This is not an email subject you EVER want to see in your inbox.

This is the email subject I saw Friday morning, September 27th. “Your Amazon selling account is currently under review, and we will be contacting you by phone with more information within 72 hours.” It arrived in the wee hours of the morning, so the clock was already ticking when I first opened the email. We had heard of these notices – in fact, 3 close friends in our mastermind had already received similar notices in the past several days. This was shocking, but not exactly surprising.

But why? Our account is clean, right? We know how to handle inauthentic complaints and other issues, right? Smart people do dumb things. Experienced sellers make rookie mistakes. WE made a rookie mistake.

Over the past 6 months, we had received 5 policy warnings informing us that Amazon had corrected detail pages. At a glance, most of these seemed to contain asins that we hadn’t created or edited. The ones that did appear in our inventory looked OK. What did these notices mean? Did they require action? We didn’t really know but it looked like we hadn’t done anything wrong so we ignored them. Classic rookie move. Bad idea. 

Lesson #1: When in doubt, respond.

Always respond to emails/performance notifications signed by the Seller Performance Team. Or emails/performance notifications with the word “Warning” in the subject line. Or any other emails/performance notifications that look potentially scary and/or confusing and/or wrong. If you don’t know whether a response or action is required, ask Amazon.

The fifth warning was the tipping point. We received our 72 hour notice and suddenly it became crystal clear that yes, action was required. These were a problem we should have been dealing with all along. Now the stakes were much higher. Amazon had pulled the pin and tossed a hand grenade into my inbox.

It was Friday morning, and our time would run out Monday morning before business hours. We basically had the weekend to take care of this.

Because this was a new type of issue for us, we quickly agreed that DIY was not the way to go. Perry and I don’t always find it fast or easy to agree on decisions, but this time was different. Q4 is too close, and the livelihood of many households depends on our business. We needed to get it right the first time. There was no time for a learning curve.

The notice said I would receive a call within 72 hours or I could call them. WWYD? I set an alarm to call Amazon’s Account Health Support team as soon as business hours opened, and messaged a pro to save our place in line for reinstatement service. No, we weren’t suspended yet, but the goal was to keep it that way.

Part 2

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