Amazon FBA provides third-party sellers with a convenient solution to their fulfillment woes while selling on the marketplace. It takes care of everything from storing products in a safe warehouse to picking them off the shelves and getting them ready for delivery.
However, even FBA comes with some limitations, the most prominent of which are the Amazon restock limits that both new and old sellers must work with.
FBA restock limit is an inventory-level restriction that specifies the maximum amount of inventory you can send and store at Amazon’s fulfillment centers under the FBA program at any given time. It varies from seller to seller. Knowing your restock limits is crucial to maintaining policy compliance when selling on Amazon.
Over the years, the Seattle-based company has experimented with different restock limits, switching from ASIN-level quantity to storage-type limits, most recently.
Introduced in July 2020 due to COVID, the ASIN-level Amazon restock limits restricted sellers from storing inventory at an FBA warehouse above a pre-specified limit for their individual SKUs. They were harsh, aggressive, and weren’t best suited for seasonal items, limiting the sales for sellers that they would generate otherwise.
For new sellers, the ASIN-level restock limits were even more problematic. They couldn’t send and store more than 200 units of their product, which made any product launches significantly more challenging.
It’s a rule of thumb that you should stock at least 2-3 months of inventory when listing a new product on Amazon. Inbound shipments can often take time to reach an FBA warehouse and going OOS is the last thing you need in your early days as a seller. Also, most suppliers have MOQ requirements that far exceed 200 units.
The Amazon FBA 200 limit made all these things difficult to manage for new Amazon sellers.
On April 22, 2021, Amazon decided to replace ASIN-level quantity restrictions with storage-type FBA limits based on feedback from the seller community. These new Amazon restock limits applied account-wide and allowed sellers to send and store FBA inventory depending on whether their products were standard-sized, oversized, or categorized as footwear, apparel, aerosol, or flammable.
The storage-type FBA limits provided sellers with more room to play around. They could now create shipment plans without worrying about ASIN-level restrictions, leveraging the increased restock limits of their overall account.
Amazon restock limits for 2022 continue to follow the same criteria.
Amazon allows you to have only one storage type for your product. To view it, log in to Seller Central. Next, click on the Inventory menu. Select FBA Inventory from the drop down, and it will show you the storage type for your listed product. If not shown, simply click Table Preferences and check the Storage Volume box to enable the option.
Amazon decides the storage type for your product based on its characteristics. Once assigned, you can’t change it. Also, you can’t trade restock limits between products with different storage types.
The 2022 Amazon restock limits allow new sellers to send maximum FBA shipments of 1000 units under each storage type. This is a relief compared to the restrictions imposed under the old FBA 200 quantity limit.
However, if you have been selling on Amazon and looking to add a new product to your catalog, the storage-type FBA limit might affect your launch, especially if you are already selling items under the same storage type. Your old inventory and in-transit shipments (if any) are likely to take up a large chunk of your current inventory limit, leaving very little for your new product.
This is a challenge experienced sellers must overcome.
As frustrating as restock limits may sound, Amazon has a valid reason to impose them.
The ecommerce giant runs a marketplace, first and foremost. That’s how it makes its money. The fulfillment centers are only there to facilitate the distribution of the products to help serve the customers better. It doesn’t want you to use those facilities as mere warehouses for parking your items for long periods of time. Making efficient use of the available resources is crucial for Amazon to run a sustainable business.
That’s why it imposes restock limits on FBA sellers.
While the company has reiterated several times it would like to lift the inventory quantity limits in the future, it’s hard to see that ever happening.
The FBA storage limit specifies how much total space you can use to store your products at Amazon’s fulfillment centers, measured in cubic feet. It is set on a quarterly basis. Meanwhile, the restock limit regulates the maximum shipment you can send to FBA fulfillment centers and is specified in units.
Here is a comparison chart for Amazon restock limit vs storage limit:
Also, it’s worth noting that storage limits are a function of your IPI score and typically apply if your inventory performance drops below a certain threshold. Restock limits, however, apply regardless of your IPI score.
Where are the restock limits on Amazon?
You can check your Amazon restock limits through Seller Central.
Utilization quantity on Amazon shows your current FBA inventory levels. It includes the stock in hand and any shipments that may be in the working, receiving, or in-transit status. It doesn’t count inventory that is reserved or pending removal from Amazon.
What about the maximum shipment quantity?
The maximum shipment quantity is the number of units you can send to Amazon without violating your restock limit.
Trying to ship inventory above your maximum allowed limit is a direct policy violation of Amazon’s TOS. Seller Central doesn’t accept such shipment plans and cancels them. However, if you create a shipment plan and Amazon lowers your limit later, the shipment will not be canceled.
Amazon calculates your restock limit based on your past and projected sales across all your ASINs. A set of sophisticated algorithms generate the latter. Amazon factors in both organic and paid advertising sales data when calculating restock limits for sellers.
Yes, MCF orders do affect your restock limits. Any sales that Amazon can track and attribute accurately is included in the final calculation of FBA restock limits, and MCF orders are no exception.
