Amazon Seller Suspension Prevention – Important Documentation
If you’re an Amazon seller then you know how important it is to comply with Amazon’s (occasionally Byzantine) documentation demands. Throughout consulting hundreds of Amazon Sellers, we’ve realized just how many were overwhelmed by the different types of documents they needed to provide and when they needed to provide them – most of whom were blindsided by a temporary amazon suspension. While the documentation requirements start at the Account Verification stage, they never technically stop. Having all relevant business related documents accessible is still one of the most critical components of a seller’s longevity on the Amazon platform.
We wanted to paint a clearer picture of what these relevant documents entailed and why all Amazon Sellers should be actively organizing them, regardless of how many years they’ve been selling. If you have more questions regarding documentation to either prevent a suspension or to resolve an existing suspension, feel free to get in touch with us here.
What to Keep: Identification Documents
At any given time, Amazon Seller Performance and Amazon Account Health can, and will, request certain documentation regarding identification. They are very particular about what they will accept. These forms of identification are vital and are typically the first thing that Amazon Seller Performance requests after an Amazon Account Suspension occurs. An Amazon Seller should have the following readily available for identification purposes:
- A front and back copy of your valid and current photo ID – this needs to be the ID of the person associated with the account.
- A utility bill (preferably a gas or water bill) – this needs to be in the name of the person or the business associated with the Amazon Seller Account, *Most importantly* it must match the address of the business that is listed with Amazon Seller Central.
- If a utility bill is not available a credit card statement can be used as long as the card matches the one used on the Amazon Seller Account Profile.
- If the business is run through an LLC and no utility bill is available to match the creator of the profile, a Business License can be obtained. While this adds to the complexity and cost, we have seen it be effective in the verification process.
What to Keep: ASIN Verification Documents
Another vital category of documents to keep is ASIN verification documents. This category includes:
- Original invoices from the vendor – do NOT alter these in anyway.
- If invoices are not available, we’ve found receipts and/or written communications are sometimes accepted, but usually require additional verification such as an Affidavit from the Vendor or Seller. (If you have already been suspended and want to learn more about how we could help, we are available to live chat 24/7).
- Shipping labels and/or enclosed documents from when the ASIN was received by the Seller.
- Any communications from the Vendor- especially if you received special permissions or letters of authorization to sell the items on Amazon, or if there was a unique situation with that particular ASIN
- Unique situation example: A client received permissions to sell one ASIN that was purchased through Walmart, He had to include a copy of the Walmart shipping label with original barcodes (UPC) on it to each consumer that purchased the ASIN
- This communications can be in the form of emails, invoices with note sections, or hard copy letters.
- Permission granted in the restricted categories
- If you were granted permission by Amazon to sell a restricted item you must maintain a plethora of additional information – another topic for another time.
How to Keep It:
In our day and age everybody prefers to receive documents electronically, and it turns out that one of the most innovative companies in the world is no different. PDF is the tried-and-true preferred format of Amazon Seller Central systems. If you’re a person that prefers to keep paper just but be prepared to find a way to scan the documentation upon request into an electronic PDF format.
Our overall recommendation: keep both electronic and hard copy and NEVER destroy or get rid of documentation regarding an ASIN as long as you sell it. You can never be cautious enough when it comes to keeping the documents that you need to continue selling on Amazon safe.
In the event of an Amazon suspension, you may never know exactly what will help you prove your case and get you back to selling. With one client we helped, it was the first shipping email titled “your shipment is on the way” that allowed us to reinstate his account. As long as you are selling an ASIN, you should be keeping everything associated with its purchase history, you never know what could help you get reinstated.
If you want some additional support in this matter, check out how we could help. We love making sure our customers have their ducks in a row with proper documents (it makes our job easier too!)