Is Selling DVDs Still Possible On Amazon? What I Know (and Don’t Know) About Amazon’s Approval Process

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DVD casesLate last year I wrote a post that got a lot of attention.  I believe the reason it got so much attention was it contained very specific information about how to get approved to sell in the DVD/movie category after Amazon’s September restriction was put into effect.  This was something no other seller seemed to be willing to disclose- at least as far as I could find!  The original post is HERE

I am always happy to help other sellers because I know what it’s like to feel a sense of unease, panic or even desperation when a source of income is threatened or a great opportunity is eliminated.  I always want to help sellers feel that there is hope and the possibilities may exist that are not being fully explored.

I was thrilled to hear that through sharing my experience, numerous other sellers were able to get approved to sell in this category- whether they were newer sellers or longtime sellers!

It seems recently, however, something has changed.  In the past few weeks, I’ve received a small handful of emails and comments from sellers who have followed my suggestions to gain approval only to be denied!  Since I aim to present the most up to date information as possible, I’ve investigated the possible reasons for this and thought it would be appropriate to devote a blog post to explaining what I know and what I don’t about Amazon’s approval process.  Unfortunately, what I don’t know is much larger than what I know for sure right now, so I will be using these categories :

“what seems clear”

and

“what is unclear”.

Understand, however, that upon spending countless hours in research, on forums, reaching out to Amazon directly and talking directly to other sellers, the “what seems clear” category is still a bit more murky than I’d prefer!  There is an overwhelming amount of speculation about this subject which brings me to my first point:

Amazon has no intention of disclosing the nature of their approval process

Ironically, the clearest thing I’ve found is that Amazon seems to be intentionally making this policy and approval process unclear!  Several sellers have been in contact with me about reaching out to Amazon to ask questions only to received what appears to be a canned response or an extremely vague response with no direct answers.  I reached out to Amazon myself to get to the bottom of it. We went back and forth for some time and I simply could not get a direct answer out of the representatives I talked to.  In fact, I was told that they were “not authorized” to disclose the reasons some applications are approved and some are denied. Asking further questions proved to be fruitless.

With this said, I did some more digging into conversations on forums and blogs and also reached out to other sellers (and many reached out to me).  I have found several bits of information this way.  Please understand I cannot personally verify this information since Amazon continues to remain silent (to me), but much of it does seem to “fit”.  If you visit forums, you’ll find a lot of wild speculation.  I’ve included only the information that meets one of these criteria:

a. Information that I’ve discovered personally

b. Information I’ve received from actual sellers who have contacted Amazon

or

c. Information that has been deduced from numerous sellers having a common experience.

WHAT SEEMS CLEAR (or “what I think I might know”)

1.  Allowing all sellers to sell DVDs on Amazon.com has created a problem

There are a number of theories as to why Amazon created this policy, but rather than speculate, lets be clear: corporations don’t create restrictive rules because everything is going well.  There was a problem with things as they stood or at the very least, there was room for improvement.  Amazon claims the issue was counterfeit movies entering the marketplace.  Despite the speculations and alternative theories, I tend to think this reason makes sense and there is at least some evidence to support it (big studios suing Amazon sellers for selling counterfeits for example).  This problem is not going away and neither is the restriction (unless you get approved)

2. In 2014 and early 2015, many sellers were approved for this category.

I am one of the sellers who was approved, so I can tell you without a doubt that Amazon was not denying everyone!  I also heard positive reports from nearly every seller who contacted me about their journey in applying to this category

3. Something changed- and it changed fairly recently

There is a lot of common experience that is being talked about on Amazon forums of sellers who cannot get approved using the exact methods that other sellers used.  There is also talk of DVD approval being reversed!  This seems to have happened to a handful of sellers.  In some (rare) cases sellers have even had their accounts suspended (due to selling movies that were purchased from sources from different sources than what was approved).  Several sellers report hearing directly from Amazon that the restrictions have been tightened recently

I’ll get into a few more of the possible details of this stricter policy below, but let me first touch on what is unclear:

WHAT IS UNCLEAR (or “what I don’t know despite what I thought I knew”)

The one and only thing that is completely unclear is the one thing every seller wants to know: exactly what Amazon wants

I heard from a seller who spoke directly to a representative from Amazon that will provide some insight on this and I’ll get into this below.  Unfortunately, upon speaking with other sellers, there is so much contradictory information out there and much of it is coming from Amazon directly!

