Take the Decision Out of Amazon’s Hands
Every seller’s worst nightmare is the dreaded Account Suspension. In the best case, sellers can reinstate their seller account quickly by providing a persuasive Plan of Action. But what happens if a Plan of Action does not get accepted? Or worse, Amazon does not even answer to e-mail correspondence anymore?
Amazon sellers must follow a strict system of rules and guidelines if they remain selling on Amazon long term. Although most sellers do everything they can to prevent their account from being suspended, suspensions can and do happen every day. However, not all suspensions are “created equal” so to speak. For example, take ten different sellers, all facing suspensions for the same reasons. It’s very likely that these ten sellers will have ten entirely different experiences when they attempt to get reinstated.
The first step is to appeal the suspension by writing a concise and persuasive Plan of Action. Amazon wants to know that you recognize why you were suspended, that you have corrected the problem and that you have taken steps to make sure it does not happen again. Generally, this process involves a few chats with Amazon, but ultimately, sellers who take the initiative to show good faith and “convince” Amazon to forgive them.
Sometimes, (although it is rare), Amazon will stop responding, will give categorical no answers to sellers seeking reinstatement, or will not respond at all to a seller’s Plan of Action. For these sellers, not only have they lost their ability to sell on the Amazon platform, but they have also lost access to transfer funds from their Amazon Seller’s account into their own bank account because Amazon freezes their ability to do so. So what is the answer…
Take the Decision Out of Amazon’s Hands – File for Arbitration
When Amazon refuses or stops responding to your plan of action, that does not mean it is too late to get back to selling. You might think that Amazon is being unreasonable, or unfair, and rightfully so, but this is your chance to fight back. While you may feel like the only action is to file a lawsuit, Amazon’s Participation Agreement calls for disputes to be handled by Binding Arbitration: “Each party consents that any dispute or claim relating in any way to this Participation Agreement or your use of the Services or Transaction Processing Services will be resolved by binding arbitration as described in this paragraph, rather than in court …” (see Participation Agreement).
What is Binding Arbitration?
According to the American Arbitration Association (which governs all Amazon related arbitration proceedings), arbitration is a cost-effective alternative to litigation in a court of law. Arbitration is the submission of a dispute to one or more impartial persons (usually an experienced lawyer or retired judge) for a final and binding decision. The decision is called an “award.” Awards are made in writing and are generally final and binding on the parties in the case. Essentially, arbitration proceedings issue similar results to those of a court of law, but take less time and money to complete.
Amazon and Arbitration
Let’s imagine a hypothetical seller who has been suspended from Amazon due to inauthentic item complaints. This seller has written dozens of Plans of Action to Amazon explaining that their products are genuine and sourced from an authorized distributor, but has gotten nowhere in terms of getting reinstated. Their account has now been suspended throughout the holiday season and significant business has been lost.
The next step for this seller should be to file for arbitration. Success in an arbitration proceeding can result in an order forcing Amazon to reinstate your account, issue you your funds, or even damages for lost business. Orders issued by an arbitrator are equally as enforceable as an order from a court of law, meaning Amazon is required to comply with the order by law, and it is binding. Here, for our hypothetical seller, the arbitrator could issue an order for reinstatement as well money damages to compensate the seller for their loss of holiday business.
What to take away from this Article?
We want you to realize that when it comes to reinstatements; no does not have to mean no. Filing for arbitration takes the decision right out of Amazon’s hands and puts it into those of an impartial arbitrator. If you feel that Amazon’s responses to your Plans of Actions are unreasonable, or you can’t even get Amazon to respond, you still have not exhausted all your options. Arbitration proceedings take less time, are less costly, and are required for settling disputes per Amazon’s Participation Agreement. Arbitration can get you reinstated and Amazon will be forced to oblige.