Why Some Activities are Prohibited by Amazon TOS?


You may wonder why some actions are restricted, as we have mentioned about them  many times before. This article will tell you more why Amazon prohibits activities and how it can protect Amazon users (both shoppers and sellers). Breaking their rules leads to ban and payments holding, so if you want to continue your work here, please, follow the rules.
Let’s have a quick overview of these rules, and then I’ll explain the most crucial ones.

Some General Guidelines for Sellers:

  • Prohibited activities can’t be performed for ANY product on Amazon, still, some services and products can have their own guidelines.
  • Don’t send shoppers away from the Amazon marketplace, they should find what they want here.
  • Don’t use trademarked names or URLs.
  • Marketing emails are also prohibited.
  • Communicate with customers only using Amazon system.
  • Don’t cheat in messages and don’t ask for positive reviews.
  • Don’t cheat with the BSR and your listing.
  • Don’t cheat search engine and don’t abuse Amazon’s ‘A-to-Z’ guarantee.

Additional Rules for Sellers:

  • All media products must have 2-day shipping confirmation.
  • Don’t duplicate listings for tricking shoppers.
  • Don’t raise your prices after transactions are complete.
  • Don’t match or list against media products which can be pre-ordered.

Guidelines for Services:

  • Don’t upsell products while providing service.
  • Don’t send unregistered technicians.

Let’s dive deeper into the details.

What You Need to Know About Amazon TOS

  1. They want to protect shoppers and sellers. All activities are aimed at improving the customer experience and sellers can’t mislead customers. They care about the quality of products and services.
  2. Amazon can ban you for violating their TOS. Listings will be canceled, your seller account will be suspended or even removed from Amazon forever.
  3. The payments are held if your account is suspended. Along with all the activities that will be closed for a banned seller, payments will be frozen until Amazon finds out whether a seller was engaged in illegal activities.
  4. These guidelines are fair for all the sellers, all the products and all the services on Amazon.

General Guidelines. Details

Some products may have own specific guidelines, so better check Amazon policies to discover whether your products are not in these categories.

Don’t try to lead shoppers away from Amazon. Marketing messages with external URLs in their body, advertisements, CTAs with links are strongly prohibited. Amazon wants people to make purchases on their platform, which they work on, other way, what is the sense for Amazon to grow such a great marketplace?

Don’t use trademarked names. The name of your business has to be unique, this rule works not only on Amazon but in the whole business world. Using someone’s business’ name is plagiarism. Trademarks are the intellectual property and using them can lead sellers to court.

Don’t send marketing messages to customers. Any advertising and marketing activities are prohibited on Amazon. They prefer honest competition when buyers decide which product has better quality and rate it better.

Respect customers’ privacy. Don’t overuse their phone numbers and contact information. Amazon requires such data for carriers but not for using phone numbers by sellers and their further marketing activities. Read Amazon’s Seller Agreement for more details. You have no rights to contact customers via their phone numbers, use Messaging in Seller Central instead. You can’t share phone numbers with anyone else and can’t pass any data concerning customers (even messages from Seller Central). This would violate customers’ privacy and laws that protect privacy, for example, GDPR.

A seller can have just one account at a time. Amazon can make exceptions from this rule, but they are too rare. You can’t manipulate Seller Central accounts. If you need a second one, Contact Amazon. Select ‘Selling on Amazon’, go to ‘Your Account’ and select the ‘Other account issues’ from the list. Explain why you need the second account, and if this will suit Amazon, you will get it. Remember that a separate bank account is necessary for each of your seller accounts.

Don’t break or cheat the system. Repeating uploads of great amounts of data or another usage of Amazon in any unreasonable ways will lead to the ban. Amazon considers that cheating.

Don’t ask for positive reviews. This is what we have said for plenty of times and will continue to repeat. Manipulating reviews and feedback is prohibited and leads to an immediate ban. Don’t offer compensations for customers’ reviews, don’t ask shoppers to provide you with their positive feedback. You may ask for a review in a neutral way and better write ‘honest’ not ‘positive’.

Don’t cheat with the BSR. This rank helps shoppers find out whether the product is popular. It has to be honest and doesn’t pretend to misguide users.

Don’t try to abuse the Amazon search engine. Artificial simulating of customer traffic using bots or paying for clicks, misleading catalog information and adding unnecessary product identifiers such as ASIN’s or brand names are prohibited.

Check out other Amazon’s guidelines on the official site. We hope you will follow them and keep your business safe and successful. Remember that anything that seems to be a bad idea IS a bad idea. Be honest, provide people with high quality of products and services and Amazon will rank you better.

If you still have some questions, contact us anytime and we’ll be glad to find the answers!