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.
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.
- 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,