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Thu Aug 10 2017 08:35:52

Amazon to Restrict Toy Sales during the Holidays

By: Ina Steiner

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If you sell toys and games on Amazon, make sure you know about the annual restriction in your category. Each year since 2006, Amazon.com has restricted third-party sales in the Toys & Games category to pre-approved sellers during the holidays. In 2010, it began opening up the category to sellers who use FBA. Here's an excerpt of the letter it recently sent to sellers, including cut-off dates: 

Dear seller,
To maintain a great customer experience this holiday season, we have established holiday selling guidelines for the Toys & Games store. 

Only sellers who meet the criteria listed below will be eligible to sell in the Toys & Games store from November 17, 2017, through January 5, 2018. 

- Your first sale on Amazon must occur prior to September 15, 2017. The sale does not need to be specific to the Toys & Games store.

- You must process and ship at least 25 orders from September 1 through October 31, 2017. The orders do not need to be specific to the Toys & Games store.

- Your pre-fulfillment cancel rate for the period from October 1 through October 31, 2017, must not be greater than 1.75%.

- Your late shipment rate for the period from October 1 through October 31, 2017, must not be greater than 4%. 

- Your order defect rate must not be greater than 1% short term as of November 1, 2017.

Orders that use Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) will not be subject to the above criteria provided your account is in good standing. 

Last year, Amazon also put a policy in place that prohibited sellers who were new to FBA from sending inventory to fulfillment centers if they hadn't completed their first shipment prior to October 10th. It seems likely Amazon will revive the policy this year, so be forewarned.

What do you think of Amazon holiday restrictions, and do you think they benefit eBay or other marketplaces?

Comments (7) | Leave Comment | Permalink
Readers Comments

Amazon to Restrict Toy Sales during the Holidays   Amazon to Restrict Toy Sales during the Holidays

This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Thu Aug 10 12:03:13 2017

Probably a good move on Amazon's part since I'm sure they don't want a lot of bad press about sellers who, using stock photos, are trying to sell Hatchimals, or whatever the craze will be this Christmas, that they don't actually have. There's always going to be scammers who are trying to cash in on the latest fad, so the restrictions help to discourage the dishonest sellers.

Amazon to Restrict Toy Sales during the Holidays   Amazon to Restrict Toy Sales during the Holidays

This user has validated their user name. by: RKTOYS

Thu Aug 10 16:32:20 2017

It's like being restricted from selling ice in the summer because you didn't sell enough of it in the winter.  And just like every year, watch prices go up on November 17th as Amazon does its best to reduce competition in the marketplace.

Chinese sellers that take weeks to ship their fake products are exempt too.  If Amazon was really concerned about the customer experience, they'd find a smarter way to do this than an arbitrary sales number.  How about feedback percentage or proximity to buyer market?

Just another dumb idea from Amazon that we'll someday have to deal with as a dumb idea on eBay...

Amazon to Restrict Toy Sales during the Holidays   Amazon to Restrict Toy Sales during the Holidays

This user has validated their user name. by: RKTOYS

Thu Aug 10 16:40:40 2017

It's comically trivial to circumvent this.  All you have to do is set up a second account and sell 25 paperclips to it.  They tell you right there in the instructions what to do.  People think $25 in transaction fees is going to be more than a speed bump for crooks selling hundreds of dollars worth of non-existent Tickle-Me-Elmos?  Tell me another.

Amazon to Restrict Toy Sales during the Holidays   Amazon to Restrict Toy Sales during the Holidays

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Fri Aug 11 07:34:55 2017

I don't think that this is anything new. Don't they do this every Christmas?

What has me more concerned is the constant gating of categories and brands that they are doing.  They have really ramped that up.  More and more brands are becoming off-limits.

I also noticed that while I am approved to do so, some of the items that I listed by a certain brand, though listed, do not show up in search on Amazon.  I guess they will show up when the corporate brand owner have sold all of this item.  

Amazon to Restrict Toy Sales during the Holidays   Amazon to Restrict Toy Sales during the Holidays

by: Barbbie This user has validated their user name.

Fri Aug 11 08:48:08 2017

The last couple of years I noticed that as soon as an item became popular, they gated it.
But, yes, this is not new, they do it every year. I was approved my first year.  Really, I think if they want to do something about the issues, they need to restrict it to those who are not drop shippers or in china, to me those are the ones who promise an item, only to disappoint the buyer.  
I only sell toys if I bought something for family and then find out they have it or some other reason I would have to return (I hate standing in line to return stuff!)
I feel sorry for toy sellers as how do you know months in advance when you buy what the heck is going to be gated by Christmas!

Amazon to Restrict Toy Sales during the Holidays   Amazon to Restrict Toy Sales during the Holidays

by: TomH This user has validated their user name.

Fri Aug 11 21:23:13 2017

As mentioned by Rexford and Barbbie, the constant and increasing GATING is a real problem.

My partner and I sell a little bit of a lot of stuff, but Toys, Puzzles and Games is about 80 per cent of our Amazon business. In the past about 90 percent FBA but now down to about 40 percent FBA. Due mainly to the gating and other trash Amazon is slowly  implementing toward, it seems, largely American, small sellers.  

Amazon to Restrict Toy Sales during the Holidays   Amazon to Restrict Toy Sales during the Holidays

This user has validated their user name. by: RKTOYS

Fri Aug 11 21:36:46 2017

With the high fees, hit you take on forced $4 shipping anywhere in the solar system, and the requirement to pay out of pocket for signature confirmation, I don't know how anybody _except_ scalpers can make it selling toys on Amazon.  I literally could not get enough of a discount, no matter how much I ordered, to overcome Amazon's take and was pretty much cornered into selling new old stock that I'd simply sat on for lack of better options.



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