In an effort to protect its reputation, as well as its customers, eBay account suspensions are on the rise. For sellers, this means disrupted sales and a whole range of other issues. Unlike on Amazon, suspensions are relatively hard to get on eBay. For this reason, they should be taken very seriously.
Was your eBay account suspended? Find out what’s wrong and how to fix it fast.
Different types of eBay account suspensions
With your eBay account suspended, you can’t sell, bid or contact customers. In fact, you can lose sales because shoppers can retract their bids.
But some eBay account suspensions are worse than others. Listed below are the three different types.
1. Account holds
If your account has been put on hold, don’t panic. This is usually the sign of a minor slip-up.
Holds are often caused by payment issues or the need to verify your account information. As soon as you fix the problem, your account will be reinstated. You’ll be back up and running in no time!
2. Account restrictions
If your seller performance metrics aren’t up to scratch, eBay may implement selling restrictions on your account.
This can prevent you from listing certain products or obtaining eBay’s Best Match position. These restrictions aim to limit your sales until your metrics and service standards improve. eBay doesn’t want to ban you completely, but it doesn’t want too many shoppers at risk of late shipments or cancelled orders.
Sellers should consider this a wake-up call. If you don’t up your game, your account may end up suspended completely.
3. Full suspensions
eBay may implement account suspensions for seven, ten or 30 days – or even indefinitely! A full suspension is usually the outcome of a serious violation of eBay’s rules and policies.
This can also happen if you consistently under-perform. Most often, eBay takes this step after issuing a few warnings. However, sometimes, one case of horrendous customer service is enough to warrant suspension.
Depending on the seriousness of your rule breaking, your listings may end early. Sometimes, listing fees are even forfeited.
One account suspension can also lead to eBay shutting down other accounts associated with your household. If you have a history of receiving warnings or restrictions, this may be your last chance to turn things around before you’re suspended from eBay indefinitely.
Why is my eBay account suspended?
When eBay suspends an account, the seller is usually notified by email. In most cases they will provide details on what you did wrong and how long the suspension will last. Sometimes they’ll even tell you what you need to do to get back selling again! (If you didn’t receive an email, check your messages on My eBay.)
Reasons for suspension vary from forgetting to pay your fees right through to serious breaches of policy. Just recently, eBay suspended hundreds of accounts for price gouging during the Coronavirus pandemic.
Below are seven ways you might have your eBay account suspended:
1. Outstanding payments
If you owe eBay any seller fees or customer reimbursements which they sent out on your behalf, this can lead to temporary suspension of your account.
You may need to make a one-off payment to settle your accounts. Alternatively, you should double check that your automatic payment method isn’t out-of-date.
2. Late shipment of orders
Late shipments are a big no-no. If you send an item after your stated handling time, or it arrives after the estimated delivery date, this will be a mark against your account and could lead to a suspended account on eBay.
eBay will tolerate up to 7% of your orders being late. So be realistic when you state delivery times on your listings and follow best practices for eBay shipping.
3. A high Transaction Defect Rate
Another performance metric you should watch carefully is your Transaction Defect Rate, which must be kept at or below 2%.
This metric isn’t related to defective products. It’s actually refers to the number of transactions a seller has cancelled due to stock shortages or other issues. Do your best to keep listings up-to-date and don’t cancel an order if you can avoid it.
4. Failure to resolve buyer complaints
When customers raise an issue in the Resolution Center, be sure to address it promptly and politely – even if they seem unreasonable.
If they end up referring the problem to eBay and you’re deemed to be responsible, this can really hurt your performance metrics. eBay allows just 0.3% of cases to close without a resolution. Having an excellent customer service strategy can keep this metric to a minimum and avoid unnecessary complaints to eBay.
5. Manipulating metrics
If you manage to keep your metrics in good shape, you’ll have a lot of happy customers and you may even become a top rated seller.
However, you shouldn’t do anything crazy to get to this point. If you try to manipulate your metrics, this could lead to suspension. Never badger a customer about changing or leaving feedback. Instead, check out our guide on removing negative eBay feedback.
