Amazon just destroyed my business; How one single email telling me I am banned from Amazon turned my world upside down

Ed Rosenberg reached out to me to help me when I could not gain access to my Amazon account. He has vast knowledge on Amazon suspensions and is now doing some serious research into just what is going on with these “desired use of Amazon Payments” e-mails and gathering a list of everyone affected by it. If you have had one, he is the guy to speak to. Check out the interviews he did with 2 other sellers who found themselves blocked out, with almost exactly the same stories as me:

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UPDATE: 26th November 2016 – Account Reinstatement

Yesterday, 25th November 2016, at 14:20, I received an e-mail from Amazon. It said:

“Good news!

You can now sell on Amazon.

We will get in touch with you if we need more information. Happy Selling!

Amazon Payments Europe”

This short and sweet e-mail came through to me less than 48 hours after this blog went live and over 10,000 people had read it. I am obviously very happy to have my Amazon seller and buyer accounts back. It’s a shame I had to go to these lengths for it to happen, and I feel very bad for all the sellers that are still locked out with no explanation at all. I am yet to receive an explanation as to what happened, and most likely never will. But I will try to get one. I know of so many sellers that had the same “desired use of Amazon Payments” e-mail who are still left in the dark. When I logged in, my account had been migrated to the new selling on Amazon platform (I was on the old platform previously). Could this have caused an error to be thrown up during the migration process?

I still have some way to go to restoring my seller account to how it was. With me being blocked out, I have had A-Z claims and refunds out of my account and a negative feedback for me not being able to respond to buyers wanting to return items. I now need to e-mail relevant departments and hope these can be removed from my account and I can be reimbursed for the refunds not authorised by me. My account needs to be back in good standing, like it was before the ban (with 100% feedback, 0% ODR rate etc).

Thank you to everyone who read this blog and supported me with messages offering help and well wishes. This is clearly a worldwide issue and I hope Amazon will look at being more transparent with sellers in the future. Something needs to change.

To anyone who is in the position I was in; don’t give up. Fight to get your account back. Write your own blog. Record a video. Talk to journalists. Get your message out there.

It can be done.

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A brief introduction

Today is the 23rd November 2016, some 7 weeks since I received the single worst e-mail I have ever received in my life. You know, one of those emails or letters you get and you just feel your heart sinking. Before I tell you about that e-mail, allow me to introduce myself; Hi, I’m Josh. If you were to have asked me 2 months ago what I did for a living, the answer would have been very simple; I sell on Amazon. I’d have told you what an amazing selling platform it is and how I just love Amazon, for both buying and selling – I have Amazon Prime and I’m a Pro-Merchant seller, I’d have said. You’d have probably been shocked and asked me if I can really make a full time living on there? I’d have had a little laugh and replied of course! You’d have asked me why I don’t have a website of my own and I’ve have explained to you that with Amazon, I just never needed one. I pay them a chunk of money and they bring the buyers to me – millions and millions of potential buyers. It was a healthy business relationship.

This kind of conversation was a very common occurrence for me – telling people you were your own boss and sold on Amazon for a living always intrigued people, one way or the other. I had my Amazon account for as long as I can remember – since 2002 I believe; and started selling on Amazon Marketplace UK in 2003, just a year after it launched. I was just a teenager but realised pretty much anything would sell on there. I quickly became an Amazon advocate, telling people they must be mad not to use it and to always check prices of items on there first. I have grown up as Amazon has grown up and my business has grown with it too. I went to study at university, but I knew deep down I did not want a graduate job, I wanted to be my own boss and I knew how good Amazon was, so whilst all my friends were busy starting graduate jobs, I was busy selling on Amazon. Getting a graduate job was not even an option I had considered. I knew what I wanted to do. Fast forward to today and I’ve had many, many positive and happy years selling with Amazon, I would often joke that if you cut me in half, you would find Amazon running through my veins.

top-christmas-seller-2010
A top Christmas Seller email I received from Amazon. Amazon rarely praise sellers like this

