Amazon is telling online retailers that are new to its Fulfilled By Amazon shipping service that they won’t be able to send their inventory to Amazon warehouses until December 19.
One merchant affected by the new policy posted the text of Amazon’s notification in the seller forums:
Hey everyone, I got my amazon account and I got all the items I had for sale up into their system, and I wanted to send in my first FBA shipment, and I get this message: “We are restricting shipments from new-to-FBA sellers to ensure we have the capacity necessary to receive and store inventory and to ship products to customers quickly. If you have not completed your first shipment to Amazon before October 10, 2016, we encourage you to start shipping to Amazon after December 19, 2016. We encourage you to continue selling on Amazon and fulfilling orders directly to customers. We apologize for any inconvenience. If the situation changes before December 19, 2016, we will notify you by e-mail. We apologize for any inconvenience.”
To Amazon’s credit, the reason for the temporary change is right there in the first sentence: “… to ensure we have the capacity necessary to receive and store inventory and to ship products to customers quickly.”
The company has taken several steps recently to guarantee a better and faster shipping service for customers, including this summer’s launch of Amazon’s own air cargo delivery network. Shopping demand over the holiday season has been a thorn in Amazon’s side before — in 2013, shipping delays with United Parcel Service (UPS) meant many Amazon shoppers didn’t get their holiday orders on time, forcing Amazon to refund shipping costs and offer $20 gift cards to affected customers.
We’ve emailed Amazon for more information, but the company did confirm the new policy to Internet Retailer already. Internet Retailer also notes in its article that “warehouses swollen with inventory from third-party merchants in Q4 pushed up [Amazon’s] operating costs last year.”