Meeting Amazon’s Requirements in 2023
It’s that time of the year again: The holiday season is approaching, and Amazon sellers are stockpiling their inventories and looking forward to the major sales boon the end-of-year consumer bonanza brings to their bottom line — especially toy sellers.
While sellers are allowed to sell in the Toys & Games category throughout most of the year, Amazon puts stricter requirements that sellers must meet if they want to sell Toys & Games during Q4.
Toys & Games is unsurprisingly one of the top-selling and most lucrative categories during the holidays, so if sellers don’t comply with the rules, they can miss out on massive sales.
Remember that Amazon wants to be sure its sellers are able to deliver. It reminds sellers of these requirements early enough that you can still get ready for selling in the Toys & Games category this holiday season. We’ll break down the requirements so you know exactly what you need to do.
Why Amazon has holiday selling requirements in Toys & Games
The holidays are by far the busiest season for Amazon, and for retail in general, so they’re doing everything they can to maintain and exceed customer expectations.
If you have sold on Amazon for a while or frequently buy from Amazon, you know Amazon is customer-obsessed. With their lax return policies, 24/7 customer service, ultra-fast free-shipping — they’re a consumer’s dream. In fact, 65% of consumers start their search for online products on Amazon, according to Jungle Scout’s Q3 Consumer Trends Report.
42% of consumers started their holiday shopping by the end of September, and during this time of year, customers are shopping more than ever and are much less forgiving of mistakes/delays during the holidays.
Amazon does not want to put trust in merchants who have not proven to be successful sellers. Fast fulfillment is what Amazon has built its business around, so they want to maintain that status.
Think about it this way: If you ordered a gift for someone on Amazon and it arrived late, would you blame the seller or would you blame Amazon?
Amazon’s 2023 holiday Toys & Games requirements
Toys & Games is not a restricted category, but if you are a new seller, you need to meet certain criteria in order to fulfill orders via FBM (Fulfilled by Merchant) in this category during Q4.
That’s right.his requirement is just for sellers who are merchant-fulfilling toys from November 2, 2023 through January 3, 2024.
This announcement does not apply to FBA. So if you are exclusively using Fulfillment by Amazon, then you don’t need to worry about meeting the criteria laid out below. If you are approved to sell in the Toys & Games category, you can sell as much as you want using FBA.
Here are the first two criteria you need to meet in order to sell toys on Amazon during the 2023 holidays:
- Your first sale on Amazon must be prior to September 1, 2023, but does not need to be specific to Toys & Games.
- You must have processed and shipped at least 25 seller-fulfilled orders from August 15, 2023, through October 14, 2023.
These two pieces of criteria should be pretty easy to meet. Basically, if you are a new seller, you must make a sale before September 1, no matter the category, and ship out at least 25 Fulfilled by Merchant (FBM) orders between August 15 and October 14.
The last three criteria that Amazon requires are:
- Your pre-fulfillment cancel rate must be no greater than 1.75% from September 15, 2023 through October 14, 2023.
- Your late shipment rate must be no greater than 4% from September 15, 2023 through October 14, 2023.
- Your order defect rate must be no greater than 1% as of October 14, 2023.
All of these metrics are always in place when fulfilling orders through FBM, except the pre-fulfillment cancel rate percentage is stricter than it normally is.
- Pre-fulfillment cancel rate. Typically, you want to keep your pre-fulfillment cancel rate (seller-canceled orders) under 2.5%. But for the holiday season, Amazon has made this rule stricter with a 1.75% cancellation rate. Basically, do not cancel any FBM orders you receive.
- Late shipment rate. Your late shipment rate increases if you are confirming your order shipments after the expected ship date. For example, if you received an FBM order on 8/21/2023 and have an expected ship-by date of 8/25/2023, then you MUST ship out that order before or on the 25th. If your shipment is confirmed after that date, your account metrics will worsen.
- Order defect rate. Your order defect rate is all orders with a defect (defined below) as a percentage of total orders during a given 60-day time period.A defect is defined by an order that results in negative feedback, an A-to-Z Guarantee claim that is not denied, or a credit card chargeback. Your goal, at all times, is to keep this below 1%. Amazon uses this metric to measure your ability to provide a good customer experience.
How to check your account health
To keep an eye on these metrics in Seller Central go to the Performance tab > Account Health.
On this page, you’ll be able to track your Order Defect Rate, Late Shipment Rate, and Pre-fulfillment Cancel Rate.
How to meet Amazon’s holiday requirements to sell in the toy category
If you really want to meet this requirement but have not merchant-fulfilled many orders this year, here are a couple of tips that can help you reach the 25 FBM order requirement.
1. Flip low-priced items from retail stores
Go to a retail store such as Walmart and begin scanning the shelves using your Amazon seller app—or any other scanning app you prefer—and try to find items you can purchase for cheap to resell them on Amazon. This is called retail arbitrage.
A great thing about using the Amazon seller app is that it will show you how many sellers are on the listing as well as if there are any FBA offers. Look for listings without any FBA offers; that way, you won’t be competing against an FBA seller for the Buy Box.
Have any used books lying around your house? Scan those as well and see what they’re selling for on Amazon! (P.S. Books are very cheap to ship!)
I know this sounds easier said than done but the point is to just find cheap items you can quickly flip and ship yourself to meet this requirement. Even if you only break even, it’ll be worth having the ability to merchant-fulfill toys during the last few weeks of the holiday season.
2. Pause your FBA offer and activate an FBM offer
If you are selling private label or wholesale products and have some spare inventory at your house/warehouse, you can pause your FBA offer and replace it with an FBM offer. This works well if you are the only seller on the listing because your FBM offer will replace the FBA offer in the Buy Box. Do this until you reach 25 FBM orders.
Though your conversion rate may decrease if your listing is no longer offering Prime shipping, so only do this if you are confident your listing will go back to normal once your FBA inventory is active again.
How to sell toys meant for children 12 years old and younger
While the toy category as a whole is open for all sellers on Amazon, if you sell toy products that are intended for use by children 12 years of age and under, the toys must meet US federal safety standards.
Before selling any toys or products meant for ages 12 and under, make sure they are compliant with the above safety certifications.
Amazon may request toy safety documentation at any time to confirm compliance and you must provide documents to confirm the safety of your products.
For more information, please visit Amazon’s ‘Sell toys in the US’ help page.
The top 10 trending toys on Amazon
To get an idea of what toys are popular during Q4, we’re going to take a look at the top 10 best sellers in the toy category on Amazon. The list will likely change a few times during the holiday season but it is a good idea to keep an eye on this list to stock up on the top sellers.
Here are the current top 10 best selling toys on Amazon, along with Jungle Scout Extension data to visualize the sales volume and revenue.
Sell toys on Amazon: What to take away
To reiterate the core criteria for selling toys on Amazon during the holiday:
And that’s it! If you want to be sure you can list toys as FBM during this holiday season, simply follow this guide and you will be good to go.
Have any other questions regarding this update? Let us know in the comments below!