Has Amazon suspended your listing?

It happens to the best of us. You’re having an awesome Tuesday, everything’s going along well, getting into your groove this week, and then BAM! Listing suspension notice from Amazon. And why is it always your best seller that they’ve got to go and mess with? Time to cobble together a Plan of Action for Amazon. But where to begin?

Our reinstatement team deals with these on a daily basis. Sometimes it’s more like an hourly basis! Listing reinstatements are one of our specialties, and all joking aside, we are constantly working with many cases at any given time.

The majority of listing suspensions boil down to a few things: compliance issues, quality issues, and IP infringement. Let’s break down each one.


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Compliance issues:

If the item you’re selling is subject to FDA regulations but you have no paperwork to support that your product meets regulations, the listing could be shut down if another seller or a customer complains. Or, if there is a restricted products rule looking for just that particular regulation, you may be shut down until you can provide proof of compliance in the format they want to see it.

If a product you have been selling is subject to recall, down it goes. But then you have to wait for weeks and weeks to get your inventory back. Amazon requires a 30 day waiting period before any removals can occur on a recalled product.

But, by far the top issues we see are when customers complain that there is a safety problem with the product, and our clients have to product documentation proving that the product is labeled correctly, or has been tested properly, etc, to ensure that it was customer error, not the product itself. If a customer says your product made them bleed or burned them – a safety incident notification may be headed your way!

Product/Item Quality issues:

Do you have 20 customer reviews stating that the thing you’re selling has broken on the first use? Are you consistently receiving returns due to the product not being as expected by the customer? Has it injured someone? It’s got quality issues. Amazon uses terms like used sold as new, inauthentic, expired, safety incident, or material difference to describe these types of problems.

By far the worst is counterfeit – if Amazon thinks it’s a counterfeit anything, it’s a big issue not just for that listing, but for your account.

IP infringement:

If you’re selling something that you are not authorized to sell, or presenting something in such a way that you’re using another company’s intellectual property without permission, the suspension would be a result of a complaint from the rights holder. You can’t copy a patented product. You can’t use another company’s tagline. You can’t appropriate a well-known logo for your own use. These are examples of IP infringement.

However, there are also the situations where it’s not your fault – where you’re selling a legitimate product, but Amazon is allowing brand owners to enforce their distribution contracts through spurious intellectual property infringement complaints. These are tough to fight back on, but you must! If you don’t fight back on the individual listings, your account will be at risk for suspension.

About our process:

Our reinstatement team is made up of former Amazonians who each worked a compliance capacity at some point during their tenure. That’s why these things are our specialty!

We keep detailed metrics so we know whether an issue you have is likely to be just an ASIN issue, or result in an account suspension. We have your back through this whole process.

Need some help getting your listing back? Get it straight from the people who wrote the book on compliance at Amazon! We have reinstatement packages starting as low as $749.

Do you have to use us? No, you don’t – but if you do use another firm, make sure they are reputable. We only recommend Cynthia Stine at eGrowthPartners and Chris McCabe at eCommerceChris for Amazon sellers facing suspension. Cynthia and Chris are both solid with most kinds of listing suspensions, although we are confident no one beats us for quality and experience when it comes to safety incidents or compliance issues.

We are also often asked if we recommend working with lawyers – we don’t. Amazon is very litigation cautious, and when letters come from lawyers, or lawyers get involved, the results can be a lot less than hoped for. One case we had recently was actually a related accounts issue, that the client’s lawyer recommended taking to arbitration based on an erroneous understanding of the root cause for suspension. However, that would have been a deal breaker – Amazon responds better to people who use the right words in the right format, based on the SOPs that exist for those teams. Lawyers come in handy though when you’re trying to boot hijackers off your listings, or respond to an IP infringement complaint from another company.

Bottom line: it’s critical to work with qualified people to help you. It’s way easier for us to help you and get you back quickly with the first or second email to Amazon (yes, they only accept email) – but it’s much harder after the third or fourth, or even after getting the listing blocked. 

We love helping our sellers be successful on Amazon. Feel free to call and talk to us at any time if you’re struggling with an Amazon performance issue! Or just go to our reinstatement page to sign up for our help now. 

Not ready to pull the trigger? Send over your information and our team will discuss your case and if we can help you!

Not ready to pull the trigger? Send over your information and our team will discuss your case and if we can help you!

For the first time in our three-year selling career, we had a product suspended. We noticed Amazon cracking down on sellers and also noticed the black hat competitors were getting more creative with their attacks. When you have one chance to clear up your account, you have to make sure it’s right. If you don’t do a good job, you can be banned from selling that SKU. That was terrifying. We heard back from the Performance team within a few hours of submitting the proposal and were back selling. A huge relief!

tyler davis
About the Author
Rachel Johnson Greer is a global business strategist who specializes in helping entrepreneurs increase their internet product sales, curate their brand image online and avoid catastrophic legal threats. After getting her MBA in international business at Seattle University, she spent nearly a decade at Amazon working in product development. Since then, Rachel has founded companies that reached both multi-six figure and multi-seven figure growth in under three years.

As a business coach, she supports clients in everything from international product expansion to 4x-ing their sales through online retailers. Rachel is frequently sought out by the media and has appeared on the Today Show, CNBC, Business Insider, The Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg. When she’s not working with clients, she’s scaring friends at parties with stories about the most problematic online products she’s found in their homes. She lives in Seattle, Washington.