There’s panic among Amazon sellers, and it’s not about droids delivering packages or the Prime Account price increase. This time the alarm is among sellers offering products related to the Disney movie “Frozen.” This has been a profitable niche for some sellers who have been snatching up dolls, costumes, and playsets from retail stores like Wal-Mart, Target, and Toys R Us and reselling the items on Amazon for several times retail. “Frozen” is one of Disney’s most popular movies ever and the hype surrounding the movie is off the charts. Now, products are restricted on Amazon due to counterfeits.
Any seller who has sold “Frozen” related items in the past, or who has any in an Amazon warehouse, received this email from Amazon recently:
Hello from Amazon,
Amazon strives to provide the best possible experience for customers. As part of our ongoing efforts, we have implemented listing restrictions on certain items. You are receiving this email because your listings for the effective ASINs are among those that have been removed as a result of this policy. This removal is effective immediately.
The drama started when customers who purchased “Frozen” related items complained that they were counterfeit. Amazingly enough, Amazon themselves was selling counterfeit merchandise and didn’t know it. Amazon has now moved any “Frozen” related merchandise to unfulfillable status on sellers’ accounts so they can pull the merchandise and inspect its authenticity. Sellers may not list any “Frozen” items at this time. An attempt to list them results in an error.
Some “Frozen” items are not yet restricted, but sellers shouldn’t get too comfortable. Some sellers are dropping prices on those items to sell out quickly. Sellers who have large inventories of “Frozen” merchandise have the most to lose. Sellers who have “Frozen” inventory that has not been sent into Amazon yet could opt to return those items to the retailer they purchased from.
Amazon has not provided a timetable for the authentication process, so sellers should sit tight and wait. Unfortunately, many sellers have spent hundreds or thousands of dollars on “Frozen” merchandise that may or may not be sellable. Speculation is that counterfeit items will either be returned to the seller (at the seller’s expense) or destroyed. This issue could cost some sellers a great deal of money in unsellable inventory. (Another reason never to go deep on products sold online – one never knows when a product will be restricted.)
Veteran sellers speculate that the “Frozen” product line will not be reopened.