You must deal with suspension notifications as a matter of urgency.
No matter how organised you are it would be unusual not for Amazon to cause you some pain from time to time. It's easy to criticise them for being so hard on small sellers, but you have to remember at all times that you are operating within their business and they will protect that business when they feel they have to.
Although you have to deal with Amazon seller suspensions fast that is not an excuse to go back to them with an incomplete answer, and don't reply abusively: we've seen retailers do that; it's not professional, not helpful and it's not showing respect for the Amazon help desk who are just doing their job.
Common reasons why Amazon sellers can get suspended from Amazon
Poor feedback will result in being suspended from Amazon
It should go without saying but let's say it anyway; if you have poor feedback either your product or your account will get suspended.
If the product listing that has been suspended is for a product that you have no control over - such as an item you have piggy backed on from the Amazon catalogue - then there may be little that you can do. Check the description of the item and make sure it is accurate, and if not correct it.
If the poor feedback is against you as a seller then you'll have to review your processes; order management, fulfillment and customer service. The good news is that those areas can be fixed and you can explain to Amazon what you have done to ensure the problem will not arise again.
Selling the same items on duplicate accounts is gaming the system and Amazon will suspend you for that
In some cases it is possible to have more than one account on Amazon, perhaps one account is selling clothing and the other is selling Perfume. However, if you have two accounts that are selling the same items, or largely the same items, then your accounts will be suspended. Amazon does not like sellers "Gaming the System", and by having two accounts that are largely similar you are attempting to flood the search results with your listings.
Amazon can easily detect duplicate accounts - they'll check email addresses, IP address and so on. So don't do it, you'll get found out.
Opening a new account rather than correcting a suspended Amazon account is not the answer
Just as with running duplicate accounts, Amazon will also spot that you are trying to open a new account rather than address a suspension issue on your existing account. They'll spot that your contact details or bank accounts are the same. Not only are you wasting your time, you risk raising further concerns.
Selling a used item as new will annoy and could result in an Amazon suspension
No-one likes receiving a used item when they expected something new, and Amazon will step in and protect it's customers. In some cases the customer may have made a mistake when purchasing and this can be resolved.
In cases where the mistake has been by you then you'll need to identify why that happened and put in place improved processes to ensure that the same situation cannot arise again. If you do that and explain that to Amazon then it is likely that the suspension can be removed.
Being accused of selling counterfeit items, can result in being suspended, so act fast
A customer complaint that a received item is counterfeit or not authentic will require you to have strong evidence that the claim is incorrect. If possible you will want the item returned, especially if it was sent by a drop shipper. Again a strong paper trail between you and your supplier is essential.
Cancellations and failure to ship on time will always result in a risk of being suspended from Amazon
If you cancel items because you have no stock then this will result in a suspension. Equally a suspension will arise if you ship items late.
Automated stock control and order management is essential when it comes to areas like these and you need to look at your use of such software and whether or not it is fit for purpose.
However, a common mistake with Late Shipment suspensions is where the goods were shipped on time, but you did not notify Amazon. This will result in a suspension - but it can be lifted by explaining the error and again explaining what you have done to improve your internal processes.
Selling branded goods without permission can lead to an Amazon suspension, even when it's a genuine error
Not all brands want to be sold on Amazon, and many brands have country specific permissions. If you don't have the suitable permissions then your listings will be suspended.
If the suspension is incorrect then you'll need a strong paper trail in place to have it lifted.
Handling an Amazon Suspension - 3 steps
1. The vast majority of suspensions are for the most common of reasons - and that in our experience is failure to ship. Whatever the reason that Amazon has given, you must take it seriously and consider their reason fully. Don't simply say they are wrong, that won't cut it. And don't try to open a new account - that won't work either. The first step is to properly read the reasons from Amazon and then be honest with yourself, that's the best way to start dealing with any problem in life.
2. Amazon want you to think through why the problem came up and expect you to think about how that will be stopped from happening again. This is known as a Corrective Action - it's common across all industries, Amazon and retail is no different. So was it a system error, manual error, supply problem and so on. Once you have figured that out then it is time to figure out how you will fix it. Is it a new software system, is it training on your existing system for staff, is it tighter communications with your supplier. Think it through and document the problem and the corrective action.
3. Now that you know what went wrong and how you have ensured that it won't happen again - tell Amazon via Seller Central or using your registered email address if you can no longer get access. Basically you'll need to prepare an Amazon suspension appeal letter and send it. In a day or so you'll get a response with respect to your Amazon suspension appeal. Sometimes you might need to go around the loop a few times until you have their permission again.
And that is it really, the important thing is to not mess up again - the next time you have to appeal an Amazon suspension it'll get harder, especially if it is for the same reason. A second Amazon suspension doesn't mean you are banned for life - but obviously Amazon are keeping score and eventually they will not reply to your appeals.