
Depending on the case, the measures may be:
- Apologies for the inconvenience;
- Staff hire;
- Change of supplier;
- Rapid implementation of new processes, practices, etc.
Here are some examples…
Example 1: ODR-related/Defect product
Let’s say you’ve been shipping lamps that don’t light up. In the section you can write something like this:
- We have refunded all affected customers and apologized for their negative experience on Amazon.
- We tested all of the lamps in the warehouse in an attempt to find the defective ones;
- We immediately notified the supplier/manufacturer about the defect – OR – 3. We stopped working with the previous supplier to avoid these problems in the future;
Example 2: LSR
Let’s say the Christmas season caught you off guard.
- Orders are more than the products you have in stock;
- This has led to a delay in shipment;
In the section “The actions you have taken to resolve this issue?”, you can write the following:
- Stock 50% more inventory in advance to solve the shortage problem;
- Hired 3 experienced people to solve the issue with the delayed shipments;
- Reached out to customers and assured them they would receive their orders on time or they would a shipping refund.
- Identified how much time it takes to dispatch an order;
- Dispatched and confirmed any orders that were late or pending;
- Took more responsibility and read tips from the Amazon Seller University on how to ship orders on time;
Part 3: Section 3 – “The steps you have taken to prevent the issue going forward” – how will you guarantee that the problem will not be repeated?
In this section, Amazon wants to hear what measures you will take to prevent the problem from recurring.
In a few bullet points, describe what measures you will implement to eliminate the root causes for violations. It could be systems, rules, buying equipment, hiring specialized staff, or even changing the business model.
Whatever is needed.
(Examples in a minute.)
Important: Don’t lie just to get reinstated! This is a chance to elevate your business to the next level! See, the Performance team doesn’t want to read another appeal letter from you in the future. Convince them that you are truly worthy of reinstatement by presenting a bulletproof plan on how you will address the root causes of the suspension!
Alright, what can you do to make sure the problems don’t happen again?
Follow the steps below…
Step 1: [Super important] Identify the root cause of the violation
We did it in the previous chapter.
See, to prevent a problem from happening again, you have to really understand what has caused it in the first place.
Otherwise, you are just wasting vital time.
Step 2: Brainstorm and implement possible countermeasures against the next violation – deploy new processes and systems, or improve the old ones, do trainings, acquire equipment, etc.
- What systems/processes will you implement to prevent similar problems from happening in the future?
- What training can you or your employees undergo to prevent the problem from recurring?
- What equipment can you invest in to solve the problem?
- Can you hire individuals/companies to solve or help solve the problem?
- If the core of the problem is in your business model, can you change it?
You can only do 1 of the above. It can be a combination of 2-3 and more. You may have to do all of them.
Let’s say you got 2 violations – LSR and ODR.
LSR can be countered by hiring staff if you can’t handle the volume of orders. ODR can be fixed by putting a system in place that checks products for defects before shipping, for example.
Important: In your POA (and for the sake of your businesses) you must describe to Amazon the measures (and root causes) for all violations. Not for 1. 2. Or 3. All of them. Otherwise, your account reinstatement will be denied.
Step 3: Make sure that your systems/processes last in the long term, don’t look for quick fixes
Quick fixes don’t endure very long in the business.
Think carefully, can you sustain the processes/measures in the long run?
If they require resources (money, skills, or effort) that you can’t acquire, think about something else.
If the measures fail, your Amazon seller account will be punished again. The next reinstatement will be much, much harder to achieve.
Pro tip from AESmart.io: Most systems don’t hold up because they are hard to follow… Your systems must be super simple to follow by you or the team. The most surefire way to make sure nobody follows the processes/rules is if you make them convoluted and confusing. Trust me. Also, digitize/automate the heck out of the processes. I still see how some people keep track of their business on paper.
Step 4: Observe and mark points for improvement
Monitor regularly (and review if needed) your preventive measures to ensure they are still effective. The account health tab will tell you very quickly if your systems are starting to crack.
