Account Deactivation - Account Health 244

Relatively new seller on Amazon and have been learning on the fly, which seems to be a really bad pathway because Amazon seemingly doesn’t screw around with de-activations and such.

I had created a number of Generic listings for my own products. After selling for a while and releasing new products, I had several products that would work well within a single listing and are legitimate variations. The problem was that I created the parent ASIN and merged them within the single listing, but originally the two child ASINs were within different browse nodes, the product descriptions were a bit different, but I had made the bullet points almost the same.

Another problem I had was that I learned that since parent ASINs details don’t affect anything within the actually listing, I was setting them up with placeholder information and then only editing the child listings. I’ve since learned that Amazon wants the parent listing to match up with the child listings.

This policy warning and de-activation was all happening while I was currently de-activated for being linked to a 2nd account that was de-activated. I have since remedied that situation and am no longer de-activated for the 2nd account link, but I’m trying to clean up this policy de-activation now. While I was de-activated with that going on, I couldn’t create any case related to anything but my account health, all the contact forms only directed to account health, and I couldn’t edit my listings. So i could not touch any other listings that may had been in violation, but since I was de-activated, the listings weren’t active and did not show inventory.

Original policy warning on February 27th:

Amazon deleted out the parent listing on the affected ASIN and they removed that policy warning the same day within a few hours:

Earlier this month, Amazon deleted out all my listings (while I was still de-activated for the 2nd account issue) and sent this notification:

My account health is perfectly healthy:

I had appealed with varying POA formats, taking responsibility for the missteps, steps I’ve taken to remedy the issue, and steps I’ll take in the future to avoid them again, but they’ve been denied.

Is the form saying my only chance out is providing evidence the deactivation is in error, or will a POA still work and I need to refine it a bit?

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First … welcome to SAS!

Let’s tag @oneida_books for his insight on what path to take.

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Looks like pics didn’t come in OP, should be in the link below:
https://imgur.com/a/mZXQXud

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I believe there is a choice before you get to this …

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This is NOT a “policy violation”, this is simply piss-poor user front-end design. The front end should not allow such mismatches between parent and child, and should HELP TO GUIDE the novice user in the correct way to create a parent.

But the user front end is so toxic, and the “policies” so draconian, an entire ecosystem of grifters and parasites has grown, all of them claiming great skill in the reading of the tea leaves and chicken entrails that make up the Amazon “Seller User Experience”.

Christ on hockey skates, and Pope on a Rope, for any user front end to be harder to use, it would have to actually reach out of the screen, grab the user by the throat, and choke the user to death!

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And they make use of variations to hijack detail pages.

So, as you say, the poor front-end design enables it and they then use the deactivation hammer after to clean up.

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:thinking: @variation_deact did you see any other options?

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I have not heard of any other suggestions, but I am starting to reach out to the other avenues: jeff email, twitter, official forum. I know most are still template replies or form followers, but I will stay persistent.

Being a new seller, I blew a number of early appeals on ■■■■■■■■ until I learned how to write a proper POA. However, at this point, I was getting the quick rejections within an hour as opposed to the ~12 hours it was taking previously.

I received feedback from a case:

To work on your next appeal, please ensure that you provide a written explanation. Your explanation should include the following information:
– How you have not misused ASIN variations.
– Evidence that shows that your account complies with our variation policy.

So it sounds like they are not even asking for a POA but some evidence of conformity. I know Amazon is always so cryptic, but I went along with it and put together a number of support documents of my account information to show that the original policy warning was remedied, my account has no policy warnings still on it, the original parent ASIN was deleted and those child listings no longer violate any policy, other child ASINs are not part of any parent, etc.

Thanks for the help guys!

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The issue was that the original offending parent ASIN was deleted and the warning was removed. My account was deactivated at the time anyways, so I’m not sure what other avenues are available, but I had trouble performing any action that wasn’t pertaining to account health and my account was “healthy”. I had a part of my business insurance that needed to be updated and I attempted to put a case in at the time, but that was insta-closed since it didn’t pertain to my account health:

“We have closed this case because Amazon has deactivated your account. Refer to your Account Health Dashboard to learn more about the status of your account.”

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This was my latest POA with urls removed due to forum limit and personal information omitted:

Good afternoon,

Thank you for giving us the opportunity to appeal our policy violations and learn from our mistakes to continue selling on Amazon. We are committed to continuous improvement as a company, aligning our product detail pages with Amazon’s policies, and giving Amazon’s customers the best possible purchasing experience. This appeal is not only referencing the parent ASIN xxxxx and child ASINs xxxxx, xxxxx, xxxxx, xxxxx as noted in the original performance notification, but for all of our product listings and company actions that violated Amazon’s ASIN creation policy.

The main root cause of all of our failures to create compliant product listings was a lack of understanding of Amazon’s policies due to failure to utilize the included Seller University and many of the other tools included in Seller Central. We apologize profusely for not only violating the ASIN creation policy (policy-link) by creating inconsistent child and parent listings that ranged across multiple browse nodes, varying product descriptions and bullet points across child variations, but also by not completely filling out parent ASIN that represented the product. These mistakes were amplified by not responding to the original policy warning in a timely fashion, but also by not reviewing our remaining catalog for other non-compliant listings. This was a mistake made out of ignorance for the conformity, consistency, or urgency expected from Amazon and a mistake we do not take likely or will make again.

