Imagine selling toys on Amazon all year and then receiving an email just before the holiday season informing you that you don’t meet the criteria for selling in the Toys and Games category during the fourth quarter (Q4)!
This can be a crushing blow for your business as they are among the top-selling and most lucrative categories.
It’s important for you to understand the requirements for selling toys during the holiday season so that you can continue running your business without disruption when that time of year comes around.
This article outlines all the approval tips and guidelines you need to know for toy selling on Amazon.
Why Do Toys Sell Well on Amazon?
When most people consider becoming sellers on Amazon, toys are usually the first category that they start sourcing. I know it was my first category for selling on Amazon.
That’s because they sell well on Amazon throughout the year, but during Q4, they sell like crazy. If you can find cheap ones to sell and make margins, then you stand to make a killing during this period.
Here are some main reasons why they sell so well on Amazon:
- Amazon is a popular retailer that is trusted by many consumers. When most people think of buying toys, it’s the first place they think of. Gone are the days of going to Toys R Us
- Amazon doesn’t sell all types of toys themselves. This leaves plenty of opportunities for savvy sellers who are willing to find these gaps and supply the toys for profits.
- And even the toys Amazon does sell, the retailer usually runs out of stock during Q4. That’s when you’ll find desperate buyers with Prime who are willing to pay double or even triple what an item is worth simply because they are not aware that Amazon sells the same product at a lower price when it’s in stock.
- Another reason toys sell so well on Amazon is that there are tons of great tools to help you find the best deals for toys to resell on the platform so you can maximize your profit margins.
Now that you understand why toys sell so well on Amazon, it’s time to discover what you need to know about selling items in the Toys and Games category on Amazon.
What You Need To Know About Selling Toys & Games on Amazon
Selling toys can be quite a lucrative endeavor. However, it comes with a bit of a learning curve and it’s important to understand the rules and abide by them in order to run a profitable business.
Although it’s easy enough to get started and sell on Amazon during the year, things change around the holiday season, and not everyone is able to continue selling during the fourth quarter (aka Q4).
Amazon has toy requirements in Q4 because they understand that during the holidays, things can get pretty hectic. Take it from a seller like me. Things get crazy.
Amazon simply wants to ensure that sellers who desire to merchant-fulfill toys on the platform are already successful, reliable Amazon sellers.
This is an effort to avoid unhappy customers as it can cause huge problems at such a busy time of the year.
Maintaining customer happiness and satisfaction is something that Amazon is known for. In addition to 24/7 customer service, they also have super-fast free shipping and lax return policies.
Amazon does everything it can in order to meet and exceed customer expectations, particularly during the holidays. And that’s why the platform has put in place the selling requirements for Toys and Games.
Below are the requirements for selling toys on Amazon during Q4.
Important Note: If you are using Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA), then you don’t need to worry about meeting the criteria below.
This is for sellers who use Fulfillment by Merchant (FBM) for selling toys in Q4.
Amazon Requirements to Sell Toys in Q4:
- You need to have made your first Amazon sale by September, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be in the Toys and Games category.
- You must have processed and shipped 25 or more seller-fulfilled orders in the period between August and October.
These two criteria are easily reachable and the restrictions only apply between November and January. For the rest of the year, you can sell toys freely on Amazon.
Also, the restrictions only apply to products in the Toys and Games category, which means you are still able to merchant-fulfill any items in the other categories.
Additional Qualifiers for To Sell Toys on Amazon During Q4
If you are fulfilling orders yourself, there are a few more requirements that you need to meet in order to be approved:
You Must Have an Order Defect Rate of Less Than 1%
The order defect rate refers to the number of orders that have a defect or flaw, compared to the total number of orders during a 60-day period.
This metric is expressed as a percentage, and Amazon uses it as a measure of the level of customer experience you provide.
You Must Maintain a Late Shipment Rate Lower Than 4%
If your order shipments are confirmed after the expected ship date, your late shipment rate will increase. So always ship your orders out before or on the expected ship-by date to avoid worsening your account’s metrics.
Your Rate of Pre-Fulfillment Cancellations Shouldn’t Be Higher Than 1.75%
The pre-fulfillment cancel rate is the number of orders canceled by the seller. Normally, you’re fine if you keep this rate under 2.5%, but during the holidays, the rules are stricter, and you have to maintain a cancellation rate of less than 1.75%.
Do your best not to cancel any FBM orders you receive so you can stay compliant with Amazon’s requirements not just during the holiday selling season.
Check Your Seller Account Health
To check these rates, log into your Amazon account and locate the Performance section in Seller Central. You will receive final notification from Amazon pertaining to eligibility before November 1st.