If necessary, change or kill ineffective systems with extreme prejudice.
Step 5: Explain to your team or partner the measures and their importance
If no one cares, your next suspension is around the corner.
Let everyone know what measures you have taken regarding the root causes. Write down the rules/systems that must be followed in the employment contract as well, if necessary.
If someone does not comply with them – reprimand, fine or dismiss.
Remember: your and your employees’ livelihood is on the line.
Processes and systems are crucial for the success of your reinstatement letter (and business), here are some examples of what they might be
Okay, here are examples of what measures to take against the root cause of the problem.
In your POA you should write something like this:
1. What systems/processes can I implement to prevent similar problems from happening in the future?
Okay, in this part I’ll just give examples of rules and systems for the most common violations. You should be able to gather ideas about how to think.
- Violation: Let’s say that the lamps you ship have a defect and do not work.
- A system/rule that prevents the problem + description in the “The steps you have taken to prevent the issue going forward” section: Make a rule for you or your team to test the lamps to see if they work before sending them. That’s how you can solve the issue instantly.
[Selling old items as new ones]
- Violation: Let’s say the products you ship are not cleaned/have scratches on them or on the packaging and customers think they are not new.
- A system/rule that prevents the problem + description in the “The steps you have taken to prevent the issue going forward” section: Make it a rule for you or your team to inspect and clean the product well before shipping it to the customer. This should drastically reduce complaints.
- Violation: A brand owner filed an infringement notice that you are using his IP without permission.
- A system/rule that prevents the problem + description in the “The steps you have taken to prevent the issue going forward” section: Make it a rule for you or your team to contact brands for permission before listing their products on Amazon.
- Violation: The listing says that the product is in stock, but it is not.
- A system/rule that prevents the problem + description in the section “The steps you have taken to prevent the issue going forward”: Make a rule to audit your inventory every 5/10/15/20 days so that the problem does not occur again.
2. What training can you or your employees undergo so that the problem does not happen again?
- Problem: You or the staff can’t work with the shipping software well, which leads to delays in shipping.
- A system/rule that prevents the problem + description in the section “The steps you have taken to prevent the issue going forward”: Training from scratch on how to work with the shipping software + exam. The training has to continue until the exam is taken with a perfect score.
- Problem: You or your staff are not aware of Amazon’s policies and the listed state laws, which leads to violations.
- A system/rule that prevents the problem + description in the section “The steps you have taken to prevent the issue going forward”: Training from scratch on how to be perfectly compliant with Amazon’s policies and the applicable laws for each country the products are listed in.
- Problem: You don’t have the time (or desire) to monitor the Account health tab for notifications from Amazon about out-of-range metrics.
- A system/rule that prevents the problem + description in the section “The steps you have taken to prevent the issue going forward”: Train your staff to monitor the notifications from Amazon on a regular basis in order for your account to remain in good standing.
3. What equipment can you invest in to solve the problem?
- Problem: You don’t have high-quality photos of the products and due to this Amazon has suspended your account.
- A system/rule that prevents the problem + description in the section “The steps you have taken to prevent the issue going forward”: Invest in a new high-end camera, а video camera, tripods, sets, lighting, processing programs, etc.
- Problem: You get negative reviews that the packaging is low quality. Additionally, the current equipment (or lack thereof) slows down shipments.
- A system/rule that prevents the problem + description in the “The steps you have taken to prevent the issue going forward” section: Invest in a machine for high-quality, fast packaging. You save time and avoid future account penalties.
4. Can you hire people/companies to solve the problem?
Hey, if you can’t do it yourself, hire a professional.
- Problem: Currently, you are working alone, but you are not able to catch up with the volume, which leads to delays in shipments.