From Amazon heaven to Amazon hell

On Thursday 29th September 2016 I went to log into Amazon Marketplace as I had done a thousand times before. But it would not work. It kept telling me my password was incorrect. I knew my password was right. Worried my account had been compromised, I clicked the reset password button. I got an e-mail and changed my password, but I still could not log in with the new password and kept getting the same message. I rang Amazon to be told my account was “on hold” due to a billing address issue and an account specialist will e-mail me within 24 hours. I heard nothing. I rang again the following day and the following day, always being promised an e-mail, but nothing ever arrived. I decided to e-mail Doug Gurr, the Amazon UK MD, hoping one of his team will read my e-mail and help me get back into my account quickly – I was losing orders every day I could not log in and I was totally confused and worried as to why this had happened and disappointed at the complete lack of communication from Amazon.

The following day, I had heard nothing, so I rang Amazon customer services again and demanded to speak to a manager – his name was Kieron and he sympathised with me when I explained my situation. He spoke to Seller Support for me, to see if there was a problem with my seller account; he came back and said my seller account is in good standing, which was a relief to hear. He told me there must be a problem with my buying/retail account and I just need to hang on and wait for an e-mail.

3 more days of complete limbo passed, I had not heard a thing and it was impossible to find out anything and I felt rather lost.

At 16:58 on 5th October, this e-mail came through:

“Dear Customer,

Thank you for contacting us.

The hold has been removed from your Amazon.co.uk account.  You may track the progress of your order via the “Your Account” section of our website. Once your order has been dispatched, we will send you an email notification to advise you that your order is on the way.

Please don’t hesitate to contact us should you have any further questions.

Thank you for your patience with our security measures.

Warmest regards,

Amazon.co.uk, Account Specialist”

I was so excited. I went to log in and got into my buyer account. I then clicked on the seller account link, but it did not work. It said my account was not associated with a valid seller account. It felt like I was back to square one again. I ordered a blu ray that night with my Prime subscription and sure enough it arrived the next day. I was hopeful after getting my buying account back again, I would get my seller account back any day.

Then, the next day, at 13:04 on Thursday 6th October, an e-mail pinged up on my phone: “Your Amazon.co.uk Enquiry“. It read:

“Hello,

My name is Sandra, and I am a member of the seller-verification escalations team. The Amazon UK Managing Director Doug Gurr received your e-mail and asked that I research this issue and respond on his behalf.

Having reviewed your account thoroughly and considered all of the information provided, I regret to advise that your account will remain blocked. This decision has been reached because your desired use of Amazon Payments may be in violation of our Acceptable Use Policy or User Agreement, which you have accepted when registering with Amazon Payments.

Whilst I appreciate that this is not the outcome you had hoped for, please consider this our final position on the matter. Further correspondence regarding the closure of your account may not be answered….

…Thank you for your interest.

Regards,

Sandra
Escalations Specialist
Amazon Payments”

In that single moment, I felt my whole world crash down around me. I did not know how to react or what to do. 13 years of selling and that’s what you get. Nothing about the e-mail made any sense to me. My desired use of Amazon Payments MAY be in violation of their AUP or UA?! I still cannot believe just how ambiguous that is and I have no idea what it means. One minute I was happily trading on Amazon, the next I was being told I was pretty much banned for life. I just kept thinking this has to be a mistake and over the next few weeks set about doing all I could to speak to Amazon to get this issue resolved. My buyer account had been deactivated again too. When you are a buyer/seller on Amazon and can log into your account, it’s pretty easy to speak to Seller Support. However, trying to speak to them when you can not gain access to your account is virtually impossible. I phoned, e-mailed, sent letters and tweeted Amazon. All had no success. What’s strange is that the e-mail I received seems to be extremely rare. Googling the term “desired use of Amazon Payments” only brings up 5 results. 5. This is one elite club I do not want to be apart of.

I spoke to many companies that can help you get back on Amazon by giving you guidance on what to say (yes this is now a whole industry), but they could not help. Usually, a seller is suspended if something is wrong with their account, and they are given a chance to fight the suspension. They can still log in and use their account and then they can submit an appeal from within their account. But I was never suspended. I was banned outright. For good. I did not have any A-Z claims against me, I had 100% positive feedback and all my seller metrics were excellent. Something did not make sense, yet it was impossible to talk to Amazon. That’s all I wanted to do. My emotions were all over the place.

