Fourth Quarter, or ‘the Holiday Season’ is rapidly approaching. Soon Amazon toy sellers will begin getting notices reminding them that not everyone is allowed to sell in the toy category on Amazon.
If you are planning to sell toys on Amazon this Christmas season, it’s time to get prepared.
Back a few years ago, during one of Amazon’s biggest seasons, they began to get a lot of complaints from buyers. It seems that Amazon sellers were listing the ‘hot’ toys on the site when they didn’t actually have them in stock. Probably the sellers thought they knew where they could run out and buy them when they needed to. So they listed the hot toys at high prices (3 or 4 times retail) and planned to purchase when needed. But it didn’t work out that way. When the Amazon buyer purchased, and then the seller went to his source and couldn’t find any, the seller would come back and refund the buyer.
There were other issues also, of course, but what it boiled down to for Amazon were unhappy customers. And that, for Amazon, cannot be. So they decided to institute stricter requirements for toy sellers. Most of the year, anyone can sell toys on Amazon. But if you want to sell them during Q4, you will need to be an established seller well before then.
Last year, the requirements went into effect on November 15 and lasted through December 31. The dates have not been announced yet for this season but will probably be similar. Again, while this program hasn’t been announced yet for the 2012 Christmas season, we can expect similar rules. I wanted to get this out there to the community now, so that if this is in your Holiday plan for your business, you can prepare.
To be able to sell toys on Amazon last year in the fourth quarter, these were the requirements:
- Seller’s first sale on Amazon.com must be prior to 09/19/11 (sale does not need to be Toy-specific)
- Seller must have processed and shipped at least 25 orders (do not need to be Toy-specific) during the 60 consecutive days preceding 11/1/2011.
- No greater than 1% short-term order defect rate as of 11/1/2011.
- No greater than 2.5% pre-fulfillment cancel rate for the trailing 30 days preceding 11/1/2011.
- No greater than 5% late shipment rate for the trailing 30 days preceding 11/1/2011.
So, again, if you are planning on selling toys on Amazon for the Holiday Selling season, you need to start now and get a good selling record started.