Before we go any further, it’s important to be aware that large corporations like Amazon and Ebay employ a massive amount of people who sit in offices, cubicles and facilities for the single purpose of answering the flood of emails and phone calls that these companies receive from their sellers (and often another set of reps for their buyers).  These people are generally not well connected with the company.  In most cases, they are not in the headquarters and often not even in the same country.  They do not not sit in the meetings or make decisions regarding the company policies.  These people are usually reading from a screen or a script, piecing together canned responses or giving you information that is given to them (which is sometimes very little.)  I know this due to one of my past jobs which was at a call center.  At that time, I too was told how to answer certain customer inquiries.  I too was told to say “unfortunately, we cannot disclose that information.”  In reality, this meant “I can’t tell you because nobody told me and I don’t know” (but “we are not at liberty to disclose” sounds so much more professional doesn’t it?)

As another example, a few months back, I was disputing a case with Ebay over the phone and was told about an “unwritten policy” that justified Ebay’s actions.  I inquired further as the policy contradicted some of Ebay’s  “written policies” and in this case, the representative was trying to make the claim that sellers were to follow this “unwritten policy.”  I was basically told that there are a number of “internal policies” that are not written down, but that sellers need to follow.  Huh?  After calling and speaking to several different people, I discovered that this “policy” was made up on the spot and there was no such “internal policy.”

I tell you this story not to embitter you against Amazon or Ebay, but to point out that the reps you are speaking with sometimes know less than you’d expect!  In some cases, they will tell you information that is not true (I have even received completely contradictory information on Amazon policies within a single case!)  These representatives are just people like you and me trying to make a living.  Treat them with kindness and respect, but don’t assume what they are telling you is necessarily true (or that they even know what is)

Whew!  That was meant to add a little clarity, but came off as more of a rant didn’t it?  Anyway, with that out of the way, I’ll tell you what I’ve heard from people who have heard from Amazon:

1. Amazon’s rules do not seem consistent (which would make sense of the “we are unauthorized to disclose” statements since Amazon would then be free to take it on a case by case basis with no set rules).

Some have deduced that Amazon has sets of rules: one set for brand new sellers and one set for established sellers.  There could even be a third set for established sellers who have never sold in the DVD category.  It is unclear, however if this is the case and when these rules came into effect or when they were tightened up.  My experience has been that new and established sellers alike were approved using a similar process as the one I outlined.  It’s really only been in the last few weeks that I’ve heard of Amazon denying sellers who went through the process I suggested with the exception of one seller who was denied back in December (after initially being approved)

2. Amazon seems to cater to big sellers.  The sellers doing tens of thousands of dollars a week in DVD sales are generally buying directly from the studios or from big distributors.  Amazon seems to give favor to these sellers.  One seller I heard from was told he needed invoices from “Hollywood vendors”.  After talking on the phone to several representatives who refused to disclose, he finally got the suggestion “like Ingram”.  Ingram Entertainment is a large distribution company focusing on working with big retailers.  You can find their website HERE.  Before getting too excited, however, know that I set up an account with them years ago, but never purchased due to most of their “wholesale pricing” being at or above Amazon’s retail price.  Ingram will sell to small sellers, but will only provide competitive pricing to those who can buy serious volume.

3. Amazon wants to see at least $10,000 in sales and an established selling history.  This was what Amazon told a new seller looking to get into the DVD category.  This is the main reason why it seems there are different rules for different sellers (and perhaps at different times!)  Having $10,000 of sales as a new seller is completely unreasonable in most cases.  Yet, some brand new sellers in November and December reported to getting approved in the DVD category after only a month of selling (and a few hundred dollars worth of transactions).  Other sellers report getting denied due to lack of sales history during the same months.  Whether or not there are different set rules for different sellers,  at the very least it is clear that Amazon is inconsistent in their approval process.

CONCLUSION: IS IT WORTH PURSUING SELLING DVDS?

Despite everything I’ve discovered, there still seems to be so much uncertainty right now.  The strategy I used and presented in September of last year no longer seems to be effective across the board (or at least not consistently effective) and Amazon is staying very tight-lipped about their approval process.

If you have at least $10,000 in sales history, a great seller record and you’re willing to pursue selling media in volume through a company like Ingram Entertainment or another major distributor, I’d say your chances of getting approved are pretty good!  However, I’m aware that  this does not describe the majority of my readers.  Most of us are small time sellers looking to make some cash on selling a few DVDs here and there.