Without a doubt I’ve gone through the 5 stages of grief – denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. I say acceptance because after 5 weeks of not making a penny and suddenly not having a business to run and being very down about everything, I decided to start up my old eBay account again (I forgot just how amazing eBay is) – but have I accepted being kicked off Amazon? Absolutely not. I will never accept it, because I truly do not believe I have done anything wrong and I am determined to get back on. Nothing adds up. Why was my buyer account unblocked then blocked again? Why did I keep being told it was a billing address issue? Has my account been compromised? How are Amazon allowed to just do this with no explanation?

If you Google “Amazon ban” you will quickly find people talking about “stealth” and “ghost” accounts – it’s the process of making a fake Amazon account. This is something I would never want to do. I feel I either get this issue resolved and I get my cherished account back, or I have no choice but to walk away from the company I have loved for almost half of my life. I totally understand it’s Amazon’s playground and they can decide who is allowed to buy and trade on there, but I honestly believed my 13 years of selling and my track record meant my account was in good standing. I would always go out of my way to ensure every joint customer of ours had excellent service. I don’t know what more I could have possibly done to be a better seller. But now, if any of my previous customers on Amazon have an issue, they cannot get in touch with me, so they are left in limbo too. Also, as I cannot log into my Amazon account, I cannot see my sales history, making it extremely hard for me to do my company tax returns. How is this fair?

img_20161019_161238
Letters sent to Doug Gurr, the Amazon UK MD and other directors at Amazon, with no response at all

A warning to other Amazon sellers

Be careful. If this can happen to me, it can happen to anyone trading on Amazon. The old saying don’t put all your eggs in one basket comes to mind. Try not to solely rely on Amazon for your income. Look at other revenue streams to run along side Amazon if you can. Go into your Amazon Seller Central account right now and check all the details over – is all your information correct? I have been given no real reason why I have been banned, but the fact I kept being told it was something to do with my billing address, makes me believe it was something incredibly insignificant on my account; something that could be rectified with just one phone call.

The future

Right now, I am not sure what the future holds for me. I continue to receive e-mails like this one from Amazon, rubbing salt in the wound and leaving me totally confused:

“Dear seller,

As we announced earlier this year, the Christmas Selling Guidelines for the Toys & Games store come into effect on 17th November, 2016. Sellers must meet those guidelines to sell in the Toys & Games store throughout the remainder of the year.

We are pleased to inform you that you have met the Christmas Selling Guidelines. To remain eligible to sell in the Toys & Games store this Christmas season, please continue to meet those guidelines.

Regards, Amazon Services Europe”

I am not kidding you, I received this e-mail just last week, on the 15th November 2016. I have no idea how or why I have been banned from Amazon, I just cannot see what reason there would be for this. Amazon are also holding £1,300 of mine, what was in my Amazon Payments account the day I was banned. They have told me in 90 days I might be able to get it back, might. I also paid £79 to renew my Amazon Prime subscription in September, which I can no longer use.

In the last e-mail I received from an Amazon Twitter representative called Ann, I was given the contact details of the Retail Ombudsman.  She said:

“Please note, we are not a member of The Retail Ombudsman dispute resolution scheme. We believe our customers are better served when we discuss customer service issues directly with our customers. However, we welcome feedback from all consumer organisations, so that we can continually improve our customers’ experience”. 

I had to laugh or I would cry. All I have tried to do is talk to Amazon, so this yet again rubs salt in the wound. If you try and go onto the Retail Ombudsman’s website and try to make a complaint about Amazon, it tells you (wait for it):

“The retailer that you have entered is in our database but on previous claims has refused to co-operate with us. Therefore, we are unable to take your claim forward at this stage.”

You just cannot make it up. I have spoken to 2 other sellers that were just like me and got the exact same ban e-mail as me at a similar time. Both had accounts in good standing and are just as confused as me as to what is going on. We are positive there has been some sort of error on Amazon’s internal systems, and all we want is an opportunity to defend ourselves, be told what the issue is and get it resolved so we can go back to doing what we love doing.

