Amazon Product Policy Compliance - Guide For Sellers
Product Policy Compliance is one of the components of Amazon's account health policy. When you start selling on Amazon, you agree to comply with Amazon policies and rules. Following these policies is one of the prerequisites for having a healthy Amazon account.
Amazon attaches great importance to observing product policies and measures them in the account health dashboard in your Seller Central. You should target avoiding all policy violations.
The most frequent product policy violations are intellectual property (IP) rights non-compliance, and selling restricted products. If you fail to comply with Amazon policies, they may deactivate your listings or suspend your account.
Keep reading to discover the kinds of product policy violations, how to avoid them proactively, and what to do if Amazon deactivates your listing or account due to product policy violations.
What Is Amazon Product Policy Compliance?
Amazon product policy is a set of regulations aimed at ensuring that products offered on the platform create the best customer experience, are safe, and pose no risk or danger. Being compliant with Amazon policies helps you succeed as a seller on Amazon.
As a reminder, Amazon considers that it's your responsibility to comply with their policies and your local state and federal laws. Sellers are responsible for ensuring that their products and listings don’t violate any of them.
The product policy compliance target is zero policy violations. If you receive a notification of a policy violation, you should respond to Amazon immediately. That may mean someone has filed a claim against you or you failed to comply with Amazon rules.
How to Know if You Violated Amazon Policies?
If you, by chance, violated any of the Amazon product policies, they will notify you in the account health dashboard in Seller Central.
To maintain a healthy account, Amazon encourages sellers to monitor the account health dashboard regularly and ensure they comply with all policies. This helps avoid blocking your listings or account deactivation.
How to find the account health dashboard in Seller Central?
In the Seller Central menu, select Performance, click Account health and review your account health dashboard's Product Policy Compliance section. If you see zeros against all violation categories, you have no violations.
What Are the Categories of Product Policy Violations
The product policy violations include intellectual property issues, authenticity concerns, product condition, and other Amazon policy violations.
Amazon product policy violations
- suspected intellectual property violations;
- received intellectual property complaints;
- product authenticity customer complaints;
- product condition customer complaints;
- product safety customer complaints;
- listing policy violations;
- restricted product policy violations;
- customer product reviews policy violations.
Suspected intellectual property violations
Suspected intellectual property (IP) complaints are potential IP rights misuse or violations. IP complaints do not come from the right owner directly. They are initiated by Amazon based on their determination that you're violating the IP rights of a brand.
Violation reason. Amazon sends you a warning of suspected IP complaints if they consider your listing violating intellectual property rights.
Violation consequences. Typically, a suspected IP complaint notification is sent automatically, and your listing may be deactivated.
Tip. Suspected intellectual property violations often happen because you added the wrong brand name to the title or the Brand field. For instance, you mentioned in the listing title that you sell “iPhone accessories.” If you correct the brand name, the listing may get reactivated automatically.
Received intellectual property complaints
Received intellectual property complaints are IP rights infringements reported to Amazon by rights or brand owners who detected them with your listing.
Violation reason. A brand owner complained to Amazon about an IP rights infringement with your listing.
Violation consequences. If you don’t react to received IP claim notifications, Amazon may deactivate your listings or account.
Tip. Similarly to a suspected IP claim, a received IP claim involves intellectual property rights, but you need to address the violations differently. You should settle the matter with the right owner or provide the source of your purchase to Amazon. Contact the brand and obtain a retraction or authorization letter, or reply to Amazon and attach invoices confirming your product purchase.
Product authenticity customer complaints
Product authenticity customer complaints mean that Amazon received a customer claim that your product is not authentic. Amazon refers to violations related to product authenticity as intellectual property violations.
Violation reason. This complaint doesn’t necessarily mean that the product is inauthentic. The complaint may result from a buyer mistake, inconsistent product packaging that didn’t meet the customer’s expectations, or a product that looks similar to another brand name, and the customer believes you are selling a fake.
Violation consequences. If you don’t react to the product authenticity claim, Amazon may deactivate your listing.
Tip. Amazon holds you responsible for ensuring that the products you sell on Amazon comply with all applicable laws and regulations and are authorized for sale or resale. Therefore, you need to check on your suppliers, verify the authenticity of the products you source, and store all documents of purchase, such as purchase orders and invoices, to be able to provide them to Amazon.
Product condition customer complaints
Product condition customer complaints mean that a customer filed a complaint that a product they received doesn’t match the condition described on the product detail page.
Violation reason. The customer complained that purchased products are listed as “New” but have signs of wear, are damaged or have defects, are delivered in previously opened product packaging, or have other signs of being used.
Violation consequences. If you don’t react to the product authenticity claim, Amazon may deactivate your listing.
Tip. Check products before sending them to the Amazon fulfillment centers or the buyer. Monitor customer feedback and review your listings regularly.
Product safety customer complaints
Product safety customer complaints mean that the shopper complained to Amazon about the product being unsafe or not corresponding to applicable standards.
