One of the most important aspects of running your Amazon business is knowing how to deal with Amazon’s seller support. Amazon is known worldwide for its customer support, but they also do a generally good job with sellers that follow their guidelines. This will be an in-depth blog explaining how sellers can reach seller support, how they should interact with them and what you can expect from seller support. By taking the time to get familiar with this, you will know exactly what to do in the future when something goes wrong with your account.
What is Amazon Seller Support?
Amazon seller support is the cumulative staff at Amazon that is dedicated to helping sellers succeed on Amazon’s marketplace. There are different divisions within seller support that deal with different seller issues. For example, the customer service seller support team that works the phone lines is completely different from the seller performance team. It’s important to make these distinctions because it will allow you to reach the right person when dealing with an issue.
When should you contact Amazon seller support?
You should not contact Amazon seller support after the smallest inconvenience. Seller support can answer general questions, but you can easily find most of these answers on Google or YouTube. Seller support should be contacted when you cannot resolve an issue on your own.
Amazon takes several steps to make sure you can solve issues on your own prior to using their seller support manpower. When you try to call Amazon or open a new case, Amazon links several articles that may help you solve a problem on your own. If these cannot help, then you should reach out to seller support.
Some scenarios where you should contact seller support include:
- Account deactivation or suspensions: This is pretty self-explanatory, but anytime your business operations are stopped, it’s a good idea to contact Amazon and see what’s the issue. Amazon has an automated system where you will receive an email detailing why your account may have been suspended or deactivated. Make sure you take the time to read that email thoroughly because it will detail why your account was suspended and how you can get it back.
- Listings taken down: Sellers who have their listings taken down will also receive an email from Amazon. The email will entail why a listing was taken down and what the seller can do about it. These scenarios can be very frustrating because some sellers rely on a few listings to generate most of their business’ revenue. Read the email thoroughly for these kinds of scenarios and reach out via email and phone to figure out what you need to do.
- Making any major changes to Amazon account: Many new sellers fall prey to this. If you change anything major in your account like your credit card, banking information, address, etc., Amazon’s systems will pick up on it and it can suspend your account. This is taken as a security precaution in case someone got into your Amazon account and wanted to steal your funds. Communicate with seller support prior to making any of these changes to avoid any disruption in your business.
How fast should you expect a reply?
In general, Amazon seller support takes a few hours to half a day to get back to most seller emails. This time can vary depending on the quarter and any major events like Prime day, Cyber Monday, etc. Typically, holidays and Q4 times result in longer response times from seller support. This applies for all email communication efforts.
If you call Amazon on the phone, you can get seller support on the phone immediately. Although you have some support, it may not be the one you need. The seller support that greets you when you call Amazon can solve most general issues, but they can’t solve advanced issues. Your best bet is to explain what’s going on and hope they can transfer you to a team that can take action on your account.
Don’t bombard seller support with emails and phone calls because it will just result in your issues taking longer to be solved.
How can you get hold of support?
There are a variety of ways that sellers can reach support on Amazon. It’s important to note that Amazon uses a ton of automation for their support systems, so you need to make sure you are reaching a person and not talking to a bot. Most Amazon emails are automated, but if you scroll down at the end, you can see a person’s name. Replying to the email will allow you to get a human response generally. Some of the ways you can get hold of customer support include:
- Phone call from Amazon seller app: If you do any research on how to find a phone number to call seller support, you’ll find out quickly there’s no actual number. This can be confusing for new sellers because it can be difficult to find the right number. The easiest way to call seller support is in the Amazon seller app. Open the app and on the left hand upper side, click the drop down menu. You will see a tab for seller support, click on it. Once you do that, Amazon will show you a variety of options for you to choose from to describe your issue. Click on which one applies to you and continue. Once you do this you will see an email and phone tab appear. Click the phone tab. Enter your number and Amazon will call you immediately.
- Email from Amazon seller app: To email seller support, you will need to follow the same instructions as calling support from the app. You will need to open the Amazon seller app, click on seller support, click the kind of issue you’re having with your account and an email textbox will appear. This will have your email, contact reason and a textbox of you explaining the issue to seller support. Once you submit this, you will hear from seller support via email in a day generally.