For now, I will continue to sell on eBay. I really did forget what an awesome marketplace it is – I have spoken to them and PayPal to sort out various issues and they have just been fantastic to deal with and the lines of communication are always open with them. Just check out my last DM on Twitter from a PayPal Twitter representative at the bottom of this page – Amazon take note, that’s how you treat and talk to your customers. You’re supposed to be Earth’s most customer-centric company – from where I am standing you are Earth’s least customer-centric company. Do I miss buying and selling on Amazon? Yes. I never usually went one day without buying or selling on Amazon. Now it’s been almost 2 months and I miss it like crazy. But you have totally failed me and left the most bitter of tastes in my mouth. If anyone from Amazon is reading this, please get in touch with me. Talk to me.

I would just like to take this opportunity to say thanks for reading my blog and if you have had a similar experience to me then please do get in touch. I would also like to say thank you to my closest friends and family who have helped me get through the toughest few months of my life, who have been in as much disbelief about this situation as I have.

As one door closes, another opens, as they say….

paypal
This message from a PayPal Twitter representative was great to see. Just how business should be done. Amazon take note.
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88 thoughts on “Amazon just destroyed my business; How one single email telling me I am banned from Amazon turned my world upside down

  1. Josh I am so sorry for read this and what an absolute nightmare for you. There are no words I can say to help or make this better but what I can say I wish you all the best for the future and hope it all turns round for you and you get sorted. Best wishes Nicole and Tony

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Nicole, that’s really appreciated. It is such a frustrating situation to be in as there is little anyone can do, other than Amazon. Whatever happens, this will only make me stronger; but it would be nice to be stronger & also be back on Amazon too.

      Like

      1. Maybe. Probably Not. It would cost you a day and gas money (and attorneys fees if you bring them along although I’m not sure why you would). Seems like a worthwhile trip to me. The bay area’s nice.

        Like

  2. Had the same email as Josh. I have done absolutely nothing wrong and no one from Amazon will even communicate with me. All correspondence is ignored. I spent 2 years building my business on Amazon and shut down without even the coutesy of a reason – and they would not be able to give one anyway as I followed their rules.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You guys should check if you have any similarities as sellers – maybe this way you could find out what the issue is about. Maybe you both sold big volume items, did only FBM, or whatsoever. If there is any obvious analogy it might have to with this..

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      1. Thanks leonvk. Me and Abdurrahman have actually been chatting for several weeks now and are in close contact about getting our accounts back – and have been thinking along the same lines as you 🙂

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  3. Create a new company with a new tax registration number (whatever that’s called in the UK) and register a new account. In legal terms it’s a completely new person. If you are trying to be thorough, use a new mailing address, IP and MAC address.

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  4. Hi Josh as a seller myself in the UK i understand your pain amazon has witheld £75,000 from me as well at a certain point this year however please get in contact with me at 347-631-2597

    Like

  5. This is a complicated topic. If you contact me (sellersgrouptg@gmail.com) I can try to see if you still have any chances. You need to understand that Seller Performance is policing millions of sellers and many are doing things wrong. SP is under pressure from major brands and Amazon customers. Yes there are false positives, but I dont think they do this because they are purposely cruel.

    Seven weeks too early to give up on an account. You really need to know how to communicate with Seller Performance. If you want to reach out to me I will see if I can help you (no charge)

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I’m so sorry to see your story. There may be another way to go about this. Have you sent anything to payments@amazon.com? We have been successful getting some UK accounts reinstated (even if blocked) by presenting full documentation to the payments address.

    Also, did you have any complaints for authentic, review problems (platform manipulation), or anything similar just prior to the suspension? Any kind of email from Seller Performance might be a clue.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. As mentioned in a previous comment I received the exact same email as Josh. There were no emails prior to that email from seller performance. I just could not log in one day. I also called in and the seller support rep confirmed there were emails from seller performance or flags on the account.

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    1. Hi Lesley,

      That email you specified does not accept emails.

      Please reply with the correct address. Much appreciated 🙂 Thank you so much!

