dvd amazon controversy

Amazon is shaking up the ecommerce world yet again. No, it’s not another smart phone or expensive investment. This time, it’s something only the loyal sellers see. In a letter sent to sellers, Amazon announced it’s restricting the selling of DVDs on the marketplace – and it’s already ruining their Christmas spirit.

According to Amazon, the new restrictive guidelines regarding the sale of DVDs were done to prevent counterfeiting and (perhaps most importantly), maintain Amazon’s reputation. Amazon spokesperson Erik Fairleigh says it’s about protecting the customer. “Customers trust that they can always buy with confidence when they make purchases on Amazon. In order to preserve this trust, we have implemented listing restrictions on certain DVD items that may have a higher risk of authenticity issues.” This isn’t the first we’ve heard of Amazon coming down on DVD selling policies. They’ve been increasing restrictions over the past two years, many of which resulted from ongoing lawsuits between Warner Brothers and Amazon sellers regarding counterfeited items.

Effective November 16, the new policies will require sellers to apply for pre-approval to sell DVDs. To sell DVDs now, a seller must-

  • Be approved to sell any DVD with an MSRP (suggested retail price) of $25 or greater.
  • Have a Professional Selling account.

Additionally, sellers who use FBA must create a removal or disposal order of any DVD products that have not been approved by November 17th. Amazon will waive fees for stock that sellers have submitted removal requests for until January 16th- but the seller will have to pay for shipping. They’ll also be left to figure out what to do with all that stock.

That’s another thing – what are sellers who already ordered inventory in preparation for holiday selling supposed to do with it now? Ecombytes asked Fairleigh what he had to say to sellers who are now swimming in stock they can’t sell. In response, he laid out the new law;

“If existing sellers would like to sell DVD items with an MSRP of $25 or higher, they may apply to sell in the category. Existing sellers may continue to sell on ASINs which have an MSRP lower than $25. Existing sellers are also able to list new offers on ASINs with MSRP of $25 or higher to sell-through remaining inventory until November 16, 2014.”

In other words, if you haven’t been approved, it might be time to start adding new marketplaces to your arsenal. If you are currently selling DVDs on Amazon, we’d love to hear from you in the comments section below.

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