Amazon has become one of the best ways of doing online business and it is good for those who want to reach out their customers beyond geographical boundaries.
I was doing my arts and crafts business through Amazon for the past two years and after a lot of trial and error and lots of tweaking I was able to reach a stage where there was steady flow of revenue.
Amazon was offering lot of advantages and it contributed more to my online arts and crafts business and I was very happy that I have found out my niche and reached my target.
I used to import arts and crafts pieces from an arts dealer in Manila Philippines and an art boutique in Bangkok. Both were very responsive and were known for doing their business in a responsible way. I met them many times during this period and they readily agreed to satisfy all my requirements and they did that promptly. With the supply chain fixed I used my existing Amazon account to sell the arts and crafts goods by creating auctions and I was able to get fairly good response from the starting.
As time passed, my reputation on Amazon platform grew and my business was generating more income than I expected. Then during October last year I shifted my small office to a new, more spacious and comfortable office building at the other side of my city. This necessitated in changing my telephone number that I was using so far.
I had registered my Amazon account with this telephone number which I almost forgot and due to oversight I did not update the telephone and address information on my account. Then during this period, I made an order with my seller for a particular Art work that is arriving into the market for the first time from my Manila seller.
When I ran an auction for this particular item on my Amazon account the response was so big that I was forced to place new orders repeatedly and my sellers used to combine some orders and send them to me in one consignment. Usually we used to send our consignments through Air- cargo. One particular consignment containing large number of that particular item did not reach me due to Customs and documentation problems and I could not take delivery of the items as expected. The mistake was from the exporter’s side and the back and forth actions required to correct the trade documents to satisfy the authorities on my side caused inordinate delay.
Due to this there was long delay in sending the items to my buyers. Many of them registered their complaints to Amazon as I was at fault in not communicating with them and explaining the real reason for the delay. This was due to the tension and stress caused by my inability to get the consignment released even after a long process involving my seller, and the customs authorities. When this problem was over and I began despatching the items to my buyers, all of a sudden I received an email from Amazon stating that my account has been suspended for the following reasons:
- For unpaid seller’s fees in spite of reminders
- Due to repeated customer service issues leading to unsatisfactory service situations
- My Phone number and address could not be verified
I was really horrified and it was really a devastating blow to my business and I lost all means of continuing my business. With all the possibilities of continuing my trading privileges gone my revenue came to a complete halt and I was totally clueless as what to do next, and I was wondering if I can get back to my business again.
I searched on the Net and found that so many other persons also had such situations and some of them seem to have got back their accounts back. Form deep research I found that resolving these issues with the Amazon customer services is not an easy task and it involves a very lengthy process even if my case is taken up for resolution.
I created a plan of action to get my Amazon account unbanned and resolved to do everything possible to get back my business as early as possible. As a first step, I sent a detailed reply to Amazon explaining my position and assured them that I shall correct all the shortcomings on my side immediately. I made it clear in my reply that I had no intention of breaking their rules purposely and I will take care that this will not happen again.
In the meantime, I also contacted my buyers and explained what happened and why there was delay in delivering the arts items they ordered from me, and gave them the time limit for my deliveries and saw to it that all the items were delivered as promised. I also asked them to let Amazon know that I had delivered all their items and they are satisfied with my services. I also cleared all the seller’s fees that remained unpaid during this period of confusion.
Due to all these, Amazon took up my case and brought it for review and they updated me as to the process regularly. I gave them all the details and information they needed during the resolution process and finally I got back access to my account. Now, I am allowed to operate my account and I am back in business with little disruptions.
From all these bitter experiences I have learned a lot, and now I am wiser in knowing what I should do and what I should not do if I want to use the Amazon platform as my primary way of doing my online business. Now I know how to keep my Amazon account in good standing and how I should take care not to break any of their rules. I never tried to open another account concealing my identity after the suspension of my old account and due to all these I was favourably considered by Amazon and allowed me to operate my business as I has no bad intentions or indulged in fraudulent actions to take undue advantage of the trust held by the buyers in Amazon bringing disrepute to it.
Thus, if you want to thrive in your online business, with the help of Amazon, always take care to protect your account and never give place for any bad actions, and in case your Amazon account gets suspended, come out clean with all your facts and take prompt corrective actions without losing time.
This will definitely help you overcome all your difficulties and you will be allowed to do your business again and go on reaping the benefits of being on Amazon for a long time to come.