EVERY week 75,000 Amazon sellers (or potential sellers) are having this problem…don’t be one of them.
In the last month we have had 9 businesses come to us asking for help getting their Amazon Seller Account fixed, because they can’t even start selling.
And there’s tens of thousands of other sellers or potential sellers having the same issue. This is a massive problem for those wanting to sell on Amazon.
So what is this issue sellers are having?
Their seller accounts are suspended or blocked because Amazon see’s warning signs or inconsistencies in the information provided during registration, or even post registration.
Amazon would have you think opening an account to sell on the platform is as easy as 1-2-3.
If you’ve started down the registration ‘rabbit hole’ making it up as you go along, treating the form filling exercise like an application to join a gym, without realising it, you’ve already triggered the algorithm that you’re a risky potential seller, and without the necessary experience, it’s SUPER Hard to come back from that.
Amazon is raising the bar for sellers –
- They want quality over quantity.
- They want legitimate businesses, not individuals trying to build a side hustle.
But the challenge is, even legitimate businesses are unwittingly falling foul of the high standards.
Amazon wants to remove what they refer to as ‘bad actors’ from the platform. The reality is that is mostly coming from China sellers, but every seller is getting caught up in the crossfire.
As a result, trying to navigate the account set up process is more akin to passing an Honours level Psychology Critical Thinking exam.
If you come in like a naive, yet bullish High School student, rushing through it, you are toast.
That is why the smart ‘students’ get to know the ‘professors’, so they can navigate their way through this complex process.
Enough of the study analogy.
To give you an idea of how detailed the process is – if you put your address into Seller Central as PO Box 555, but your bank statement has PO BOX 555, it won’t work.
Amazon will not explicitly tell you what you have done wrong either.
If you make an error, what happens?
Here’s how a typical suspension or account opening block happens….
In the set up account verification process if in the computers opinion, you have submitted incorrect ID, supporting documents that don’t match, or look ‘adapted’, inconsistent addresses or phone numbers and a myriad of other issues, you will get a message. It will ask for more info, but usually it will be vague. You’ll do that and resubmit, but again another message back.
Your language is starting to get more colourful.
Then you will contact seller support to ask what it is you need to do differently. The ‘person’ who replies will give you an equally confusing response. You’ll try again, then get another message. You’ll loop around on this and probably delay responses because you are confused.
Then you start to fall outside the 30 day window which is another trigger. Things get harder from here.
Everytime you contact seller support, you get a different ‘person’ and confusing answers.
You then go, bugger it, I’ll just start again.
Then as you are going through that process (probably incorrectly again) Amazon will pick up on the same company name and/or the same IP address and then……. BAM!
YOU ARE TOAST.
You will never get out of that situation on your own accord.
BUT Hamish, I’m Legit and my brand will be great for selling on Amazon.
Ok then, if you are in this situation, here’s how you can get out of this – IF you are a New Zealand or Australian company.
With our Amazon contacts who support some Agencies like Sell Global, we can put in an appeal and escalation process.
But here’s the thing:
At the initial stages the Computer says YES or NO.
At the escalation stage it’s a human. In fact a senior Amazon human gets to make the call.
That person only has a small number of cases a week put to them. I won’t tell you how long the queue is, but let’s just say it will take months to get through. Still with no guarantee.
We can help you prepare for this and get it to the right people. There is NO other avenue to get this support.
BUT, this is all ambulance at the bottom of the cliff tactics.
Well Hamish, Surely There’s A Standard Checklist Procedure to follow?
ROFL (Roll On Floor Laughing)
Well you would THINK so….. BUT Amazon does not have such a list. They did have, but because the user interface changes every week nearly, by the time they get it approved, it’s out of date.
Seriously. We aren’t kidding !
Even my Amazon contacts appreciate how strange this is. They have said there are some new verification ‘pilots’ at the moment including photos for facial recognition etc, but that’s a little way off in being rolled out.
But from our experience, we know the best practice and what the key issues to avoid are.
Therefore…..IF You Have Not Yet Started the Seller Account Set Up Process.
The companies who have spent 9 months getting nowhere have missed out on thousands and thousands of dollars on the lost opportunity.
You can avoid that pain of lost time and money, by getting advice from Sell Global, or someone who sets up a lot of accounts.
Firstly, if you start at the beginning with Sell Global, we can tag you to us at Amazon, so if the worst happens, it’s easier for us to help with the issue.
Then we make sure all your selected email address, documents, ID and personal details etc, are all ready before you even START the first step.
Then we work through the set up process sharing screens. This massively increases the success of this process. Or if there is an issue we can get it resolved relatively quickly in the whole context.
Please, please take this set up seriously.
Amazon have even said this issue isn’t going away and in fact it will likely get harder.
By the way, the USA is the biggest challenge, but every marketplace, including Australia, is the same.
The Top 3-5% win on Amazon, the rest play for scraps.
The reality is to succeed on Amazon you can’t half ass it.
This account opening issue is symptomatic of how many people take the Amazon opportunity too casually.
If you do not go in with:
- The right product and price strategy
- The best practice design, and quality copy
- Your keyword research on point
- ….and even proper expectations…
Then prepared to be disappointed.
On Amazon fewer than you’d expect make the channel a success.
It’s hard. But with the right help from the right people who have walked the path before you – not just for themselves a few years back, but TODAY, with numerous clients being successful NOW, then you too can make it work.
Treat Amazon like you would your own website. That is in terms of investment of time and money and attention. If you do, you’ll win. If you dabble….well …. don’t get your hopes up.
If you’d like to talk about your brand and its suitability for Amazon, or how to fix your account, then reach out and let’s have a chat.