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:


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.


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.

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 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,, 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 Enquiry“. It read:


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.


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?

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….

This message from a PayPal Twitter representative was great to see. Just how business should be done. Amazon take note.

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

    1. PayPal are evil, they currently are holding £13,000. No chance to get it back though, The Ombudsman forced them to hand back £3000 on a PayPal card, but they claimed the I still owe them that making the total £16,000. No Selling. Amazon also did this to me in 2004 holding money for sales and in account.


  1. Hi Josh, I’m so glad that you got your account back and hopefully all your funds back from amazon as well. amazon banned me for almost one year and I tried everything I could to get my account back, but it’s impossible to contact amazon after they suspended my account. AND amazon is still debiting my account for an order that was sent out over one year ago…. please share my story, amazon is holding 9000 of my funds which is never coming back to me 😦


  2. The real problem here is with owners launching their business on Amazon. You shouldn’t rely on a third-party for all of your revenue. When you sell on Amazon you play by their rules, you rent their traffic, you are leasing their property. They can change the can change their rules any time they want. They could go out of business, whatever. You are at their mercy. It’s far better to sell on your owned property and platform. Such as a website.


  3. I too have just had my account suspended and now had confirmation that my appeal has been unsuccessful and an account specialist has reviewed my account and I am no longer able to sell on Amazon. This was due to a counterfeit claim for IP. I contacted the right owner Canon and they agreed to retract their complaint based on mitigating circumstances. They have emailed Amazon to withdraw their claim. The reason for the oversight and claim is fundamentally my own fault to which I owned up to. It was a legitimate mistake. I listed my offer for a product using the ”have one to sell” link under they buy box – easy, I based my assumptions on IP from Amazon, if it was good enough for them to sell it then it must be good for me too, and this is where I went wrong. I understood that if were selling an item and Amazon.US too, then they would have carried out their own due diligence in regards to the IP of the rights owner. They surely wouldn’t be violating IP and their own Policy? I guess I was wrong as they obviously were, but unfortunately for me, I am dealt the top card of being suspended. I am in the process of trying to save my business on Amazon and although only small, equates to around 75k turnover PA. I love Amazon as a buyer and a seller but this seems unfair bias. I guess Amazon won’t be suspending themselves, however, they have also taken down the offending product in both the UK and US.


    1. Paul – welcome to my world – I tried everything with Amazon and even went to their offices in central london twice. I ended up asking my MP Rupa Huq to write a letter ( twice) which Amazon totally ignored/ they would not answer. the calls I was promised and I was told on 3 occassions that I was going to be reinstated. NOTHING ! I got my stock back ( with missing inventory ) and I got my money back ( eventhough they made £2000 reductions which they cannot and refuse to quantify. as a result I no longer use Amazon for anything. I used to buy EVERYTHING from them but I use other providers now.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Hi ! I have not been able to log into my account since about 20 hours now, saying that my password is incorrect which it isn’t. I also followed the workflow of setting a new password and that does not work either. Meanwhile, all my listings on the website display as ‘Currently Unavailable’.

    I have reached out to some Acc Managers who have claimed its a tech issue and to bear with them. An ex colleague, meanwhile, who had the same problem, received an email saying her account is suspended !

    No communication channels available with seller support and the acc manager is impossible to get in touch with, Do you know of anything similar happening to other accounts since yesterday ? Any advise ?


    1. Tristan welcome to my world. It would be different if you knew exactly what it was that you were supposed to have done so that you could rectify. I do not use Amazon anymore. This happened to me last year, I sell on EBAY only now. I got my MP to wrtite TWO (fantastic ) Letters to Amazon chairman – they refused to answer. I went to the BBC and to various nationals. They are scared of Amazon or do not see this as newsworthy.The best advice I can give you is to move on and tell EVERYONE who will listen what happened. I hope you and your family also start supporting more ethical companies out there.I wish you the best.

      Liked by 2 people

  5. Today my sisters account has been closed by amazon, she “failed” there verification process which she has done in the past 4 times. She employs staff.

    So without any warning she is now having to shut down and lay off staff. She is a fully legal, vat registered company who pays taxes etc.

    Amazon have not even said what they are not happy with, she submitted all the documents on time and in the proper manner. They put at the end of the email there is no appeal process.

    They have “verified” her account randomly over the past few years and there was never an issue, nothing has changed so why have they decided to destroy people’s life’s?

    I am a big user of prime and spend a lot of money on there each month, but after reading all these horror stories I have today I will be deactivating my account and spreading the word of what AMAZON are really about. If anyone can help me send the whole story to local newspapers/ media outlets I would appreciate it and can pay for any assistance.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Amazon has always been about taking over local markets and making others go out of business. I don’t know why anyone would even think any differently. This has always been their model from the start really. They use individual sellers for profit and then simply throw them away when they are no longer needed.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Hi,
    Thank you for the detailed explanation of what you dealt with concerning your Amazon Seller Account!
    I believe my situation is similar to yours. I received an email on January 15th stating that my account was suspended because I opened a new account after previously losing my option to sell on Amazon. I have had only one Seller account which has almost perfect Seller Performance Metrics and have been selling from the same account for 5 years. Amazon Seller Support tells me that they can see the account that is linked to me, but they can’t give me any information because they can clearly see that it is not related to me. I have opened nearly 40 cases with Seller Support, I have appealed the decision with Seller Performance who sent me a letter on February 1st saying that I can never sell on Amazon again and they may not ever respond to me again. Seller Support has given me the phone number and contact information for Amazon’s legal department, because they believe my account has fraudulently been linked to this other seller.

