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Did Amazon just stop sellers from joining FBA? Here’s what to do

Amazon FBA Restrictions Christmas

This post applies to you only if you've never sold anything via Amazon FBA. If you're affected by Amazon's announcement (next paragraph), remember there are tips for you further down the post.

As of last week (Oct. 1oth), sellers who had not sent any items into FBA are currently not allowed to sell any products into Amazon FBA until December 19, 2016. That also means if you've never even registered to sell on Amazon yet, you won't be allowed to sell anything via FBA until the same date. (You can, however, still sell on Amazon via 'Merchant Fulfill' - I call it 'ship it from home').

See, you try to sign up as a new seller at the bottom of Amazon's official page here, you'll see this notice: "If you have not completed your first shipment to Amazon before October 10, 2016, we invite you to start shipping to Amazon after December 19, 2016."

Keep in mind Amazon might reverse this policy. They're probably doing it because their fulfillment centers are overwhelmed with incoming shipments from FBA sellers. If they free up capacity before Dec. 19, they might start allowing sellers to join FBA.

But let's assume that's not going to happen. Here's what you can do:

If you're already selling on Amazon, check to ensure your FBA shipments will be accepted by Amazon: Simply try to ship an item into an Amazon Fulfillment Center using the Amazon Seller interface. (Use this official guide to help you if you've never done this before).

Thus if you have found you can't sell via Amazon FBA this holiday season, don't fret. Here are some ideas:

1.)  Sell on Amazon merchant-fulfill. You won't be allowed to sell toys via merchant fulfill so you're limited to Amazon's  "unrestricted for new sellers" categories: Kitchen, Books, many baby products (some toys may be restricted), home & garden, pet supplies, sports, tools, camera and photo. (Scroll half-way down this page to view the categories that don't require approval).

1a.) Tip: When sourcing products to sell on Amazon via FBA or merchant fulfill, avoid the brands that have restrictions for new sellers - see this blog post on how to do that.

2) Join a trusted, inexpensive Holiday sourcing group and focus on their finds that meet #1 and 1-a above. (See my post with the most trusted groups with 100% money back guarantees).

3.) When listing your items on Amazon (merchant fulfill), boost your exposure almost instantly by using Joelister to post your item on eBay, too.  Joelister posts your Amazon inventory on eBay, and then syncs your Amazon (Merchant fulfill and/or FBA) orders with eBay when a customer buys an item on either Amazon or eBay. Try it free here.

4.) Ensure you're ready to prep, pack and ship your orders quickly 'from home'. Here is some eBay help, most of which also applies to Amazon 'Merchant fulfilled' sales.

OR:

  • You can study up and learn how the Amazon business works and be ready to start on December 19th (there's plenty of Amazon selling opportunity year-round). This link has some free resources for you. If you need more help, join the Proven Amazon Course at PACCourse.com

AND/OR (this applies only if you're sourcing goods via wholesale or private label):

  • Learn how to sell products on Shopify (inexpensive training from another trusted expert - includes 40 how-to videos!)

Good luck and keep me posted,

-Jordan

 

 

{ 12 comments… add one }
  • Tim Orsello October 21, 2016, 3:07 am

    This decision by Amazon is just one more example of how big business ruins the industry for small business. I just found this out a little while ago after trying to create my first FBA shipment. I’ve been selling my products on Amazon for 1.5 years and fulfilling myself…never did FBA because the freight to get the product to the Amazon warehouse was too expensive (my products are 10-20 lbs).
    They recently built a new Amazon facility 20 miles from my house, so needless to say I was anxiously waiting for over 1 year for that to open. I made several calls to Amazon on September 20-28 to get the rundown on FBA. I even spent THOUSANDS of dollars building up my extra inventory, only to find out today that I am 11 days too late in creating my first shipment…

    THANKS AMAZON!

    Glad you can just flex your muscle and kick small businesses to the curb. The reality is they don’t care because they’re so big, that in the time it took me to type this blog response, they made more profit than the average American makes in a year.

    Anyone else experience this?

    • Jordan Malik October 21, 2016, 2:25 pm

      Tim – sorry to hear this happened to you. I suggest you follow my suggestions above re: Merchant-Fulfill and eBay (e.g. the Joelister tip) et. al. Also some additional ideas here.

  • Doland White October 21, 2016, 8:06 pm

    Great information!

    -Doland

  • alan October 23, 2016, 9:44 pm

    Hi Jordan, thanks very much for the information. i attend to the startup bros course and they said there is no one in the world who have access to amazon data. is this true? and so what is your opinion in junglescout then. im a little confused because i have decided to go for jungle scout and terapeak. thanks very much for this great info.

    • Jordan Malik October 24, 2016, 2:04 pm

      Hi Alan:

      The Startup Bros‘ statement is (generally) true. Amazon allows developers access to some data via their data feeds. But they don’t disclose things like: sales volume, historical prices, buyers’ data, etc. JungleScout is an excellent tool that ‘gathers’ a lot of Amazon data (legally) plus scientifically (based on solid formulas JungleScout created) provides pretty accurate sales unit-volume and dollar-volume.) I know Terapeak is excellent for eBay sellers but I can’t speak to its effectiveness with gathering Amazon data.

  • Tim Orsello October 24, 2016, 2:02 am

    Thanks Jordan! I appreciate your help and will look into those links.

  • Giles Daniel November 4, 2016, 3:26 pm

    If you are already selling on Amazon using FBA, can you still send in a new product before December 19?

    • Jordan Malik November 5, 2016, 2:08 pm

      Yes if you are approved for the category and/or brand, you should be fine.

  • Corinne November 30, 2016, 9:41 am

    As someone new and starting out, I have been hungry for knowledge that it seems everyone wants a lot of money for, but when you are just starting out there is not a lot of money to spend on workshops so I am eternally grateful for your generous spirit.

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