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Thu July 6 2017 21:52:45

Amazon Cracks Down on Fidget Spinners

By: Ina Steiner

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Thanks to safety concerns, Amazon is cracking down on fidget spinners, a toy originally marketed as an aid for concentration and to relieve "fidgeting." Sellers have until July 28th to show their products have been tested and meet safety requirements.

Here's a letter some sellers reported receiving:

Dear Seller, 
We are contacting you because you are selling or have sold fidget spinners. As part of our ongoing efforts to provide the best possible customer experience, Amazon is implementing safety requirements for all fidget spinners offered on the site. To continue to sell existing fidget spinners, sellers have until July 28, 2017 to carry out testing and submit the information below. The safety requirement is now in effect for all new fidget spinner ASINs. 

What is a fidget spinner?

A fidget spinner has two or more prongs with a bearing in its center circular pad. It can be made from a variety of materials including plastic, brass, stainless steel, titanium, and copper. The prongs may also be weighted with the same type of bearing. The device is often held between two fingers on the center pad, and spins around the center bearing. 

How do I meet the safety requirements to sell fidget spinners?

Please submit the following information to child-safety@amazon.com from the email address associated with your seller account.

1) Your Company Name;
2) Your contact information (email address, phone number);
3) A list of fidget spinner ASINs that you are applying to sell;
4) One of the following: a) documents showing that you are the manufacturer of each of the ASINs you are applying to sell; or b) copies of invoices (or receipts) showing each of the ASINs from your supplier, issued within the last 365 days, showing the quantities purchased; and
5) For each ASIN, documents from a U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission-approved Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory (NRTL) showing compliance with testing standard ASTM F963-16 for the U.S. marketplace. 

Below please find a list of NRTLs who may be able to help you with testing: 

By applying to sell these products, you certify that all of the information you submit is true. 

If you have any questions, please contact Seller Support for assistance.
Thank you, 
Amazon Services

In some cases, Amazon went further. Sellers have reported that Amazon considers their fidget spinners to be Ninja weapons (a form of "throwing star" with sharp ends), which are against its Weapons and Imitation Weapons policy.

There have been news reports of children choking on the toys and of battery-powered spinners catching fire when charging, such as this article in the Telegraph.

Ironically, it's possible that given the crackdown, some fidget spinners may increase their collectability.




Comments (14) | Permalink

Readers Comments

Amazon Cracks Down on Fidget Spinners   Amazon Cracks Down on Fidget Spinners

This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Thu Jul 6 22:57:40 2017

Is this Amazon's first step to gating this category?  

Amazon Cracks Down on Fidget Spinners   Amazon Cracks Down on Fidget Spinners

by: Snapped This user has validated their user name.

Thu Jul 6 23:58:30 2017

By the time a seller compiles all that nonsense, the fad dujour opportunity window for this particular pet rock with the pennies per unit profit potential will be closed.  

FWIW, the original latest time-wasting gizmo (spinners) were pretty well made, compared to the cheap counterfeit knock-offs that quickly followed, made...guess where.  It was those later follow-ons that tended to disintegrate into choke hazards.

Imagine that.

Amazon Cracks Down on Fidget Spinners   Amazon Cracks Down on Fidget Spinners

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Fri Jul 7 06:59:59 2017

iheartjacksparrow, what I have seen Amazon do in the past year as it relates to potential gating is very concerning.  It appears to me that they intend to push more and more smaller sellers off the site.  I hope that this is not the case, but it certainly appears that this is where things are headed.

Many smaller sellers don't buy items in bulk, so they will not be able to provide invoices from suppliers.  I think both Amazon and eBay are getting a great deal of pressure from the major brands and retailers. They are very protective of their pricing and they don't want their goods sold by anyone but their approved suppliers. Try to list Kate Spade china, or a certain brand of clothing and even if you are approved to list in that category you will quickly be given a message that you can't.  

Amazon Cracks Down on Fidget Spinners   Amazon Cracks Down on Fidget Spinners

by: ignatz This user has validated their user name.

Fri Jul 7 09:00:51 2017

Amazon should just be honest:

"Fidget spinners are a hot item right now, and our mega-partners have made it clear they do NOT want any competition. Accordingly, you are henceforth banned from selling Fidget Spinners on any Amazon or Amazon-related website.

Thanks for choosing Amazon!"