If you don’t meet the above criteria, you can still use FBA to sell toys in Q4.
If you sell mainly or exclusively FBA, you might consider adding merchant fulfillment to enhance your Q4 strategy.
The reason for using both FBA and merchant fulfillment during this time is because it allows you to continue to sell items as late into the season as possible especially in December, where sales may still be high.
However, it will be too late for you to ship products to Amazon’s warehouse. I do this and make a killing in the days leading up to Christmas.
Also, merchant fulfillment will allow you to take advantage of those brief windows of time when Amazon has run out of stock on a hot item.
Selling Toys During Q4 Approval Tips
Q4 means big things for Amazon sellers. But, sellers may not know whether Amazon will impose requirements on them during this time of year.
If you haven’t been through that experience before, you may not fully understand what all the fuss is about. In fact, you may not be sure what you should be doing or even what to expect during this period.
Amazon starts sending emails around August to all registered sellers informing them whether they meet the criteria for selling toys on the platform during Q4.
Many sellers are never sure if they will qualify to sell toys in the fourth quarter on Amazon, which causes panic since selling toys during the holiday season is essential for their business.
According to Statista, Amazon is the #1 retailer where Americans buy them online, and as such, it presents huge opportunities for sellers to boost their yearly profits during Q4.
Here are some tips to help you meet Amazon’s requirements to sell toys during the holiday period.
1. Sell Low-Priced Toys from Retail Stores
Your first step is to find low-priced items at stores like Walmart, Best Buy, etc. You can use special tools like Tactical Arbitrage (more on that below) to help you quickly discover the best purchases for resale.
This will help you to quickly meet the criteria outlined above.
2. Pause Your FBA Offer and Activate FBM Instead
If you’ve been selling wholesale or private label products and still have some inventory in your warehouse, you can simply pause your offer for Fulfillment by Amazon and replace it with an FBM offer.
This works particularly well if you’re the sole seller on the listing since your FBM offer will get the Buy Box in place of the FBA offer. Keep this up until you’ve reached 25 FBM orders.
If you have only ever sold toys on Amazon using FBA, you may have to go through a bit of a learning curve to master merchant fulfillment.
The most important part is to set up your shipping template so that you won’t lose money on orders.
A lot of new sellers get this part wrong and end up with costly situations where buyers pay $4.99 shipping to cover an item that actually cost them $14 to ship!
Using Tactical Arbitrage To Find Toys To Sell
Tactical Arbitrage is a tool for automating the majority of your online arbitrage process. The software allows you to pick a retailer, set the price and other criteria for the products you want to purchase, and then get an analysis of all the potentially profitable products that are available to you.
Using Tactical Arbitrage to Evaluate Items
Tactical Arbitrage has a selection of over 450 websites in the US that you can search, including Best Buy, Target, Walmart, and more.
All you have to do is pick a website and a category within the website, and then the software will get to work searching through hundreds of pages for products that meet your set buying criteria.
Within minutes, you will have a list of profitable inventory opportunities that you can choose from. However, depending on the size of the search it can take up to several hours for the software to give you the full results.
In addition to that, you will also receive all the information you need to make well-informed sourcing decisions.
The tool matches up the offer on the store you’re searching to the one currently on Amazon. It will then pull in all the data relevant to that product so you can see the profits, ROI, sales rank, and other important information in one convenient place.
Another great feature of Tactical Arbitrage is that once you find the deal on one website, the software can check other sites so that if there is another site (in addition to the one you’re searching) that sells the same product, you will get a notification of where else you can buy it.
This information is particularly useful because if one store runs out of stock, or if you want to buy high quantities of a particular product, then you have alternatives available to you.
If you want to experience the power and scope of Tactical Arbitrage for yourself, you can sign up for a free trial to test the software out.
If you have plans of selling toys on Amazon during the fourth quarter, use the approval tips in this article as your guide to ensure that you can continue selling toys on Amazon without disruption during the busy season.
After all, Q4 is the best time of the year for toy sellers to turn a profit. And remember to use a tool like Tactical Arbitrage to help you find the best and most profitable deals on toys during the busy season and throughout the year.
Do you have any other tips to add to this guide on selling toys on Amazon? If so share your thoughts in the comments section below!
Why do I need approval to sell toys on Amazon?
You only need approval to sell toys on Amazon during the fourth quarter because the platform wants to ensure that only successful and reliable sellers can merchant-fulfill toys during the busy season to avoid problems.
Can I sell toys on Amazon?
As long as you meet Amazon’s criteria for selling children’s toys, and comply with all Federal Safety Standards, you can sell toys on Amazon.