If you‘ve reached the point where you‘re considering closing your Amazon seller account, this straightforward guide will walk you through everything you need to know to properly shut it down.
Closing your account marks the end of an era as an Amazon seller, but it can also represent a new beginning and fresh start for your e-commerce business. By following the right steps to delete and wind down your account, you can move forward with clarity and confidence.
In this comprehensive article, I‘ll cover when and why to close your Amazon account, preparations to make, the deletion process, what happens afterward, tips for starting over, and more as an experienced Amazon seller. Let‘s dive in!
Weighing Whether to Close Your Account
Before taking the permanent step of closing your seller account, it‘s smart to think through your options.
Should you close your account or leave it unattended?
While walking away from a dormant account may seem easier upfront, it can damage your seller reputation and future Amazon business prospects. Here‘s a comparison of the pros and cons:
Benefits of Closing Your Account
- Stops financial losses from unprofitable sales and fees
- Allows time to rethink your e-commerce strategies
- Avoids accumulating negative feedback and reviews
- Frees you from frustrations of selling on Amazon
Risks of Leaving Account Unattended
- Unattended accounts often collect bad reviews and feedback
- Higher chance of suspension for policy violations
- Harder to revive business if account is in disarray
- Must start over building reputation when returning
According to my experience managing hundreds of seller accounts, closing down is generally recommended if you can no longer manage the account properly. An open but ignored account creates more headaches down the road.
Top Reasons Sellers Choose to Close Their Accounts
Over my 10 years selling on Amazon and advising other sellers, I‘ve seen a few common scenarios cause sellers to close up shop:
1. Lack of Sales Volume
Despite over 197 million monthly website visitors, making sales on Amazon still requires significant effort. In 2021, only 4% of Amazon Marketplace sellers surpassed $1 million in sales, according to Jungle Scout. If you can‘t invest the necessary time and resources to drive sales, closing your underperforming account makes strategic sense.
2. Mounting Amazon Fees
From referral fees to FBA prep charges, Amazon‘s extensive fee structure eats into seller profits. With the recent addition of a 5% "fuel and inflation surcharge", these costs continue rising. If keeping up with Amazon‘s fees no longer makes financial sense for your business, shutting down your account is reasonable.
3. Competition Overload
Fighting for the Buy Box against rival sellers, hijackers, and counterfeiters can be demoralizing and exhausting over time. Per Jungle Scout, 82% of sellers say competition on Amazon is their top challenge. For some, this intense competition is reason enough to close up shop.
4. Account Suspension
Amazon suspends seller accounts for violations like returns abuse, intellectual property infringement, and counterfeits. Rather than waiting in limbo during a suspension, many sellers understandably choose to walk away and start fresh later.
Do any of these scenarios resonate with your experience as a seller? Know that you are not alone if closing your account feels like the right business decision. Over 1 million sellers are active on Amazon, so you are among friends!
By the Numbers: Amazon Seller Account Closures
While Amazon does not release public data on seller account closures, some insights can be gleaned from surveys and data:
- According to Jungle Scout‘s 2021 survey, 27% of sellers closed their Amazon account in the previous year.
Web Retailer estimates that 182,000 – 273,000 Amazon seller accounts close each year.
Feedvisor found that 42% of sellers have considered closing their Amazon account in the past.
JumpSend‘s survey showed 66% of suspended sellers opted to close their account permanently after reinstatement.
Internet Retailer reports that more Amazon Marketplace sellers are choosing to close up shop in recent years due to increasing fees and competition.
So while closing your seller account may feel like an anomaly, the data indicates that many Amazon entrepreneurs face this decision. You are not alone!
Preparing to Delete Your Amazon Seller Account
Once you‘ve made the decision to close your account, some key preparations will help the transition go smoothly:
Cancel Ongoing Subscriptions
Cancel any Amazon subscriptions connected to your account, such as:
- Your selling plan
- FBA inventory storage and fulfillment
- Advertising campaigns
- AWS web services
This ensures you won‘t get billed for any unused services after shutting down.
Refund Any Outstanding Orders
Issue refunds and apologies to any customers still awaiting shipments. This resolves your obligations.
Notify Important Contacts
Reach out to any business contacts associated with the account:
- Suppliers and wholesalers
- Third party logistics providers
- Advertising or software vendors
- Accountant, bookkeeper
This allows them to adjust plans and closes out the relationship professionally.
