If you’ve sold products on Amazon, you may have come across the term “blocked unless FBA.” But what does it mean?
In this article, we’ll discuss what it means, why it happens, and how you can fix it!
Master eCommerce with our 99-point Brand Growth Checklist
What is “Blocked Unless FBA” and what does it mean for Amazon sellers?
Simply put, if your account is “blocked unless FBA”, it means that your account is suspended from selling any products on the platform unless they are fulfilled by Amazon.
In other words, fulfillment by merchant or FBM is not an option for your Seller Central account and you will not be able to use your own shipping methods or warehouse facilities.
This means that all of your products must be sent to and stored in an Amazon fulfillment center.
Why does Amazon impose a “blocked unless FBA” restriction?
There are a few reasons why Amazon might impose this restriction on sellers:
One of the most common reasons that Amazon may impose this suspension or restriction on an account is if the seller has been identified as high-risk.
A high-risk seller is one that is seen as more likely to violate Amazon’s seller rules and they have a history of performance-related issues resulting from one or more of these areas:
If you’ve failed to consistently deliver or ship orders within the promised time frame, this could be seen as a fulfillment issue.
Those who sell on Amazon should be able to maintain a pre-fulfillment cancel rate of less than 2.5%. This means that for every 100 orders placed, you should only have to cancel 2 or fewer due to inventory issues.
Additionally, your late shipping rate should be less than 4%. This means that for every 100 orders, only 4 should arrive later than the estimated delivery date.
If you consistently fail to meet these expectations, Amazon may deem you a high-risk seller and block your account.
If your products do not meet Amazon’s product quality standards, you may be considered a high-risk seller.
This means that your account may be suspended or restricted if your products are found to be defective, counterfeit, expired, used (in the case of consumable items), tampered with, or missing important information such as safety warnings.
Sellers who have a high order defect rate (ODR) are also considered high risk.
An ODR of greater than 1% is considered unacceptable by Amazon.
If you consistently receive negative feedback from customers or have a high rate of customer disputes, you may be considered a high-risk seller.
Having your account flagged for these issues may cause your account to get a suspension or restriction.
Another reason why Amazon may impose this restriction is if your account has been flagged for fraudulent activity.
In the past, some fraudulent sellers, especially in the toys category, were able to infiltrate the Amazon marketplace. They set up shop on Amazon during the holiday season, sell a few products, and then disappear before fulfilling any orders.
This kind of fraud resulted in customers having to wait for their orders which never arrived, and has eventually led to many negative reviews and customer complaints.
For these reasons, Amazon takes the precaution of blocking sellers from listing or selling their products unless they are fulfilled by Amazon.
This can help mitigate some of these risks as Amazon takes on more responsibility for ensuring that products are delivered in good condition.
With the Amazon FBA solution in place, sellers will be able to avoid any potential issues that may come up with their Seller Central account and customers will be ensured of an overall better customer experience.
What can you do to avoid this Amazon restriction?
Whether you’re a new seller or an experienced one, there are certain steps you can take to ensure that your account avoids the “blocked unless FBA” issue. These include:
One of the most important things you can do is to make sure that you sell high-quality products.
This means products that are well-made, accurately described, and priced competitively. Offering high-quality products is one of the best ways to avoid customer complaints and returns.
Great Customer Service
The services you provide to customers matter. So another key factor in ensuring that your Amazon business doesn’t get an account suspension is by providing excellent customer service.
This means responding quickly to customer inquiries, resolving issues promptly and fairly, and taking steps to address any negative feedback or reviews.
Streamlined Fulfillment Process
Making sure that your orders are fulfilled quickly and efficiently is another important way to avoid any potential problems with your Amazon account.
This means having a streamlined fulfillment process in place so that orders are shipped out quickly and customers are kept updated on the status of their orders.
Another key factor in keeping your account in good standing is building and maintaining strong integrity on Amazon.
This can be achieved by communicating with customers, responding promptly to reviews and feedback, and treating your buyers fairly.
By taking these steps, you’ll be able to maintain a good Amazon standing and you can avoid having an account suspension or blocked listings.
However, if you happen to find yourself in this situation, there are a few things you can do to try to get your account unblocked.
How do I fix “blocked unless FBA”?
To resolve this issue, here are some things you can do:
Appeal to Amazon
If you believe that your account has been fl unfairly, you can message Amazon Seller support and appeal the decision.
You will be asked to provide additional details or submit evidence about why you believe your account should be unblocked.
Then, you will just have to wait as Amazon reviews your appeal, and makes a decision accordingly.
It’s important to note that even if you get Amazon’s approval response and your appeal is successful, you may still be subject to certain restrictions or monitoring by Amazon.
Reach out to the community
One solution you can also try is by reaching out to the Amazon seller forums for support.
There are many online forums and communities where sellers can get tips, advice, and strategies from other sellers on how to deal with blocked accounts.
Being “blocked unless FBA” can be a frustrating experience for many sellers, but there are things you can do to avoid it.
By selling high-quality products, providing excellent customer service, and maintaining a good reputation, you can help keep your account in good standing.
If you do find yourself in this situation, you can try appealing to Amazon or reaching out to the community for support.
By taking steps to address any issues and working to build a good reputation as an Amazon seller, you can help ensure that your account stays in good standing and minimize the risk of having your account suspended or “blocked unless FBA”.
Recommended Further Reading
Got issues with your Amazon listings? Check out these blogs, understand why it happens and learn what you can do to get them fixed.
- What Is A Suppressed Listing On Amazon? [And How To Fix It]
- What Does Reserved Mean on Amazon FBA? [And How To Fix It]
Master eCommerce Inside BBU Pro
Get the expert-taught courses, live coaching calls, and supportive community you need to move forward with confidence and build a profitable eCommerce business.