      Like

      1. Do you mind to share how you source your product?

        I have been suspended many times by Amazon and eBay in my life but I always managed to get my accounts back. The key is you must identify your problem FIRST. YES, I know it sounds stupid but this is how it works. Email me if you want to work it out together 🙂

        Like

  7. I love amazon like you ..and this has always been a fear of mine.The hard reality here is that we are sheep for the shearing or slaughter at Amazon’s discretion, there is no doubt that they use sellers for data aggregation so they can decide what products they can move in on and sell for themselves. If you build your house on someone else’s property you are going to have a problem at some point..eBay may be a band-aid but not your answer.Your sales were always theirs, and the customers were never yours. Currently Amazon represents 6.7% of all e-commerce.. Build your own store…then you make the rules and have your own customers..just an idea. Thanks for reminder and this
    excellent detailed article..I wish you all the best

    Liked by 1 person

    1. All true, except when you’re mainly an FBA seller, they have your products in their warehouses. If they shut you down, then what? FBA is what makes selling a great proposition, for sellers, since they handle the customer service and shipping and returns. But, yes, the ideal is having your own products selling on your own website and funneling customers from other platforms or websites. This is such a sad story and so wrong of Amazon to destroy a person’s livelihood.

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      1. Thanks Steve. I agree, you can be between a rock and a hard place. FBA is now massively encouraged. But I think you need to use FBA wisely. I tended to use FBA for lower cost items and always FBM’ed higher value items, so I had full control over that stock. I would also keep minimal stock at FBA and replenish as and when needed.

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    1. Thanks dude. I know this has happened to pure FBA sellers too, believe it or not. So be careful and keep all your options open. Try not to keep too much stock at FBA at any one time – replenish just in time if you can.

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  8. Shame Amazon doesn’t give you a second chance. I was reading a blog on google a few weeks ago, a guy had sold over $8 million worth of other peoples products and Amazon shut him down, he went to the top and emailed Jeff Bezos directly to appeal for his account to be reinstated. The guy is an affiliate and doesn’t have any products to sell, he did hear back and the re-opened hi account. I lost my google adwords account 5- years ago and i felt like my world was crashing down around me but you get over it and look for other opportunities. Not using my Adwords account has saved me over £15000 since i got banned for life, I’m glad the money is in my account not Googles, good luck for the future. Here is the link to the guys blog http://incomeaddon.com/amazon-affiliate/

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Steven. I will have a read. Sorry to hear about your adwords account – that feeling is horrible. Every cloud has a silver lining – gotta stay positive and positive things will happen 🙂

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  9. It’s the idiots amazon hires – who wield too much power – that are really behind this mess. Amazon will not be at the top forever. Facebook now has a marketplace and one can only imagine how that’s gonna evolve. Why not try creating a new persona for amazon? New llc, new address, new cards, new ip address, emails, use a relative or friend, etc? Amazon doesn’t give a f#$k about you so, you might as well return the favor – get back on their platform and start over. If you were earning the big bucks before the ban then, I think it’s worth another try.

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    1. I agree Andy – Facebook Marketplace is only going to go one way. It will be huge. There does need to be more competition out there – we need new innovative marketplaces, quite mad how there are only a few major players.

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  10. Hopefully this all changes soon…I don’t know what it will take, but thousands of sellers live in justifiable fear of this very thing every day. Not sketchy counterfeiters or secondary-listing sellers or grey/black-hat sellers, but legitimate business people with families and employees to support who are upstanding sellers with no account issues whatsoever. I make way more on Amazon than at my day job, but i won’t go full time because the future is too uncertain.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Maybe doing what you do now isn’t such a bad thing, at least you have multiple revenue streams 🙂 But yes, changes need to happen at Amazon to make this whole system fairer and more accessible.

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    2. I agree something needs to change at Amazon. There are too many of us that are getting suspended with no notice and for insane reasons. Maybe there’s a way to contact someone in the news media and share with them what’s going on at Amazon – I just know there’s a story here and that we need to have our voices heard so that something changes and that we stop living in this culture of fear.

      Like

  11. We were suspended about two weeks ago for IP complaints from three private labelers over the course of a year.

    We have 100% feedback from thousands of Amazon customers. Our account health is “good”. We received two A-to-Z complaints, both decided in our favor.