6. Listing prohibited items
This may seem obvious, but sellers might not realize their products aren’t allowed. eBay has a long list of restricted and prohibited items, including:
- Drugs and alcohol
- Most live animals
- Hazardous, counterfeit and substandard products
- Recalled items
7. Putting the wrong content in your listings
Offensive material or hate speech are never allowed on eBay. Neither are stock photos or copyrighted materials.
Sometimes it’s easy to get caught out. For example, lots of sellers have been suspended for using the trademarked word ‘velcro’ in their listings. Luckily, this isn’t likely to lead to long-term suspension.
My eBay account is suspended: How do I fix it?
Before taking action, you’ll want to confirm that your suspension notification is the real deal. If it’s out of the blue, it could be a fake!
Watch out for scam emails
To ensure it’s truly from eBay, go to your account and check your messages to see if you received a notification there as well. You can also check your status by clicking ‘Account’ within My eBay.
If it’s a fake, you can report it by forwarding the email to email@example.com. If it’s real, follow these three steps to fix your suspended eBay account.
Step 1: Find out what happened
Read your notification carefully. eBay isn’t going to reinstate your account just because you make an angry call.
Instead, you should breathe and take a moment to assess the situation. Like we said, eBay often provides details on why you were suspended. If you believe there’s been a mistake, you can appeal the decision by replying to the notice and providing evidence of the error. Otherwise, you can move on to the next step.
Additional note: If you have an Enterprise or Anchor subscription, support is part of service so reach out to your account manager for guidance.
Step 2: Fix the issue
Once identified, you should deal with the problem head-on.
If it was a case of using copyrighted or stock photos, remove the offending material. If your metrics were the problem, follow the above advice and change your way of doing business.
Step 3: Get in touch with eBay
Once you’ve made amends, call eBay with your user ID and account suspension reference on hand. They’ll be willing to listen to your request for reinstatement if you can show you’ve taken action.
Even if your suspension isn’t cut short and you have to wait it out. At least, you’ll have a structure in place to prevent it from happening again.
However, in the case of indefinite suspension, eBay probably won’t listen to your appeals for a long time. Instead, it’s best to focus on building sales using other marketplaces before getting in touch.
Having your eBay account suspended is never good, but it may provide the motivation you need to improve your performance.
You can avoid the stress and drop in sales that comes with account suspension by simply focusing on great service. Although reading up on eBay’s seller policies will help as well!
Did you know that over 60% of US online retail purchases were made through Amazon last year? Amazon’s hold over eCommerce is well established, with 9.1 million active Amazon sellers worldwide and an average of 66 thousand orders per day. Newer sellers may be wondering how they can get more sales on Amazon in such a competitive environment.
The truth is, they absolutely can because with Amazon’s booming market share come many opportunities. We’ve assembled this digestible list of 14 quick wins and strategic moves, to help you up your game and sell more on Amazon.
1. Do keyword research
Having the right keywords can be one of the most important tactics in reaching your target audiences. Using the keywords that are common to searches for your products is the objective, but search engine optimisation (SEO) is a constantly evolving game. That means that keywords used successfully in the past may not be as effective with updated search engine algorithms today.
The terms used by customers to find products change daily and are affected by seasonal, cultural, and economic factors. Hence, it’s important to stay on top of the latest SEO trends and make sure you cast a wide net when implementing keywords for each product listing.
Each product should be optimized with as many relevant keywords as possible – into the hundreds! This gives you the best possible chance of getting your products found by customers, helping you sell more on Amazon.
Amazon keyword research tools like Helium 10, SellerApp, Jungle Scout, and AMZ One can help by generating a list of related keywords with search volume, competition level, and other useful metrics, making it easier for you to choose the best keywords for your product listing
2. Use a repricing tool to get more sales on Amazon
When it comes to sealing the deal and making a sale, price is a main deciding factor for many customers. As an Amazon seller, you always want to make sure you’re pricing your products competitively, but equally, you don’t want to lose your margin!