For now, I’ve removed the section from my book regarding selling DVDs and media and have included an update at the beginning of my original post on gaining approval.  In my opinion, with the current ambiguity of the approval process, it simply isn’t worth going to the trouble- particularly considering the recent reports of sellers being denied and even selling privileges being revoked!  I’ve even backed off my DVD purchases quite a bit as it seems a bit uncertain what will happen with this category.  If you manage to get approved, it is still a great income generating strategy but I’m not sure what the future holds for this category on Amazon and I would not put too much stock in it.

One thing to note, if you do go to a large studio or distributor to get approved, make sure you actually use that source to buy your inventory.  Some sellers who use a particular source just to get approval then consistently buy from another source instead have reported getting their accounts suspended.

THE GOOD NEWS

The good news is there is still great opportunity for selling DVDs and media on sites like Ebay, Half.com and others!  If you’d rather avoid it all together, there is still a wealth of opportunity for selling in other categories on Amazon.com (and most restricted categories are currently much easier to get approval for than the DVD category).  My six step strategy is a fantastic way to get started with your business!  The entire strategy is laid out in my book, but you can get started with my free resource “system start up” by entering your name and email address below.

Finally, I would love it if you’d comment below particularly if you’ve been approved for selling in this category or if you’ve been denied.  Any insight from people’s real experience is really helpful!  Thanks for reading!

60 thoughts on “Is Selling DVDs Still Possible On Amazon? What I Know (and Don’t Know) About Amazon’s Approval Process

  1. JUST to thank you and then again and again for all
    the time, research and again, TIME you put into this – for caring ! Judith

  2. I have been selling on Amazon (under the Advantage program, and the Marketplace program) We produce our on DVDs (we are the manufactureres) does these new rules apply to us as well? Uusally i just enter the products detail on a form that pops up and then 30 days later we get a PO.

    We are an LGBT based studio (Not X) would you please send me a list of distributors that I might be able to utilize for our material?

    1. Hi Toby,
      I can provide you a list, but you’re better off contacting Amazon directly on this one. They want to know what your main source is. For you, it will be your own movies. It will be worth reaching out to them and seeing if they will make an exception for you. Hope this helps!

  3. Hi Daniel, Thank you for the information. It was not until I read others comments as to why they are now turning down Mountain View I finally understand that they will not approve this company any longer. I have submitted multiple invoices all product MSRP all over 25$ worth well over 1000.00 just to continue to get turned down. I am an established seller that has been selling on Amazon for almost 10 years. My numbers are great but I continue to get turned down. If you know other distributors that other sellers have used successfully, I would be happy to try to start this process all over again (for the 5th time LOL) I really want to sell all the product I have accumulated trying to get approved, and I want to continue to hunt for good sales! Thanks for your help!!!

    1. Hi Patricia,
      Trying to get approved for the DVD category is one of the most frustrating things for sellers. Sorry to hear they’ve turned you down so many times! I’ve shared some sources with other sellers and will do the same for you, but unfortunately, I almost never hear back when I share these sources (except when people don’t get approved) so I cannot verify that these are what Amazon is looking for (though they are the very best I know of.) I’ll email it to you and hopefully it will get things rolling for you!

      1. Hi Daniel, thanks for the information it is very useful. I have just purchased your book looking forward to reading it for getting ungated in other categories like health and beauty. Do mind also sending me the other DVD supplier sources i have been denied approval as well! Thanks again

          1. Hi Lynden,
            I just sent you an email, but then saw this comment that you’re in the U.K. The sources are all U.S (not sure if they ship to the U.K. so it may not help) If you have any questions, please let me know

  4. Hi Daniel,

    Thanks for the detailed information. Seems like it is getting harder to get approved. I want to venture into selling vinyls and dvds soon and this has helped me figure out what direction I need to take. Would you also be able to share what distributors you recommend. I saw mountainview was one but I have no idea how to pick and choose which ones to move forward with.

    Thanks a bunch!

  5. Daniel, thank you for your detailed articles on gaining approval. I am embarking on this journey soon, and your info has helped steer me in what seems to be the right direction. Would you mind sending me your list of known distributors? It would help tremendously.

  6. Hi Daniel,

    Three times over the later months of 2015, I submitted my email address on your blog to receive Free tips for online business from you, but never received a reply. I don’t know if you received my email or not, but there was nothing in my Inbox or Spam box from you. So I’m hoping this post reaches you.

    Anyway, I read your blog several months ago on how you got approval to sell DVDS with MSRP of $25 + on Amazon. I was impressed and followed your lead.

