Amazon have launched a new program in the US, designed to enable you to carry on selling even if your product goes out of stock. Known as the Amazon In-Stock Head Start program, the pilot gives merchants the option of selling products in advance of them arriving at Amazon’s FBA warehouse.
Ideally, you’ll have an inventory management forecasting program or be engaged in manual inventory forecasting. Best practice is not to wait until you sell out, but to reorder stock so that it arrives before your last remaining inventory sells. For FBA, you may even have the products in stock in your own warehouse but occasionally not ship them to FBA before you sell out.
The Amazon In-Stock head Start program will make your out of stock products discoverable on Amazon and available for customers to find and buy once your shipment is on it’s way and Amazon are confident about it’s arrival date. This will mean using Amazon Carrier Central, the Amazon Partnered Carrier Program or Amazon Global Logistics for your inbound FBA shipments.
Currently you can’t select inventory at item level for the In-Stock head Start program – it’s either running across all your US inventory or it’s disabled for all products.
If you decide to opt in to the Amazon In-Stock head Start program, you should be aware that the products will appear in both your ‘Available’ and ‘Inbound’ Seller Central reports. You’ll need to carefully manage you inventory levels to avoid double counting products whilst they are in transit.
If you’d like to enrol in the Amazon In-Stock head Start program on Amazon.com you can enrol here. If you have already enrolled and don’t wish to participate any longer you can leave the program here.