    I have been apologized to to death, I never want to hear anyone say we will escalate your account and you will hear from someone within the next few days. The only single feedback that I ever received from Seller Performance was the you may not ever sell on again.

    I am definitely a victim and really do not know what else can be done this has truly hurt our company.

    My question for you is how often did you resend your appeal and plan of action to the Seller Performance team?

    Thank you,


  7. We have the exact same thing going on for already 5 months (money blocked over half a year)! We did not violate anything, just verification of the account.

    Multiple times Amazon inquired the same documents, sometimes documents that dont even exist.

    They are holding 120 000EUR of our money for over 7 months now! It is impossible to talk to anyone who can help, just receive the same robot messages, your account is under verification. This is a revenue loss of 500 000EUR and money we cant access anymore which means we cant pay our suppliers on time anymore

    Think twice before you ever sell anything on Amazon, they will take your money and get you bankrupt in no time. Amazon’s intention is only to destroy all small business and control the e-commerce market as a monopoly.


    1. Hi yes, 2004 and I had a £50,000 income/profit per year business 100 percent feedback, then I received an email telling me that an item was being removed because of the manufacturer they had decided that they would only supply a few authorized sellers. Then one week later I get an email stating the usual your account is blocked lifetime ban blah blah, I lost over £20,000 and it was never paid to me, I consider that theft. PayPal and Amazon both play the same trick.


  8. I am in your path right now selling almost 2 years now amazon blocked without any notification yesterday got a mail my account is deactivated .

    Dear Amazon India
    I am a seller from india Store name is Axialcart
    i have a working seller account . previous week i shipped almost 14 orders and everything delivered .my money is pending on amazon seller account for deposit . but suddenly today evening my seller account is gone i cant able to login whenever i try to login it shows password incorrect error . so i decided to reset password i did it five more times and i cant able to login i think my account is gone . i dont get any negative impact on my account i dont get any suspension . may be they terminated or there is nothing reason at all . i dont know what is happened to my account . i have only way to contact you this .

    My seller account email id is and mobile number is +91-8281212190

    i already contacted to toll free seller support number 18004197355
    one executive told me that she contacted to support team but no reply and other 3 more customer care executives disconnected my call . i think they cant help me .Already send a email to and got back a reply that

    “”Hello Seller,

    Your Seller account has been deactivated. Your listings have been removed. Funds will not be transferred to you but will be held in your account while we work with you to address this issue.
    We may not respond to further emails about this issue.

    That was shocking to me . my 4000 rupees gone or i shipped everyone freely ? better i need to giveaway from other site . i am worried too much my money gone or not ?. somebody please help me here . i just created another account and posted here and contacted through seller help page from this newly created account . i hope amazon will not let me in to depression . i hope a positive reply from amazon almost 2 years am selling here .
    in this situation i am so much worried that my money gone . if my life is going in this way, i will be in severe depression and quit from this life . please anyone help me .

    All my orders shipped out of my pocket and delivered. Now every one got their product freely . what about as seller like me ? i am now a loser did a giveaway on amazon site.
    I also send a point of action to seller performance team i cant able to login or i cant access my dashboard completely blocked well suddenly i dont know what is happened.
    If you can help me please do something sir . my last hope .



    1. Sreeraj, opening a second account when your first account was suspended will result in the new account being suspended too and that being yet another strike against you. I can’t give advice on what to do to get your first account reinstated, but just wanted to let you know creating a new one will only make things even worse.


      1. you are true . i told them this issue on facebook and twitter and promoted as a ad then i got back the buyer account but still hold seller account .. i am daily posting the issue on social network and my pages . i hope i get it back . but now they are saying ”Hello,

        I’m Rajat from Amazon India Social Media team.

        I understand waiting for your issue to be resolved can be tiresome.

        I’d like to inform you that our concerned team is actively working on it and we are yet to receive an update.

        Again, please allow me to extend a sincere apology and frustration this matter has caused. But, I’d hope you understand that this was never intentional from our end.

        I hope this information helps. Your patience and understanding are highly appreciated. Looking forward to being of more assistance.

        We appreciate your feedback. Please use the buttons below to vote about your experience today”


  9. Josh, how are things with you now? Has your account returned to it’s previous successful position? Do you also sell on Ebay and other websites now? We were suspended last year and told it was their final decision, but we managed to get our account back fairly quickly (we were suspended for about 3 weeks, with a house full of stock that had nowhere to go!) with some help. And I keep telling myself to get started on other platforms and get our own websites up and running, but we still haven’t managed to get that fully sorted… I live in constant fear of something like this happening to us, and also employ people now and have an office and mini-warehouse. Living dangerously… So I’m just keen to hear how things are with you now?

    Liked by 1 person

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