    We never received any contact from the private labelers as we would have removed the listings. Just straight to a violation and then to a suspension. I understand companies need protect their brands but we have thousands of sales with no complaints so it would have been nice for Amazon to take that into consideration.

    We source retail, online and some wholesale in the US but mainly from Amazon.com and ship out of the US to Amazon’s international sites. I know this is considered the “grey market” but all items are authentic in sealed retail boxes. The funniest thing is if the items were not authentic, they were sourced from Amazon. Amazon may have suspended us for sourcing inauthentic items from Amazon.

    The worst part is Amazon states in the appeal confirmation that they will respond in 24 hours. It’s been two weeks and we have not heard anything back, not even the generic “this is not plan” responses.

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  12. I really think ALL the good sellers on Amazon need to start standing together and complaining about this sort of treatment. I mean i know Amazon is the big boss but these kind of situations are RIDICULOUS to say the least. They get roughly 50% of their revenue from us so its not like they can live without 3rd party sellers

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    1. They should appreciate their third party sellers more, for sure. This is something I was always vocal about with them. There should be a seller reward scheme – would be so easy for them to offer Prime for free to top sellers etc. Look after your customers and they will look after you….

      Like

  13. Sorry to read of your troubles, can’t begin to imagine your frustration, anger and disappointment right now. The whole situation must be driving you crazy!

    A couple of questions from me in response to your story…

    1) when making the move to selling on eBay instead, are you having to drastically increase your personal involvement and handle all warehousing/shipping/returns/cs by yourself now?

    2) have you considered filing suit against Amazon? Surely, surely you must have some rights to protect you here if what you say is true? Or take it to small claims court at least. How on earth can they get away with what they are doing, particularly withholding your money if you have not breached their TOS

    Regards
    Joel

    Like

  14. I received the exact same email 2 month ago, 3 month after my account was blocked with 15 000 products blocked in amazon FBA warehouse… For 3 month I didn’t get any answer from amazon. I couldn’t get back my inventory… And like you I still don’t know why (perfect metrics, 100% FBA…)

    Like

  15. So sorry they did that to you. I also sell on Amazon (US platform) I started this year it has been going great and I completely slacked off on my ebay sales. I read a lot on the Amazon forums about people being suspended for no reason or because a jealous competitor claimed they are selling inauthentic items etc. Amazons customer service sucks which is why I started concentrating on eBay again because you can never be too sure with Amazon. If they did that to you, a seller with them for over a decade, imagine what they will to do new sellers like me.

    Have you tried checking who is selling your items now? Is it Amazon? I had a product that I was selling with no problem then one day I log on and it says it is blocked and I have no permission to sell the item. Guess who is selling the item now? None other than Amazon. I really believe they plan to get rid of all sellers and sell everything on their own which is another reason I am taking my focus back on eBay, my website, and other platforms instead of solely relying on Amazon.

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  16. Hi Josh – I got banned (for life) and managed to get Amazon to let me back even after all me appeals ran out. It’s the same account re-instated. It is a US account but would be happy to share what I did and it might help you.
    Feel free to email me and I’ll share what worked in my case.
    Cheers

    Phil
    Fellow Amazon seller.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Phil,
      I am in the exact situation as Josh and would also love to hear what you did to get reinstated.

      Thanks in advance! Will save my life!

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      1. Hi Phil, I too am in the same position and would love to hear what you did. My account got suspended last Friday and I immediately appealed and Amazon said I would hear within 24 hours and I haven’t heard a thing. It’s funny how they ding us sellers if we don’t reply to our customer’s within 24 hours but yet they don’t adhere to their own standards of communication. With all the FBA sellers who are getting treated this way one would think that if we got together and did something that maybe this environment of “fear” would change.

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      2. Ok – first I pleaded and pleaded and got nowhere. I filed a complaint with the Better Business Bureau and was still rejected – Then I got very pissed and fed up with being polite. On my last filing to the Better Business Bureau (viewable on line), I informed them that I intended to tell EVERY small business owner I could find (inc vis social media and the press) how unfair Amazon’s policies are and how I would recommend that no small business owner EVER sell on AMAZON. I cc’ed everything to jeff@Amazon.com. 2 days later I was re-instated. I now have x2 accounts (with their permission).
        I do like selling on Amazon BUT closing people’s business’s WITHOUT good cause, makes investing the time and effort setting it all up, highly questionable – I would also send jeff@Amazon.com a link to this web page – they really don’t like bad press and I’m afraid that shutting out good sellers without good reason, is not good press.
        Good luck – I know how stressful this can be.

