inventory_health_reportI’ve had a lot of people ask about the Inventory Health Report and how it plays a part in identifying rejected ASINs.

Below is a complete explanation of what this report DOES and DOESN’T do, and how it plays into the rejected ASIN issue.

Amazon has added a new field in the Inventory Health Report called “ASIN Limit” (you’ll find this report under the Reports Tab in Seller Central).

Amazon states that the ASIN Limit field will give you “Your inventory limit for ASINs where we apply an inventory capacity limit.”

What This Report Does/Doesn’t Do

To date, I’ve talked to 35+ merchants who have had ASINs rejected this week (and looked at my own report) and here’s the deal:

null1. Currently Rejected ASINs: So far, in not one case, has the ASIN Limit report listed an ASIN that was rejected in a merchant’s shipment this week.

NOTE: If you’ve had an ASIN rejected that WAS on the ASIN Limit list, please post below.

null2. Blank ASIN Reports. 99% of the merchants I’ve talked to have BLANK ASIN Limit reports (including me). Is your ASIN Limit report blank? If so, please let me know in the comments below!

greencheckmark3Replenishment ASINs: This DOESN’T mean that Amazon won’t be using these reports moving forward, but you have to realize that these reports currently (according to Amazon) only report on inventory that you are ALREADY selling.

Meaning REPLENISHMENT orders.

So in the future, (assuming the report starts working) you should be able to look at the report PRIOR to REPLENISHING inventory to see if that ASIN has FBA limits.

This of course is assuming that a) The report works b) This is truly how it works.

Until Amazon addresses this, we really don’t know either way.

However, even if this report does work properly for replenishment orders, there are several other scenarios where it won’t work.

null4. Inventory You’ve Never Sold Before: Currently Amazon is rejecting ASINs that sellers have NEVER shipped into Amazon.

So if the report only gives you ASIN Limits on products you already sell, it will NOT tell you if new inventory that you WANT to ship into Amazon has an ASIN Limit.

Amazon could theoretically set up a database that merchants can check for ASINs with limits.

But even then, the issue is lead-time. If I source a product in March and at the time I source it, I were to check a database that tells me the ASIN is not limited. By the time the inventory arrives and I ship it to FBA in June, there could be an ASIN Limit.

  • Think about what happens at tradeshows. Prior to a tradeshow a product may not be on Amazon. 4 weeks after the tradeshow Amazon is flooded with those products.
  • The same holds true for retail arbitrage. One public BOLO and BOOM! The first inventory shipped gets into FBA, but you didn’t ship in time, so your ASINs are rejected.
  • The only to fix this is for Amazon to put an ASIN Limit alert for all products in it’s scanning application. (Some books are now showing up as restricted.)
  • Of course Amazon COULD allow you to “reserve” space in an FBA warehouse. And maybe for a fee.

The bottom line? Amazon IS currently rejecting ASINs that sellers have never sold before, and the Inventory Health Report won’t help that

The Inventory Health Report WON’T help with this.

null5. Private Label Products: Amazon is ALSO rejecting ASINs for private label products that have NEVER been shipped into Amazon.

AND they are rejecting ASINs for private label samples that have never been shipped to Amazon.

How can Amazon reject an ASIN that has never been sold before?

Easily. By simply looking at the sell-through rate for similar products and then rejecting YOUR new ASIN based on the sales of similar products.

Private Label Rejected ASIN Case Study

For example: Let’s say your new private label product is a blue spatula. You source your product from China, set up your own page with a new ASIN and when your product arrives in the US, you prepare your shipment.

But! When you try to ship this new product Amazon rejects your ASIN!

Here’s the deal, if Amazon has similar yellow, green and purple spatulas in FBA that are not selling, and you PL some blue ones, thinking THIS is the color that customers want!

Amazon, can easily look at similar products and say “Nope, we don’t need any more spatulas, we don’t care what color they are, we already have 70K spatulas in FBA that are sitting here NOT selling (and they do!), so YOU can’t send your spatulas in.

BOOM, the private label product that you’ve worked months to source, invested thousands of dollars in and paid to have shipped to the USA is now REJECTED – even though, it’s a brand new ASIN.

Sure, you can sell it via Merchant Fulfilled (and by doing that lose the FBA advantage.) Or you can sell it on another channel ( but if you sourced a product to sell on Amazon, the other channels may not be a good target market).

The Bottom Line? For Private Label Products,  the Inventory Health Report will not tell you in advance, “We have too many spatulas.”

Many Unanswered Questions

At this point, there are a LOT of unanswered questions about how the Inventory Health Report ASIN Limit field will work.

Or if it will work. Or when it will work.

But, as I’ve explained above, there are a variety of situations where it will NOT work for sellers, as it is set up today.

This is not to say that Amazon doesn’t have a whiz bang plan to fix all this.

Or that tomorrow morning, we…

  • Won’t get a message from Amazon that says “ASIN Limit Test suspended” (which I highly doubt, because they DO have a HUGE no/slow selling inventory issue in the FBA warehouses.)
  • The ASIN rejection error messages won’t stop as mysteriously as they started.

Amazon needs to communicate the details and the parameters around these ASIN rejections to it’s 3rd party merchants, so we can deal with these issues appropriately.

Stay Informed on This Important Issue

I will continue to bring you up-to-the minute facts here at my blog and on my Facebook page, so that you can stay apprised of the situation as it develops.

And keep in mind. while this is not Amazon armageddon, as a business owner, it’s important to be aware all the details surrounding critical issues that can impact your business.

Hopefully, we will get some clarification on this situation from Amazon this week!

PS:  If you’ve experienced an ASIN rejection, please share your story below.

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