Looking at the original notified ASINs: parent xxxxx and child ASINs xxxxx, xxxxx, xxxxx, xxxxx, I can see that the child ASINs were located on different browse nodes while contained within the single parent listing. ASIN xxxxx was located within “Tools & Home Improvement > Power & Hand Tools > Power Tool Parts & Accessories > Vacuum & Dust Collector Accessories > Vacuum & Dust Collector Parts” while ASIN xxxxx was located within “Tools & Home Improvement > Power & Hand Tools > Power Tool Parts & Accessories > Power Tools Replacement Parts”. This creates confusion for the customer by conveying different product information arranged in different configurations or formats. The root cause of this policy violation was due to a lack of foresight and business vision. As a small business with an ever expanding catalog of products, we would create new products every month without regard for an overall direction of the company. Only after selling a number of these products for months or a year did we decide to merge some of our ‘like’ products within a parent and child listing. We did not take into consideration the gravity of the situation that multiple of these future child ASINs were located on different browse nodes or by having different product descriptions or “about this item” bullets. By merging them within a parent listing, it changed the product’s detail page (parent or child) to become fundamentally different from the original product listed, and gave a negative customer experience. We now understand the basis and reasoning behind the policy and guarantee that this mistake will not happen again.

We were notified of this violation of the ASIN creation policy on February 27th, 2024 within SPC-USAmazon-xxxxx, but only the original parent ASIN xxxxx per the performance notification was remedied by deleting it (SPC-USAmazon-xxxxx). Our failure to provide a plan of action for ensuring that this violation would not be repeated and not reviewing our remaining catalog to ensure that other parent/child listings did not also violate Amazon’s policies cannot go understated. We were focused on our account de-activation due to a linked account not completing identity verification and did not give the ASIN creation policy violating the immediate attention it deserved. It is difficult to review our remaining catalog at this point with many of our ASINs removed from Amazon’s catalog, but I can assure you that we most likely also violated this policy within the child ASINs xxxxx, xxxxx, xxxxx, and their parent ASINs as well. We are committed to not only planning out our business strategy so that we can create all of these listings at an earlier date to ensure consistency across the parent and children, but also reviewing the current listings for conformity if we decide to merge compliant product listings at a later date.

Since all of the our product listings have been removed from our inventory, I cannot reference the parent ASINs, but on some of our most recently created product listings, we only filled out the parent ASIN with “dummy” information. Child ASINs xxxxx and xxxxx were created with parent listings that featured almost no product information due to the belief that since the parent listings were not visible and only a placeholder to group child listings, that information was not needed. After watching and re-watching all of the Amazon Seller University videos on listing products, did we realize how big of a mistake that was. Specifically, the “Intro to listing products”, “Intro to product detail pages”, “Best practices for product detail pages”, and “Create product variations one at a time” were particularly helpful for guidance through our recent policy violation and understanding our mistakes in detail. The parent listing’s product detail page is required to match the children and in some categories, is the product that is shown through search.

As a remedy, the original offending parent ASIN xxxxx was deleted out of our inventory in order to alleviate the inconsistent child product listings and due to our lack of action, the remaining ASIN or listings within our inventory were removed. In response to the previous inaction, we have implemented an internal policy within our company to hold emergency meetings within 24 hours of any policy violation to review the performance notification, the offending listing or ASIN, and our remaining listings for any other potential violations. Within 48 hours, we must have a plan of action on understanding the root cause of the violation and have actions in place to fix the mistake. As a small & growing business, many of these steps are skipped while trying to grow our product catalog, but after we took a look back to look at the damage we cause to Amazon’s customers by providing incorrect information, did we realize the importance of having policies and procedures set out to ensure compliance with Amazon’s policies to ensure a world class customer experience. We would rather provide a quality and well-reviewed product through spending more time on best practices than three sloppy or poorly created products no matter the sales.

While our business is small and only my husband and I will be modifying our product listings, we decided it was a best practice to have written procedures to follow and to provide a rigid guideline. QS-01 is a procedure we created to ensure conformity to the ASIN creation policy and consistency across parent and child listings for newly creating ASINs while QS-02 covers edits to pre-existing listings. We have referenced a number of Amazon’s stated policies that have created the groundwork for these procedures:

  • Product Detail Page Rules (policy-link)

  • Determine Variations for Your Products (policy-link)

  • Selling Policies and Seller Code of Conduct (policy-link)

Going forward, we will create an offline common product listing for each part family that will drive the information that is input on Amazon .com when creating a new or editing a current listing. This will ensure that the product listings are in-sync between the child and parent and the only differences will be in the variation type. This will be required prior to creating any new listing or editing a current listing, so that we do not leave any product detail page incomplete that could be referenced by a potential customer.

