I couldn’t believe we had an answer just 25 minutes after submitting a Plan Of Action! And not just a canned response. We had a good answer, a real answer:
Thank you for submitting your plan of action. We reviewed your plan and determined that you may continue to sell on Amazon.com.
And we all lived happily ever after. The end, right?
This was a wake up call. We had problems in our processes that still needed to be addressed. How did we get to the point of suspension without realizing it, and how could we keep this from catching us by surprise again?
We needed to follow through on everything we promised in our POA, and then some. We had a new awareness of a danger in our business model, and we needed to learn how to mitigate that risk.
First, we put an immediate halt on editing listings, fixing orphans, and adding new listings. This wasn’t forever, but we needed to make sure we didn’t create any new issues at this point.
Second, we combed through all the listings we had edited by upload recently to check for mistakes similar to the ones that caused our 72 Hour Warning. We found a few, and corrected them by uploading new files.
Third, we made sure our local crew understood the issue. Shoppers needed to stop sourcing orphans and new variations for a little while, and they needed to understand the issue so they could avoid problematic listings when sourcing.
Fourth, we had our VA retrained. He was doing a great job of implementing what we taught him, but it turned out there was much more he needed to know. Our daughter Lydia runs Tarrant Toolbox, a service that fixes orphan listings for sellers and teaches sellers to DIY correctly. We were able to leverage our relationship with Tarrant Toolbox and create a mutually beneficial arrangement to update our VA’s training and ensure that he thoroughly understood Amazon’s ever-evolving listing creation policies, written and unwritten.
Fifth, we hired Tarrant Toolbox to work in our account, fixing orphans and adding new variations. We plan to bring these activities in-house again at some point in the future, but for now we’re playing it safe by having a pro handle it. It costs more, but it’s worth the peace of mind.
Want proof that we learned something from all this? Last week we received a new kind of policy warning for “Generic keywords.” I didn’t know what this meant, and when I checked the listing it was clear that we did not create or edit it. Did I delete the listing and ignore the warning? NO.
I tried contacting the Health Support Team but they weren’t helpful. Next, I spoke to Seller Support and received confirmation that we didn’t create or contribute to the listing in any way.
The SS rep was also able to help me understand the nature of the issue that caused the warning, annotate my account regarding our call, confirmed that the keyword that triggered it was added by another seller, and gave me some guidance on how to respond to the Listings Evaluation team.
I sent my response and received this the next day:
We reviewed your appeal and reinstated the following content:
Complaint ID: 66…21
Yes, I learned my lesson.