Amazon Inventory Update: Restock Limits for FBA Products Introduced

Amazon Inventory Update: Restock Limits for FBA Products Replaces ASIN-Level Quantity Limits

FBA sellers welcomed the ASIN-level quantity limits as part of the Amazon inventory update with some push-back. Following the criticism of some FBA sellers, Amazon has introduced a more flexible system, which took effect on April 22, 2021. 

Last July 2020, Amazon announced that they would limit the quantity of FBA products to be accepted in the fulfillment centers. Amazon opined that this ASIN quantity limit would prevent FBA products with high inventory levels but low customer demand from being sent to the FBA warehouse. 

However, the concerns raised by FBA sellers since the implementation of ASIN-level quantity limits came to the attention of Amazon. This resulted in the introduction of restock limits by storage type instead of continuing the ASIN quantity limits.

In Amazon’s own words, the eCommerce-giant stated that “we’ve heard your feedback, and are continuously improving our policies and programs to better receive and store your products.”

How ASIN Level Quantity Limits Impacted Sellers  

 

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The goal of the update back in 2020 regarding ASIN-level quantity limits on FBA products was to maximize the selection for customers during peak season. In theory, this change seemed beneficial; however, its application was a bit troublesome for Amazon FBA sellers. The ASIN-level quantity limits changed the way some FBA sellers conducted their business. FBA sellers who usually send 500 to 1000 units of product from their suppliers directly to the Amazon warehouses were forced to decrease their inventory of new items up to 200 units only.

Consequently, the quantity limit imposed by Amazon forced some FBA sellers to utilize 3PL warehouses to house items that exceeded the ASIN quantity limit.

Impact of the New Amazon Inventory Update

Unlike the previously introduced Amazon inventory update, the new update does not rely on the ASIN-level limit.  Instead, the inventory update is based on restock limits that are calculated by storage type and past & forecasted sales. Thus, enabling sellers to dispense these limits over ASINs.

To help sellers identify the storage type, Amazon listed down four main storage type categories that include:

  • Standard-size includes items not exceeding 18” x 14” x 8”; should weigh 20 lbs or less.
  • Oversize includes items exceeding weight and/or dimensions listed for the standard size.
  • Apparel includes wearable clothing and accessory items
  • Footwear includes shoes, boots, slippers, etc.

If you think of circumventing the restock limits by changing the storage type of a product, Amazon has it covered already. Amazon stipulates the storage type to which a product will belong is gleaned from the characteristics of the inventory item. To understand storage type categories for your products, check FBA Inventory Age

How Does Restock Limit Affect My Amazon Inventory?

With the new Amazon inventory update being implemented, the quantity of inventory you can send to FBA centers is likewise affected. 

In order to determine how many items you can send to fulfillment centers, check your restock limits monitor via the Amazon seller dashboard. This allows you to check the maximum shipment quantity by storage type. 

Here is a quick guide on how to navigate your way to restock limits monitor.

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Seller Central Dashboard: A screenshot (cropped) inventory page via seller’s dashboard; Retrieved May 10, 2021, From: https://amzn.to/3w7DAR5

STEP 1: After logging into your Seller Central Account, CLICK on the INVENTORY tab. 

STEP 2: From the dropdown menu, CLICK on the MANAGE FBA INVENTORY tab.

STEP 3: Once redirected to the FBA Inventory page, CLICK on the SHIPPING QUEUE menu.

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Seller Central Dashboard: A screenshot (cropped) shipping queue page via seller’s dashboard; Retrieved May 10, 2021, From: https://amzn.to/2QXK5Hb

STEP 4: Once redirected to the Shipping Queue page, scroll down and click on the RESTOCK LIMITS for a dropdown menu to appear.

inventory-page-photo

Seller Central Dashboard: A screenshot (cropped) shipping queue page via seller’s dashboard; Retrieved May 10, 2021, From:  https://amzn.to/2QXK5Hb

STEP 5: Once the Restock Limits tab has been clicked, the four aforementioned main storage type categories will appear, along with the restock limits data. 

It is essential to constantly monitor your restock limits so that you do not send inventory beyond the allowed shipment quantity. Doing so may result in policy violation and cancellation of non-compliant shipments.

How Is My Maximum Shipping Quantity Calculated?

Amazon calculates your maximum shipping quantity using maximum inventory level minus utilization. Utilization encompasses your current FBA inventory and all incoming product shipments. Take note that customer returns are likewise included in the overall inventory of sellers. However, the reserved inventory and pending removals are excluded from the calculation. 

Restock Limit Update Frequency 

The variable being considered in implementing the restock limit is constantly changing. Hence, the restock limit is not permanent and is subject to change depending on the network capacity assessment. Restock limits may increase along with the regular limits update. Checking the restock limits monitor will help in keeping you updated with any changes to restock limits.

Enhance Your Inventory Management Process

With the limitations set by Amazon when it comes to inventory shipments, learn how to make improvements in your inventory management. Try to modify or rework your stocks by offering discounts or product bundles. This will help in eliminating obsolete or slow-moving inventory. Apart from that, you can also use Amazon seller tools to enhance your inventory and product movement. The use of inventory management tools and automatic AI repricers can aid in improving your overall Amazon business. 


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