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Thu Sept 18 2014 11:11:55

Warning to Media Sellers: Amazon Restricts Sale of DVDs

By: Ina Steiner

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If you sell DVDs, be aware of a new restriction from Amazon - and even if you sell DVDs on other marketplaces, you may be impacted, since Amazon media sellers may look to other channels to unload inventory, possibly driving down prices.

Amazon is restricting the sale of DVDs with Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Prices (MSRP) of $25 or greater to pre-approved sellers only. That said, Amazon had already been restricting certain titles as we noted 2 years ago.

Interestingly Amazon's own titles are impacted by the policy. It produces original series for its Amazon Prime streaming service that it also makes available on DVD, such as this listing for Alpha House Season 1 that has a list price of $39.99.

Here's the letter Amazon sent sellers this week:

Hello from Amazon,
Please read this email carefully, as the listing restriction described below may affect your ability to sell DVDs.

As part of our ongoing efforts to provide a great shopping experience, beginning November 17, 2014, only approved sellers will be eligible to list DVDs with Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Prices (MSRP) of $25 or greater. We are implementing this restriction because these products may have a higher risk of authenticity issues.

Based on your current performance, you are eligible to apply to sell DVDs with MSRPs of $25 or greater. The application process is described below. You will not be eligible to list DVDs with MSRPs of $25 or greater after November 17 unless your application is approved. Your eligibility to list DVDs with MSRPs of less than $25 or Blu-rays is not affected by this restriction.


Any listings by unapproved sellers for DVDs with MSRPs of $25 or greater will be removed on November 16, 2014. Relisting products you are not approved to sell or creating duplicate listings may result in the immediate suspension or removal of your selling privileges.

To begin an application, click here:

If you apply and you do not have an account with a Professional selling plan, you must agree to sign up for a Professional selling plan within 30 days after your application is approved. A Seller Support associate will follow-up to request additional information to complete your application. At that time, you will need to provide the following to the Seller Support associate:

1) Your primary source(s) of inventory
2) A minimum of three (3) invoices or purchase orders for inventory with MSRP greater than $25 that you plan to sell
3) A written summary of processes you have in place to prevent inauthentic goods from entering your inventory


Your application will be evaluated based on the information you supply.

If you use Fulfillment by Amazon, you will need to create a removal or disposal order for any DVD products you have not been approved to sell after November 17. We will waive fees for any removal or disposal order for these products starting now through January 16, 2015. For assistance creating a removal or disposal order, please review this Help page.

Note that removal or disposal orders received in the fourth quarter may require additional processing time.

As a reminder, sellers are responsible for ensuring the quality of their products and should carefully review all sources of inventory. For more information, see our policies.

Customers trust they can always buy with confidence on Amazon.com, and this listing restriction is intended to help preserve that trust. Seller feedback is important to us. You can provide feedback by emailing dvd-seller-feedback@amazon.com.


To complete a preliminary application, please click the link below.

Thank you for selling on Amazon.
Amazon Services


An Amazon moderator confirmed on the discussion boards that Amazon would notify all DVD sellers - "The communication will be sent to the email on file in your Seller account."

Amazon pointed to issues of authenticity and linked to its counterfeit policy. Some sellers were skeptical about the reason for the new restriction. "I do not see the point of the $25 MSRP. Asian counterfeit movies start at all prices. I think it's a ploy to eliminate the Amazon competition of new movies being sold under the MSRP," one seller wrote on the Amazon forums and warned, "Do not ever try and sell lower than Amazon,it could get you suspended."

A number of others said they sell their personal collection only. "They are simply eliminating small sellers like us who simply sell from our own personal collection. They could have eliminated bootlegs with a more efficient manner but instead they decide to screw people who have been loyal to Amazon like me."

But other sellers were not concerned. "I don't think this new requirement will negatively impact any legitimate vendors. Merchants and individuals who can validate their sources and ensure that they are diligent about only selling licensed video products will continue to operate as they have been. The $25 MSRP is the threshold for First release, special package, Deluxe, Blu-Ray with extras, etc. Those are the big cash and profit generators during the Christmas Buying season. So that's the set of products that the studios and copyright owners are most focused on protecting."

Sellers who use FBA will have to remove them from Amazon's warehouses. They have a tough choice: have Amazon dispose of them or pay the shipping costs to send them someplace else. (Amazon is waiving its fees for any removal or disposal order for products in their FBA warehouses.)

Whether they store their DVD inventory at Amazon or elsewhere, sellers with stock who are not approved to sell them on Amazon will have to figure out how to sell their inventory in another channel. Let us know if this impacts you!



Comments (12) | Permalink

Readers Comments

Perminate Link for Warning to Media Sellers: Amazon Restricts Sale of DVDs   Warning to Media Sellers: Amazon Restricts Sale of DVDs

by: Duke This user has validated their user name.

