No New Sellers?
It’s a new week, must be time for a new Amazon bombshell.
Hey guys, welcome back to another edition of the Bootstrap Boutique, where beginners build businesses. My name is Megan, glad you’re here because Amazon has for the second time in two weeks made a major announcement that is going to effect lots of new Fulfillment by Amazon sellers.
So what is it this time?
Fulfillment By Amazon – Q4 2016
Well Amazon has announced that that they are not going to allow new FBA sellers to sell during Q4. We all know that Q4, or the fourth quarter of the year, is the most important time for retailers, that’s why the name Black Friday exists. Because it’s the time of year that puts retailers in the black on their balance sheet, meaning it’s when they become profitable.
And if you have never sold on Amazon before and you go into Seller’s Central and try to create a shipping plan into Amazon right now you’re getting told, nope, sorry, you can’t do it until January.
What? Huh? Are you kidding me? It’s just getting harder, isn’t it?
This is fun. So there’s a few reasons why Amazon is probably making this announcement, and in typical fashion they are not really coming out and saying why.
Why Amazon Is Doing This – A Few Ideas
But if you look at what people are saying online you can pick up some trends.
One is that the Amazon warehouses are getting stuffed to the gills. These warehouses were never meant to be long term storage solutions, but rather more like a distribution center where things come in and things go out and not to just sit on the shelves and not sell.
Also, not even in the Private Label space but more in the retail arbitrage space, there’s been a lot of noise, a lot of people talking about coming into Amazon fourth quarter and selling toys, because you can make a ton of money selling toys on Amazon. Which totally makes sense, right? And it could be that they are worried about just getting way too much of that particular kind of inventory in their warehouses. I’ve even seen some people say that they think this is only going to effect toys and games, or that they are just going to start with toys and games and they are going to roll it out to different categories after the fact, but toys for sure seems to be one of the main things people think is causing this restriction at Amazon.
I’ve also read that they want to stop the rise in counterfeit items and goods at Amazon, I don’t really understand how that plays into restricting new FBA sellers, but it does seem like that has something to do with it. If you know how those two things are related or connected, please tell me down in the comments, because I’ve just, I’ve seen that one a lot but I don’t quite understand how it fits in with the FBA restrictions.
Now very similar to my Amazon update last week about them banning incentivized reviews, I have seen so many people that are like, “well, I guess I’m just going to give it up, this is not the thing for me. I quit, that’s enough.”
And that is what happens when people are looking for an easy fix. Hey, nothing about this is supposed to be easy, if you have watched my videos starting from March of 2016, you know that nothing about this for me has been easy. But that doesn’t mean you stop.
Your Options as a New Amazon Seller
There are still ways you as a new seller can sell on Amazon during the fourth quarter. First, you can do merchant fulfilled. Yeah, that’s going to be a pain in the butt, because you’re trying to fulfill out of your house or your garage or whatever but you can do it.
Do you want sales or do you want to complain?
Also there are so many third party fulfillment centers where you can send in and they may be able to send the product on into Amazon. I don’t quite understand how that works either because would it still be under your account, how does that work? Again, if you know, tell me down in the comments. But for sure, you can put merchant fulfilled on Amazon and have it fulfilled by a third party so you’re not going to the mailbox every day.
There are probably a hundred other ways that you can still sell on Amazon during fourth quarter and make some money in this holiday season, but if all you’re going to do is complain every time that Amazon changes something about how they want to do business, you’re never going to figure out what they are.
Why I’m Concerned This Time
I’ll be really honest, this change has me a little more concerned than the one from last week about incentivized reviews and here’s why.
Amazon is saying you can’t sell if you are a new FBA seller in Q4. So you can’t go live until January of 2017 and you can’t even ship a product in until December 19, 2016. Fine. What I’m worried about is that that date is going to get pushed back and back and then its Q1 and then Q2 and then it’s “oh we just don’t let new people sell on Amazon.” That seems very extreme and I really don’t think that’s going to happen, but the thought of that does have me a little worried.
Barriers to Entry
But here’s what I keep reminding myself: barriers to entry are a good thing.
They don’t feel as good, when you’re on the outside looking in, like I am right now, like you might be right now. But for sure, all the people that are current FBA sellers, are extremely happy about this change. And they should be, they are getting a little protection from Amazon this quarter, which they don’t feel like they have any protection from Amazon ever, so good for them. I’m happy for them.
It is easy, it is human nature, and sometimes it even feels good to think that things are out to get you and that all these forces are working against you and trying to make your life harder. The truth is it’s your attitude. Is this an opportunity or is this a drawback? Go make it an opportunity, choose to be positive, choose to be optimistic, keep moving forward, go crush it. Tell me in the comments how this is effecting you and what you’re going to do about it. I want to hear it.
I will talk to you guys next time, take care!
You can watch this video at The Bootstrap Boutique’s YouTube channel here.
You can watch The Bootstrap Boutique’s YouTube channel here.