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Roundup Post: Amazon Seller Tools Update and New Product Safety Requirements

Interesting updates are on the horizon for Amazon sellers. From a new line of credit offering from Amazon Lending and SellersFi to enhanced seller dashboard features, Amazon has released a range of tools to support the online selling journey.

Amazon Lending and SellersFi Line of Credit Solution

Qualified US sellers now have the opportunity to seek a line of credit (LOC) through SellersFi to support and expand their businesses.

Formerly known as SellersFunding, SellersFi is a global financial tech firm that provides financial solutions tailored for ecommerce entrepreneurs. Beyond providing funding and payment solutions, analytics and business insurance, SellersFi also offers services that were traditionally exclusive to banks, such as term loans.

Amazon Lending x SellersFi LOC Solution Features

  • Credit Limit: Qualified sellers have the chance to request a credit line with a maximum limit of up to $10 million. This substantial funding is designed to facilitate business expansion, new product launches, additional ad efforts, and assist with effective inventory management.
  • Flexible Repayment Terms: Acknowledging the diverse requirements of various businesses, the credit line offers customizable repayment terms. This adaptability allows you to align your financial commitments with specific business cycles and cash flow needs.
  • Interest-Only Period: To better accommodate the fluctuating cash flow patterns of sellers, SellersFi features an option for an interest-only period (the borrower’s only required to pay the interest on the borrowed amount during the specified interest-only timeframe). This choice alleviates the initial repayment burden, providing you with additional flexibility to foster growth.

Is LOC for You?

Of course, it goes without saying that only you have the ability to determine what financial funding is best for your business but here are some things to consider. 

This financing option proves particularly advantageous for ecomm businesses grappling with unpredictable cash flow. In situations where funds are not readily available, such as when ordering in advance for peak periods like Q4, the risk of stockouts and missed sales opportunities arise. Given the frequent occurrence of cash flow challenges in the ecommerce landscape, having a revolving credit facility becomes invaluable, offering on-demand access to funds during emergencies.

In addition, LOCs serve as an excellent solution for sellers with brief operating histories or less-than-ideal credit standings. Typically provided by non-bank financing entities, often referred to as fintech lenders, these LOCs present a streamlined solution for online application processes and securing working capital. However, they may come with interest rates significantly higher than traditional banks.

Currently, SellersFi is accessible to sellers operating on Amazon’s US platform. Sellers can assess their eligibility and submit applications directly through Amazon Lending.

Related: 5 Amazon Inventory Financing Options for Sellers

Update Your Listings with Supported Document Types by Feb 26

Starting from January 29, 2024, sellers seeking to upload product documentation to Amazon product detail pages will encounter restrictions. Amazon has announced this measure as part of its initiative to standardize product listings, streamlining the process for customers to access information about products. As a result, specific document types will no longer be supported by the platform.

“From January 29, 2024, you won’t be able to upload or edit the following unsupported document types on your product detail pages: 2D CAD, 3D CAD, Application Guide, Brochure, Comparison Chart, Compatibility Guide, FAQ, Size Guide, Specification Sheet, and Product Documentation.”

While existing unsupported document types will remain visible on product detail pages, Amazon has clarified that as of February 26, 2024, these document types will be removed both from product detail pages and Seller Central.

To quickly adapt to this change, sellers are advised to either transfer information from unsupported document types to the product description or re-upload content using a supported document type. As an illustration, Amazon suggests moving an “Application Guide” to a “User Guide” to ensure compliance with the updated guidelines.
For additional details and a complete list of supported document types, visit the About Product Documents page.

EU General Product Safety Regulation (GPSR) Update

Prepare for the impending GPSR update if you are an Amazon seller in the EU and Northern Ireland, as it is poised to enforce substantial requirements for a new requirement being introduced December 13, 2024.
Amazon, through an official communication on Seller Central, has highlighted the significance of this regulation for sellers dealing with most non-food consumer products. The GPSR update aims to elevate product safety standards and strengthen consumer protection in the market.