Through the knowledge we have gained through the study of Amazon’s Seller University, we have dedicated to review a new category monthly to aid in our continual learning. While we may have violated policies for the creation of an ASIN, we do not want to offend on any other policy for advertising, FBA, FBM, pricing products, etc. We had previously been using competitor’s product detail pages as a guideline for how to structure our own, but through this process, we have learned to follow Amazon’s guidance as a main focus. Competitors listings may have policy violations that have not been flagged yet and they are a poor guideline to limit ourselves to for the product we can offer Amazon’s customers.

While there may still be gaps through interpretation or missing the intent of certain policies, we have also consulted with firstname-lastname from business-name for support and training over all aspects of Amazon selling. While we work our way through Amazon’s Seller University, firstname will be able to review other sections of our Amazon selling business to ensure that we are in accordance with policy and ensure that we put the customer first.

I appreciate you spending the time to read my appeal and listen to our mistakes, corrective actions, and planned next steps ahead. If granted re-instatement, we will continue to strive to put the customer first, comply with Amazon’s policies, and continue to learn and grow. Please let me know if you need any further information in your review of my account.

Sincerely,
my-name

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That’s way too long.

That’s why they aren’t reading it.

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The main focus of any Amazon communication, including appeals and Plans of Action, is to tell Amazon everything they ask for, exactly what they ask for, and nothing except what they ask for. Keep in mind when writing your appeals that the person reading it is potentially not a native English speaker and very likely has to meet a quota of appeals every hour. They do not have the time or inclination to read anything except the exact and specific information they are looking for to see if an appeal should be granted. Your main goal is to give them the things they need with nothing else cluttering up the appeal that might cause the reader to just hit “denied” because they ran out of time or patience.

Your appeal should contain 3 short sections. 1) What you did wrong. 2) How you fixed it. 3) How you will prevent this issue from reoccurring.

In your case the appeal will look something like:

  1. What I did wrong: I violated Amazon’s ASIN creation policy by creating inaccurate variations (or something to this effect.)
  2. How I fixed the issue: I reviewed all ASINs in my catalog and removed all offending listings.
  3. How I will prevent this issue from reoccurring: I have reviewed all Amazon policies regarding listing ASINs and variations and I will ensure that none of my listings violate any Amazon policies.

This is the backbone of any appeal. You will need to flesh this out a bit with your specific circumstances and tailor it to your specific violations, but this is what Amazon wants, and this is all Amazon wants. Don’t apologize, don’t thank them for their time, don’t say anything that gets in the way of the critical points getting seen quickly and easily or you risk them not getting seen at all.

I suggest you start your appeal over and try to keep it as short and to the point as you can. You can post it here before you submit it to make sure you are on the right track.

Good luck.

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Thanks for the feedback! I may have followed some examples and read more information when the sales volume was much lower, with less sellers, and U.S. based support?

I’ve heard attachments and referencing exact Amazon policies can also be critical. Should I include documentation of my catalog or any attachments in particular?

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Only include documents if Amazon asks for them.

This depends what you are appealing. In your case, you are appealing an account suspension and you are not claiming the suspension was in error, you are saying that you goofed and you won’t do it again, so this is not necessary in your circumstance.

No. Amazon knows your catalog violated their policies, and you have nothing to contribute that will help your case or defend your position.

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Attachments can also lead to auto rejections. Unless Amazon asked you for invoices etc, DO NOT attach.

Some guru’s also tell you to make your appeal an attachment, DON’T!

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I don;t know that your appeal will be accepted at this point, so I won’t critique it.

My post was basically asking “what do you see before the image you gave to Reactivate your account?”

i.e. - Is the image what you see when you click to reactivate from Account Health or is there another?

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Top banner in account health:

Screen before the “Reactivate your account” in OP:

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They would only be legit if they were the same product that varied such things as Color, Size, (Sometimes) Quantity, etc. … not “work well together.”

So (most likely) different products.

That is not necessarily an issue unless it didn’t match the children at all. I always only use “basic” info, but things like the Title must be based on the children to prevent flagging.

Based on the notice you need to …

Explain how you changed or created the parent or child to become different.

  • Did you create new child ASINs or list on existing ones?

Explain how the children were not true variations

Explain why you added **Multi-packs" that you created instead of the manufacturer

The only true way to critique your POA is to have more detail on things like the Theme, the products, etc., but here’s something.

This is not a complete rewrite, since I don’t know the exact issues relating to the child ASINs.

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I’ll PM you the two remaining child ASINs and two inactive ones that made up this listing.

I don’t remember what variation theme I used but it was either size or style. I’ve tried looking for help articles that dive deeper into when to use one over another, but didn’t find much. Both could be true looking at the product, but size is a better fit when you look at the difference in variation names.

These different variations were created at varying points in time as I designed and manufactured them for my expanding product lines. When using the “add to catalog” I did a search for the item description and just chose the best category I thought of at the time. I didn’t have a specific business direction and I sold them as standalone listings for months before merging them. The parent listing was an afterthought.

I had added two different child ASINs to this same parent ASIN at a later date. They are not searchable anymore so I can’t remember whether I had fit them to one of the two still searchable ASIN categories or not.

PM’ing now and let me know what you think.

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I PM’s you on this.

Even though these are in different browse nodes I think the issue could likely be something else, assuming the Theme was “Size.”

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