It is a common problem for FBA sellers, Specially those who source via Online arbitrage or Retail arbitrage:
- You are restricted from selling a brand on Amazon.
- You apply to sell the brand.
- You gain approval to sell the brand.
- You buy inventory from that brand to send to the FBA warehouse.
- You may even sell a couple of units of that brand’s inventory.
- And then boom…you become restricted AGAIN from selling that brand.
It is a frustrating situation and one that leads to thousands of questions.
- What happened why it’s restricted?
- Will I be able to sell the inventory again which I’ve already sent into FBA?
- Am I going to lose all my money because of this?
- What should I do now?
In the rest of this article, I want to walk you through this situation and show you how you can increase your chances of being re-approved to sell a brand if you become re-restricted.
Why the restrictions?
The thing we need to understand why Amazon has these restrictions in the first place.
Typically these brands are restricted for several reasons:
- The brand wants to protect itself from counterfeits items. In some cases, a brand will allow sellers to become unrestricted if they have 6 to 7 months of experience at selling on Amazon, as a way to show that they’re not selling counterfeit items.
- The brand wants to protect its reputation. Brands are very concerned that their customers are getting High-rated performance from the sellers, so the brands will have their items restricted to make sure only experienced and good sellers metrics are allowed to sell their brand. Brands can choose a certain threshold for various seller metrics, and only allows those sellers who meet their requirements and will get approval to sell the brand.
Why do sellers become restricted Again?
If brands have these requirements for approval to sell on Amazon, why is it that some sellers find themselves re-restricted after they’ve already gained approval? There are a couple of reasons this may happen.
- Your seller metrics may have lowered. If your seller metrics meet below the brand’s requirements for selling their items, you may lose your brand approval to sell the brand items. There’s no way to see behind the curtain to know exactly which metrics are affected and what you need to do to improve your metrics and get approval again but you can check at your overall metrics and see if you have areas that need improvement. Perhaps you need to improve your feedback score or Perhaps you need to improve to do a better job of responding to your customer messages in a timely manner. Perhaps you’ve received an excessive number of returns on a specific ASIN.
- The brand may have raised its minimum standards. The problem might not be that your metrics have changed, but the brand requirements have changed. If a brand decides to tighten its requirements, your metrics may no longer meet their standards, and you could lose your approval. And this change might be permanent, or it might be temporary. Some brands might tighten their requirements only for the Q4 selling season, and then in January, they’ll go back to their previous standards.
How can sellers get re-approved for a re-restricted brand?
You’ve sent some inventory into FBA that becomes restricted to you as a seller, even though you previously had been approved to sell it. Now your inventory is showing as inactive status, and you can’t sell it. What do you do?
- Improve your seller metrics.
- Work to improve your feedback score.
- Reduce your return rate.
- Gain more selling experience.
It takes effort to keep tabs on these restrictions and reapply for approval in the future, but it’s worthwhile to take the time to reopen applications and see if the situation has changed for you as a seller. It’s frustrating when these re-restrictions happen, and yes, it does sometimes involve making choices about whether to wait it out or remove the inventory to store at your house or sell on another platform.
So the main thing is to focus on what you can do in this situation. If you can not automatically get approval, you can still focus on improving your metrics or growing in patience as you wait for longevity in your account. If you focus only on what you can not do, you will miss out on many other opportunities to grow your Amazon Wholesale FBA business and make profits.