Thu Sep 18 14:49:54 2014

Amazon also restricted selling of used carrier branded phones to Professional sellers on August 12.  If you need the email, I'm happy to send it.  

What's annoying is that the phone was new, but they wouldn't give me any other condition options than used when listing.  

Perminate Link for Warning to Media Sellers: Amazon Restricts Sale of DVDs   Warning to Media Sellers: Amazon Restricts Sale of DVDs

This user has validated their user name. by: Ina

Thu Sep 18 15:27:30 2014

Sure, Duke - please forward it to ina@ecommercebytes.com - thanks.

Perminate Link for Warning to Media Sellers: Amazon Restricts Sale of DVDs   Warning to Media Sellers: Amazon Restricts Sale of DVDs

by: Wes Dodd This user has validated their user name.

Thu Sep 18 21:08:07 2014

According to an email a longtime seller received from Amazon earlier, the first email Amazon sent out was wrong - the restrictions apply not only to DVDs over $25, but Blurays over $25, also. And it applies to both used and new conditions.

Perminate Link for Warning to Media Sellers: Amazon Restricts Sale of DVDs   Warning to Media Sellers: Amazon Restricts Sale of DVDs

by: shut1968 This user has validated their user name.

Sat Sep 20 00:21:54 2014

This has little to do with ''authenticity'' issues, that's a load of B.S. Amazon is trying to spin off to the public to convince them it's making a move to ''improve'' products sold and customer satisfaction.

This has everything to do with Amazon eliminating competition and keeping the prices up on New DVDs and driving the prices up on used DVDs since Amazon will be running out 75% of the sellers who have built a business on Amazon selling second hand products.

Did you know Amazon started a trade in program for DVDs and Video Games a few years back? Yep, Amazon allows it's customers to send in used DVDs and Video Games for site credit issued on an Amazon gift card, you pretty much always see Amazon selling new DVDs.. how often do you see them selling used DVDs? Those discs have got to be piling up in warehouses waiting for a chance to be sold, Amazon in one swift swoop just laid out plans to wipe out half to three quarters of the used DVD vendors on it's site, and with virtually no new sellers allowed to sign up and be qualified for used DVD sales it won't be long before they figure out how to get rid of the sellers they allow to remain for the time being.

(here is a link to Amazon's trade in program)

http://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html/?n
odeId=200302910

They
are eliminating the competition by pushing out a vast majority of sellers in order to drive pricing up, period.

This has very little to do with bootlegs, any seller with half a brain knows how to tell the difference between authentic and non-authentic, the majority of bootlegs on the streets of Asian countries that make their way to the United States are either theatrical stuff still in theaters or new release DVDs, new release DVDs are sold on Amazon far more often than TV Series box sets (which is what seems to be their target with the whole 24.95 MSRP restriction) Fake Disney DVDs are a dime a dozen, slip cover, inserts and all.

Spotting fake DVDs can be difficult at times and you can't go by the old adage that if it's a burnt disc it's fake, between Amazon's Create Space and all the MOD (Manufactured On Demand) programs from Warner, MGM, Sony, Disney, Lionsgate, Universal Studios, Fox, Turner, HBO, Paramount, CBS, A&E and dozens of other smaller studios there are over 15,000+ different titles on Amazon now exclusive to MOD (burnt disc), and while Amazon had the exclusive rights to distribute most MOD titles they have slowly been losing them to other companies, this whole thing is a Sham by Amazon to mis-lead the public period.

Here's a question, what about DVDs that came out from '97 - 2002, you know when DVDs had an average list price of $26.99 - $29.99?? Those titles have been out of print for over a decade now, most have been re-issued with cheaper MSRP's, but there are still plenty that haven't.

The studios (mostly Warner Bros) have been pushing for years to try and abolish the ''First Sale Doctrine'', looks like now they've gotten a big boost in their campaign.

The proper way to have done this to try and weed out the people dumping Asian bootlegs would have been to limit the sales of all new release product ''New'' for the first 3 months (the average time that new release prices in stores start coming down) and allow ''Used'' sales after the first 30 days of release... then the only initial competitors Amazon would have to deal with are the biggies like ''Deep Discount'', ''Movie Mars'', ''Rarewaves'', ''I-Deals'', ''Standing Ovation'', ''vsource'' and such (who all by the way,  well... most of these sellers happen to be the same wholesalers an ''approved'' Amazon seller will have to get an account with in order to purchase main stream released products from.. and of course these wholesale companies/Amazon sellers are operating under different names than the wholesale companies they are connected to).

Instead I would imagine those of us who happen to successfully jump through their hoops and remain selling will only be pushed out over time.