This is something that using repricing software can help with. Repricing software automates the pricing process in real-time, ensuring your prices stay in line with those of competitors, and with market fluctuations, while you get more sales on Amazon.
Repricing software also has many customisable features that allow you to set prices at optimal levels to help drive sales, without compromising profit. It’s worth taking a trial to see how it can help lift your sales.
3. Get more Amazon reviews
Online reviews are important to spread confidence through word of month and for building credibility for your brand. It’s also a fact that 72% of shoppers won’t buy until they’ve read reviews of a product from people like themselves – people they trust.
Even a strong product with great marketing behind it still has to overcome the fear of the unknown if there’s no social proof. Plus, positive reviews are a significant factor in deciding which products win the Amazon Buy Box.
4. Provide great customer service
Customer service is absolutely essential in eCommerce. Offering top-quality customer service not only adds value, but helps retain customers. A big part of making a sale is assuring the customer that they can trust you to deliver, and that trust is hard earned but easily lost. Providing good eCommerce customer service is critical, and committing to providing great customer service is all the more so!
As an Amazon seller, you need to be on top of your customer service. Responsiveness, a friendly manner and quick and easy resolution processes are all ingredients that make for a winning approach to great customer service.
But it can be confusing trying to streamline it all. Thankfully, there are all sorts of tools available to make this job easier, like helpdesk software to keep all your customer interactions in one place. This helps you to respond quickly and accurately to customer inquiries when they come in, so that your customers always know you’ve got their back.
5. Leverage Amazon seller tools
The best part about being an Amazon seller is that you don’t have to go it alone. There are numerous tools available to help you maximize your business and get the most out of selling on Amazon, whether third-party or FBA.
From repricing tools, to help desk software, to review software and even shipping assistance, many tools exist on the market today that specifically help Amazon sellers optimize their listings, prices, feedback, shipping, customer service and even their taxes.
There are many different seller tools available, so it’s worth reading about options and making an informed decision about the right ones to choose for your business. With the right tools, you can grow your business more than you ever thought possible.
6. Get more sales on Amazon with ads
Running ads is almost guaranteed to help you get more sales on Amazon, but it’s easy to just throw money at them and hope for the best. You can do better! Pay attention to your advertising cost of sales (ACOS) metric, the figure for how much ad spend you need in order to make a sale.
By advertising more efficiently, you lower your ACOS and ensure you get more bang for your buck. Over time, you’ll learn what works and you can employ a strategy with regards to how you run your ads. Taking an insight-driven approach to Amazon ads results in a more profitable Amazon business!
7. Optimise your product pages
The old saying goes that 80% of readers never make it past the headline of any piece of content. That means once you’ve written your product title, you’ve effectively spent 80 cents of your dollar.
When writing product titles, stick to the formula of:
- Brand name
- Product name
- Features (size, colour, gender etc).
This lets you include the right keywords in the right order to immediately tell shoppers that this is the product for them.
Moreover, making sure to visually design your product pages so that they’re clean, simple and easy to read will also help win over shoppers. No one wants to read through a cluttered page. The more straightforward (yet informative) and the cleaner you make your design, the more likely you’ll be to win over those elusive eyeballs!
8. Win the Amazon Buy Box
The quickest way to get more sales on Amazon is by ensuring that your products show up consistently in the Amazon Buy Box (the area in the top right of a product page, where shoppers can ‘Add to Cart’ or ‘Buy Now’). This is because over 82% of sales happen through this highly sought after space.
Although the exact formula to win the Buy Box is unknown, there are a few things that we know are essential. These are mainly metrics that prove the seller is providing a good customer experience. Customer reviews play a big role here. The more positive reviews a seller can amass, the likelihood of winning the Buy Box increases.
In addition to reviews, something else that’s obviously very important to Amazon shoppers is price! By using repricing software, you can automatically set your prices at the optimal level to win the Buy Box and maximize profit, even if you’ve got an enormous inventory.