Amazon Cracks Down on Fidget Spinners   Amazon Cracks Down on Fidget Spinners

by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Fri Jul 7 09:14:06 2017

I dont sell these things - but the gating epidemic (in general) has reached unbelievable proportions.

In this case - it *may* simply be Amazon protecting itself from being sued.

All it takes is one either real or concocted claim against Amazon for negligence (like with motorized scooters) and its a BIG law suit. Amazon has lots of cash  - they are a BIG target.

Im guesstimating that creating a paperwork nightmare for small Alibaba importers will weed out the "possible" issues.


Now if Ina would like to write a column on Amazon Brand gating ..... thats a few pages in and of itself!

Amazon Cracks Down on Fidget Spinners   Amazon Cracks Down on Fidget Spinners

This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Fri Jul 7 14:03:06 2017

@Snapped - Agree 100% about the "fad du jour." Look at Hatchimals, the must-have toy of Christmas 2016. They are selling for less than retail on eBay now.

And here in Los Angeles I've seen people selling Spinners on the side of the road, so you know how well they were made.  

Amazon Cracks Down on Fidget Spinners   Amazon Cracks Down on Fidget Spinners

by: mcposty This user has validated their user name.

Fri Jul 7 16:05:54 2017

Lol this Gaurentees only big business can sell these.

Amazon does not know how to stand up against big business who push these policies to end competition.

I never buy or sell off aMason buncha cowards

Amazon Cracks Down on Fidget Spinners   Amazon Cracks Down on Fidget Spinners

by: Volvo351 This user has validated their user name.

Fri Jul 7 18:06:27 2017

So, with all the dangers and petty annoyances in life, THIS is what some online venue is worried about? Has anyone died from using these? I can think of other practices that have put a lot more strain on people's wrists!

Amazon Cracks Down on Fidget Spinners   Amazon Cracks Down on Fidget Spinners

by: Stig of the Dump This user has validated their user name.

Fri Jul 7 19:14:40 2017

Quick guide to reasons for Amazon policy changes.

1. It will bring Amazon more money.
2. Er, that's it.

Amazon Cracks Down on Fidget Spinners   Amazon Cracks Down on Fidget Spinners

by: comments This user has validated their user name.

Sat Jul 8 03:38:42 2017

Probably just an excuse to see how much profit sellers are making to they can determine whether or not they can raise fees even higher.

Amazon Cracks Down on Fidget Spinners   Amazon Cracks Down on Fidget Spinners

by: Barbbie This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jul 10 04:10:30 2017

My nieces and nephews begged me to get these for them. I went to the real fidget spinner website after seeing all the knockoffs and price differences.  I discovered there, that even the original maker does not guarantee that it will ever actually work as stated and would not accept a return of bad items.  At that point, I figured any would do. I went to the corner grocery, bought 3 and 1 actually worked out the box as it should have. However, I disagree with gating or "proving" you manufacture the item yourself...Are we all supposed to be manufacturers now? Too far in my opinion.  Anyway, the kids school banned them without a doctors note that it was necessary before the school year ended.  I would expect most schools will follow suit for the new school year.

Amazon Cracks Down on Fidget Spinners   Amazon Cracks Down on Fidget Spinners

by: Crafteme This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jul 10 10:22:37 2017

LOL!  They would have had a field day with the click clackers of my day.  Safety for spinners, seriously??  Get knocked in the head a few times with a click clack!

Amazon Cracks Down on Fidget Spinners   Amazon Cracks Down on Fidget Spinners

This user has validated their user name. by: weber796

Mon Jul 10 11:45:42 2017

MY WIFE AND I WERE IN A SO CALLED LIQUIDATION STORE AND THEY HAD A LOAD OF SPINNERS ON SALE BELOW USUAL RETAIL. IF THEY ARE SO DANGEROUS I SUGGEST THE FDA STEP IN AND PULL THE ITEM OFF THE MARKET.

Amazon Cracks Down on Fidget Spinners   Amazon Cracks Down on Fidget Spinners

by: AnyWho This user has validated their user name.
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Thu Jul 13 14:00:07 2017

Actually, there was an article not long ago about how spinners made in China were testing high for lead and mercury.

I'm glad they're doing this. I've had a hard time finding spinners made in the USA (which still doesn't guarantee they didn't use cheap, toxic material not properly regulated, but there's a higher chance they didn't).



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