Doesn't it seem odd that no new sellers will be allowed to sell used DVDs now period? (only receipts from traditional wholesalers are going to count, and none of them wholesale used or out of print products, so that's not going to happen, remember Amazon is requiring invoices from legitimate wholesalers.. there's no such thing or none known to exist at this time for buying used DVDs in bulk for resale.)

Seems like that Amazon trade in program is going to really get off the ground now huh?

Do you still really think this is about cleaning up the bootlegs??

Amazon quit caring about the smaller sellers when they took over being the largest online marketplace from eBay, now small sellers are a hindrance to their bottom line.

We will continue to list and sell what can be sold and do just like we've been doing for the past few years with ''restricted'' products, and either moving them to eBay or rotating them back into the inventory in our retail stores.
(F.Y.I. Amazon's slowly been restricting 95% of it's sellers from listing certain new and used DVDs and Blu-Rays with out giving any excuses, allowing only the ''pre-approved'' to list and sell them, and yes, the prices of those older items has increased drastically, DVDs that used to be found consistently on Amazon for a penny used and new are now pushed back up into the $10 - $20 price range or higher)

Still think this is about clearing out the bootlegs being sold??

This is a clear cut case of a company screwing the very same people who made it who it is by destroying their businesses and their livelihood for nothing more than corporate gain.

They claim it's for the better good of their customers.. since when is driving prices up good?

It's only ''good'' for those who stand to profit from it, and Amazon has just took steps to place itself on the highest perch at the expense of tens of thousands of sellers who depend on them for income.

It should be illegal... period.

Perminate Link for Warning to Media Sellers: Amazon Restricts Sale of DVDs   Warning to Media Sellers: Amazon Restricts Sale of DVDs

by: mindelec This user has validated their user name.

Mon Sep 22 01:15:45 2014

this would make sense if it was for sellers of new DVDs...  it will effectively kill the selling of used TV seasons and boxed sets since those are never bought from a distributor, hence no invoice, hence no approval.  this decision has very little to do with counterfits and more to do with their desire to push people to instant video.

my prediction is this...  a few weeks after this goes into effect amazon will notice that there has been a huge drop in sales of used DVDs and probably reverse the used part of the decision.  unfortunately the time it takes for them to make this decision will probably mean that christmas will come and go.  this year amazon will be the grinch that stole christmas for used DVD sellers.

Perminate Link for Warning to Media Sellers: Amazon Restricts Sale of DVDs   Warning to Media Sellers: Amazon Restricts Sale of DVDs

This user has validated their user name. by: Tula

Mon Sep 22 11:59:32 2014

Thanks for the info, @shut1968. Makes me glad I didn't start sourcing DVDs for Amazon. Right now, all I have listed are a few from my personal stock. I'll have to check to make sure I fall within their guidelines.

Perminate Link for Warning to Media Sellers: Amazon Restricts Sale of DVDs   Warning to Media Sellers: Amazon Restricts Sale of DVDs

by: shut1968 This user has validated their user name.

Mon Sep 22 17:43:24 2014

As I expected, after monitoring the forums it appears even more this has nothing to do with a crackdown on pirated media but more so a clean sweep of removing almost all DVD/blu-ray sellers.. after several days not one has come forward to say they have been approved to sell in the catagory, but there are plenty of long time sellers who are reporting constant denial.. not only that.. based on copy/paste messages from Amazon seller support, the ones who even come close to being approved are dealing with constant changing requirements.. one seller submitted his invoices under the ''past 180 days'' requirement only to be rejected and told he needed to supply invoices from the past ''90 days''.. and later on that those invoices must contain at least 30 different items per invoice.. their requirements are constantly evolving every time a seller comes close to meeting them.

This is a clear cut purge of media sellers, we're not talking about the occasional person who sells off their unwanted used DVDs.. were talking about sellers who have thousands of items in inventory, who spend thousands of dollars buying inventory to re-sell.

One seller who buys direct from a company that produces training DVDs submitted a purchase invoice for several thousand pieces he bought a few years ago was rejected and those are the only DVD related products he sells.

Amazon is now responsible for putting hundreds if not thousands of online ''small business owners'' out on the street so to speak, entrepreneurs who have spent a decade or so and in some cases a small fortune building and running their small businesses through Amazon.

Amazon has courted these same sellers over the years convincing them to open Amazon stores and such and is now turning it's back on them for their own financial gain.

Someone needs to seriously look into starting a class action suit against Amazon, they should not be allowed to court these small sellers for years, sellers who have jumped through all their hoops and put up with their constantly evolving changes to the site and then just be able to force them all out of business in one swift swoop.

And to anyone who says: It's only for DVD and blu-ray above $25.00 let me say this, there are plenty of old out of print DVDs from the early days of the format that have a list price well over $25, even though they have been out of print for years those items are still off limits.. as far as New Release DVDs go, Amazon has the current DVD of ''Captain America the Winter Soldier'' (keep in mind.. this is DVD not blu-rays) set to a MSRP of $29.99, so no seller other than approved sellers can ever list and sell this DVD on their site period, not now.. not 10 years from now.

