My Product Has Been Flagged by Amazon, Now What?
Compliance issues are not a new challenge to brands that sell on Amazon. However, there has been a recent uptick in the number of instances in which a client’s product is flagged by Amazon. Despite following best practices and guidelines, this can sometimes be impossible to avoid. When it does happen, what matters most is your brand’s ability to navigate the challenge in a timely manner. Continue reading for more on what to look out for and how to move forward when a product in your catalog is flagged by Amazon.
The Most Common Violations
There are a variety of reasons products are flagged by Amazon. Violating Intellectual Property and Amazon’s Restricted Product Policy are two major culprits.
More reasons and insight are listed below:
- Inaccurate listing information
- An increase in shipping constraints
- Linking to off-Amazon websites
- High cancellation rates
- The main product image having overlaid text or watermarks
- Non-compliant content (EPA claims, COVID claims, etc.)
- Hyperlinks within product content that directs to other Amazon pages or outside sources
- High pricing errors
- ASINs marked as pesticides
- ASINs missing EPA compliance
- ASINs listed as HAZMAT and in need of SDS (Safety Data Sheet) documentation
- Negative reviews stating the product received was incorrect, damaged, catching fire, faulty, etc.
- Nudity in images and videos
- Required product attribute missing or not compliant (Ex. A title that’s too long)
Signs a Product is Flagged by Amazon
If a product within your brand’s catalog breaches any of the abovementioned guidelines, that’s the first sign. It’s wise to implement a system that checks for common violations before listing a product. Then, we also suggest checking periodically thereafter as guidelines may change.
When maintaining a catalog, there are several indications a product is at risk. If brands are working within Vendor Central, a product is likely flagged when ASINs become uneditable. Or, under ‘Account Health’ within the Seller Center dashboard, brands can find the status of Policy Compliance issues.
In addition, it’s important to know, Amazon can and will suspend listings without warning. For example, brands are not usually notified if a product is suppressed as a result of being flagged. This can be the case when Amazon’s andon cord team swiftly removes a product for one of the abovementioned violations. In general, this has happened more frequently because of the pandemic and the increase in sanitizing products.
With that said, there are also instances in which Amazon will send brands a notification that a product is in violation. Part of the notification usually includes a deadline, and if a brand can’t resolve the issue by the date provided, the product will be removed.
When a product is flagged by Amazon, it’s necessary to understand the reason why before taking action. Once the core reason is identified, we suggest gathering all documentation possible. This helps reduce the time it takes to resolve an issue and can aid in avoiding confusion when communicating with Amazon. When this happens for one of our clients, we communicate with Amazon via their Account Health portals. This is where we send all the documentation we mentioned and create an appeal. When necessary, we also work directly with Amazon support via a ticket on our client’s behalf. On average, brands can expect to hear an update on their case within a week. However, following up on an existing case has proven helpful for our teams to escalate the issue when necessary.
Although challenges like this can be frustrating, it’s part of the territory when selling on Amazon. And it reinforces the need and benefit of routine catalog monitoring. We support our clients with our proprietary software, MPS Intelligence, to ensure our teams can act on any issues immediately. This way we can get ahead of major issues and take the necessary steps before a client begins to lose sales.
If you could use the support of a strategic partner, schedule a free consultation. And, as an official Amazon Advertising partner, we’re here to answer any questions about your efforts. Finally, should you be interested in learning more about our clients’ results, explore advertising-related case studies on our website.