Sell on Amazon Sign in
This article applies to selling in: United States

How to Prepare for the Holiday Season (Merchant Fulfilled Network)

During the peak season, sellers may experience an increase in sales volume. We compiled a list of best practices to help you prepare and successfully manage your Merchant Fulfilled orders during peak.

Note: Even if you do not have a deal planned for peak, assume that you will receive higher than normal volumes as a result of increased traffic to Amazon.com. For more information on peak season readiness, visit Seller University here.

Note that holiday selling requirements will be implemented in Toys & Games this holiday season to maintain a positive customer experience on Amazon. Sellers must meet certain performance criteria to be eligible to sell in Toys & Games through seller fulfillment, see here. If you do not maintain the criteria, you will not be able to fulfill orders directly this holiday season.

Prepare for Peak Sales Volume - Best Practices

Track your Performance

You must meet the following requirements to maintain your account eligibility:

  • A Late Shipment Rate under 4%
  • Pre-fulfillment Cancel Rate of no more than 2.5%
  • Valid Tracking Rate over 95%
  • On-time Delivery Rate of at least 97%
  • Order Defect Rate under 1%

You can check your performance metrics here.

For Premium Shipping orders you must comply with the following metrics:

  • An On-time Delivery Rate above 97%
  • Pre-fulfillment Cancel Rate less than 0.5%
  • Valid Tracking Rate over 99%

You can check your performance metrics on the Premium Shipping Options Dashboard here.

Manage your orders closely

Stay on top of orders by updating your notification settings.

Check your Seller app and Seller Central account frequently for orders and fulfill new orders daily. Do not rely solely on "Sold, ship now" emails to let you know you have orders. Review your notification settings here.

Provide accurate product data

Use unique standard identifiers (UPC/EAN/ISBN) when creating or matching to product detail pages. Make sure your product description and condition notes are clear and helpful to buyers.

Check your inventory regularly

Keep an eye on quantity of inventory you have in stock, especially if you sell in multiple channels. Ensure you have enough inventory to fulfill your sales and avoid order cancellations due to inventory shortage. For more information on how to manage your inventory, visit Seller University here.

Staffing and Handling time

Review your staffing plans to ensure you have enough capacity to ship during the holiday season. Same Day Handling time is only available to sellers that meet high delivery performance standards. The steps on how to enable and disable Same Day handling time can be found here.

Be prepared for an increase in order volume during key sales periods, such as the run-up to the holiday season. List only those items you will be able to ship by or before the expected ship date. Learn more about managing orders here.

Streamline your Shipping and Fulfillment

Review your shipping templates and ensure that you can comply with the transit time set on the shipping templates. Weekend Operations will be optional. When enabled, these days will be considered in the calculation of the Expected Ship Date.

Ship orders prior to the Expected Ship Date when possible. Hand over packages the same day you buy shipping labels and ensure that your carriers provide first scans the same day.

Note: As a reminder, as of September 30, 2020, orders not shipped 7 days after the Expected Ship Date will automatically be canceled to protect the customer experience.

Provide great customer service

Make an impression on buyers that will last: provide excellent customer service during the holiday season. Make a point of responding to all of their inquiries within 24 hours. Add a personal touch to orders - include "thank you" notes on packing slips. Be courteous in your correspondence with buyers as per our communication guidelines, and address any problems quickly and professionally. Providing world-class service usually results in buyer appreciation.

Handle returns, refunds, and A-to-z Guarantee claims

Address A-to-z Guarantee claims and service chargebacks promptly. Check your A-to-z Guarantee claim pages daily, and proactively resolve any issues. To help prevent being held responsible for the reimbursement of a claim, follow our selling policies.

Sign in to use the tool and get personalized help (desktop browser required). Sign in


Reach Hundreds of Millions of Customers

Start Selling On Amazon


© 1999-2020, Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates