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Amazon Restricts Toys Category in One Week

Amazon is implementing its annual holiday category restriction in Toys & Games in one week. Only sellers who meet strict performance criteria will be eligible to sell in the category between November 17, 2015 and the first week in January 2016.

Third-party sellers have only been allowed to sell in the toy category on Amazon since 2006 after the conclusion of a bitter legal dispute with chainstore ToysRUs. The two parties had entered into an exclusive distribution agreement in 2000 in which ToysRUs was to be the exclusive toy seller on Amazon.

Amazon first opened the toys category to 3P merchants in July 2006, and 3 months later it put in place what has become an annual restriction “to maintain buyer confidence in Amazon during the holiday season.”

This year’s “Holiday Selling Guidelines for the Toys & Games store” goes into effect on November 17, 2015 and states:

    • Your first sale on Amazon.com must be prior to September 18, 2015. The sale does not need to be specific to the Toys store.


  • You must have processed and shipped at least 25 orders from September 1 through October 31, 2015. The orders do not need to be specific to the Toys store.

  • Your pre-fulfillment cancel rate must be no greater than 1.75% from October 1 through October 31, 2015.

  • Your late shipment rate must be no greater than 4% from October 1 through October 31, 2015.

  • Your order defect rate must be no greater than 1% short term as of November 1, 2015.


  • Your orders that use Fulfillment by Amazon will not be subject to the holiday season restrictions provided your account is in good standing.

As usual, one way to get around the restriction is to send inventory to Amazon warehouses through the Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) program.

You can find details and tips on remaining eligible on the Amazon website.

Curious about the toys Amazon is promoting this year? It published its 2015 Holiday Toy List, which is a “curated list of more than a thousand of the hottest products for kids of all ages and interests” – though it’s more of a shopping portal than a list.

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Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com. See disclosure at EcommerceBytes.com/disclosure/.