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Amazon Holiday Storage Limits Are Back for FBA Sellers

Amazon Holiday Storage Limits Are Back for FBA Sellers

Amazon is once again restricting how much inventory sellers can send to its fulfillment centers (FCs) ahead of the holiday shopping season, known as restock limits – and sellers said holiday inventory is due at Amazon FCs by November 2nd.

Because warehouse space is at a premium, Amazon ties FBA restock storage limits to a metric it calls Inventory Performance Index (IPI).

“FBA Inventory Limitations are BACK,” one seller wrote. “Just got the notification and now our limits have been slashed by 40%. Our IPI is fine as well.”

Another seller with an IPI of 712 said they went from a limit of 120,000 units to 40,000 – “A 66% decrease,” the seller noted.

One seller offered some advice, noting that limits change based on sales. “Be ready to ship smaller shipments frequently,” they said. Another tip: “List each item both as FBA and FBM. The FBM will serve for FBA items that are out of stock.”

And finally, they advised, “look for 3rd party fulfilment centers.”

Amazon itself is offering a potential solution, announcing on Wednesday a new program called Amazon Warehousing & Distribution. Details will be revealed at this month’s Amazon Accelerate seller conference, but AWD offers a less expensive bulk-storage option with automatic replenishment to its FBA fulfillment centers – and off-Amazon destinations as well. See, “Amazon Will Store Your Stock and Send It Anywhere.”

One seller provided the text of the email Amazon sent to sellers about the holiday storage limits, which said Amazon was updating restock limits “to allow all sellers to have at least four months of inventory in FBA.” The notice said that while all sellers using FBA would see their limits updated, “this updated limit will currently restrict about 5% of sellers using FBA from being able to restock additional products due to their already having high levels of inventory.”

Amazon also told sellers that restock limits were determined by a range of factors, “including seasonal and peak selling periods for your products, forecasts for your ASINs, the new selection you carry, deals you have scheduled and fulfillment center capacity,” and it offered the following advice:

“You can create more room for products within your limits by selling through your inventory, creating removal orders for products that are unlikely to sell, or canceling non-urgent shipments to fulfillment centers. For more recommendations, go to FBA Inventory.”

Expect the limits to change again in January. Late last year, Amazon told sellers that it was reducing the IPI threshold to 400 as of January 1, 2022, estimating it would bring the number of sellers with storage volume limits to under 10%.

But that’s little consolation to sellers of seasonal goods. “We usually sell 6 months of inventory in Nov and December,” one seller wrote of this week’s announcement. “By the time the limits rise, it would be too late to send new inventory.”

In February, Amazon announced it was testing a new option that offered certain sellers who had limits a way to bid for more space.

Last year, Amazon addressed restock and seasonal limits at its seller conference – a reason sellers may wish to tune in to this year’s event.

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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). She is a member of the Online News Association (Sep 2005 - present) and Investigative Reporters and Editors (Mar 2006 - present). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com. See disclosure at EcommerceBytes.com/disclosure/.