    I purchases over $100 dollar worth of DVDs on Mountainview website, three times (close to $400), then submitted the invoices to Amazon. I was rejected. I submitted the invoices 3 times over a course of three weeks. Finally, I asked the last Rep who handled my request, (who was actually the same person that took my application the first time) why my invoices wasn’t accepted, and he said that in the past they used to accept invoices from the source I used, but they no longer accept invoices from that source (meaning mountainview). He said, he couldn’t tell me who to purchase from, but to just keep trying, there are plenty of sources Amazon accepts invoices from.

    So, now it’s a new year, and I’m looking forward to trying it again. I’ve been selling DVDs on Amazon for 4 years now without any problems, including Dvds with MSRP of $25 before they were gated.

    I’m just not having any luck in finding acceptable DVD distributors that Amazon would accept. So could you please help me out and share your list of distributors? I understand that there are no guarantees, but I want to keep plugging at this until I get approval. Thanks.

    1. Hi Anj,
      Sorry about that. I have no record of your email address coming in- either through subscription or email. If you tried subscribing, you should receive a confirmation email with a link in it. If you do not, please let me know and I can add you manually and get you the information you need.

      In the meantime, I’ve sent you a list of distributors. You are right that Amazon has tightened the reins on this one and there is a lot of confusion about what sources they will accept. You are correct also that I can’t make any guarantees, but I’ve sent out some ideas to you. Good luck!

    2. Man if some of the big sellers are being denied here I guess I have no chance. I buy my DVDS from second hand stores for little. I was hoping to make a profit on Amazon but it seems I won’t. My eBay DVD business isn’t as profitable as it could be. It’s often 40% less of what’s selling on Amazon. Amazon just has better exposure to people than eBay. I can’t afford 2 day shipping like FBA does

  7. Daniel, wow, I read these messages from all your followers and do understand some of what they are saying. I did see that you emailed some of them a list of distributors. I’ve been FBA from 2012 and can sell the under $25. My monthly sales, Jan 2016, will be about $8,000 to $10,000 so I’m not a big seller but have grown during the last few years. Could you help me out also and share the list you have of those distributors? I understand no guarantee but gives me an extra resource to look at.

    Thanks

    1. Daniel, thanks for keeping this up and going . I would like to have that list of distributors please. I used to do over $10,000 in DVD sales but was denied the $25+ because I did not buy from distributors. I did get approved to sell DVD’s however. This was all at the time of the new policy. I have been lagging on this. I still generate over $25,000 in sales a year & I would like to look into trying to get approved. Thank you again for your time and effort.

      1. Hi Mark,
        Yes, this new policy has made things frustrating for a lot of sellers. I sent over my list to you. I hope it helps!

  8. Hi,
    I had tried to get approval but got rejected. So I have been using amazon canada to sell off some the titles that were restricted on amazon US. Less customers but at least it’s still something. But I have come across something that might be a loophole. Amazon canada now suggests you do be an international seller by transferring your amazon canada inventory to amazon UK, Amazon Japan and Amazon USA! So i did the transfer and there’s a slide down tab to go between canada and USA and now it shows the listings on the USA page that I can manage. Now the only thing is, they are still listed as inactive listings so they aren’t showing up yet. Can someone look into this and see if this will work for us to get the dvds US exposure and how to activate the ones that listed as inactive
    thanks

  9. Thanks for your website and comments.

    I am an new seller and specifically set up a seller account to offer my videos to the Amazon buyer. Of course I was in the dark about this restrictive policy and DVD sales approval process.

    Reading the requirements and policies, I thought that, as a producer of the DVD’s I would be selling, I would be given a specific look versus a reseller. I was quickly denied.

    So here is the problem, I am a video producer of educational videos, in the biz for 3 decades producing DVDs, TV programs and everything in between, how can I offer my own DVD’s on Amazon, when they specifically require invoices from suppliers? I am my own supplier. My invoices are from the replication houses that produce my DVD’s. Shall I create my own invoice to myself for my own videos? I suppose it can’t hurt since I am the supplier.

    It’s almost amusing to think of how stupid this is, to deny video companies from selling their own videos.

    I understand there is a problem with piracy, but perhaps there would be a better way of screening than the sledgehammer approach of scripted responses from overseas reps.

    In the meantime, I’ll keep trying to think of creative ways to provide them the step by step list of required items.