What to Expect

  1. Meet the current labeling and traceability requirements: Non-food products are required to adhere to prevailing labeling and traceability standards to ensure straightforward recognition and compliance with safety regulations.
  2. Assign a Responsible Person: A Responsible Person serves as your Northern Ireland/EU compliance representative for each product to manage regulatory adherence and act as a designated contact.
  3. Implement a comprehensive product labeling system: Products are required to display the contact details of the Responsible Person, manufacturer, and, if relevant, the importer. Additionally, the labeling should include information such as the product’s type, batch, or serial number. 
  4. Label products with safety information and warnings: Provide product safety information and warnings in the language corresponding to the country of sale, ensuring thorough communication with consumers.
  5. Display complete product label and safety information in online listings: Showcase the details of the Responsible Person, including their information, the manufacturer’s name, and contact details. Additionally, a product image and other identification details should be included. And as previously mentioned, include warning and safety information in the language corresponding to the country where the product is being sold.

What Some Sellers Have to Say

The sentiments expressed in the announcement post revolve around concerns and challenges faced by sellers on Amazon due to the implementation of the GPSR update in the EU and Northern Ireland, set for December 2024. Many are apprehensive about the practicality of the new regulations, especially regarding the need to update listings with responsible person information, safety details, and images.

Sellers express worries about the potential difficulties in updating listings, particularly for those who source products from manufacturers or wholesalers. Questions are raised about the manufacturer’s role in “labeling the products in the way which it will need to be labeled” and the implications if they fail to do so. 

In addition, there’s a shared concern about the potential impact on sales, especially if listings are not updated in time, and questions about the possibility of selling non-compliant products in the UK. Some sellers suggest that Amazon should introduce an option to remove or block listings for Northern Ireland if they don’t meet the new regulations.

Overall, the sentiment reflects a mix of uncertainty, frustration, and a call for clearer guidance and support from Amazon.

To ensure a seamless transition, Amazon encourages sellers to promptly address the initial four requirements. Additional guidance on fulfilling requirement #5 will be released by Amazon in Q1 of 2024, assisting sellers in updating their online listings and achieving full compliance.
For a more in-depth understanding and detailed guidance, visit the GPSR page on Seller Central.

Related: Unlocking European Ecommerce: A Comprehensive Guide to Global Ecommerce for US Sellers

New UK FBA Returns Dashboard Features

Amazon recently unveiled enhancements to its UK FBA Returns dashboard, introducing features aimed at offering you more detailed insights into customer return trends.

These updates are designed to help you gain a comprehensive understanding of “return grading results, refunded products and products that have been returned to Amazon warehouses,” enabling you to make informed decisions and refine your manufacturing, sales and reverse logistics strategies.

The newest FBA Returns dashboard update includes the following additions:

  • Identification of Frequently Returned Products: You now have the ability to pinpoint products that are returned most frequently. This feature assists in addressing specific items that may require attention in terms of quality, accuracy in description, or meeting customer expectations.
  • Detailed Return Reasons: Understanding the reasons behind product returns is crucial. The dashboard now provides detailed insights into the primary reasons for returns, allowing you to stop recurring issues.
  • Insights Breakdown by Product: Insights are now available at the product level, offering a granular view of return patterns for individual items. This facilitates targeted strategies to reduce returns on a per-product basis.
  • Customizable Reports: Generate customizable reports focusing on return trends, providing flexibility to concentrate on specific areas of interest or concern tailored to your unique needs.

This update represents a huge stride in Amazon’s commitment to enhancing the seller experience by providing reporting tools and data. Sellers leveraging these new returns dashboard features can better understand return trends, contributing to more effective management and optimization of their Amazon businesses.
To access these features, go to the FBA Returns dashboard on Amazon Seller Central.

