It’s almost here – the Christmas selling season, Q4, the Holiday Season, whatever you want to refer to it as – it’s getting close!
For those eCommerce sellers considering adding Amazon sales in the Toy category to their income list, it’s already time to get things set up and running well. In order to protect their customers, Amazon closes the toy category to new sellers for the Holiday selling season and only allows those who have already proven themselves to profit from the Holiday sales period.
I just got my first ‘warning’ or ‘reminder’ email yesterday so it has begun. Below is the complete text of the Amazon email. Feel free to email or comment if you have any questions about the Amazon policy. There is a secret way to get around ALL of the requirements in the letter below. Do you know what it is? First person to post the correct answer as a comment will win a goodie bag of schwag from eCommerce peeps I’ve been collecting!
Hello from Amazon Services,
To maintain buyer confidence in Amazon this holiday season, we are implementing holiday selling guidelines for the Toys & Games store.
Effective November 13, 2012, only sellers who meet the following performance criteria will be eligible to sell in the Toys & Games category from November 13, 2012 through the first week in January 2013. Webstore sellers are also subject to these guidelines.
– Your first sale on Amazon.com must be prior to September 17, 2012. The sale does not need to be specific to the Toys store.
– You must have processed and shipped at least 25 orders during the 60 consecutive days preceding November 1, 2012. The orders do not need to be specific to the Toys store.
– Your pre-fulfillment cancel rate must be no greater than 1.75% for the trailing 30 days preceding November 1, 2012.
– Your late shipment rate must be no greater than 4% for the trailing 30 days preceding November 1, 2012.
– Your order defect rate must be no greater than 1% short term as of November 1, 2012.
Your orders that use Fulfillment by Amazon will not be subject to the holiday season restrictions provided your account is in good standing.
You can find your customer metrics in the Performance section of your seller account. If your performance does not meet the above criteria, we encourage you to take corrective action.
Eligibility for the selling in the Toys & Games store is determined separately for each country. If you sell in multiple marketplaces, your performance metrics will be evaluated for each country.
We will provide final notification about your eligibility to sell in the Toys & Games store by the middle of November 2012. Then, beginning November 13, 2012, we will monitor the performance and listings of sellers who are approved to sell in Toys & Games 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 marketplace that is safe for buyers.
Here are some steps you can take to remain eligible to sell in Toys & Games throughout the holiday season:
– Monitor your customer metrics and take corrective action when necessary.
– Utilize Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) to ship products to your customers.
– Check your orders frequently in the Manage Orders section of your account.
– Minimize order cancellations; don’t show more stock for sale than you have available to ship.
– Ship orders and confirm shipment 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 at Amazon.com.