Amazon Q4 Policy Update – FBA Shuts Out New Sellers

Amazon shuts out new FBA sellers

Amazon Q4 Policy Update – FBA Shuts Out New Sellers

Amazon announced this week that they are closing the FBA (Fulfillment by Amazon) program to new sellers until after December 19.  To qualify for Amazon’s FBA program during the 2016 Q4 season, it seems that customers needed to have submitted an inbound FBA shipment prior to October 10.  With the changes they have made in the past few months, this policy update makes sense for Amazon.  They are quickly running out of space in their fulfillment centers, and need to reserve capacity for their current sellers during the 4th quarter.

What Can You Do?

In typical Amazon fashion, the announcement came yesterday without any warning or time to act.  If you had not created and approved your first FBA shipment before yesterday, there isn’t anything you can do to use FBA before Christmas.  Amazon has noted that they will email sellers if the policy changes prior to December 21, although given the circumstances that is not likely.  You can, however, continue to sell on Amazon with merchant-fulfilled orders. This means, you will need to fulfill orders yourself or use a 3rd party fulfillment company that specializes in fulfillment by merchant.

How Can FBAforward Help?

We can help in a few ways.  Whether your first shipment is under production, already on a boat or plane, or you were just hoping to get in on some of the Q4 madness, we can help!  Over the past few months we have been piloting direct fulfillment for a few of our customers.  We’ve been pleased with the implementation so far and are ready to roll it out full scale, focusing on those new sellers unable to use FBA for the time being.  After the 4th quarter, when Amazon reopens the FBA program, we’ll help you transition by sending your remaining inventory to Amazon for you.  There are a few advantages to using FBAforward during the 4th quarter:

  • We’ll make sure you stay compliant with Amazon’s shipping policies.  “Fulfillment by Merchant” has very strict standards regarding shipping times and tracking numbers.  We are experts in all Amazon policies and will keep you 100% compliant.
  • Our Q4 storage prices are half the cost of Amazon!  Amazon boosts their storage rates during the 4th quarter to $2.25 per cubic foot.  Our storage rates are $1 per cubic foot during November and December.
  • Merchant Fulfilled Prime may be available to you!  Even though you won’t be using FBA, you can apply for Merchant Fulfilled Prime, and still get the Prime badge on your pages for certain shipments from our warehouse.

Changes at FBAforward

This is a big undertaking, and we want to make sure we are meeting each of our clients’ needs.  In order to keep up with everything this 4th quarter, we have brought on 4 new members to our support staff, and are doubling the size of our warehouse team.  We’re hard at work on decreasing our response time, our warehouse processing time, and increasing our overall capacity.  We’ve just finished our move to our new warehouse, and now have more than triple the space we previously had!  We’re committed to doing everything we can to help you build, grow, and scale your Amazon business this 4th quarter.

Ready to get started? Email [email protected] for all new orders and [email protected] to adjust an order already in progress.

Comments (6)

  • Wyatt Reply


    I am starting a small company selling sporting goods on Amazon and have been caught out by this new Q4 ruling.
    I was wondering what is will take for me to use your service? I wish to send my product from China via air mail to USA.
    Do I need a US Tax number or EIN and be a registered company first?

    All and any information helps.


    November 8, 2016 at 1:31 am
    • Caitlin Donnelly Reply

      Hi Wyatt,

      You will first need to get an EIN for importing your products and setting up your Amazon store. You will then fill out a Customer Application and an order form. Please contact our client relations team at [email protected] or 866-526-3951 to start your first order and learn more information about our FBM program.


      November 9, 2016 at 4:53 pm
  • Baltic Lite Light OÜ, Duane F. Bruce, CEO Reply

    I am interested in a fulfillment service which could start pick & pack shipments as soon as our products have been received by the service and our web store is finished in about 10 days. We offer 4 models of EuroPyramid EP3 warning lights for motor vehicles which are registered with an approval mark of KBA Kraftfahrt-Bundesamt (German Federal Motor Vehicle Office) and has the TÜV flag of water protection IP X5.
    Our sales market is the SEPA payment zone of the EU and the USA.
    Our product descriptions can be viewed on our website, which will be replaced with the web store in the very near future. Our products are made in Estonia and we have sufficient inventory for immediate delivery to any site where fulfillment services are available. We look forward to your response.

    November 8, 2016 at 2:58 am
    • Caitlin Donnelly Reply


      Currently we only do fulfillment services for Amazon. Our apologies!

      Thank you,

      FBAforward Support Team

      November 9, 2016 at 4:47 pm
  • Aadil Reply

    Hi there,

    Will this be the case for 2017 as well? I am due to pay a deposit to my manufacturer but the delivery date will be mid-October. I’m a new seller on the USA platform, currently selling in the UK.

    Will Amazon be doing the same thing for the 4 th quarter of 2017?


    August 30, 2017 at 8:15 am
    • Caitlin Donnelly Reply


      No one knows for sure, but I would plan as if they were. Amazon is already doing a few things to attempt to decrease the number of incoming shipments, like added October into the months that they charge increased storage. So, we wouldn’t be surprised if they blocked new sellers again. Last year, if you created an outbound shipment (with the address of origin in the US – NOT China), that was enough to allow you to send shipments into the fulfillment centers through Q4. It might be worth it to do anything you can to avoid being shut out of FBA, like creating a mock shipment now (you have to actually approve the shipment, it cannot be a draft) or sending in anything you can. If they do this again, we also can’t be sure WHEN it will happen. Last year, people were given little to no warning.

      Sorry, we wish that we were able to give a little more direction. But, as of now, prepare for the worst!


      August 30, 2017 at 8:25 am

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