Selling on Amazon is hard work. It’s not the kind of platform where you can list a few products, sit back, and count your sales. Success on Amazon requires consistent attention. You need to fulfill orders, respond to customer messages, monitor advertising campaigns, maintain inventory levels, and so on.
Of course, there will be times when you need to step away from your Seller Central dashboard. For example, you might be taking a vacation, experiencing severe weather, or tending to a family emergency. In these cases, you will need to adjust your Amazon account settings to prevent costly problems from occurring in your absence. Amazon makes this easy to do with Vacation Mode.
How Does Vacation Mode Work on Amazon?
Vacation Mode is a setting in Seller Central that enables Fulfilled-by-Merchant (FBM) sellers to temporarily deactivate their product listings, removing them from Amazon search results. This is helpful because FBM sellers are responsible for packing and shipping all orders based on the selected delivery time from the customer. If an order comes in while an FMB seller is on vacation, it still must be fulfilled on time. Otherwise, the seller can incur numerous penalties, including a drop in page rank, buy box suppression, and even account suspension.
FBA sellers don’t need to worry about this. They can take a vacation and Amazon will continue to fulfill orders. This isn’t to suggest that FBA sellers should not continue to monitor their account while taking time away from their business. As most sellers are aware, problems often arise on Amazon and the key to resolving them is to act quickly. FBA sellers who wish to temporarily stop all potential orders can do so by deactivating each SKU in their Seller Central Dashboard.
In most cases, deactivating listings while taking time off is only appropriate for FBM sellers. This is why Amazon created Vacation Settings. To set your account to Vacation Mode, follow the simple instructions below:
- In Seller Central, hover over Settings in the top-right corner of the screen, and then click Account Info from the drop-down menu.
- On the Seller Account Information page, in the Listings Status section, click Going on a vacation?
- On the Vacation Settings page, you can change your settings to “Active” or “Inactive” for one or multiple marketplaces, as detailed in the following table:
Things to Remember Before Activating Amazon Vacation Settings
- You must process return requests and respond to messages from customers within 24 hours, even if your listings are set to Inactive. You can update your settings to receive return request emails with links to Authorize, Close, or Reply, and you can have Amazon automatically authorize return requests.
- You can still create and edit listings while your listings are Inactive. Additions and changes will be reflected on Amazon when you change your Listings Status back to Active.
- Before changing the status of your listings, check for any pending orders since these will not automatically be canceled. You may want to set your listing status to Inactive prior to the date you will be away since pending orders may take time to resolve.
- Any applicable monthly subscription fees will continue to be charged, even if the fees come due while your listings are inactive.
- When you are ready to sell again, you will need to change your Listings Status back to active by repeating the steps above on the Vacation Settings page. This time select Active instead of Inactive and your listings will reappear within one hour.
Channel Key Takeaway
Vacation Mode is a good tool for small or new FBM sellers who want to take time off without worrying about order fulfillment. If you have employees that can run your business while you are away, there is no need to set your account to inactive. It’s also important to remember that Vacation Settings only apply to FBM sellers. If you turn on Vacation Mode as an FBA seller, your listings will remain live on Amazon. In any case, Amazon makes it easy for all sellers to take a vacation, spend time with family, and enjoy holidays.