        Phil

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Phil thanks for the info. I looked for your complaint on the BBB but can’t seem to find it. It’s been a week since my suspension and I haven’t heard a thing – so much for them getting back within the 24 hours they told me they would – hum – it’s kind of a double standard considering if we did this to our customers we would get “dinged” by Amazon. Anyhow, I digress. I think if more of us would complain to the BBB something might get done. Just curious – if you knew then what you know now would you have contacted the BBB right away or waited for Amazon to reply to your appeal no matter how long it took them to get back with you.

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  17. My Heart skipped a beat – I thought it was just me I had EXACTLY the same thing – I’m distraught ! busiest period of trade and they blocked me with NO APPEAL or comeback. Infact my email is so blocked I cannot do ANYTHING. If they were a bank at least you could sit down and try and reason with someone – but the ” village” gates are locked and there is no entrance. I went to watchdog yesterday and posted your essay hope that was ok – good luck Oliver

    Like

  18. Hi Philip/Josh

    I’m another Amazon seller with a mysterious suspension.

    As you and other have said, it’s very frustrating on the busiest week of the year, shelves full, staff employed, but nothing happening…..

    Again, I’ve been selling for a dozen years, I know what I’m doing, but have no clue why we are suspended.

    I have everyone else’s problem, they shut down FBA, the API, plus all communication channels.

    If I could just open a dialogue with someone!!

    Luke

    Like

  19. I found this link, on Seller Central. It pertains to others, in the U.K., where a similar thing has happened. “Thread: UK account got banned because of Amazon Payments – How is this possible?” I would also do other keyword searches which are relevant.
    https://sellercentral.amazon.com/forums/thread.jspa?messageID=3739048&#3739048
    Looks like it has something to do with the way the payments are directed through certain bank accounts that you would never know about until it’s too l late.

    Like

    1. Steve that thread was from 2012 and we cannot get into sellercentral it is almost like we have been banned and are considered “toxic” but for what reason ? none of us know !

      Like

      1. The posts, that I’m seeing are dated “Last Post: 20 Sep, 2016” not 2012. Since you can’t get into Seller Central, send an email, from another email address. This thread lists some Amazon email contacts, in the U.K., that you could try. Obviously, you can’t check your performance notifications unless it was sent to your email account:

        Try sending a message to seller-verification-enquiry@amazon.co.uk to determine if there was anything out of order there. You mentioned that “everything was fine”, so I think that was not the issue.

        Check the Performance Notifications again to see if you missed one. With pricing errors, it does not take much for an important notification to get missed. I wish they would take those away. You can try sending a message to seller-performance-policy@amazon.co.uk for them to resend their policy violation message.

        Also, try a message to managingdirector@amazon.co.uk (Jeff’s UK equivalent). Advise them, that you never received any messaging identifying the issues and request that they have Seller Performance resent the issues so that you can properly respond.

        Make sure your emails are using the email address that you have set up in UK Seller Central.

        Like

  20. This is terrifying and disappointing.
    I hope Amazon does the right thing and I’m sorry you have been treated so horribly.
    I’d be beyond enraged.

    Like

  21. An update for everyone: Yesterday, 25th November 2016, at 14:20, I received an e-mail from Amazon. It said:

    “Good news!
    You can now sell on Amazon.
    We will get in touch with you if we need more information. Happy Selling!
    Amazon Payments Europe”

    This short and sweet e-mail came through to me less than 48 hours after this blog went live and over 10,000 people had read it. I am obviously very happy to have my Amazon seller and buyer accounts back. It’s a shame I had to go to these lengths for it to happen, and I feel very bad for all the sellers that are still locked out with no explanation at all. I am yet to receive an explanation as to what happened, and most likely never will.

