Amazon has recently implemented a new policy which rejects shipment of ASINs by some 3rd Party Sellers. If you weren’t informed about this policy change, don’t worry, you’re not alone. It turns out that Amazon didn’t send out notifications prior to implementing this new policy.
ASIN Quantity Limits Policy:
For a select group of ASINs, FBA may limit the maximum unit quantity that you can ship to our fulfillment centers. These limits are intended to help you avoid sending products that already have high overall inventory levels but low customer demand. Units that have been in our fulfillment centers for six to 12 months or 12 months or longer (with an exemption of one Unit for each applicable product ASIN) will be assessed a semi-annual Long-Term Storage Fee.
When creating a shipment that contains an ASIN with a quantity limit, you cannot exceed the stated maximum unit quantity. ASIN quantity limits may change over time based on the inventory turns and other performance metrics.
Many 3rd Party Sellers only became aware of the policy change upon trying to ship their products to Amazon’s Warehouses and received this error message:
“You are already at the maximum inventory allowed for this product, due to capacity or other restrictions. This product must be removed from this shipment.”
As explained by Lisa Suttora in an excellent article that you can check out right HERE, the reasons for the error messages and new policy are two fold.
- ASINs are restricted due to low sales volume.
- ASINs are restricted due to over-stock of under performing products in Amazon’s warehouses.
Amazon’s response has been to suggest 3rd Party Sellers offer their restricted ASINs as Merchant–Fulfilled until a sales threshold is met. We at Buy Box Experts would like to share our experience with this new policy and offer some helpful, friendly advice.
Recently, one of our clients ran into this very issue when trying to ship inventory for the first time. Meanwhile, other 3rd Party Sellers had created low quality listings for the same products. These other sellers offered little to no advertising, so their unit sales did not meet Amazon’s sales thresholds for the new policy.
Consequently, Amazon set a limit on the storage for the ASINs due to their low sales volume. As a result, our clients’ Amazon business was already in danger of being stopped before it even begun.
Buy Box Experts’ very own expert on Amazon’s policies and procedures, James Thomson, has informed us that Amazon has been testing aspects of this new policy for over a year now, and he’s offered some advice on how to overcome these restrictions:
“Even if something has a strong Best Seller rank, that does not mean a particular seller has been selling a lot of units (e.g. other sellers are winning the buybox). While sellers are frustrated, this comes down to careful ongoing inventory management, with monthly review of sales performance.
My number one suggestion is to create FBA shipment before ordering product.
Second, get approved for Seller Fulfilled Prime, if possible, making the need for Amazon FC space irrelevant.
That being said, there will still be some ASIN surprises, so if you don’t agree with Amazon, then present Amazon with your own seller data, showing sales you are experiencing. Always contest Amazon’s actions with cold data.”
While we may disagree with Amazon’s method (or non-method) of delivering the new policy, we do understand the need for it. The Amazon marketplace is a booming business for 3rd Party Sellers and it makes sense for them focus on high volume unit sales. Especially when inventory space within Amazon warehouses is at a premium.
Who knows, maybe this will be a good thing in the end? If you have slow selling ASINs, maybe it’s time to re-evaluate your business model on the Amazon channel. Here’s a bit of advice:
- Analyze all ASINs sales volume and decide if under-performing ASINs are worth continuing to sell through Amazon.
- If they are, then you should strongly consider boosting your marketing and advertising efforts to increase sales.
- ASINs that are not selling quickly enough by Amazon’s vague standards are going to be severely impacted by this new policy.
- Focus your Amazon business on ASINs selling daily units with inventory turning over completely within 30 days.
- Products that do not fall into this category should be evaluated honestly to determine if it makes sense to clear them out of the Amazon’s marketplace and sell them via a different sales channel.
- Diversify your products as much as possible.
- Develop multiple sales channels so you don’t rely heavily on one, that could harm your business if it should suddenly change.
- Keep a sharp inventory system so products do not sit on warehouse shelves for months at a time.
- Be diligent in monitoring your products sales volumes and inventory counts monthly, if not weekly.
The FBA model will certainly continue to evolve and change in the future. We suggest sending Amazon your feedback regarding this new policy. In doing so, specifically ask for the requirements and guidelines to be shared with you so you can comply with Amazon.
Doing so will (hopefully) help Amazon become aware of how much this policy impacts 3rd Party Sellers and let them know that they need to improve their method of communicating new policies in the future.