The world of Amazon selling can be a confusing one to navigate, particularly when you are new to it. Amidst a landscape of convoluted, constantly changing policies, it can be hard to get up to speed and stay current on the latest rules. Given these complexities, you may have thought about hiring an Amazon account reinstatement service—someone you can rely on to teach you the ins and outs of how to be successful on Amazon. Perhaps you already know the basics of Amazon selling but you are looking to elevate your performance and need advice on how to optimize results within the Amazon sales world. Or, worst case scenario, perhaps you’re dealing with an Amazon account suspension and need help reinstating a deactivated account or addressing blocked product listings.
Amazon consultants are easy to find online, but how can you tell if they are legitimate Amazon experts? When you Google “Amazon consultants” or “Amazon lawyers” you will be bombarded by listings and ads offering different services and/or strategies for improving your Amazon selling or dealing with problems like account suspension and improving seller metrics. Unfortunately, many of these consultants are actually hackers running scams designed to obtain access to your personal information. For example, many promise they know insiders at Amazon who will help with your appeal process, while others offer “free account reviews” if you provide them with all of your personal information. While these types of “consultants” may be obviously fraudulent, other so-called Amazon consultants or Amazon seller lawyers are more subtle in their schemes, simply by offering expertise they in fact do not possess. So how do you know if a consultant actually has worthwhile advice? This post presents some tips and tricks to identify valid, reliable consultants from those running rackets.
Consider What Consultants Are Offering
As noted above, be on the lookout for consultants offering inside connections at Amazon or those who require personal information that simply does not seem relevant to your particular issue (such as your social security number or credit card information). Use your common sense in reviewing the services consultants offer — for example, if they offer services that are poorly defined or just feel sketchy, they probably are! Also keep a lookout for Amazon consultants with “amazon” in their email addresses. Because Amazon in practice restricts its employees from offering outside consulting advice, any advertisement with Amazon in the title is at best illegal and more likely fraudulent. It is also important to look for any services that are offered as “offline account investigators” or claim to know ways to circumvent the reinstatement process. These channels simply do not exist, so any such advertisement is a lie designed to cheat you out of money.
How Are Amazon Consultants Presenting Themselves?
As a corollary to the above, another major red flag with Amazon consultants is if they seem poorly informed about Amazon processes or are not asking the right questions about your particular problem. To sniff this out, schedule an initial call with the consultant to see if they pass your initial check as to whether they are informed and professional. Some consultants will be easily identified as more interested in making sales than having a genuine concern about helping you. In short, how consultants present themselves will indicate the likelihood they will be able to solve your situation. Use the question list provided below as a way to carry out this “sniff test.”
Just as Amazon buyers look at your seller reviews when deciding whether to make a purchase, so too will you want to see proof that an Amazon consultant has a track record of delivering solid services to its clients. The key to this investigation will be testimonials and other online reviews. Look for prior clients of the consultant with situations similar to your own. Was the consultant able to solve those issues? Do past clients seem to be happy with the consultant’s services? While negative reviews are an obvious red flag, also keep an eye out for fake reviews. For example, try to confirm whether the reviews were written by actual clients rather than created by fake email accounts. Check for key words like “confirmed purchaser” as well as signals like the number of reviews/testimonials written by that person and the dates of such reviews. If the testimonial is the first or only review ever written by that particular person, that is a pretty good indication that the consultant is engaging in some shameless self-promotion. In addition, do not be afraid to reach out to the testimonial writer to ask if he or she is willing to speak to you about your experiences, or ask the consultant directly if he or she can provide references from past clients. After all, if that person was willing to spend the time writing a review (positive or negative), he or she must feel pretty strongly about the consultant one way or the other. While this may seem like a lot of work on your end to identify an Amazon account reinstatement service, keep in mind that you will likely be sharing confidential business information with this person (in addition to paying them), so you will want to make sure the person is trustworthy, as well as informed and competent.
Key Questions to Ask
Below are a few key questions to ask potential consultants in order to assess their knowledge of Amazon’s policies and credibility. This list is neither exhaustive nor comprehensive – use your common sense and tack on other relevant questions during the course of your conversation.
- How long have you been an Amazon consultant?
- What qualifies you to serve as an Amazon consultant?
- Here is my issue — how can you help me?
- Do you have references from prior clients you can put me in touch with?
- Do you know the difference between 1P and 3P Sellers? [Hint: 1P is a first priority seller and 3P is a third-priority seller].
- Do you have experience with Amazon SEO tools? If so, which tools do you use? [Hint: you should hear answers on tools such as Scientific Seller or SellerMetrics].
- Can you explain FBA (or Fulfillment by Amazon)? [Hint: this is a program in which Amazon handles your routine account tasks including customer service, shipping, and returns. It also ensures your eligibility for 2-day shipping].
- What marketing experience do you have?
- What do you know about SEO keyword searches?
- Can you give a few examples about prior success stories with companies? Did you improve their sales/rank/metrics?
- Ask general questions about Amazon selling, the appeals process, and their prior background with such processes to ensure they know the procedures and rules.