Restock limits on Amazon are the same for all marketplaces. So, whether it’s Amazon UK restock limits or Amazon Canada restock limits, you have to work with the same inventory constraints everywhere.
You’ll find some online resources and forums sharing hacks on how to find your way around FBA restock limits. Truth be told, these don’t work, and we don’t recommend using them anyway. They can be harmful for your account in the long run.
If you want to try a legit solution, sending your FBA shipment to a third-party warehouse is the only way. Once your product has landed, you can then send it to the fulfillment center by creating a new shipment plan. However, this would add to your budget as the warehouse will charge you for the services.
Even if you decide to temporarily store the products in your home basement or a privately-owned storage area, you’ll still have to get them shipped to Amazon, which will cost you money.
So, what can you do then?
FBA restock limits are not going away, at least anytime soon. They are here to stay. As a seller, you must learn to work with them.
While that’s easier said than done, there are ways you can better handle the cuts to your Amazon inventory replenishment limit.
Review your old opened shipment plans. Are there any that are redundant or not required? Maybe, you can cancel them and boost your available utilization quantity. This would help you send in the new shipment you want.
To cancel your inbound shipments, head over to the Manage FBA Shipments dashboard. Find the plan you want to cancel under “Shipping Queue”. Click on it. This will open a new page. Next, click the Send to Amazon (view) option inside the Shipment box to open the workflow page. Delete the shipment plan.
Too many customer-returned items can add up to your FBA inventory. Use refundless returns to better manage them. Any product you think is not worth recalling or relisting shouldn’t be processed. This would again lower your utilization limit and allow you to send more items to FBA.
Here is a quick guide on how to set up returnless refunds for your Amazon products.
Just like returns, low velocity products also take up valuable space on your FBA inventory. They sit in the warehouse and cap your maximum shipment quantity, stopping you from creating a new shipment plan. It’s crucial you get rid of them by submitting a removal order to Amazon.
Amazon removal orders typically take 3 months or more to process. This is why taking action on your slow-moving items quickly is important. Once removed, you can then sell these items in the open market or other online marketplaces such as eBay.
Alternatively, you can liquidate your excess FBA inventory using the Amazon Liquidations program. Here, Amazon arranges a buyer for your unwanted products in exchange for a small fee. It’s convenient and fast, allowing you to offload your inventory from an FBA warehouse within 30 days of the date of order submission.
Amazon gives preferred treatment to UPS shipments. This is because it has an official partnership with the company. Any shipment sent via UPS to an FBA center is checked in faster, and you don’t have to go through a long waiting period for your inventory levels to be updated.
Once your product is listed, you can utilize your existing inventory much quicker and send your next FBA shipment early. Sounds smart, right?
How do I increase my FBA restock limits though, if I want to? Also, is that even possible?
You can take steps to increase your Amazon restock limit. The ecommerce giant regularly revises FBA quantity limits based on the performance of sellers. Here is what you can do:
Amazon uses your sales history to calculate your restock limit. If you can generate more sales, there is a high chance your maximum inventory limit might get a nice little bump on the next review.
Your IPI score reflects on your inventory management practices. It is a function of your sell-through rate, in-stock inventory, stranded inventory, and excess inventory. By improving your IPI score, you can get in the good books of Amazon and boost your FBA restock limit.
Any IPI score above 450 is considered good on Amazon. If you maintain this score for a few months, Amazon removes the storage limit on your account and gives you unlimited space to store products—restock limits still apply, though.
Amazon doesn’t set minimum quantity requirements for FBA shipments. You can send as few as ten units of your product to Amazon, and your shipment would still get processed. While some sellers may find the logic behind small shipments hard to understand, it’s a good strategy if you want to test the market before going all in.
You can check your in-hand Amazon stock from the Manage Inventory dashboard, under the Available column. Make sure the fulfillment type is set to Amazon. The Manage Inventory dashboard gives you a complete breakdown of your available, inbound, reserved, and unfulfilled FBA inventory.
The oversize storage-tier on Amazon includes all products that weigh 70lb or more and have minimum dimensions of 60 inches x 30 inches.
The restock limits for individual and professional sellers are not the same. Typically, professional sellers get higher restock limits compared to individual sellers. Also, restock limits for professional sellers on Amazon may increase over time but that’s not the case for individual sellers. They have a fixed restock limit of 500 units for standard size storage products and 100 units of oversize storage-type items.
If you use the NARF or PAN-European FBA program to sell your products in international markets, Amazon may sometimes double count your FBA inventory, which can undermine your maximum shipment quantity. Unfortunately, this is a glitch in Amazon’s restock algorithm, and you can’t do anything to prevent it. However, you can always open a case with the Seller Central support team to resolve the issue.
There isn’t any set schedule when Amazon revises FBA restock limits. All you can do is follow the best practices to give yourself the best chance at receiving a higher restock limit whenever Amazon reviews your case.
In short, keeping track of your FBA restock limit is crucial to running your Amazon store smoothly. You must plan and manage your FBA inventory and shipments proactively to better handle the cuts. Meanwhile, focus on increasing your sales and improving your IPI score so you can receive a higher restock limit on your next review.
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