How to Use Amazon’s Leadership Principles

The Amazon Leadership Principles are a notoriously vague list of morals and values set forth by Amazon. In abstract language, these points explain why Amazon conducts business the way that they do. With core principles such as Ownership, Invent and Simplify, and of course, Customer Obsession, many sellers are quick to frown upon the Leadership Principles as overly idealistic and unreasonable. As a seller, it’s not easy to read this list with an open mind.

Tried and True Concepts for Success

Try thinking on a larger scale: the 14 Leadership Principles lay the groundwork for how Amazon approaches every task, not only executive-level decisions. Understanding the way Amazon approaches each and every obstacle in business can help you in your ventures as a marketplace seller. Specifically, understanding these values can help you provide exactly what’s needed when you’re having a problem with your account or, more importantly, when your account is suspended.

Though it’s often a love-hate relationship for Amazon sellers, Amazon is one of the most successful businesses on the planet. There are quite a few things they’ve gotten right over the years. There’s proof of this online, in brick-and-mortar stores, on your TV, and pretty much anywhere you turn these days. Some of the major reasons for their success are hidden between the lines of the Leadership Principles — take a closer look at how to use these principles between the lines of your appeal.

Amazon's 14 Leadership Principles

Adopting Amazon Leadership Principles

 1. Customer Obsession

This is the first and most infamous Leadership Principle, and it encompasses everything Amazon stands for as far as customer service. So when you need to appeal a suspension, consider this: How did the violation that caused your suspension negatively impact the buyer experience, and how have you corrected the situation to make sure there are no remaining unhappy customers as a result of your violation?

2. Ownership

Our biggest takeaway from the second leadership principle is this: never sacrifice long-term value for short-term results. It’s tempting to submit a subpar appeal in haste when your account is suspended, and your funds are frozen, but our team never chooses to provide a low-quality POA just for the sake of checking it off the list. When it comes to your appeal, you’ll get out what you put in — own it.

3. Invent and Simplify

The details are crucial in every successful reinstatement — but Seller Performance doesn’t need to hear every single one of those details. Analyze the situation and understand all the details of what happened, but we only use the most crucial details if you want Amazon to be responsive. Embrace an innovative strategy to achieve simple results. 

4. Leaders Are Right — A Lot.

When it comes to your suspension appeal, you have to be right. We understand how serious every Amazon account suspension is. We have seen the terrible impact a suspended Amazon account can have on businesses, families, and honest sellers. We’ve gained this insight over years of experience. When you’re writing your appeal, don’t ever fail to lead with your instincts and seek out an unconventional strategy.

5. Learn and Be Curious.

Emphasize what you’ve learned from the suspension in your appeal, and explain how you’ve improved your business because of those lessons. Express genuine concern and understanding of the way Amazon wants things done.

6. Hire and Develop the Best.

Use your account suspension as an opportunity to bring on new freelancers or interns, neither of which will break the bank as far as their rates. We know cash flow is limited when Amazon is holding your funds. Still, having a fresh pair of eyes or an extra set of hands can be a gamechanger when you’re working to overhaul your operations and avoid a future suspension. 

7. Insist on the Highest Standards.

Amazon accepts nothing but the absolute highest standards when they need to decide whether or not to reinstate a seller. Sellers must insist on nothing but the best when writing an appeal as well. Don’t leave any stone unturned — prove that you understand the rule you broke, explain your plan to keep it from recurring, and avoid harsh tones or placing blame for your suspension on Amazon. 

8. Think Big.

Sometimes, writing your appeal will require you to think far out of your comfort zone. Study Amazon policies more thoroughly than you study your competitors — then explain how you’ve used them to improve your business protocol.

9. Bias for Action.

Calculated risk-taking is a value most sellers can understand, at least in regards to selling. For suspension appeals, sellers need to understand the exact risks involved with the various methods that can be used. Is it riskier to admit to the mistake that caused the suspension openly, or to stand your ground and explain why you didn’t think it was a mistake at all? It depends on the situation — when push comes to shove, it’s better to take a safer approach with your appeal.  

10. Frugality.

“Accomplish more with less” — include as much detail as you reasonably can, but remember, Seller Performance doesn’t have hours to review your appeal. Actually, they don’t even have a fraction of an hour to review your appeal. Say as much as you can in as few words as possible.

11. Earn Trust.

Understand what you did wrong, and own up to it. In general, Amazon seller performance associates will be able to tell if you’re lying, or exaggerating, or downplaying a particular detail. Keep in mind that all this team does is review appeals from suspended sellers. They know more than you probably think, and you must earn their trust by being honest. 

12. Dive Deep.

Conduct a thorough audit of all the details of your seller account, and zero in on anything related to the root cause of your suspension when you write your appeal. Again, include plenty of details in your appeal, along with examples to back up your statements.

13. Have Backbone, Disagree and Commit

If you truly believe that you did not violate Amazon policies, tell them. Wrongfully suspended accounts are an unfortunately common event, with millions of marketplace sellers in the USA and many more internationally. Mistakes happen — your unique view may make all the difference in a successful reinstatement. If you disagree strongly enough to say so in your appeal, make sure to stand your ground.

14. Deliver Results

Results are what your appeal is all about, right? The goal is to get reinstated. So, despite this setback, deliver results relentlessly and never settle for less.