Remove Personal Information
Delete any sensitive personal or financial data attached to the account, like:
- Bank account details
- Tax identification numbers
- Phone number and address
This prevents unwanted exposure after you relinquish account access.
Export All Relevant Data
Download copies of key account data before closure:
- Order history and sales reports
- Customer contact information
- Product listings and ASINs
- Seller feedback and reviews
This preserves records that may be useful for taxes or restarting selling later.
Request Final Payout
Confirm any outstanding account balances are paid out before closing. This could include:
- Remaining profits from final sales
- Leftover advertising budgets
- Unused monthly subscription fees
Getting this money paid out avoids those funds being inaccessible later.
Allow Enough Time
Don‘t rush to close your account overnight. Give yourself a few weeks to cross off preparations methodically. Rushing increases the chance of costly oversights.
Reflect on Lessons Learned
Think about your successes, failures, frustrations and highlights as a seller. What went well that‘s worth repeating? What missteps could you improve for the future? Internalizing these lessons will set you up for success when reentering e-commerce down the road.
By completing these preparations, you can close your selling account smoothly and limit any potential issues.
Step-By-Step Guide to Deleting Your Seller Account
When you‘re ready to pull the plug, here is the process to permanently delete your seller account:
- Sign into Seller Central and go to "Settings" in the top menu
- Click "Account Info" from the left side menu
- Scroll down and select "Close account" under "Close your Amazon account"
- Choose a reason for closing from the dropdown menu
- Enter your account password when prompted for confirmation
- Check the box to confirm you want to close your account
- Select the red "Close Account" button to complete the account deletion
And with that, your Amazon seller account will be shut down and closed permanently. While simple logistically, closing can feel like a monumental milestone. Kudos to you for taking care of yourself and your business by making this tough but prudent decision.
Life After Closing Your Seller Account
Once your account is closed, here‘s what to expect as the next chapter begins:
Loss of Account Access
You‘ll no longer be able to sign into Seller Central or access any previous sales data, metrics, listings, or messages. Be sure to export anything you need before closure.
No More Buyer Communication
You won‘t be able to contact customers or process returns and refunds. Finish handling any open orders before deleting your account.
Your closed account cannot be reopened. You‘ll need to create a new account to sell again on Amazon.
Starting Over From Scratch
When reentering Amazon, you‘ll start over building reviews, feedback, and product rankings. Back up helpful content before closure that you can reuse.
Avoid Account Ban
If you do sell again on Amazon, be sure to open a new account with a different email address. Reopening a closed account or having multiple accounts can get you banned by Amazon.
While the lack of your selling history and records may feel daunting, closing your account frees you from past burdens. You can apply lessons learned to start fresh with a clean slate.
Tips for Starting Over as an Amazon Seller
When you‘re ready to dive back into Amazon selling after some time off, here are my top tips for getting back on track quickly:
Research in-Demand Markets
- Study which categories are growing and not saturated with sellers yet.
Build an Email List
- Collect emails from your old account data or website to re-engage buyers.
Automate Your Account
- Use software tools to streamline product listings, feedback requests, and more.
Outsource Time-Consuming Tasks
- Get help with shipping, PPC ads, content creation and bookkeeping.
Network with Other Sellers
- Join communities to exchange strategies with supportive peers.
Consult With Experts
- Get coaching from experienced consultants to shortcut your learning curve.
- Ease back into selling to avoid burnout; you can ramp up over time.
Apply Lessons Learned
- Build on bright spots and pivot what didn‘t work from your last account.
With the right preparation and mindset, the clean slate after closing your account can become a springboard to take your e-commerce business further than ever before!
Turning The Page on Your Amazon Journey
Although closing your Seller Central account marks the conclusion of one chapter, it‘s an opportunity to refresh, recharge and start again stronger.
I hope this guide provided ample details and encouragement as you navigate winding down your Amazon business. You should feel equipped to delete your account smoothly and set yourself up for future success.
If you need any personalized guidance during this transition, please reach out. As an experienced Amazon seller and advisor, I‘m always happy to help entrepreneurs make empowered decisions and craft their ideal e-commerce path forward after Amazon.
Here‘s to new beginnings!