Related: Tips to Improve Customer Experience and Reduce Returns

Identify Demand for Your Products in EU and Japan with this New Dashboard

Planning to expand in EU and Japan marketplaces? 

Amazon recently rolled out a new addition to its Marketplace Product Guidance tool — the Similar Products Dashboard. This tool empowers sellers by providing vital product insights, aimed at helping them understand and capitalize on product demand within the European and Japanese markets.

Compare Product Prices

Compare the prices of up to five similar products to gain competitive edge in crafting effective pricing strategies. This feature proves especially advantageous for sellers seeking to align their pricing with top competitors in Europe and Japan.

Moreover, the dashboard delivers invaluable data insights concerning sales and performance trends. These insights play a crucial role in granting sellers a good understanding of the market landscape, making swift and informed decision-making possible.

Reach International Customers

An additional noteworthy aspect of this update is the introduction of the Similar ASINs dashboard. This feature provides a concise overview of potential offers, greatly assisting sellers in expanding their global selling endeavors.

Overall, the dashboard can be a useful tool for sellers aspiring to broaden their influence and thrive in the global marketplace. Visit Similar ASINs Dashboard within Seller Central to explore the dashboard’s features. Alternatively, you can go to Marketplace Product Guidance or more details.

Check Subscribe and Save Eligibility for Your FBA Products

Amazon has introduced a new self-service feature that allows FBA sellers to instantly check the eligibility of their products for Subscribe & Save. This feature eliminates the need for sellers to contact support, streamlining the process for quick and efficient eligibility verification.

The new feature operates around the clock, providing sellers with 24/7 access to check the eligibility status of their FBA products at any time, offering convenience and autonomy in managing their Subscribe & Save offerings.

To utilize this self-service feature, sign in to Amazon Subscribe & Save > navigate to the “Check Subscribe & Save eligibility for FBA products” section > Enter the relevant product details and receive confirmation of the eligibility status within seconds.

Set a Window to Auto-Approve Buyer Cancellation Requests

You now have the capability to establish a specified time frame within which buyers can autonomously cancel their seller-fulfilled orders without requiring your intervention.

To illustrate, if a two-hour Buyer Auto-Cancellation Window is configured and a buyer decides to cancel their order within this timeframe, Amazon’s system will automatically cancel the order without requiring you to manually process the cancellation request within the designated window.

Conversely, if the cancellation request is initiated after the predefined time window elapses, the buyer must then formally submit a manual approval request, which you can then review and approve.

Note that once an order has been confirmed as “shipped” by the seller, buyers lose the option to cancel the order on their own.

Crucially, cancellations initiated by buyers within the configured Auto-Cancellation Window do not contribute to your order cancellation rate metric. This new feature aims to streamline the cancellation process for both sellers and buyers, enhancing efficiency and reducing the manual workload for sellers.

It May Not Be for Everyone

While the new feature minimizes the need for manual processing of cancellation requests, some sellers in this forum site express skepticism and caution regarding the use of this feature.

One seller voices strong opposition, stating they would never use such features, expressing concern about canceled orders, emphasizing the potential trouble it could cause. The seller illustrates a scenario where they might immediately ship orders within the cancelation window. It would not be possible then to inputting tracking numbers for shipped orders that may now be canceled without the seller’s knowledge. This could result in orders disappearing from the seller’s queue, leading to potential confusion and frustration.

The comments collectively convey apprehension about the unintended consequences of the Buyer Auto-Cancellation Window feature. Concerns revolve around the potential impact on order processing, tracking, and overall seller experience.

While some sellers express openness to the concept, others emphasize the need for caution, especially for those who do not use Amazon Buy Shipping and may face challenges in tracking and managing canceled orders effectively.

To learn more about this new functionality, go to the Cancellations FAQ section or access the General shipping settings within your Amazon Seller Central account. 

Related:4 Updates to Seller-Fulfilled Prime, New Amazon Features, Updates, and Requirements, Upcoming Amazon Changes and Features

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