We’ve been hearing from a lot of our clients recently worried about the increase in marketplace account hacking and the resulting moves by the marketplaces to combat it.  The widely reported increase in online sellers’ Amazon account hacking has had another unfortunate effect. Changes being made by legitimate owners are resulting in suspension and prolonged review processes too.  Here we try to address a few of your concerns.

Let’s use the example of Mr First.  Mr First sells on Amazon and has just updated his account listings in Seller Central – he’d taken advantage of “golden gaps”. Only to discover he’s been suspended by Amazon.  Previously he’d been able to make changes and updates to his account without penalty but the spike in fraudulent activity has resulted in Amazon taking a more cautious approach, with accounts being placed on review after any updates or alterations.

So what can you do give yourself the best chance of avoiding the same fate as Mr First?  Here are our 5 top tips.

  1. If you’re one of the lucky few to have a contact at Amazon – be sure to use them.

Get in touch with your account manager at Amazon from the contact number on your account, or your registered email address and let them know you are about to make changes to your account, no matter what type of change it is – from your registered address to your banking details.  This may not be a guaranteed foolproof method, but it does give you a fighting chance of the real person reviewing your account having access to  your notes, and determining that it is actually you who has made the change.

  1. Have proof of your changes at hand

We’ve all done it, been quick to change banking details when changing addresses, only for the bank to query every transaction we make between change date and moving date.  It’s a pain.  So before you make the change make sure you have proof of the change in the form of a letter, bank statement or similar.  Companies like World First can provide a proof of account letter for you to share with Amazon to authenticate your new account details.

  1. Log in from the same device and location

This sounds straight forward, but if you find yourself dialing in from your vacation out of state, or overseas, it’s going to set flags off back at Amazon HQ.  You only need to read the news to hear of attempted cyber-attacks from overseas, so it makes sense that would set off some alarm bells.  Similarly, logging in from a new device to make major changes in Seller Central is going to be another flag.  So when you want to make necessary changes, think smart.  Use your ‘usual’ device and IP address location.

  1. Make a change at the ‘right’ time

What does that mean? Well, with a higher chance of changes to your Seller Account being flagged for additional review, you don’t want to make changes on a Friday night or worse still ahead of big selling holidays like Prime Day, Black Friday or Cyber Monday. It can be tricky enough to get in touch with help at Amazon without having to wait an entire weekend before you can get started.  You don’t want to miss out on major revenue days as a result.

  1. Protect yourself as best you can with two-step verification and change your passwords often.

We’ve covered 4 of the things to try to reduce the chances of Amazon flagging your account for review if you make changes.  But what about some basics to protect yourself from hackers in the first instance? Our clients tell us they feel a little more comfortable in this new environment of Amazon increasing their security measures by using two-step verification.  This involves a randomly generated access code that’s sent to your mobile device each time your account is accessed.  Without your phone, a hacker shouldn’t be able to access your account.

We hope you found this useful.  If you have any questions on repatriating the proceeds from your overseas marketplace sales, or anything else eCommerce related, get in touch with our account managers Jackie or TJ on 737.209.4026 or etailers.usa@worldfirst.com.