- A system/rule that prevents the problem + description in the section “The steps you have taken to prevent the issue going forward”: Find a partner, hire staff, hire a fulfillment center/company, or better yet – use FBA. A little secret: Amazon loves to hear that you’re using FBA, the reasons are clear…
- Problem: You get claims for infringement of intellectual rights because you don’t have the time (or the knowledge that you’re infringing) to do the due diligence.
- A system/rule that prevents the problem + description in the section “The steps you have taken to prevent the issue going forward”: You can hire an agency or an individual to check the products for possible infringement of intellectual property before they are listed on Amazon.
5. Can you change the business model?
- Problem: You send your products on your own, but now you just can’t handle the volume.
- A system/rule that prevents the problem + description in the section “The steps you have taken to prevent the issue going forward”: Instead of shipping the goods yourself, maybe its time to switch to FBA, dropshipping (the allowed type, not from eBay, Walmart, etc.) or a fulfillment center.
- Problem: Your products are handmade, but you don’t manage to make them on time, which leads to shipping delays.
- A system/rule that prevents the problem + description in the “The steps you have taken to prevent the issue going forward” section: Maybe it’s time to either hire staff or switch to mass production.
- Problem: You’re dropshipping, but the supplier doesn’t ship on time and/or doesn’t update inventory regularly or ships with their label, resulting in delays (and penalties).
- A system/rule that prevents the problem + description in “The steps you have taken to prevent the issue going forward” section: Maybe it’s time to buy in bulk and ship yourself or through FBA/fulfillment center/company.
Okay, I think we’re done.
Now you have a plan on how to write a reinstatement letter to get your Amazon account back.
However, let me give you more tips on how to write the letter itself.
Part 4: 3 tips on how to write an effective POA (and get your Amazon account reinstated)
Tip 1: Don’t rely (or god forbid send) on templates you’ve found online, your case is probably unique
Use them only as a general guideline. An idea.
Something like that.
For example, if you send some of our sample reinstatement letters, you will hardly get your account back. They are written for different cases. See, the performance team wants to know (with certainty) what you will do so that the situation with your account does not happen again.
Take your time – don’t send hastily written appeal letters/POAs
I know the gut-wrenching feeling of losing your livelihood…
But you must understand that if you send a badly-written plan, you are only delaying the return of your account.
Re-read the part above “How to craft an efficient POA?” and go through the checklist I shared:
- [Priority] Identify the root causes of the account suspension (if you don’t know them, you can’t convince Amazon that it won’t happen again);
- What specific steps will you take to prevent the problem from recurring? For example, changing suppliers, selling products with better quality, etc.
- And most importantly – do your decisions last in the long term or are they just quick fixes that are likely to fail in the future?
If your POA sucks, you’ll be asked for “Greater details” over and over again, which slows things down to a crawl.
Get the POA in detail first, then send it.
Tip 2: Make the letter easy to scan – use bullet points, headings, cut everything unnecessary, etc.
Make your reinstatement letter reader-friendly…
- Give the text space “to breathe”. Leave spaces between the different text blocks. Again, look at how I organized this text.
- Make the text appetizing to read – split the letter into blocks with subheadings. Again, see for example how this article is written;
- Use bullet points, it’s much easier to read. See again the case study, above. Almost all of the text is in bullet points;
- Use short sentences. They are easier to read on a screen. They also sound more punchy;
Tip 3: Emphasize on what you’re already doing instead of what you’re planning – your writing style can bring the account out of the grave or bring it back
One sounds like you are taking solid steps toward change.
The other is wishful thinking.
Amazon doesn’t want to hear what you’re “planning,” but what you’re “doing.”
Let’s say you have LSR suspension (Late shipment rate)…
“…planning to find a new supplier with faster delivery…”
“…I signed a contract with supplier “XXX” who delivers within the promised time…”
“…planning to hire a person to help me with shipments of more orders…”
“…I arranged a friend to help me with shipments of more orders…”
Note that the performance team representative will read the letter between the lines.
