Amazon Seller Suspension Guide – Authenticity Complaints
As expected, Amazon treats authenticity concerns very seriously and follows a ‘guilty until proven innocent’ protocol when it comes to verifying the legitimacy of the accusation(s) made against the Seller. These accusations may stem from buyers, brand owners, or even other sellers and can range from the product being “not as described”, counterfeit, or of sub-par quality. It is up to the Amazon Seller to prove these ASINs are sourced through credible channels and are of top quality, so it is critical for Sellers have their documents used in sourcing, shipping, and manufacturing their products well organized and easily accessible. We discuss more about all documents Sellers should have on hand here.
Specifically when dealing with Amazon authenticity complaints, the Seller Performance Team needs to see unaltered supply chain documentation, including invoices, that they can verify with the supplier. If your invoices are missing any piece of verifiable information (i.e. an invoice number, full address and contact information, a quantity that also matches your inventory/description) then you need to go back to the supplier and make sure they give you an updated, completed invoice for your purchase. Ideally, this is done before you even attempt to sell a product on Amazon, or in the case of a authenticity complaints suspension, before you send the documentation through Amazon Seller Central. Otherwise, Amazon will not be able to verify your invoices and you will inevitably fail in your case of proving innocence. If you don’t have access to this paperwork, you are on a fast track towards an immediate suspension in a moment’s notice.
While no Seller is immune to authenticity complaints, including private label brands, there are things you can do besides keep your documents in order to ensure you escape the clutches of this type of suspension. A strong, well-written appeal with a POA needs to be presented along with your invoices and proof of authorization in order to convince the Seller Performance team you’ve taken sufficient steps to ensure your items are authentic and of top quality. We discuss how to write a top-notch Plan-of-Action here, but reach out to us here and we will custom yours based on your specific situation.
If you are an Amazon Seller that utilizes Fulfillment By Amazon (FBA) and you receive a suspension due to authenticity concerns, you will want to immediately request back your inventory from Amazon until you can resolve the suspension or you risk this inventory being deemed counterfeit and confiscated. It is bad enough that you will be losing income from sales and any funds you have in Amazon will be frozen until the suspension is addressed, you do not want to lose your inventory as well.
If you happen to be a Seller who received a ‘justified’ complaint and can’t provide the proper documents, we understand that mistakes happen. A lot of new Amazon Sellers overlook the process of fully vetting their suppliers when they are excited by a wholesale price from an overseas supplier or a clearance rack buyout. Though you will need to make some larger business decisions to stay selling on Amazon, we may be able to help you as well.