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Amazon Tweaks Holiday Restrictions for Toys and Games

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Amazon logoAmazon has issued its annual notice of holiday restrictions in the Toys & Games category, but this year, there are a few differences in the timing of the restrictions and the eligibility criteria.

A major difference: in 2017, Amazon restrictions in Toys & Games applied from November 17, 2017, through January 5, 2018. This year, Amazon moved up the start date by a month – the restrictions will apply from October 17, 2018 through January 05, 2019.

Other differences include:

– This year, the requirement that the short-term order defect metric be less than 1% applies as of October 1 rather than November 1.

– This year, the period in which the pre-fulfillment cancel rate must be less than 1.75% is the month of September, rather than October.

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– This year, the late shipment rate requirement (less than 4%) period is the month of September, rather than October.

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, Amazon opened up the category to sellers who use FBA – which makes sense, since Amazon has control over FBA sellers’ inventory and fulfillment.

The letter Amazon sent sellers in July follows below:

2018 Holiday Selling in Toys & Games on Amazon.com

Dear Seller,
As a reminder, in order to maintain a great customer experience this holiday season, we have established holiday selling guidelines for the Toys & Games store.

Only the sellers who meet the criteria listed below will be eligible to sell in the Toys & Games category from October 17, 2018 through January 05, 2019.

• Your first sale on Amazon.com has to occur prior to August 18, 2018. The sale does not need to be specific to the Toys & Games store.

• You have to process and ship at least 25 orders from August 01, 2018 through October 01, 2018. The orders do not need to be specific to the Toys & Games store.

• Your pre-fulfillment cancel rate for the period from September 01 through September 30, 2018 has to be lesser than 1.75%.

• Your late shipment rate for the period from September 01 through September 30, 2018 has to be lesser than 4%.

• Your order defect rate has to be lesser than 1% short term as of October 01, 2018.

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

You can find your cancel rate, late shipment rate, and order defect rate in the Performance section of your seller account. If your account does not meet the above criteria, we encourage you to take corrective action to ensure your eligibility to sell in the Toys & Games category this holiday season.

Eligibility for selling in the Toys & Games store is determined separately for each country. If you sell in multiple marketplaces, your account will be evaluated for each country.

We will provide a final notification about your eligibility to sell in the Toys & Games store by October 11, 2018. Beginning October 17, 2018, we will monitor the performance and listings of the sellers who are approved to sell in Toys & Games store during the holiday season.

Amazon Services reserves the right to cancel listings, remove selling privileges, and prohibit the sale of specific products to maintain a great customer shopping experience.

Here are some steps you can take to remain eligible to sell in Toys & Games store throughout the holiday season:

• Monitor your performance metrics and take corrective action when necessary.
• Use Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) to ship products to customers.
• Check your orders frequently in the Manage Orders section of your account.
• Minimize order cancellations and display the inventory for sale that is available to ship.
• Ship orders and confirm the shipments in a timely manner.
• Ensure your seller policies are up to date.
• If you work with outside drop-shippers, solidify their SLA commitments for providing prompt shipping confirmation.

Thank you for selling on Amazon.

Regards,
Amazon Services

You can read the letter Amazon sent sellers last year that applied to the 2017 holiday shopping season on the AuctionBytes Blog.

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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.