You may have honest intentions. Yes.
But the writing style can kill your chances of account reinstatement.
“Amazon rejected my Plan Of Action… Now what?”
Ask for feedback. Revise the plan. Submit again.
Rinse and repeat if necessary.
- Step 1: Try to reach the Performance team by phone. Gather as much feedback about the POA as possible. What went wrong? What can be improved? What details are missing? The Performance team should give you clues where your plan fails to address the root causes, etc.
- Step 2: Improve the plan with the received feedback and resubmit. Implement the suggested improvements/tips from the Performance team in your next POA and submit again. Be patient. Some of our cases take 2-3 (or more) months until the seller account is reactivated.
- Step 3: [The nuclear option] Contact us for help. If the situation is becoming hopeless, maybe it’s time to take matters into our own hands. At Aesmart.io we have 2000+ resolved cases and an 82.7% success rate with suspended accounts. Certain money-back guarantees apply. Learn more about our reinstatement service here
Note: The most critical thing is to convince Amazon that the incident will not happen again and that you will be a good boy or girl in the future. And if you care about the account, it really shouldn’t happen again.
Unfortunately, my reinstatement attempts failed and I am permanently locked out of my account… Can I buy a new one and start fresh?
We sell fully verified and ready-to-sell Amazon accounts for every marketplace. Inspect the account via TeamViewer/Anydesk before ordering. 30-day support after ordering. Check out our Telegram group or this link – aesmart.io/buy-amazon-seller-account for the latest accounts.
Account inspection via TeamViewer or Anydesk before ordering. No waiting – we have a list of shops that you can browse ASAP!
Part 5: How can an account suspension be prevented in advance and where can you track your account health?
You should now have a crisp idea of how to dodge violations like a pro…
- The “Finding root causes” part shows how to find underlying problems, even before they show their ugly heads;
- The “Immediate corrective measures” part about what to do even if something goes wrong;
- The part about “The steps you have taken to prevent the issue going forward” shows how to set up a fail-safe system/process against possible violations;
If you follow what I wrote above, you have nothing to worry about.
Not every violation equals suspension, Amazon sends warnings to allow you to redeem yourself before things get ugly
Just check the “Account health” tab from time to time…
If you are behind on a performance metric, Amazon will give you time to fix things.
Here are more tips from our team:
- Pay attention to notifications from Amazon. Again, take 10-15 minutes every 5-6 days to see where there is a problem. 15 minutes can save a lot of trouble down the road…
- Every 2-3 weeks, check Amazon’s policies for new rules, the list of prohibited products, etc.
- If any product is problematic (negative reviews, possible IP violations, prohibited for sale) – remove it immediately;
- And most importantly – really work on the submitted POA. Don’t use it just to trick Amazon.
I just can’t do it myself. Can you reinstate my suspended Amazon account for me?
If your case is going nowhere, contact us for a free consultation here.
Our service is completely safe and with almost an 82.7% success rate. Just check our Trustpilot ratings here. Unlike other reinstatement companies, our appeal letters are 100% handwritten. Our agent will talk to you and ask questions about the case.
After that, we will write a letter and a Plan of Action which will reinstate your suspended Amazon account. Of course, unlimited follow-ups are included.
Did I mention our 100% money-back guarantee?
Learn more here – aesmart.io/amazon-seller-account-reinstatement-service
Now you are equipped with everything you need to write an appeal letter which can reinstate your Amazon account
With a high probability of success!
Okay, a little recap…
Find the real (root) reasons why your account was suspended in the first place. Remember – if you fail here, your account won’t be reinstated and allowed to sell on Amazon again.
At least not soon.
Your plan for how to fix things must work in the long term. You may need to change your systems, suppliers, strategy even way of thinking. As I said, the important thing is that the changes last in the long term or the next suspension will be harder to combat.
P.S. If you think I’ve missed something or have any questions, please leave a comment below. I usually answer quickly.