- Case Logs: Another way to reach Amazon seller support is to open a case log for your issue. You can do this by signing into Amazon Seller Central. If you go to the top right corner of Seller Central, you will see a help button. Click on it and you will be guided to the help page. Scroll down to the bottom, you will see a section labeled “Need more help?”. Click on get support and you can describe any issue you are having with your seller account. Once you submit your issue, seller support will likely get back to you in 1-2 days if not sooner. You will be sent an email as soon as they reply.
Seller support etiquette:
Yes, there is such a thing as seller support etiquette. You need to know how to communicate with seller support on the phone and via email to get your desired outcome. As much as Amazon is a great platform for sellers, their seller support can be very difficult to adjust to.
Sellers who are new to Amazon may see support from the lens of a customer. This is completely wrong; if you talk to Amazon seller support with an entitled mindset, you will only create more problems for yourself.
Amazon does not owe you anything. It’s at a scale where they can shut down your entire business without batting an eye. You need to play by Amazon’s rules in order to keep selling on their platform; it’s as simple as that. Sellers that find issues with this always end up in trouble with Amazon and are at higher risk of losing their account. Some of the etiquette you should have while communicating with Amazon includes:
- Being relaxed: Having issues with your Amazon account is not a fun experience and you can easily be enticed to being overly emotional. It’s understandable and very human to feel these emotions, but never display that over email or on the phone with Amazon. The Amazon representative you’re talking to has no idea what happened to your account and you getting angry at them will not help your case. Always be relaxed and explain your situation in a calm demeanor to get your desired outcome.
- Follow guidelines: When Amazon gets back to you on an issue via email, you need to actually take time and read what they are saying. If you skim the email and reply quickly, you will only complicate your case. Slow down, digest what Amazon said about your account and take an intentional approach to solving your issue. If Amazon said submit a document in .jpeg, you need to do exactly that or they will not accept it. Following guidelines is essential to getting your issues solved by seller support.
- Don’t rush to submit appeals: When Amazon flags your account with an issue, especially suspensions, you need to actually take your time and read the reasons why. By doing this, you maximize the chance of getting your account reinstated. Quickly replying to Amazon’s email is a terrible strategy and it will be counted as an appeal attempt. Slow down and take your time to gather all the materials needed and submit a professional appeal and move on from there.
- Take accountability: When talking or writing to Amazon seller support, you have to take accountability for your actions. Blaming Amazon or its support staff will not do you any favors. A powerful quote I’ve seen in regards to this is the following from ecommerceChris, an Amazon seller support expert: “Amazon does not want to be convinced of your innocence, they want sellers to repent, reform, and rehabilitate. If Amazon had to admit that they mistakenly mistreated an innocent seller, that would be an admission to a flaw in their process and procedure which would open them up to liabilities.”
In general, Amazon is fair to most sellers. You need to see seller support from the view that you are trying to be compliant with Amazon to sell on their platform. If you feel like Amazon owes you something, you will quickly realize they do not and will suspend your account with ease.
Taking accountability for your mistakes shows Amazon that you are willing to learn from your mistakes and you should get a second chance. Additionally, seller support are actual people. If you show you are willing to work with them, they are far more likely to be lenient than if you have an attitude or are overly emotional.
What are some teams within seller support?
There’s not a lot of public information about internal Amazon teams. I scoured through the internet to find reputable blogs and other sources and compiled a list of teams I came across below. Some of the internal teams include:
General Amazon Seller Support: This is the team that you’ll come across when you call the 1-800 number on your Amazon seller app or from the web. This is the first line of contact for many sellers. Most sellers often assume that this Amazon seller support can fix and handle all issues. No, this couldn’t be further from the truth. Amazon has millions of sellers on their platforms. The Amazon seller support team deals with common questions that sellers have and they can rarely ever fix any real issues on your account.
Sometimes they can look at your account and give you some insight, but they don’t have the final say on anything. If they give you advice on a plan of action for a suspended account, take it with a grain of salt. If you tell the seller performance team that an Amazon seller representative told you to do something, they won’t take you seriously. You can always start by contacting general seller support on Amazon and you can escalate it from there to reach other teams that can actually solve your problem.
The catalog team is a support team that specializes in issues with seller listings. If you are having issues with uploading or updating a listing on seller central, the catalog team can help you make any changes. Besides helping with listings, the catalog team doesn’t have a final say in most things. This is just good to keep in mind in case you have major issues with listings in the future.
