Protecting Your E-Commerce Business: Amazon Account Health Management


In this episode, Leah McHugh joined Paul Sonneveld to explore and understand the intricacies of Amazon Account Health and how to effectively respond when seller account issues arise. 


Amazon Account Health: Importance and Issues

In the world of e-commerce, maintaining a healthy seller account is crucial for success on platforms like Amazon. The concept of Amazon Account Health refers to the overall state of a seller's account and its compliance with Amazon's policies and guidelines. This includes factors such as policy violations, listing takedowns, condition complaints, IP infringement issues, and more. Understanding and prioritizing account health is essential for brands, sellers, and agencies to ensure their continued presence and success on the platform. Amazon has a dedicated account health team that monitors seller accounts and takes action when violations or issues arise. Sellers who consistently violate policies or receive warnings may face suspensions or even permanent bans from selling on Amazon, impacting their sales, customer trust, and brand reputation.


The account health dashboard provided by Amazon gives sellers an overview of their account's health, displaying warnings, policy violations, and other relevant information. However, the account health team at Amazon has access to more comprehensive data and considers the overall performance and compliance of a seller's account. They evaluate factors such as the frequency of warnings, the severity of violations, and the seller's response to determine whether further action is necessary. Common account health issues include condition complaints, IP infringement complaints, and potential IP infringement issues, which can lead to warnings, takedowns, or suspensions.

To address these issues and maintain a healthy account, sellers should proactively monitor their account health dashboard, respond promptly to warnings or notifications from Amazon, and take necessary actions to rectify any violations or issues. Seeking guidance from experts experienced in navigating Amazon's policies and communicating with the account health team can also be beneficial in resolving account health issues effectively and ensuring compliance with Amazon's guidelines.

Read and understand Amazon's policies.

Amazon's policies are vital for the success of sellers on the platform, and understanding and adhering to these policies is crucial for maintaining a healthy account. The podcast transcript emphasizes the importance of sellers being familiar with Amazon's policies and staying updated on any changes. Seller Central serves as the primary platform for accessing Amazon's policy pages, with the transcript recommending using the search bar within Seller Central to easily locate specific policies. While some policies may be visible externally, most require sellers to be logged into Seller Central to review them. Despite the lack of a user-friendly structure, Amazon is making efforts to improve policy accessibility by showing breadcrumbs to help sellers understand the relationships between different policies.

“But you certainly want to make sure that you're reading the general policies, certainly the Amazon Sellers Agreement, and then also the pages that are specific to your product category or product type. Those are really the best proactive steps that you can take.” - Leah McHugh, Amazon Seller Consultant, EcommerceChris

To stay informed about policy changes, Amazon typically notifies sellers of major updates when they log into Seller Central. However, the platform may also quietly modify policy wording without explicit notification. Therefore, actively engaging with the industry, attending conferences, and networking with industry professionals are recommended to stay informed about policy changes. It is essential for sellers to exercise caution when seeking advice on policy changes, as the internet is filled with misinformation and bad advice. By being selective in choosing credible sources for advice, sellers can effectively navigate policy changes and ensure compliance with Amazon's guidelines.

“And so the first thing that I would recommend sellers do is actually read the entire notification, which I understand sounds ridiculous, but it's amazing how many sellers either read it, but they're panicking, and so it doesn't really sink in or they just see the headline and immediately go to respond to it. ” - Leah McHugh, Amazon Seller Consultant, EcommerceChris

The podcast also addresses the issue of receiving an "at-risk" notice or email from Amazon, highlighting the importance of carefully reading the entire notification. Sellers are advised to avoid panic and emotional responses, as these can hinder effective communication with Amazon. Taking a calm and objective approach to responding to at-risk notices is crucial, as sending emotional or inaccurate responses can negatively impact the appeal process and reduce the chances of resolving the issue effectively. Overall, sellers are encouraged to approach at-risk notices with a level-headed mindset, giving themselves time to process the information before responding to ensure a more successful outcome.

Investigate, plan, document, dispute, communicate.

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The podcast transcript emphasizes the importance of following a specific process when dealing with account suspensions on Amazon. The process can be summarized as "Investigate, plan, document, dispute, communicate." The first step involves thoroughly investigating the reasons for the account suspension. While Amazon is typically accurate in their assessments, there are instances where mistakes occur or false accusations are made by other sellers. It is crucial for sellers to verify the suspension, identify the root causes, and understand what went wrong in their operations.

Once the root causes have been determined, the next step is to develop a comprehensive plan of action. This plan should not simply repeat the reason for suspension provided by Amazon but should focus on explaining the operational issues that led to the problem. Sellers need to show that they have taken the time to address the issue and prevent it from happening again. Additionally, providing supporting documentation to back up the dispute is crucial. The type of documentation required varies based on the reason for suspension, such as trademark certificates for intellectual property infringement or product compliance certification.

Effective communication with Amazon is a vital aspect of the process. Sellers should be aware that Amazon has a limited time to review appeals and disputes, so clear and concise information is essential. By addressing the immediate issue, outlining preventive measures, and communicating effectively with Amazon, sellers can enhance their chances of resolving the suspension and having their account reinstated. Following the "Investigate, plan, document, dispute, communicate" process is key for sellers facing account suspensions on Amazon, as it increases the likelihood of resolving the issue and maintaining a positive presence on the platform.

