Many sellers will never have to face a product recall, but for some sellers the reality is that they will have to issue either a voluntary or mandatory recall. In the United States, consumer product recalls are handled by the Consumer Products Safety Commission, or CPSC for short. After assisting several manufacturers and sellers who have experienced product recalls, we have put together this handy product recall “How To” Guide to help guide you along the process.
First Step: Contact A Recall Lawyer
Product recalls are instituted by companies when safety issues or product defects might put the consumer in danger, and companies perform recalls to mitigate the potential of harm to consumers. Thus, your company has a legal risk they are attempting to mitigate, and you will want to reach out to a lawyer with experience in recalls to help you navigate through the complex legal and regulatory process.
Next Step: Come up with an Amazon Strategy
Amazon checks the CPSC Product Recall database constantly, and in most cases will suspend product listings within 24 hours of the CPSC issuing a recall notice. After your product is recalled, you must follow specific steps if you want to ever sell the item on Amazon again. This includes correcting the safety issue, having your “solution” approved by the CPSC, and fixing all items with defects.
How exactly do you fix all products with defects? In the world of Amazon, this means removing all defective products from all seller accounts, even the inventory belonging to unauthorized third-party sellers. If you do not remove all affected units, Amazon will not allow you to reactivate your listing. If the unauthorized sellers do not remove their products, Amazon will delay the entire process.
Unfortunately, Amazon makes it very difficult to get product recalls “reinstated”, and going to “suspension expert” who lacks experience with recalls will likely not result in your product being reinstated. Even if the consultant used to work at Amazon, if they are not lawyers they will have a difficult time reaching the proper authorities within Amazon to find the best solution for getting your product reinstated. Additionally, anything you say to Amazon during the recall process could be used against you in a products liability lawsuit, which is why it is crucial that you do not trust non-lawyer “experts” when your company has a real risk of litigation. Furthermore, when working with a team of lawyers like the team at FRS, your company is assured that any information you share with us is protected under attorney-client privilege, which is not the case when you work with non-lawyer “experts”.
Recalls are very challenging, and require working with the legal and product safety team to remove or destroy all affected units, issue customer refunds, and provide documentation that your “fixed product” is eligible to be sold on Amazon. This can include providing safety documentation and independent test reports, as well as providing Recall Solution Letters that show Amazon your company has solved the problem. If you are a brand and lack a vendor or seller relationship with Amazon, it becomes infinitely more difficult, which is why it is crucial that you work with a legal team that is competent for dealing with product recalls on Amazon.
Has your product been recalled, and you need help getting it back on Amazon?
Fill out the contact form below describing your recall, and we will schedule a complimentary strategy session.