The captive team is a team that sellers can reach after their issues are escalated from general seller support. The captive team has access to tools and resources that general seller support does not have access to. This allows them to view your account and help you make actual changes that can get your account back to normal.
In general, the Amazon captive team is highly trained and can get most seller issues addressed. You can open a case on Amazon Seller Central and request to be transferred to the captive team. This can take a few attempts, you may find it quicker to try to do it over the phone.
Executive seller relations:
Executive seller relations is an internal Amazon team that deals specifically with executive escalations from sellers. This is a confirmed team within Amazon because I came across a job posting for it. An escalation is not submitting the same Plan of Actions over and over again or continuously contacting seller support, it’s a professional appeal to reach the highest seller support decision makers possible.
Your escalation should be clear and succinct and should detail all the actions you have done to remediate your issues. Once this is done, you can submit to seller performance and see their reply. For more information on what and what not to do in an Amazon escalation, check out this blog here.
Jeff Bezos escalations:
A last resort that you can use if everything else fails is to do a Jeff Bezos escalation. It’s pretty well known that there is an email where sellers and customers can reach Jeff to share their grievances over something related to Amazon. Obviously Jeff Bezos isn’t seeing these emails, but it’s reaching an internal team within Amazon. You can create a Jeff Bezos escalation by directly emailing the following email address: firstname.lastname@example.org.
You should not be desperate and email this email address after any little inconvenience. If you’ve honestly reached this point, there’s little hope of getting your account back. It’s definitely worth a try to email the Jeff email, but you need to send the email explaining what’s wrong and be patient. If Amazon internally marked your account for having a last chance, there’s honestly very little you can do. Is there a chance? Yes, but you’re likely just wasting your time.
This covers the majority of information you will need to know as you sell on Amazon about seller support. There’s a high likelihood that your seller account will face issues or get suspended at some point in your seller journey. It’s important to be proactive and take all the measures necessary to make sure your business is ready in case that occurs. It’s a tough pill to swallow right now, but preparing for this will ensure you will be calm and make sound decisions in the case of a suspension.
As you become more experienced with selling on Amazon, there’s a variety of things you can do to mitigate the risk of your account being suspended. All you need to focus on as a new seller is following the guidelines for Amazon and avoiding the traps that new sellers fall into that may get their account suspended.
Additional resources for seller support:
Self-learning: The first step you can do to get better with seller support is to take responsibility. If something happens to your account, no one is coming to save you. You have to take initiative and learn how to proactively protect your Amazon seller account and learn what you need to do in case something happens.
Once you do this, you will start making steps in the right direction and build good habits that will allow you to keep selling on Amazon for a long time. The vast majority of seller issues you face have been faced by other sellers. Googling the issue or searching for it on YouTube is a great place to start and see what you can do.
Amazon seller forums: Amazon seller forums are an extremely underrated tool when it comes to getting answers for your questions. Amazon seller forums is basically the internet for Amazon sellers. You will find every possible topic and question in there. Everything is neatly organized in there and there are very little duplicate forums.
The moderators in the forums are experienced Amazon sellers that know Amazon inside and out. Although they offer a lot of tough love, they are some of the best resources when it comes to selling on Amazon. I’ve linked the forums here.
Reinstatement experts: If you’re having issues with your account, you can try using reinstatement experts. Reinstatement experts are companies or people that focus solely on fixing Amazon seller support issues. This is mostly deactivations and suspensions. There’s no industry leader, but there are several great companies out there. Some of them are run by former seller support employees, so they have a lot of insight.
From my personal experience, they can be very costly. One company quoted me $600 to get my account back. This doesn’t guarantee that Amazon will reinstate your account, but it’s likely the best bet.
Groups/communities: Lastly, it’s good to join a group of like-minded sellers and provide some sort of value. If you join Twitter, a Reddit group or a Facebook Group, you can get access to tens if not hundreds of sellers who are on the same path as you. Having a community is a great asset when selling on Amazon because you can ask questions and get some moral support from time to time. If you are selling on Amazon, you are likely the only person in your area who’s doing it. Joining a group is a great way to get help and accelerate your knowledge of Amazon.