Account Health team provides support.

One crucial aspect of this process is the support provided by the Account Health team. The Account Health team serves as a liaison between sellers and the Seller Performance team, which is responsible for handling account suspensions. While the Account Health team does not have the authority to reinstate accounts, they play a vital role in providing sellers with information about the nature of their suspension and what is needed in their plan of action. It is important for sellers to note that the opinions of the Account Health team may not always align with those of the investigator who ultimately decides whether an account will be reinstated. Sellers must verify that any information provided by the Account Health team is based on the investigator's notes and not just their opinion.

“…they don't have a great structure in terms of read this first and then keep going in a sequential order, but it’s there and they are making it a little bit better in terms of showing the breadcrumbs of where you are and how it relates to everything. But that is unfortunately the best place to see the policies. ”  - Leah McHugh, Amazon Seller Consultant, EcommerceChris

Moreover, sellers should carefully read the suspension notification to understand what is specifically being asked for in their appeal. It is not uncommon for sellers to mistakenly submit a plan of action when it has not been requested. This is particularly relevant on the compliance side, where the compliance team is primarily concerned with ensuring that products comply with laws and regulations. In such cases, sellers should provide evidence or documentation that proves their product's compliance rather than submitting a plan of action. To illustrate the challenges and complexities of resolving account suspensions, examples of cases worked on by the podcast host, Leah, were shared.

Be patient and proactive.

One of the key takeaways from the podcast transcript is the importance of being patient and proactive when dealing with account suspensions on Amazon. Leah emphasizes that it is difficult to provide specific timelines for resolution, as it depends on the workload of the team handling the case. However, they note that if a rejection is received immediately after submitting an appeal, it is likely that the case was not reviewed properly. She advises sellers to follow Amazon's instructions and submit the requested information, even if they believe it may not be effective. This is important because it provides a basis for escalation if the issue is not resolved. Jumping straight into escalation without following the proper steps can be counterproductive and may result in rejection.

“…I understand that Amazon's policy pages are not the most user-friendly, and it does require a lot of clicking through to different pages. 

But you certainly want to make sure that you're reading the general policies, certainly the Amazon Sellers Agreement, and then also the pages that are specific to your product category or product type. Those are really the best proactive steps that you can take. ” - Leah McHugh, Amazon Seller Consultant, EcommerceChris

Additionally, Leah highlights the need for sellers to have the right documentation and appeals when escalating a case. Without the necessary information, escalation is unlikely to be successful and may burn bridges for potential resolution in the future. The podcast also addresses the possibility of serious issues that may lead to permanent account suspension.

Committing fraud, engaging in abusive behavior towards other sellers, or manipulating sales rank are examples of actions that may result in irreversible consequences. In these cases, there may be no path to reinstatement, and the seller's Amazon journey may come to an end. To avoid such scenarios, she advises sellers to be honest, avoid fraudulent behavior, and be proactive in seeking assistance early on in the process. Engaging professionals who specialize in account reinstatement can help sellers navigate the appeals process effectively and increase their chances of resolving the issue.

Multiple accounts can lead to suspension.

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The podcast discusses the topic of multiple accounts on Amazon and how they can lead to suspension. Leah explains that while it is allowed to have multiple accounts for legitimate business reasons, such as having separate brands with different products, sellers should not use multiple accounts to gain a competitive advantage. Opening multiple accounts with the intention of owning all offers on a specific ASIN can result in suspension. The host clarifies that having multiple accounts is not an insurance policy, as Amazon is aware of the relationship between accounts. If one account is suspended, the other related accounts will also be suspended. In order to regain access to all accounts, the seller must resolve the suspension of the first account. This is also applicable to the brand registry, where access will be suspended if any selling account is suspended or related to a suspended account.

“So, if one account gets suspended, the other accounts will be suspended for being related to that suspended account. So it isn't, I think some people think it's like an insurance policy, having these additional accounts. It's not. Amazon knows that they're related to each other, and they will suspend the other ones for being related to the first one. You then need to resolve that first suspension in order to get all of the accounts back. And we see that on the brand registry side as well. ” - Leah McHugh, Amazon Seller Consultant, EcommerceChris

The podcast also addresses the possibility of opening another account after being suspended and unable to get reinstated. Leah states that it is not possible to open another account without being suspended again once Amazon finds the relation to the suspended account. While some people may try to mask their IP and information to create a new account, Amazon will eventually discover the relation and suspend the new account. The host compares this situation to fraud, stating that pretending to be something else or making things up may work temporarily, but eventually, the truth will be revealed. Compliance is essential, and the only way to get reinstated is to resolve the issues with the original suspended account.

In Conclusion

In conclusion, Amazon is tightening its grip on review manipulation, a trend that has been ongoing for years. Government bodies like the FTC are cracking down on fraudulent practices by sellers. While reinstatement after account suspensions is becoming more challenging, there are still avenues for sellers to reclaim their privileges. By following Amazon's guidelines, providing the necessary documentation, and seeking expert assistance when necessary, sellers can navigate through account suspensions successfully. Patience, proactivity, and adherence to Amazon's policies are key to overcoming challenges and maintaining a thriving presence on the platform.

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