Christmas...in July


#1

And not in a good way.

Lots of sellers chimed in on the “slow sales” discussion from June. That slowdown was unlike any we’d experienced in 15 years on Amazon. Sales inexplicably fell off a cliff, and remained flat for weeks. They have since recovered.

However, to goose those sales, I sent tons of new inventory to Amazon. It STILL has not been received. This is the kind of backlog I’ve only ever seen during the dark days when ONT6 / ONT8 opened at the height of Christmas receiving years ago.

The current slowdown has been in normally mega-efficient warehouses: ABE, FTW. Entire shipments just plain lost. Tens of thousands of dollars of inventory sitting DELIVERED at the FC, going nowhere for weeks. The shipments that do get received are in perpetual FC Transfer. Normally, a shipment of 100 units gets 10-20 immediately available, and the rest in FC transfer for a maximum of 3-4 days. Maybe a week at the outset. These current shipments have had ZERO units with immediate availabilty, and FC transfer is running weeks.

I’ve been doing FBA since its inception. I know what I’m doing. I don’t complain about Christmas slowdowns in receving—I compensate for them (by shipping Christmas inventory in October). I know how this system is supposed to work. But I’ve never seen a system-wide crash like this in July.

Has anyone else encountered this? It’s killing us.


#2

The cost of travel is way down this year, and that is where customers:train2: are putting their surplus funds.


#3

The issue is not so much about slow sales—those have since recovered, albeit weakly. It’s about an apparent system-wide slowdown in inventory processing. I’m just wondering if there’s an explanation I’m missing, since I’ve never encountered anything like this outside of Christmas receiving.


#4

I was quite relieved to ready your message. I have been selling on Amazon.co.uk for a few years, and other than a week or so’s delay with processing deliveries during Q4 I’ve always found the process straight forward in the UK.

I have bitten the bullet and have decided to launch my products on Amazon.com for the first time this summer. I shipped them into ONT8 and got notification that they were received on 20th June. I had a couple of Mum blogers with reviews at the ready to support the launch of my products in the US, and was all set for this to happen at the beginning of July. At the beginning of July, my products were marked as ‘checked in’ but nothing seemed to be happening. I contacted Amazon to see if they could give me some time frames for when items would be processed. I was assured that the max processing time is 21 days and that the items would be processed by 11th July. I contacted the bloggers etc and was all set for things to go live on the 11th.
On the 11th July my status changed from ‘checked in’ to ‘closed’, and showed that ‘0’ units had been received. This caused all sorts of hassle with launch plans and I paniced about what had happened to my stock. I contacted Amazon again and was told that I had to provide ‘proof of delivery’ for my products before any investigation could be done, or confirmation that they had my products. I have invested $$$ into my business to get it going in the USA, so this caused my huge stress as it seemed it had just disappeared. I followed up with the shipping company, and after a few days they were able to supply me with proof of delivery. I forwarded this to Amazon, and they came back and said, yes can confirm that we have it, but:
"as to when your shipment become eligible for investigation. It depends on the processing needed for your units after our fulfillment team receives your shipment.

A date will be generated as to when your shipment will become eligible for investigation. Waiting until that date helps ensure that the products in your shipment have had sufficient time to reach the appropriate fulfillment centers, including your products that need to be reshipped to other locations in order to be closer to customers. You can continue to monitor your shipment for the updates using the link provided below."

This is all very well, but I have no idea what this date will be. I have lost my Mum blog reviews to support the launch as the need to plan their schedule (and mine were all relevent to travel with kids over the summer), which is getting a bit late to run now. I have already placed an order for Q4 and was relying on sales to help pay for that, so am now having to look at getting loans sorted. It’s becoming a nightmare. You can’t run a business if your stock just disappears into a Black Hole and you have no idea about what’s happening with it. Can anyone give me any idea when my products will be live?

Thank you… very stressed in the UK!


#5

I thought the subject line of this thread referred to the non-stop Hallmark Christmas movies being beamed into my house these days.

bunga bunga!