If you've found your way to this blog post, you've either already been suspended for performance issues or your metrics are in the tank and you're in danger. If you're having issues with Order Defect Rate, check out our post on that here. The other performance issues that can cause you problems include
Let's dive in and learn how you can avoid each of these issues and stay in Amazon's good graces.
First and foremost - don't use the Postal Service. They're unreliable at best. UPS, FedEx, and DHL are the way to go - especially when delivering to Europe. What most sellers don't realize is that when you use other services, like USPS, you risk having your items stalled at customs or losing tracking at the border. Keep your feedback positive and make sure you sure you use reliable services with stellar tracking.
This is easy and piggybacks onto Late Shipments. Use a reputable shipping company with great tracking. More importantly - and this one gets a lot of sellers - don't enter tracking info into Amazon before you've actually shipped out your product. We recommend waiting until the next morning, once your package has been picked up by or dropped off at your shipper and has been confirmed as shipped. Amazon hates early tracking notification without verified shipment, so don't do it!
Damaged In Shipping
Listen, I know - packaging and shipping really cut into the bottom line. But, getting suspended because your products are getting damaged in shipping due to inferior packaging will KILL your bottom line. Make sure you're using extra sturdy boxes and envelopes and include foam or bubble padding inside. If you receive even one complaint of damage in transit, make sure you immediately refund the customer and review your shipping packing and make the necessary changes.
High Returns & Faulty Products
If you're getting a high number of returns, this is an indication that your product is faulty, inferior, or simply is not as described. Review both the products themselves and your listing to make sure everything is in order. Immediately refund any affected customers (while letting them keep the products) and remove the listing from your inventory. Conduct batch testing of the remaining products and contact your supplier. You may be able to get a refund for the faulty products and can use this opportunity to have the vendor tighten up their quality control or find a new vendor. Whatever you do, don't procrastinate on taking care of this and don't let your returns exceed 3% or you will get suspended.
Ignoring Performance Notifications
There's one sure fire way to stay ahead of all suspension issues. Check your reports and metrics daily! This will allow you to spot issues and fix them immediately. Whatever you do, never EVER ignore performance notifications from Amazon. Respond immediately and let them know you are aware of them issue and are currently working to remedy the situation. Do not make the email heavy with excuses or be defensive. Keep it short and simple, but make it clear you understand you were in the wrong and list the actions you are immediately taking to fix the issues.
That's it! Basically, to avoid any and all issues, check your reports and metrics daily and be proactive!