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Can You Recover from Review Manipulation on Amazon?


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Chris McCabe comes to us to recap on suspension and no-win no-fee model for recovering from things like review manipulation.

The co-op of several sellers pooling their spend with one consultant on suspensions, like suspension insurance theory is a model that could work.

Be prepared for a suspension in all ways. Amazon can pull the rug with no warning.

Amazon evaluates your account based on you and not on forum posts of others etc.

What does it cost?

  • Fees can be from £500 for a letter to £2,000
  • You are not just getting a letter – it should be for all the work involved with dealing with the suspension activity

The Appeal and Costs

  • You revise your plan to fix whatever was considered missing by Amazon
  • You hire a consultant that writes you one plan or they give you a bunch of Amazon email addresses for you to chase
  • If you’ve spent $5-7k for a consultant you’ve not done a good job finding your consultant
  • Does you consultant understand how the internal teams in Amazon work
  • Also think more than price when you hire them – even if they guarantee it, what good is that if they can’t do the work for you

The Approach to deal with suspension

  • What does the end state look like when you can’t get them re-instated?
  • Submit a plan, get it rejected, send a revised plan
  • If there’s a view that Amazon haven’t reviewed it thoroughly then it’s an escalation
  • If Amazon don’t approve the second plan then you have to escalate it properly
  • Where and how to escalate, how will the plan of action be revised?

Questions to ask a Consultant?

  • What is their background?
  • What is their bill of goods?
  • Do not just accept their success rate, how many have failed?
  • How can you prove their success rate though – as there is no social proof
  • The real problem is that people are offering suspension services that they can’t actually deliver against?
  • If you’re paying $500 to $1000 who will do it all – then you likely have an amateur

The Key Questions to ask

  • Who are you sending it to? Are they in the right teams in Amazon…if you’re not writing to the person who suspended you then it’s not likely to work
  • Where – email queues, make sure you’re sending to the right place ‘seller support’ v’s ‘seller performance’ team – understand which team suspended you and what are their email and escalation queues are?
  • How – are you just sending one plan of action over and over to different sources, or going to Jeff and Executive relations (not a good approach)
  • Why – did you get suspended in the first place? Don’t just blame competitors, etc. Amazon needs you to take responsibility for what’s happened with your account. Don’t wast appeals or time here.

Track Record – probe it

  • You want to challenge their track record
  • No respected track record established consultant has 100% success rate
  • Ask some hard-hitting questions – when you’ve got stuck on a similar suspension to mine in the past how did you get through it? change the plan of action, revise the email queues you send to…

Admission and Confessions

  • Better chance of appeal success?
  • Owning up to getting black hat reviews and review manipulation to Amazon can work in getting recovered
  • Once you’re caught you have to beg a little bit and in the right way

Not re-instated

  • Purely just can’t get it back examples
  • Offending the Apple trademark notice claims is a good example – Amazon did not want any argument with Apple
  • Selling other’s brands and getting suspended for Notice Claims of Infringement is a big no-no – they don’t want to have to keep looking at your account

The Pre-Suspension calls

  • More of a connection now with warnings in advance
  • The pre-POA (plan of action) is happening – they want to know what you’re going to do to avoid a suspension in the future
  • They want to hear what you’re going to do now before you get suspended
  • It’s a bit nicer and gives you a chance to save your account and make a change
  • There are some seller performance team calls about doing this pro-active work

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