It's not a mistake, you can view the Amazon Product page here:

http://www.amazon.com/Captain-America-The-Winter-Soldier/
dp/B0090SI3EI/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1411424571&sr=8-1&keywords=captain+america+winter+soldier+dvd

And
if you happen to look at the ''Amazon Trade-In price it is much higher for this DVD, normally they are around .25 cents .. this DVD has a trade in price of $3.08

Still think this is about pirated media or streaming?

People who stream, stream

People who buy a tangible product you can hold in your hands buy tangible products.. a small percent may experiment with streaming.. until they realize that while they are paying to own the streamed digital content they never really do own anything and it can be taken from them at any time.  

Perminate Link for Warning to Media Sellers: Amazon Restricts Sale of DVDs   Warning to Media Sellers: Amazon Restricts Sale of DVDs

This user has validated their user name. by: Bidonmine

Mon Sep 22 17:49:24 2014

Simple.
I take my DVDs off of Amazon and put them on Ebay.
I sell just as many on Ebay as Amazon, It is just easier to list them on Amazon.

Perminate Link for Warning to Media Sellers: Amazon Restricts Sale of DVDs   Warning to Media Sellers: Amazon Restricts Sale of DVDs

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Tue Sep 23 06:25:03 2014

shut1968 says "This has everything to do with Amazon eliminating competition and keeping the prices up on New DVDs and driving the prices up on used DVDs since Amazon will be running out 75% of the sellers who have built a business on Amazon selling second hand products."

And that is exactly how they have run their clothing, shoes and accessories category for years.

These mega companies just keep putting the screws to small sellers, and they are looking out for the big boys. Eliminate the competition.

So mark my word, if John Donahopeless gets wind of this, guess what eBay will do next.

Perminate Link for Warning to Media Sellers: Amazon Restricts Sale of DVDs   Warning to Media Sellers: Amazon Restricts Sale of DVDs

by: shut1968 This user has validated their user name.

Tue Sep 23 13:11:03 2014

The only difference with eBay i guess would be that they don't sell on the site in direct competition with marketplace sellers.

I wish someone would buy Half.com back from eBay.. but they pretty much buried it over the years.

Perminate Link for Warning to Media Sellers: Amazon Restricts Sale of DVDs   Warning to Media Sellers: Amazon Restricts Sale of DVDs

by: Enough Is Enough! This user has validated their user name.

Thu Sep 25 21:45:26 2014

First ebay with their insane "Fall Seller Update", and now this.....

Alibaba has to be licking their chops. Are small sellers REALLY this much of a burden to ebay and Amazon????

If they build their site correctly, and without silly rules, the Alibaba site or sites will have all the buyer traffic.

Jack Ma will be laughing his way to the bank within the next year. And us small sellers will reap the benefits.  

Perminate Link for Warning to Media Sellers: Amazon Restricts Sale of DVDs   Warning to Media Sellers: Amazon Restricts Sale of DVDs

by: brick This user has validated their user name.

Sun Aug 2 08:27:56 2015

Wish this thread had not shut down so quickly. I have utterly wasted almost 50 hours, either on the phone with amazon, or trying to assemble acceptable invoice submissions to these a-holes. No matter what I do, I am rejected. The ones who render the verdict, of course, are unreachable. I keep getting the same form letter telling me what needs to be done to get approved as a pro DVD seller, but nothing works.

I have even pointed out, in missives, that two places I order from ARE pro sellers on amazon. One, Second Spin, out of Illinois, sells ONLY used DVDs which they BUY FROM INDIVIDUALS! (What sort of quality control is THAT?!)

amazon has all these guidelines, like not showing any pricing on submitted invoices, not submitting online invoices, not ordering from online only sites. It is absurd, like they expect you to order direct from Paramount, Warner Bros, etc. Sure, buy from them at prices greater than amazon's to re-sell on amazon. There's a great business decision!

As stated many times last year, it's purely for show. They jerk you around, allowing you to continue re-applying, knowing full well they are not going to approve you. It seems to me that ought to be illegal.

Now, if anyone out there is willing, I'm for looking into a class-action lawsuit. Amazon already has a bully's reputation. I think most courts would side with the people on this. 50 hours of my life I'll never get back. Large quantities of DVDs, many of them new, I purchased in hopes of having ''impressive'' invoices, so that I could start selling professionally. If forced to sell elsewhere, I won't make money. The best I can hope for is to sell them for what I paid, thereby losing site fees and shipping charges. Apparently, tons of people are unaware that you can often find the same NEW DVD on ebay for less than half of what you'd pay on amazon. Of course, that applies to used DVDs, as well.

I am retired, on a fixed income, and this is RUINING me. Any takers?



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