What’s Different This Holiday Season for FBA Sellers?

Amazon, Fulfilled By Amazon

Are you ready for what could be your most successful quarter yet? About 40% of Americans will begin their holiday shopping this November.


As an FBA Seller, there are important dates to keep in mind. For example, Amazon requires all your inventory to be received by November 7th for Cyber Monday and Black Friday. Beyond that, you want to have your entire business in order so your products can sell themselves.


Let’s take a look at what’s different this holiday season as well as other important tasks you’ll want to start checking off your list now.


Important Dates to Remember

These dates aren’t too far off from last year:

  • November 7 – All your inventory must be received by an Amazon Fulfillment Center for Cyber Monday and Black Friday.
  • December 1 – All your inventory must be received by an Amazon Fulfillment Center for the Christmas shopping season.
  • December 17 – Do not send 2018 inventory any earlier than this date.

Last year, Amazon didn’t allow any new sellers to open FBA accounts from October 1 until the end of December, due to the holiday rush. We haven’t seen any announcements for 2017, but it’s likely to be the same case.


Months with Increased Storage Fees

  • October – You might be accustomed to November and December’s increased storage fees. Due to the changing costs of storage, fulfillment, and transportation, Amazon has added October to those months. This will apply to standard and oversize items.
    • Monthly Storage Fees
      • January – September: $0.64/cubic foot for standard-size items
      • October – December: $2.35/cubic foot for standard-size items
    • Monthly Storage Fees
      • January – September: $0.43/cubic foot for oversize items
      • October – December: $1.15/cubic foot for oversize items


Months with Decreased Fulfillment Fees

  • October – Although those increased storage fees might strain your budget, Amazon has lowered their fulfillment fees until the end of December.
    • Monthly Fulfillment Fees for Standard Non-Media Items
      • January – September: $2.41 – $4.18/unit total
      • October – December: $2.39 – $3.96/unit total
    • Monthly Fulfillment Fees for Standard-Size Media
      • January – September: $2.41 – $4.18/unit total
      • October – December: $2.39 – $3.96/unit total
    • Monthly Fulfillment Fees for Oversize Media
      • January – September: $6.85 – $138.08/unit total
      • October – December: $6.69 – $131.44/unit total

For the latest news and updates, keep an eye on Amazon’s Seller Central headlines page. You can also check the headlines section of your Seller Central home page when you log in to your dashboard. Checking these regularly will help ensure you never miss an important deadline.


What Else Should You Keep in Mind This Holiday Season?

  • Review Your Product Pages

Are all your product images high quality? Do they make your products appear professional and as appealing as possible?

Are your titles and product descriptions clear and straight to the point? Is all your information up to date and current? Now’s the time when there’s no margin for error.

  • Optimize Your Inventory

Take a look at your inventory. Since storage fees will be increasing, you want to be careful here. Make sure you’re only storing the items you need.

As for what you do need, make sure you’re fully stocked. Remember, all your items need to be received in Amazon’s Fulfillment Center by November 7.

You can manage your inventory through the “Excess Inventory” tool in Amazon or through your SellerCloud Account.  

  • Consider Starting an Ad Campaign

Since Amazon’s going to be managing the picking, packing, and shipping of your merchandise during this busy season, take advantage of this opportunity to focus your efforts on an ad campaign and, hopefully, watch your profit margin rise. This can also help increase your visibility in 2018.

  • Monitor Your Ad Campaign’s Closely

If you do choose to run an ad campaign, monitor your performance through your Campaign Manager. Review your sales and Advertising Cost of Sale (ACoS) so you can see what’s working and what you might want to tweak.

Amazon’s prepared a handy little guide to help you prepare for this busy selling season. In it, they review some of the above dates, discuss shipments and inventory, and suggest running an ad campaign, too.


Happy Holidays!

Although you’ll see that things are operating closely in line with 2016, it’s important to keep your cut-off dates and rate changes in mind. This year, holiday sales are expected to reach over $1 trillion between November and January.

As long as you abide by your dates, budget for the increased storage fees and, perhaps, run an ad campaign, you’ll be on your way to a piece of that trillion-dollar pie.


SellerCloud’s dedicated service team is here to answer any of your questions and smoothly see you through this all-important fourth quarter. Please reach out to us with any questions or concerns through our Support Portal, where our team is waiting to assist.

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Jeremy Greenberg is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer at Sellercloud. His strong background in software development and e-commerce have propelled Sellercloud to the forefront of the e-commerce solutions space. Dedication to client success and a persistent desire to innovate have set him apart as a unique authority on e-commerce and a provider of complex, meaningful solutions to online merchants.