Violation reason. Safety standards change all the time. Often, product safety complaints are not actually related to product safety itself. They may result from a damaged product or alleged used product.
Violation consequences. Typically, you’ll need to submit a policy violation appeal letter. And you won’t be able to submit it if you’re missing any documents. Amazon may require you to add warning labels, provide setup instructions, conduct testing with a certified laboratory, get liability insurance, etc. If you don’t react to the product authenticity claim, Amazon may deactivate your listing or even suspend your account.
Tip. If you receive such kind of warning from Amazon, provide them with a Plan of Action and follow Amazon’s appeal process for listing reinstatement if your listing was removed.
Listing policy violations
Amazon gives you a warning of listing policy violations if you are not in line with their listing policy.
Violation reason. Listing policy violations appear if you create duplicate listings, inconsistent variations that don’t comply with Amazon variation policy, and more. Also, some products can’t be listed at all, for instance, promotional samples, expired or soon-to-expire products, and items deemed unsellable.
Violation consequences. You’ll probably go through the appeal process if your listing is suspended for a violation. You’ll be asked to submit a plan of action (POA). If you don’t react to the product authenticity claim, Amazon may deactivate your listing.
Tip. If Amazon removed your listing, file a listing policy violation appeal.
Restricted product policy violations
Restricted products are those that Amazon requires you to receive approval to list. You need to apply for permission to sell them.
Violation reason. Amazon has lists of restricted categories and brands; you can find them in your Seller Central. Restrictions vary for each marketplace, and the lists of restricted products can change from time to time. That means you have to update yourself occasionally on these changes. New category restrictions can affect existing listings.
Violation consequences. Amazon may expect you to delete affected listings and prove that your product is licensed or you purchased it from an authorized distributor. Failure to delete a restricted product listing from your inventory may result in the deactivation of your selling account.
Tip. If you sell one of the products in the restricted category or restricted brand, Amazon will inform you about restricted product policy violations. You need to ask for permission to sell a product before listing it. Typically, when you try to list a restricted product, the application form will appear in your Seller Central.
Customer product reviews policy violations
Customer product reviews policy violation means infringement of Amazon reviews policy.
Violation reason. Amazon doesn’t allow sellers to review their own items or competitor products. You can’t manipulate reviews, ask buyers to make, change, remove a review, or incentivize them to leave a positive review with refunds and discounts.
Violation consequences. If Amazon suspects that you manipulate reviews, they will remove the reviews and the listing. They may suspend or ban your account as well.
Tip. Don’t try to manipulate or fake reviews. If you received a negative review, contact a customer and try to settle an issue. You can also comment on a review so that other buyers can see your answer.
How to Avoid Amazon Policy Violations?
To proactively avoid Amazon policy violations, you need to review the product history and ensure that the product hasn’t previously caused problems for other sellers.
Seller Assistant Аpp will help you with that. Seller Assistant App combines all functionality necessary for product research. Among them are Restriction Checker and IP Alert features. IP Alert shows a red triangle icon right on the Amazon search page or product pages if an item triggered problems with account health, IP claims, and other Amazon policy violations. The restriction checker shows a red closed lock icon if a product is restricted.
How to Address Amazon Policies Violations?
If Amazon informed you about a product policy violation, reply to them asap. Usually, Amazon gives you guidance on how to proceed with the violations. In your account health dashboard, you’ll find this information for each item in the Next Steps column.
How to address Amazon policies violations step by step
- Step 1. Review the violation details, identify the root cause of the policy violation, and ensure you understand it.
- Step 2. Compile the violation appeal letter and all the required docs — typically, you’ll need to provide a Plan of Action (POA), supplier’s invoices, and other information.
- Step 3. Submit the violation appeal letter, Plan of Action, and other documents within 48 hours.
Plan of Action should include the following:
- the root cause (reason) of the policy violation;
- corrective action — steps to correct the violation;
- preventive action — steps to prevent the breach in the future.
- Step 4. Wait for 5 to 7 business days for an update or resolution for your appeal.
- Step 5. Deliver follow-up material if requested.
Note. Policy violations are displayed in your account health dashboard until you prove to Amazon that the issues are resolved; submit successful Amazon policy violation appeal letters with POA. They are displayed in your account health dashboard for up to 180 days, but they don’t affect you once you’ve corrected the defect.
Product Policy Compliance matters on Amazon. Being compliant with Amazon policies helps you succeed as a seller.
Amazon attaches great importance to observing product policies, and you should avoid all policy violations. If you fail to comply with Amazon policies, they may deactivate your listings or suspend your account.
To prevent Amazon policy violations, you must ensure that the product hasn’t previously caused problems for other sellers. Seller Assistant Аpp will help you with that. This extension shows if a product has any sales restrictions or has led to issues with account health in the past.
It combines an FBM&FBA profit calculator, IP Alerts, Quick View, Stock Checker, and Restrictions Checker in one tool.