Dear Amazon - the health products removal - where will it end?


So as many of you know, Amazon has recently been removing many, many products in the health section for being “prescription”. Recent products removed include some listings for:

generic Benadryl

and many others.

Amazon of course has the right to sell or not sell any product, however the continuing problem is Amazon blaming the sellers for selling “prescription” products which are obviously not prescription. So what I have to wonder is - should I (and everyone else) stop selling the entire category?


You should be careful about what you invest in that category because even if you have approval for Health & Beauty, Amazon will restrict brands/listings at any given point and arbitrarily even if these products do not contain restricted ingredients. It started last year and no it’s not going to end. We went through the cycle of loss for some brands so you need to be cautious about what you invest to sell on Amazon in the category.


Avoid FBA also because once your products are trapped you will pay more to just get these out. It is not just a cautionary tale; we’ve been through this.

Edited by: Unique App on Jun 12, 2014 10:49 AM


The first big wave of restrictions was back in October and that was just the beginning. It hasn’t stopped and a lot of it has nothing to do with ingredients. The issue is complex and it also involves Amazon as a retailer launching its Health & Beauty experience but in general it is a “toxic” category and it has been for months. You are constantly tip toeing on land mines in the category with investing in it.


Visine??? I could probably make Visine in my kitchen.


Yes, we’ve been through this (and too late to avoid FBA, I have thousands of units there already), but never like this before. Really, my hope, crazy as it may be, is to get someone a bit higher up the chain at Amazon to notice what’s going on and straighten it out. If Amazon is going to go out of the OTC product business, fine. But I can’t see continuing to restrict products basically at random making sense.


It certainly makes me NOT want to start in that category. Amazon must be moving away from 3P Health and beauty, I would assume because of legal risk…


Apparently this all has to do with a recent investigation that showed prescription products were being sold on Amazon. All the prescription products were being sold by international sellers who were able to get the products in their home countries legally, but Amazon has reacted by, in my opinion, lashing out blindly. Yes, you know this, I know it all too. I’ve been selling in the category for years, I fought like hell last year to get suntan lotions reinstated when Amazon pulled many down because they were “a cure for cancer” and actually the sellers won that one.

My whole point with this post is to take a shot in the dark that someone in Amazon management look at the current situation and evaluates it. It’s another situation where a small amount of common sense would go a long way. I don’t expect results, but trying to do something feels better than doing nothing.


What Amazon needs to understand, is that old sellers, new sellers, potential sellers keep reading about the Amazon restrictions and deciding to take their business elsewhere.


This category suffers from a lot more problems than the prescription medications.

There was a major seizure of counterfeit products in many brands a few months back, at the producer in the US.

There have been large numbers of shelf pulls listed. Customers have received short dated or expired product from FBM sellers.

Many sellers fail to follow recalls and customers have received recalled product.

Nutritional supplements are a continuous problems in terms of labelling, and many home made supplements have been offered.

More draconian restrictions are likely because the only other choice would be a level of due diligence in qualifying sellers which would be expensive and extremely intrusive.

A lot of good and professional sellers will suffer to protect the Amazon buyers.

Edited by: Lake on Jun 12, 2014 12:33 PM


We just got suspended for selling nutritional supplements. Nothing illegal of course but is appears amazon is panicked. One of the emails we got said that a creatine product contained steroids. Supplements were such a small part of our business and now we have over 100k in inventory stranded in FBA warehouses.


That really stinks. Six months from now when Amazon has a bunch of half-empty FBA warehouses someone else will take notice and investigate why all this happened, but until then we just have to keep trying to get them to see reason.


I hope that’s the case.


Thanks for mentioning this.

The video can actually be found in google search.

It was discussed several times here that Amazon would act if this or that made National News and now it’s happening.

Next should be Baby Food found on alibaba and aliexpress.


I was watching CNN the other day and Sanya Gupta had a report on this very issue, about amazon selling “prescription” products.

When it makes National news you can bet amazon’s gonna take notice (and action).

As a buyer, I will say this. I’m glad. I think the FDA is the best thing America ever invented.

Protecting buyers from counterfeit cheap plastic chinese cell phone cases is one thing, but protecting buyers health from products they actually INGEST is another thing altogether.


AMAZON is reacting to media attention and seems to being targeting products that have been found to be frequently fake, expired pulls or bear questionable claims but similar to the double speak used to block the selling of some DVDS and toys the real reason is hidden in false claims of prescription products being sold, not in a very transparent way to deal with sellers of these affected products but nothing new as far as how AMAZON chooses to communicate! That said the last thing I would buy on AMAZON is ANYTHING in health + beauty! Too much risk to my family’s health! And I am not alone in my thinking! I think this category is finished for awhile! At least books and dvds do not kill you! OH and add GROCERY to categories that need cleaning up before a national media scandal!


That’s what I don’t understand - how come that people buy these kinds of questionable products from unkown third party sellers in the first place just to save a few bucks and perhaps the convenience of easily comparing photos of the products quickly and not having to carry them far?

They do not make too much money on me in real stores either. I prefer to get my Vitamins and Supplements on the Farmer’s Market and nice supermarkets in the form of vegetables, fruits and other basic foods.

I turned on the TV for a short while yesterday after leaving it unused in another room for quite some time.

I wanted to check out the Rio opening ceremonies.

As I was flipping through the channels, I stopped at Dr OZ for a short while.

He was pushing MultiVitamins, Omega 3 and Vitamin D this time. At least not something more dubious,
but he illustrated with a rather primitive “experiment” why it is better to take the multivitamins in smaller amounts each time, twice a day, instead of larger amount, only in the morning.
He actually showed a giant pill (made for horses in my opinion) broken in two!
Why can’t they just make smaller pills?

But I noticed that all those Health & Beauty Products he is constantly pushing could not stop or reverse his own aging process!

Judge Judy on the other hand does not seem to age at all or can afford a much better plastic surgeon and better skin care products than Dr OZ - or perhaps Dr OZ still spends too much time in the direct Sun while Judge Judy keeps judging people indoors.


Is it possible that you listed those on a duplicate catalog page before sending them to FBA?


what category is safe to invest in, then? As far as I know, this is happening in media and toys, groceries and now health/beauty…seems to me Amazon is inadvertently telling us to be careful about investing in ANY category…

Where will it end? It won’t.

Every week i discover new DVD/Bluray/CD titles suddenly without a catalog page and stranded at FBA warehouses that I have to recall and sell elsewhere.


no, those would be merged.

These are items that become blocked/restricted, sometimes months after being received into FBA…