As an Amazon seller, one of the most terrifying scenarios you can picture yourself in is reading an email notifying you that your listing has been suspended. That alone is enough to give you nightmares. Don’t despair, this can be solved with a well-made Amazon POA (Plan of Action).
An Amazon POA might sound like a scary, overly complicated document.
Many people’s first instinct is to try and dazzle Amazon with an overly complicated document full of complex strategies and over-the-top promises.
But, before you invest all your energy into freaking out, take a deep breath and let us guide you through how simple the process can be.
Amazon POA: Why Do Listings/Accounts Get Suspended?
Image Source: Amazon Seller Lawyer
Getting an Amazon suspension can be a big deal.
You don’t get suspended for small mistakes; and in most cases, the type of problems that will get you suspended are things that you, as a seller, decided to overlook.
These are some of the most common reasons:
- Bad customer experiences
- Account health issues
- Selling a used product and claiming it’s new
- IP infringement claims
- Any inauthentic claims you made about your listings
As you can probably tell, these issues are not just some small things that slipped your mind.
Sellers who have committed these sorts of offenses are likely to have done it with the full knowledge that they were doing something wrong, or against the rules.
However, there is also a percentage of power that falls on the buyers and general users of the platform. There are some people out there that can hurt your business out of spite or a sense of entitlement.
If you find yourself in this situation, regardless of how much planning went into it, or if it was an honest mistake, there are a couple of steps you need to follow to recover your listings or your account.
Own Up to The Mistake
The first thing you need to do is to accept you made a mistake, whether you actually made a mistake or not.
This can be very frustrating because there are some things you can’t control when selling online.
Some situations might not be entirely your fault, nevertheless, your best bet is to admit fault.
We can understand how unfair and frustrating that can be, but you won’t get anywhere otherwise.
It’s important to read the email where they notified you of the Amazon suspension in order to understand what the problem was.
Don’t just charge into the fight with proposals and promises if you don’t understand what the real issue was.
Image Source: Seller Central Europe, PoA for IP Violations Forum
We’re talking about a very irritable situation.
It’s completely understandable if you’re angry, stressed, and/or defensive. But by all means, don’t let that show on your action plan.
In the midst of the frustration, many sellers will feel compelled to use an emotional approach that can sometimes take a turn towards a very unprofessional direction.
Avoid a conflictive mindset like:
- “Think about my family”
- “You’re holding my inventory against my will”
- “I won’t be able to feed my kids”
- “We are actually great at what we do”
- “I demand you pay me”
Rather than going rogue, making demands, and aiming for the guilt tactics, Amazon will appreciate a plan of action that focuses on the actions that will be taken to correct the situation.
Your goal should be to portray how proactive and focused you are on laying down a path that will keep an airtight seal on a new flow that prevents errors like this in the future.
Amazon POA Template: Important things to keep in mind
Keep it short and to the point
This isn’t a thesis, the more concise you can be, the better. It’s more important to have a clear point than to have a lengthy or redundant document.
Section off your content
You’re not writing a long letter; this is a document meant to portray complex situations and ideas in an easily understandable format. Take the time to think on how you can best divide and display the information.
It’s important to talk about the things you have already done to address the issue, as well as the things you’ll be doing in the future to prevent.
Make a step-by-step list of how you are going to get to a point where the problem is resolved.
Keep your target in sight
Don’t go off into a long explanation of your thought process, there’s no need to justify the small stuff if you’re being concise about the end game.
Use bullet points
Bullet points exist for a reason, they make information easier to digest and make reading much more comfortable.
Focus on the Following When Drafting Your Amazon POA
Every kind of issue will have specific things you should keep in mind while you write an Amazon action plan.
There are different things you should highlight o mention depending on what triggered the suspension; but, in general there are 3 questions you should focus on answering:
What was the root cause of the problem?
Show you have a real understanding of the situation and the critical factors that played into it.
What actions are you taking to give the problem a resolution?
An Amazon POA aims to lay down a step-by-step plan that focuses on ‘doing’ more than just planning.
How will you prevent this event from repeating itself in the future?
Fixing the issue is not enough.
Amazon is expecting you to grow from the experience and create new systems to avoid similar situations in the future.
Addressing an issue when you write an Amazon plan of action can vary depending on what the root cause was.
Here’s an Amazon POA template you can use:
Image Source: Amazon Seller Forums
The logistics that goes into moving merchandise across the country (or the world for that matter) are very complex.
There are a lot of things that can go wrong, and most of those will not necessarily be your fault.
Nonetheless, you will have to take responsibility for it.
Your action plan should focus on you having done the following:
- Recalled the boxes
- Trained staff to prevent recurrences
- Reviewed your shipping plan
- Revised the box weight and/or dimensions
Negative Customer Experience
First, you need to carefully read through the customer complaint in order to fix the issue. Then, provide Amazon with sufficient proof of the complaint.
You can take screenshots of the comment left by the customer and specify that you have addressed the issue.
Explain how you can change your processes to prevent similar situations.
Related content: How To Respond to Negative Reviews On Amazon
Listing Related Suspensions
There are many guidelines about how you can present your products in your listings. From wording and photography, to even the way you can talk about certain products.
One of the most common problems is the quality of the images you used.
As we already know, Amazon cares about quality and customer experience. This is why they focus on graphics and photography being at a minimal quality standard.
With all the care you have to put into listings, it’s no wonder why some aspects can get overlooked.
If this led you to an Amazon suspension, keep the following in mind:
- Let them know you have taken the photos down
- Have the photos retaken by a professional photographer
- Mention if you have updated your listing with new images that meet the guidelines
- Verify that your images meet all of Amazon’s guidelines
Amazon POA: Attaching Invoices
For most cases, you will be required to provide invoices from all your transactions with your providers.
Take into account these can’t be retail store invoices. They have to be real invoices from a provider you have an actual commercial relationship with.
If you sell big brand names, this could be a problem, providing that you’re not an authorized seller since this might be viewed as the product not being authentic.
Normally, Amazon will ask for 1 invoice within a year, but that can change.
Read the email notification sent to you; the number of documents required can be specified there.
If you are planning on taking pictures of your printed documents, don’t edit the photo in any way (yes that includes cropping).
This is nothing new, Amazon can constantly make changes to its policies, as many companies do.
Since 2019, Amazon started providing a 30 day notice, along with far more detailed explanations to help sellers understand why their account was suspended.
Amazon has become increasingly more diligent with suspensions. Especially for sellers overseas that have been trying to take advantage with shady practices.
Make sure you are up to date with all the aspects of the policy in order to have a successful appeal.
Though this might be a tough situation, an Amazon POA should not be an overly complicated document. You can find ways to keep it simple and focus on solutions.
Don’t try to point fingers or use generic arguments you read online.
Instead, you can adopt a solution mindset that puts all its effort into problem solving rather than explaining or justifying the mistake.
Become actively interested in the health of your seller account to prevent these types of situations.