(Disclaimer: This article is based on assumptions I've made from my experience only. This is not legal advice. If you or someone you know has been suspended from Amazon.com's selling program(s), you/they should contact Amazon.com Seller Support - the contact info of which should be within the email you received announcing your suspension - here are some tips for dealing with them . If you need additional help, professional services are available from my trusted partner Scott at FeedbackRepair.net).
Every month or so I hear from a seller who gets suspended (temporarily or permanently) from Amazon for reasons that Amazon doesn't always clearly state to the suspended seller.
Generally, I think Amazon is 'doing the right thing' (good business reasons) when they suspend someone (I am sure there are exceptions to that rule).
Generally, an Amazon seller risks getting temporarily or permanently suspended from selling on Amazon if he/she does one or more of the following:
> Opens more than one seller account under the same person's name/same business' name without Amazon's explicit permission (more on this later)
> Opens a seller account that is associated with a previously suspended Amazon seller account (by 'associated' I mean sharing the same business address and/or same Social Security/Tax ID # and/or checking account # and/or IP Address with the previously suspended seller).
> Knowingly sells counterfeit copies of products (e.g., DVDs)
> Has continuously poor buyer feedback scores/poor sales performance metrics
> Uploads copyrighted images (=pictures the seller didn't take him/herself) to an Amazon.com product page without permission from the image owner.
There is also some misinformation on why some sellers get suspended. I want to dispel some of that information based on the email Amazon seller support sent to a colleague of mine, which he shared with me. (My colleague asked Amazon Seller Support, via email, if his girlfriend could open a seller account sharing the same IP address (=Internet connection and sharing the same business (=home) address, and Amazon said "yes it's ok!" (click here for Amazon's email to my colleague)).
Thus, from what I've learned/observed, approved Amazon sellers will not get suspended for:
> Having 2 or more seller accounts that share the same business/home address as long as the each seller has his/her own social security #/Tax ID# AND each seller has his/her own email address AND each seller has his/her own checking account # and credit card #. (In other words, 2 sellers can exist under the same 'roof' AS LONG AS they each have their own Social Security/Tax ID#, email address, credit card #, and checking account #.)
> Sharing the same computer/IP address/Internet connection as long as each seller has his/her own social security #/Tax ID # AND each seller has his/her own email address AND each seller has his/her own checking account # and credit card #.
(In other words, 2 sellers can share the same computer and/or Internet Connection and/or IP address AS LONG AS they each have their own Social Security #, Tax ID#, email address, credit card #, and checking account #.)
On the flip side, if you need a 2nd account under your same name/same business name AND you have excellent seller performance metrics (they have to be nearly flawless, from what I've seen), you can request permission from Amazon to open a 2nd seller account from Amazon (view the "Operating multiple seller accounts" section at this link.)
You can view all of Amazon.com seller 'Prohibited Activities and Other Actions' here.
If you get suspended/banned, my suggestion is email Amazon Seller Support with a VERY BRIEF, POLITE email (with no emotional words or stern words) with an explanation, a sincere apology, and a request to have your account reinstated with a commitment to ensure your mistakes never happen again. I can't promise that will work, but I have witnessed some sellers stating it did work for them.
P.P.S. – I have seen two ebooks being sold online that claim to help banned Amazon sellers re-sign up for seller accounts. I DON’T recommend these books because they involve a lot of ‘masking’ techniques (basically trying to make your seller account look like it belongs to a completely different person).