amazon suspensions

Amazon: Suspensions & IP Infringements: How To Avoid It

Amazon takes claims of intellectual property infringement seriously, perhaps too seriously. Even if a seller is infringing on someone’s IP (Intellectual Property) without knowledge, Amazon still takes action and the seller’s account ends up receiving a warning or even gets suspended. Some unethical Amazon sellers are even abusing the system to take down their competitors.

Make sure that your business has the right procedures in place to prevent IP infringement. We have also compiled strategies that can help you avoid getting suspended on Amazon.

What Gets One Suspended On Amazon?

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Amazon is a competitive marketplace where the intense battles for Buy Boxes happen and sellers are on the lookout for ways to boost their listings.

However, some sellers try to gain more advantage and even try to shoot down their competitors using dirty tricks ranging from leaving negative reviews on competing products to switching genuine items with counterfeits, then making inauthentic item claims to Amazon.

Here are some ways that can get your account suspended

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IP Infringement Claims:

Shady sellers pretend to be a brand owner and can target your product. They report the product using Amazon’s infringement claim form, saying that you are breaching their rights by selling that product.

These claims may include things like:

You are using copyrighted text or images for the product or its advertising materials without authorization. The product infringes upon a trademark by using a word (a brand name) or symbol (a logo) without permission.

Amazon takes IP claims seriously and there are reportings of Amazon suspending seller accounts for only one infringement claim! Getting reinstated isn’t easy either, and Amazon even advises that you consult an attorney for help to ensure that your business has the right procedures in place to prevent IP infringement. Getting not suspended in the first place is easier than dealing with the actual suspension.

What Can Be Done For IP Infringement Claims?

IP infringement claims amazon

Remove the IP Infringement Claim Products:

Examine your inventory to see if what you sell may lead to IP infringement claims. If you find a few, remove the inventory and listings before Amazon can bring down your account. In the event you have already received notifications, take them seriously and make changes before you get suspended.

When You Are Falsely Accused:

However, if you get false IP Infringement Claims, make sure to submit a proper Notice-Dispute claim with a solid appeal that explains your sourcing of the goods from reputable suppliers, detailing genuine supply chain documentation.

Counterfeit complaints:

A claim that the name brand product being sold is a counterfeit is another sure-fire way to get your account suspended. The best way to avoid these are to stay away from big name products.

Avoid Negative Attentions:

Whenever you are selling a brand product, you should get a written agreement from them before selling the brand items on Amazon. If you are not sure if you can sell a brand product without attracting rights owner complaints, just avoid it. You might end up attracting unwanted and negative attention instead.

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Be Aware Of The Dreaded Counterfeit Switch:

The counterfeit switch is a real issue and you should know it. It is a dirty trick pulled by some competitors where they buy your authentic product. But after delivery, they switch it with a counterfeit, returns it and then either leave a review saying that the product was a counterfeit, or complains directly to Amazon. The counterfeit switch has gotten a lot of honest sellers accounts banned, and you should be on the lookout for it too. 

On the assumption you are doing retail arbitrage, therefore avoid bigger branded items. If they have switched an item, you won’t know. In turn, if your supplier was in fact shipping out counterfeit items you won’t know that either. 

Safety Claims:

Underhanded competitors may use proxy accounts to leave a product review saying that the product was dangerous using words like “fire” and “dangerous” for electrical items. If such terms are picked up by the keyword algorithm, your product can be taken down automatically.

Here are some approaches to safety claims

Do not blame the competitors for using false buyer accounts unless you can really prove it:

Even though everyone knows it is possible for competitors to arrange fake buyers’ account and then report unsafe, inauthentic or otherwise “not as advertised” items, you should not just complain to Amazon without solid proof. Don’t bother making charges in the hopes that Amazon will find the proof themselves.

Keep your temper cool:

Getting enraged at Amazon will get you nowhere. You should keep your cool and plan your actions with a level head. You are here to continue the business, not to go on a war.

It All Comes Down To These Few Words:

It is no surprise that Amazon is the ultimate market where the sellers with the best prices, products and customer service thrive. Amazon will always put the customers before you, so do not expect them to come forward and solve your problems.

While the Amazon system is providing livelihoods for millions of people, it is not perfect. Unscrupulous people will always abuse the system.

So, do everything in your power to avoid selling and policy mistakes. If you manage your account the right way, you will have a much easier time doing business. Even if you get suspended, having a clean account will make it easier to get you reinstated.

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