Amazon expert – Joanna Stark: Proactive Amazon

Expanding your business from traditional brick and mortar stores or from your website to an online marketplace like Amazon can be exciting, rewarding, frustrating and overwhelming all at the same time. You need to be aware of the local laws as well as the policies and guidelines specific to Amazon, and Amazon doesn’t make that easy. No matter how much Amazon pumps up their Seller Help pages, there is no guidebook with all the rules in one place. And policy teams purposely use vague wording so Amazon can judge on a case by case basis.

So, how do you learn the Dos and Don’ts of Amazon? This overview will help you take the first steps in the right direction to set up a strong marketplace presence. Proactively provide information to Amazon to avoid policy warnings, blocked listings, or suspensions due to possible non compliance with their regulations and rules.

What information can you provide beforehand?

When selling on Amazon you need to follow multiple policies in order to be compliant. These might be Amazon- specific regulations on top of international and country- specific laws.

One of the most important pieces to kick off your online presence is to have a solid understanding of your inventory sources. Be extremely organized with invoices and accounting information. One of the most common reasons for new Amazon sellers to get banned from selling is due to insufficient business documentation on their account.

To avoid this, you may provide clear invoices of your source of inventory by manufacturer and ASIN, specifying name and address of manufacturer, purchased quantity and date of purchase within the last 365 days. Note that the brand of the sold items must exactly match the listed item on Amazon to avoid action during the Notice team reviews for possible infringement.

Ensure that you have the right to sell the items you intend to list on Amazon. If you start listing branded items you are not permitted by the manufacturer to sell, you risk listing and account enforcement action. Worst case scenario, you could get completely banned from selling with a very limited chance for recovery.

How do you obtain proof of legitimacy?

The invoice mentioned above needs to exactly match the listed items, including brand name, color and specifics of each item. For example: when you want to sell branded cell phone covers, you will need to request an invoice from the specific manufacturer. Just showing ”cell phone covers“ on the invoice is not sufficient and the Seller Performance Team at Amazon will not be able to match the listing with the invoice. If you are using a third party supplier for your inventory you will need to request the manufacturer to provide the requested information. You may also reach out to the manufacturer directly requesting supportive documentation stating that you are permitted to resell the  items.

What to do if your listings were taken down by the Notice & Listing Removal process?

The first step is to read the complete information provided in the email that you received from the Amazon Seller Performance Team. What is the ASIN, title and manufacturer of the item in question? What is the reason for listing removal? The email will give a description of the reason for removal such as ”listed item doesn’t match the received item,“ “infringement complaint received by company XYZ“, “complaints received for inauthenticity of item“ just to name a few.

When you get these emails from Amazon, you need to take the time to do some research first. Don’t just hit reply as the “Appeal” option in your seller account might disappear after the initial response. You will need to delve into your account, starting with buyer feedback if complaints were received, to get a good understanding of why your buyer may have been unsatisfied with what their order. If you received a complaint by a rights owner for infringement, the email you received will contain the contact information of the rights owner. Reach out to them before responding to the email from Amazon and ask for permission to sell the specific items. The rights owner information needs to match the item. If you are selling, for example,  branded blue cell phone covers, the response needs to specify this product to expedite the review process and get your account back up and running.

Are there reasons why my listings were removed without a chance for recovery?

There are a couple of instances where listings may have be removed from the platform with no chance of recovery. Such reasons may be legally based, or a removal due to recall or for safety concerns. Note that these reasons are not decided upon by Amazon but rather are governmental requests that Amazon has to execute. Examples of use cases may be baby cribs after safety incidents, where all inventory from specific manufacturers would be removed from the platform, not specified to your seller account alone. This is yet another reason why it is important to know your inventory and the local laws relating to your business.


– Joanna Stark, Amazon expert and Amazon consultant, works with Chris McCabe CEO & Founder



Dorothea Whitehead

Dorothea Whitehead

Doro ist seit Juni '17 bei PLJ dabei und kümmert sich hier um die Administration, Blogs und Organisatorisches. Mit Ellis zusammen ist sie selbst begeisterte Amazon-Sellerin und natürlich hat der spannenden Weg zum Amazon-Biz über PLJ begonnen. Doro hat zwei Kinder: "Das Beste ist, dass ich mein Muttersein und das Business hervorragend vereinbaren kann."

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