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Six Amazon Seller Central Updates that Impact Brands this Holiday Season

Ryan Faist

Ryan Faist, Channel Key

October 6, 2021

Amazon has released a flurry of Seller Central updates designed to help brands maximize success this holiday shopping season. As a recognized Amazon agency and partner, we know that keeping up with the ever-changing platform can be challenging and time-consuming. To make it easier, we’ve compiled the most recent changes that impact FBA sellers so you can focus on running your business.

Seller Central Update: Amazon Extends 2021 Holiday Returns Window

The Amazon Extended Holiday Returns Policy for 2021 requires that most items purchased between October 1, 2021, and December 31, 2021, be eligible for return through January 31, 2022. This is an annual, temporary extension of the standard return window. Although the return window for most orders is extended, return eligibility for all orders remains the same.

Seller Central Update: Amazon Releases New Option for Automated Removal of Aged Inventory

Amazon announced changes to automated inventory removal to create more room for your products this holiday season. Automated removal of aged inventory can help you save on long-term storage fees and improve your Inventory Performance Index score. It also frees up space in fulfillment centers for more of your popular inventory. Amazon expanded the scope of automated removal of aged inventory and added a value-recovery option. The following inventory can be removed automatically:

  • Units that are in fulfillment centers for more than 365 days and that are subject to long-term storage fees
  • Units of ASINs that haven’t sold in six or more consecutive months and that have been in fulfillment centers for more than 180 days

You can recover value from these units through liquidation. With Amazon’s newest value-recovery option, products are liquidated through a wholesale liquidator. The net recovery value of liquidated products is then transferred to your account.

Seller Central Update: Amazon Launches New Payments Report Page for Deferred Transactions

Amazon launched a new page in Seller Central that makes it easier to track payment reserve amounts at the individual order level. Starting September 20, the new Deferred transactions page is available in Payment reports. The Deferred transactions page lists individual orders currently deferred, the corresponding amount(s), and the dates(s) when funds will become available for disbursement. If you receive invoiced orders, these will also appear on this page.

You will continue to see the total amount of funds held in reserve on your Statement view page, under the new “Deferred transactions” line item in your total balance. When funds are released for payment, the corresponding transactions will move to the Transaction view page. With the launch of Deferred transactions, only transactions that have been disbursed will be included in the Settlement reports.

Note: If Delivery date reserve policies do not apply to you, you will not see any transactions on the Deferred transactions page.

Seller Central Update: Amazon Introduces Three Mandatory ASIN Attributes

Effective October 26, 2021, Amazon is introducing the following three mandatory attributes for listings created one at a time or in bulk:

  • Net Content: A new attribute set for eight Product Types (PTs)
  • Item Form: A previously optional attribute that will become mandatory for 86 PTs
  • Number of Items: A previously optional attribute that will become mandatory for 154 PTs

With these changes, all ASINs for select PTs must have these attributes populated when you submit new ASINs or update existing ASINs. Failure to populate these mandatory attributes will prevent any new selection creation in the relevant PTs after October 26, 2021. Note that this will not de-list any selection that you have listed before October 26, 2021. However, to provide a seamless shopping experience for customers, Amazon recommends that you update this information on existing listings. If you have ASINs in your inventory in any of the select PTs that don’t have an ‘Item Form’ or ‘Number of Items’ value, you may begin updating these attributes now.

Seller Central Update: Amazon Simplifies Outlet Deals Approval Process

To help you better take advantage of Outlet and its sale events, Amazon improved the deal submission process to increase the chances that your deals will be approved.

Customers shop Outlet for markdowns, overstock deals, and clearance products. Creating Outlet deals can help you clear excess and aged inventory in any product category, improve cash flow, and reduce total storage fees.

In the US, the UK, and the EU, Amazon is launching end-of-summer sale events to drive more traffic to Outlet pages that feature apparel, shoes and outdoor, lawn, and garden products. Deals that meet ASIN image-quality standards may be prominently featured in these events.

Seller Central Update: Amazon Adds Refurbishment and Liquidation to Automated-Removal Options

On September 9, 2021, Amazon added two value-recovery services options for automated removal of unfulfillable inventory:

  • Refurbishment: Eligible customer-returned products that are in new condition but require low-touch refurbishing will be returned to sellable status at no cost to you. For more information, go to FBA repackaging and refurbishment services.
  • Liquidation: Eligible products will be made available for wholesale liquidation through a trusted provider. If the products are liquidated, the recovery value is transferred to your account.

These alternatives to having unfulfillable inventory disposed of or returned to you can help you manage your storage costs and minimize the impact on your IPI score and storage limits. To configure these settings, go to Automated unfulfillable settings and select Liquidate, Refurbishment, or both. Unfulfillable units that are not eligible for these value-recovery services will be removed automatically based on your selection of either Return or Dispose.

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