Amazon has figured out a model that works for them. I suggest rather than asking Amazon to change you adapt your business model around theirs. Sadly, you make a good point, but it doesn’t sound like Amazon is hurting from their short term view of analyzing sell-through. We expanded our assortment - to get non-seasonal business for this reason. The other alternative is to get warehouses in the US that store inventory and ship to Amazon as storage limits allow. Amazon is looking out for Amazon. Each Cyber Monday, Prime day, and Black Friday is bigger than the last one. So it sounds like they’re doing fine - if you aren’t I’d find a way around Amazon’s policies so your biz still thrives. Amazon won’t be sending you a life boat anytime soon.
The only time I have experienced restock limits was right after covid hit last year and I think christmas last year. It was a bear as they limited inventory that equated to about 2 weeks worth on popular items. With shipping/checkin times you can imagine how well that worked.
My IPI has always been over 700 and other than above I have never seen an inventory limit. However their little robots are not smart and do not account for seasonal changes. Amazon is far too big to care how well it works for sellers. We have to work within their limits. When it affected me I would have switched back to FBM if had come to it. Always adjusting, trying to keep up.
Yes, so-called AI. It’s evident to me that they just don’t have the best programmers. We all know this. The catalogue is crap. Not everything, but a lot of software that runs this gigantic machine is sub par. There is not even a way to give feedback to programmers. I have worked on crazily difficult open source projects (not as a coder, only providing usability feedback) and I know that there is no excuse for this. All of this can be fixed, and any good coder is excited to get input and make “machine learning” better. I have worked with many coders, I know this. So Amazon is clearly overlooking something here. I have some ideas on how to make the “inventory limit calculation” algorithm working better, and I know from experience that my ideas can’t simply be discarded as whiny useless disgruntled bookseller feedback. I supply tons and tons of stuff that Amazon customers want. Sales are hot. There is no reason to punish me in such a cruel way. Yeah I know, me me me. But this stuff matters. I don’t know how much longer I can handle it. The whole used media retail arbitrage model seems to get no attention from the management anymore. But there is no reason for it, there is so much money in this space.
Figure out the game Amazon is playing in 2021 not 1999. It’s changed. For better or worse. If you look at Amazon it’s not terribly focused on UX/UI. They emphasize revenue, customer obsession, etc. Best in class development simply isn’t needed to achieve their goals. They aren’t trying to have the best website - they’re trying to acquire and retain eCommerce customers. They’re doing that. If the used book arbitrage model is so valuable in your eyes you should open your own Shopify store. Amazon isn’t your business’ guardian Angel. Adapt are fade away, any questions? Give the former execs of Borders Books and Barnes and Noble a call. They have plenty of time now that Amazon took them out.
Amazon decreased our restock limits (again) for oversize from 1193 to 1000 today
Has anyone else noticed any decrease in restock limits today?
Our level changes always happen on Mondays. When the introduced it in April, it also happened on a Monday, then the first painful reduction on the next Monday, and then they consistently every Monday increased it by a few hundred every time, until they hit us in the groin with the massive 2,500 decrease, 500 below what’s there. A clear message: Go away! I’m willing to bet that there will be another decrease this coming Monday.
Why so you can suddenly change rules on what we can and can not sell? And then charge us money to get the items back or sell them yourselves? No thanks
I was looking at my IPI today and although it is plenty high, I wanted to know more how its calculated. Many mention inventory limits change on Mondays; I think that’s because that is when the IPI scores update.
To get a good IPI score, a huge influence of your storage limit, you might look at how you can adapt your operations to how Amazon is evaluating your business. These are rolling averages that don’t seem to put much weight on Year Ago performance. Instead, they put nearly all weight on how your business is doing now and/or in the last 90 days.
So, very unforgiving to those selling in departments that have zero (0) demand outside of their season. In a different world than the one we live in, Amazon would have different standards for seasonal categories / sub-categories. However, in the one in which we live, all FBA need to figure out how to get their IPI metrics + SKU-level sales forecasts [that you can’t see] to be favorable to a high storage limit that supports your business.
4 Factors influence your IPI the most:
(1) Excess Inventory - for seasonal biz, if Amazon’s forecast [we can’t see] thinks your sales will be low, then you’ll look like you have excess inventory. You can see how many units Amzn thinks are excess per sku by going into your IPI score. While you might not be able to do anything about it, you can at least know that as your units sold/day improves, Amazon will increase what it thinks you’ll sell
(2) Sell-Through - This is confusing. Supply Chain & Retail professionals would call this “Inventory Turns over 90 days.” You need your inventory to turn on average at least 2 times in 90 days. They count SKUs toward this calculation only when you have inventory on-hand. Your IPI will decline if you have a bunch of seasonal SKUs that just arrived for the season. That’s because for the majority of your SKUs, you have 0 Sales divided by >1 unit inventory on hand giving you a very low average “Sell-Through” score. In a perfect world, Amazon wants your inventory to turn 7 times in 90 days - doing that would require just 13 days inventory on hand at Amazon. Not likely for seasonal SKUs.
(3) Stranded Inventory - easy to fix. Make sure your inventory is labeled with ACTIVE fnsku’s. If you delete an item, it has returns to Amazon FCs, then make sure to dispose/liquidate/return the inventory.
(4) FBA In-stock Rate - if your items are active, they’re included in calculating this. From what I can tell its calculated based on the last 30 days. So, for mostly seasonal biz, you need 30 days of 80%+ Instock before this metric will improve.
I would like to share that after doing a lot of inventory weeding out, fire selling anything older than 60 days, pricing more competively than ever before, the bots lifted my inventory limit by around 1,000 units.
We sell used media, mostly books.
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