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Related Amazon Seller accounts:
Operating and maintaining more than one Seller Central account, without explicit permission from Amazon, is strictly prohibited and will result in account suspension. This prohibition includes operating more than on account simultaneously, as well as opening a second merchant account subsequent to being banned or suspended from selling on your original Amazon account. Operating and maintaining an unapproved account, or merely being accused of doing so, will ultimately lead to Amazon suspension if not addressed appropriately.
How Did They Know I had a Second Amazon Account?
Amazon knows more about you than you think. As an Amazon seller, you provided, and continue to provide, a wealth of information about yourself and your business in order to successfully use the platform. Therefore, you have essentially provided Amazon multiple methods of monitoring your account and business activity for signals indicating a policy violation. Two or more Amazon merchant accounts using the same bank account, tax ID number, physical address, or even the same computer, may indicate to Amazon that the accounts are related. Since Amazon associates your devices’ IP addresses with your Amazon seller account, sellers sometimes receive “related accounts” policy violation notices, and even suspension, without having violated the policy at all. It is possible that the seller simply logged into their own merchant account from a computer or location where another active Amazon merchant operates or where a suspended or banned seller operated previously. When Amazon detects a linking factor between your Amazon seller account and another, the onus falls on you to either shut down the second account, or prove your innocence.
Amazon Suspension for Related Accounts.
In the event that you are suspended from selling on Amazon for having related Amazon seller accounts, do not open another account without Amazon’s approval. Doing so may eliminate your chances from ever selling on Amazon again. You must address the problem head on.
Suspended but Innocent
If you do not have related Amazon accounts, identifying the reason Amazon singled you out can be difficult. Amazon will not reveal what factors led them to believe your account is related to another. But if you understand the all the possible indicators of related Amazon accounts violations, it becomes easier to hone in on the cause of the issue.
Perhaps you employ a person who owns a personal Amazon seller account, either active or suspended. If said employee were to sign on to your Amazon seller account from a personal computer, or from home, that employee’s IP address will signal a possible policy violation, particularly if you sell similar items, and Amazon suspension is likely to follow.
How to Get Your Amazon Account Reinstated
Once you identify the cause of your related accounts policy violation, gather any applicable evidence that proves why the false appearance of related accounts occurred, and therefore, your innocence. However, if you were unaware that you were, in deed, in violation of Amazon’s multiple accounts policy, quickly become familiar with all of Amazon’s policies, your user agreement, and provide thorough training to any staff or employees. Remove all of your listings from the related account and completely shut it down following the proper procedures, as outlined by Amazon. Next, you must submit a plan of action detailing reasons for the perceived link between your Amazon seller account an another, as well as any corrective actions taken to correct the issue.
Avoiding Amazon Suspension
In either case, if you do receive a policy violation notice, the quality and timeliness of your response will have a direct effect on your ability to keep your account active. If Amazon sends multiple notices, and no action has been taken, your account will be suspended. Because it is possible to receive a related accounts violation notice without having violated the policy, avoiding suspension depends largely upon your efforts to stay up to date on Amazon’s policies and respond to the notice as effectively and as quickly as possible.
Amazon Makes Exceptions to its Rule
Finally, the easiest and most proactive way to avoid Amazon suspension for having related accounts is to use the proper channels, and have your additional accounts approved by Amazon. If you own more than one business, and legitimately need a second Amazon seller account, Amazon may grant an exception to the related accounts policy. However, your two businesses must also be, essentially, unrelated. Amazon grants these exceptions through an application process which you must initiate by submitting a written request. In the request, you must prove a number of factors to Amazon about the nature of your second business. A separate email address and bank account for each business account is required. You must have no intention to sell the same products between businesses. Further, you must prove that each business deals with an entirely different inventory and that you intend to sell under entirely different Amazon product categories. If you meet these requirements, and your original account in good standing with excellent metrics, you stand a good chance of being approved for the multiple seller accounts policy exception.
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About the Author:
Written by Kerry McDonald, Managing Paralegal at Amazon Sellers’ Lawyer
Amazon Sellers Lawyer is a team comprised of unique individuals with extensive knowledge and backgrounds. They are dedicated to defending the rights of e-commerce entrepreneurs and sellers across all platforms. Founded in 1994 by CJ Rosenbaum, the firm is now emerging as an industry leader as evidenced by its receipt of the Bitbond Best E-commerce Site of 2017 award. Whether a seller is facing an Intellectual Property issue, their funds are being held, or they simply need assistance with a suspension and reinstatement, the team at Amazon Sellers Lawyer has the knowledge and experience to serve sellers day and night, all around the World.