9. Amazon account health rating
The Amazon account health rating (AHR) is a new feature that helps you monitor your account health based on its adherence to Amazon seller policies.
It considers both negative factors (such as the number of unresolved policy violations on your account) as well as positive factors (how your account positively impacts the customer experience through its selling activities).
Each account will be given a rating, which is regularly reviewed as Amazon monitors the performance of its sellers. If your account is off-target, you will be notified so that you can improve your performance. Conversely, a good AHR rating will work in your favor, helping assure customers that they’re doing business with a compliant seller.
10. Maintain your Amazon SLA
A big part of being a seller is cultivating trust with your customers. That means showing them that you operate in an above-board manner and that you’ll make good on your promise of fulfillment to them. One way of doing that is by making sure your Amazon store has a Service Level Agreement (SLA). This is a promise to your customers that they’ll receive their orders on time. When it comes to fulfillment, the SLA is based on the capacity to fulfill open orders and on-time shipping and delivery.
SLAs help manage customer expectations by defining standards and outlining circumstances under which you as the seller won’t be liable for unfulfilled promises (e.g., natural disasters preventing shipping, etc).
eDesk’s customer service solution is designed to alert you when your SLA is expiring, so your business is never caught without one. Having a current SLA helps you maintain transparency with customers, thereby building trust which helps ensure customer loyalty.
11. Focus on products that already sell
Most ambitious business owners want to try new streams of revenue, but it’s important not to lose sight of the things that are making you money now.
By doubling down on the products that already provide your Amazon store with a reliable revenue stream, you not only deliver to market demand but ensure that you have the financial runway required to take risks on innovative new products, if need be.
Review your financial statements every quarter and look at the items that are performing best in your store. Think about how you can continue to market these with ads, SEO keywords and upgraded images to maximize their selling potential in your online store.
12. Sync your inventory
Inventory can be a delicate balancing act. Hold too much inventory for too long and you need to pay over the odds to store it. But hold too little inventory and you lose out on vital sales, or even customers, due to an inability to fulfill. Amazon can also penalize you if your inventory performance isn’t up to standard.
Stock control is something every seller needs to understand and have the capability to manage for optimal results. Smart inventory management is an under-appreciated way to increase your Amazon sales and profit margin. Fortunately, there are tools that can help. Investing in the right tools and software can help sellers take the stress out of balancing supply and demand.
13. Expand into new Amazon marketplaces
Amazon currently has 20 marketplaces around the world, which include the US, Canada, Mexico, UK, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Japan, Singapore, Brazil, Australia and more.
You can scale your brand by moving into some of these marketplaces. This can involve doing market research to find out which products are popular in each market and then uplevelling your shipping operations in order to be able to ship globally.
But expanding into new markets also means you’ll need to take language into consideration and localize your listings so that they feature each marketplace’s local language and SEO keywords in the appropriate language. Multilingual customer service is also needed in order to be able to service customers across various marketplaces in their local language.
Sounds complicated? It doesn’t have to be. eDesk’s help desk solution is designed to support customer service and workflow in multiple languages, so you can expand your business without investing in the overhead of hiring a global team.
14. Spy on your competitors
Ok, maybe “spy” is a bit of an exaggeration, but profitable sellers are always on the lookout for what their competitors are doing. You want to make sure you’re offering the right inventory for your market at the right prices. Repricing software will monitor this for you, taking the guesswork out of pricing at the right levels.
Using data gleaned from helpdesk reporting can also help you gather valuable insights and feedback from your customers, which will help you to better understand what customers want and need. Acting on analytics-driven insights from easy-to-read reports means you’re always one step ahead of the competition.
The quest to increase your store’s Amazon sales doesn’t need to be an uphill struggle. There are many resources available to Amazon sellers today to help them optimize their store and develop a healthy sales pipeline.
By staying in touch with how the Amazon platform grows and using the right tech tools to drive your business, you can continue to do what you do best: building a great brand, winning customers, retaining existing customers and improving your bottom line.