    I still have some way to go to restoring my seller account to how it was. With me being blocked out, I have had A-Z claims and refunds out of my account and a negative feedback for me not being able to respond to buyers wanting to return items. I now need to e-mail relevant departments and hope these can be removed from my account and I can be reimbursed for the refunds not authorised by me. My account needs to be back in good standing, like it was before the ban (with 100% feedback, 0% ODR rate etc).

    Thank you to everyone who read this blog and supported me with messages offering help and well wishes. This is clearly a worldwide issue and I hope Amazon will look at being more transparent with sellers in the future. Something needs to change.

    To anyone who is in the position I was in; don’t give up. Fight to get your account back. Write your own blog. Record a video. Talk to journalists. Get your message out there.

    It can be done.

    Like

    1. Josh that is wonderful news!!! I think as an Amazon community of sellers we need to stick together and do things to make our voices be heard. The double standard at Amazon of how they want us to treat our customers but yet they treat us completely opposite has got to stop. Hopefully one day soon the environment of “fear” that has been created by Amazon will no longer exist because of what we do from this moment forward.

      Like

  22. Hi Josh, I am reaching out to you in hopes that you will have some insight into what I can do about my situation which sounds like an exact replica of yours. The difference mine is just starting as of today. Earlier today I decided I wanted to use amazon payments for my website hosted by shopify so that my products which are fulfilled by Amazon could also be fba from my own website. After I went through the process of registering for amazon payments within seconds I was signed out of my amazon account. I tried logging in using the same password I’ve been using for the past 3 years and was unsuccessful. Thinking I had been hacked I went ahead and changed my password 3 times. Every single time I tried logging in with the new password I was told it was incorrect. Then when I went on amazon.com to check my products I saw all my listings had been removed. I was still getting emails from amazon about my fba products being shipped out but no emails of what was going on with my account. Then I called amazon and Jeffrey was friendly but not very helpful. He tried changing my password but I still wasn’t able to log in. He gave my the seller-performance email and instructed me to email them for help. I’ve been waiting for a response now for a couple hours and I found your blog. Needless to say I’m terrified. What should I do? And what do you think helped you other than writing this blog?
    Thank you for your time and I am very happy to hear you are able to sell again!

    Like

  23. Im curious if anyone else has gotten anywhere with this error “your desired use of Amazon Payments may be in violation of our Acceptable Use Policy or User Agreement, which you have accepted when registering with Amazon Payments”. I know Raj (Abzraja1987) is still suspended and so is Oliver, Wendy?

    Like

  24. Thanks for your great blog. I am a victim 2 weeks back. Banned without any reason and totally cut off from Amazon Europe. Really devastating to be treated like this. Not sure what do apart from move on.

    Like

  25. I got suspended by Amazon and was recently told it was indefinite after I tried a couple of reinstatement services. Now I am at the point of trying many ways to get back on without success. I came across the idea of “stealth” on the Auction Essistance blog and am a little hesitant about trying it.

    I was wondering is it safe to do? Is it legal?

    I just want to get back on and start selling again.

    Like

  26. Hey Josh, Now that you are back on, how is it going for you? My story is similar to yours, yet I still have not been given a single reason. I have a flawless account with 100% feedback and not a single blemish on my records. Apparently I was put under account review and not suspended and it has been over 8 weeks with still no reason. I did get a few emails that have said I may not sell on amazon.com, but again, no reason. You can see more of my story here http://unfairamazonsuspensions.wordpress.com.

    Now that you are back on, do you feel like you are walking on egg shells? Also, did you have the option to go to arbitration? That might be my only remedy at this point. Lastly, how are sales on eBay and your site going? I’m going to try and make a push to get the majority of our customers to purchase there, but we all know Amazon is the king to all things ecommerce right now.

    Like

  27. Amazon had suspended me indefinitely and they didn’t give me a chance to appeal. Buyer opened a fraudulent dispute on me claiming he never received the item. I had proof it was sent and they even signed for it, but Amazon still sided with them for gosh no why.

    I have been trying to find a way to get back on, but have been unsuccessful. I was wondering if you think it is a good idea to buy an Amazon account?

    Auction Essistance sells Amazon accounts, but I want to know if it is a safe option to do?

    Like

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