What you’ll learn
One of the greatest difficulties for most Amazon sellers is launching a new product and getting sales.
The thrill and joy of launching your product can be short-lived, considering the stress associated with marketing services and promoting the product to sell profitably. Also, there are over 2.5 million sellers on Amazon, which makes it a complex task for a newly launched product to thrive. Before sales trickle in, you have to convince both the target audience and Amazon that your inventory is worth buying.
Thankfully, with the Amazon Born to Run program, your newly launched products will receive a boost from the very first day you list them for sale on Amazon.
Ahead, you will learn how the Born to Run program works, the benefits of joining the program, the Launch Buy Quantity (LBQ), the entry requirements, and the possible drawbacks.
Let’s get started!
How does the Born to Run program work?
The Born to Run program is for vendor sellers (not marketplace sellers) on the Amazon marketplace. The program allows vendors to launch products at an accelerated speed without waiting for increased traffic for Amazon to warehouse the inventory. With the Born to Run program, vendors commit to Amazon for 10 weeks on an initial stock (LBQ and Launch Buy Quantity).
Note: You can check out a guide on Amazon restocking fees.
As a vendor, it’s your responsibility to drive or generate sales so that Amazon can recommend your inventory. If your inventory isn’t sold out within the ten week sell-through period, the inventory will be returned to you.
Benefits of Amazon Born to Run program
Vendors who leverage the Born to Run program and have best-selling products certainly have the edge over their competitors. Below are some of the benefits you will reap from joining the Born to Run program:
- The program allows you to keep up with your consumer demand while enjoying the full benefits of spikes in sales velocity or sales traction. There’s no need for you to worry about your new products going out of stock at the peak of sales, as Amazon will buy some of the products to reduce the risks of your products going out of stock.
- If your product performs well on the market, Amazon can order more of your inventory. If the product sells out before the ten weeks window, Amazon can place recurring purchase orders as many times as they seem fit until after the 10th week.
- The Born to Run program lets newly launched products thrive in a competitive market. You won’t pass through the stress of struggling with big brands to market your inventory.
- For Amazon to market your inventory means that you will enjoy good publicity.
Who can join the Born to Run program?
Joining the Amazon Born to Run program is straightforward, and the process takes less than 15 minutes to complete. However, there are a few requirements that you must comply with to take part in the program. Amazon does not intend to restrict any vendor due to stringent conditions.
However, keep at the back of your mind that only first-party vendors are eligible to join the Amazon Born to Run program. A first-party relationship, in this instance, means that the vendor is the wholesale supplier of the product while Amazon acts as the retailer. The requirements to join the program include:
- The total cost of the product you want to launch should not exceed $50,000.
- The ASIN cannot be considered: a hazmat, be bulky or heavy or cost less than $5 per unit.
- You must be using Amazon’s advertising program for at least 90 days.
The Born to Run program allows you to sell new products only. By Amazon’s standard, the inventory you intend to launch should not be in the FC for more than 30 days.
Amazon Born to Run program terms
Once you have successfully launched your inventory using the Amazon Born to Run program, there are a few terms and conditions you need to abide by within the ten weeks window that the program will run for. Some of the terms and conditions are:
- For 100% return rights on unsold products, Amazon expects vendors to choose inventory positions (Launch Buy Quantity) at the beginning of the ten weeks.
- There was a 10% fee to support advertisements, but not anymore. Now, you can advertise your newly launched products as you wish.
- During registration, you must choose what you want Amazon to do with unsold inventory at the end of the 10-week window. You can let Amazon keep your unsold inventory and still pay 25% of the cost as a retention fee, or allow Amazon to return every unsold product and refund 100% of the cost with a 10% shipping and handling fee. Please note that negotiation with Amazon is not allowed at the expiration of the 10 weeks.
- Amazon’s terms for returning defective or damaged inventory also apply to Born to Run.
- The ten-week window begins the same day that the ASIN you signed up for the inventory is in stock.
- Before the commencement of the program, ensure that your inventory is in stock and ready to process orders immediately.
- If you want your inventory to be returned after the 10 weeks window, Amazon will return them about one week later after the expiration of the Born to Run program. However, you must refund 10% of the handling and shipping fees of the unsold products.
- If the demand for your inventory is high and your sales performance is excellent, Amazon can buy more of your inventory within the ten weeks window.
Potential drawbacks of Amazon Born to Run
The Amazon Born to Run program may have lots of potential for vendors looking to up their game. You should keep in mind that Amazon reserves the exclusive right to keep every unsold product at the end of the ten weeks window that the program comes with.
If you are a vendor on Amazon and looking to launch a new product to increase your bottom line, follow these processes: from Vendor Central Portal via Orders > Vendor Initiated Orders > Born to Run. Before now, the process of joining the program was to reach out to your Vendor Manager (VM). Your VM will then issue you the form to complete the process.
Joining the program from Vendor Central is free with no hidden charges, except that you’d refund Amazon if any of your newly launched products remain at the end of the ten-week program. I strongly recommend that all vendors on Amazon looking to launch a new product join this program, as it would give you an edge over your competitors.
Importantly, before you launch a new product, you need to do your due diligence:
- inventory stock is ready to ship
- launch buy quantity
- optimized product listing page
- keyword analysis for your promotions and campaigns
- having your backend data and operations ready
Do you have any experience using the Born to Run program to launch new products? I want to hear your experience; use the comments below to share your experiences.
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