    1. Hi Dave,
      You are in a unique situation. Amazon is not always very logical, but your best bet is to try to get in touch with a human being who will listen to your situation and evaluate it instead of simply following a script. This is easier said than done, but this is what I would do for my first step:

      Go to your seller account and under “help” click on “contact us.” It will give you a list of topics. Choose “other issues” and then “all other issues.” If your account is set up like mine, it should have a tab that will allow you to connect to phone support. Click that and have Amazon call you. Explain the situation to the rep. That person will likely either:

      A. Read the script and inform you that you need to purchase from a wholesaler, provide invoices etc
      or
      B. Tell you that he/she understands the situation but that he/she is not authorized to adjust your selling privileges to allow selling DVDs (which is true).

      Either way, push to speak to someone who can handle this directly. In your case, there is no reason why should should be denied the ability to sell your own material. It may be a matter of going through Amazon’s brand registry or something else. Either way, getting in touch with a real person is your best starting place. Hope this helps. Please keep us updated!

  10. Daniel,
    thanks for this post. I’ve been selling on Amazon for 5 years and have sold mostly media. My sales record by far exceeds $10K. Ever since Amazon introduced this policy, I have collected hundreds of rare dvd’s and sets. Some of them I sold on ebay. But I’m no fan of ebay since my business procedures are optimized for FBA (meaning, I have little storage, haha). I really want to list all of these (100% authentic) DVD’s on Amazon now. It’s many thousands of $’s just sitting there. And there are customers out there who want them. I think Amazon is losing money here, by restricting the rare DVD’s. Please, if you can, send me the list of wholesale distributors that might work best to get approved. I will report back.

    1. Hi Walker,
      Sounds like you’re in a tough situation (excess profitable inventory that you are unable to sell!) I’m so sorry to hear this! I did go ahead and send you the list of the distributors I know, but the problems (as I’ve told others) are:

      a) There is no guarantee that Amazon will approve you. It seems they have tightened up their restrictions
      b) If you do get approved, and you proceed to sell DVDs from sources other than you were approved for, they will revoke your privileges (it’s happened some some of my readers.)

      Your best bet is to get on the phone with an Amazon rep and explain your situation. Offer to provide as much proof as they need of the authenticity of the DVDs. I hope this is helpful!

      1. Sorry to have you inundated with the same request over and over, but any chance I can also get that list of distributors in some vain hope of gaining Amazon’s approval?

    2. I finally got approved to sell in the DVD category and it was not easy. For your readers :I produce my own DVD’s, and don’t buy anything from distributors. At first I used the Contact Us Seller Support system / Application process and was denied, and none of the associates would acknowledge my comments or questions no matter what logic I used. It was useless. I then asked to speak to a manager in a new Case. I left my number. A few days later they called me and I missed the call by a few seconds! No callback number left and only a note in the case which stated “Called seller.” I knew they crossed it off there list. I did have the caller ID and now have the number of the support center in Seattle if anyone wants it. But calling them back was little help. They would not transfer me to the rep who called me. The person who answered listen to my problem and told me I only needed to complete brand registry to sell in the gated category. Again a complete waste of time. As I quickly found out it does not cover the video category and it’s actually specifically barred from Brand Registry. Another dead end.

      Finally the successful tactic – I posted my entire experience in the new seller forum titled “The Most Frustrating Experience I ever had” and laid out every roadblock and incorrect information I received. Another seller named Arizona Dave responded that he too selles his own special interest DVDs and was successful getting ungated.

      Finally my rant got the attention of Seller support forum rep Susan. She sorted our my case in one day and had the appropriate rep Nathan contact me and ungate DVD sales. There was a form letter stating I could sell my IP Intellectual property only.

      I now have my first DVD program listed! It took a week of not giving up and being polite and persistent. I was not going away.

      So there is hope if you publish your own products in a gated category. A way around the wholesale invoice requirement. Unfortunately the email support reps do not have a script for those sellers and will not help you. Also unless you have a pro seller account, there is no way to have Seller Support call you.

      Only because I demanded to speak to a manager and gave them my office number did I get that one call. No matter how much I pleaded with them to call me back – that never happened.

      So the seller forums and the support reps there seem to be in the USA. Seem to understand English better and actually provided individual help. After all those days it blew me away when someone finally listened to me. I even made Susan an eThank you card and posted it in the forum.

      Sorry for the long post

      1. Hi Dave,
        Thanks so much for the informative comment! I’m glad that you got approved but it sounds like:
        1. It was a giant pain with an onslaught of barriers and misinformation!
        and
        2. This strategy would not likely work for the average media seller like me who simply wants to buy from liquidators and distributors and sell on Amazon.

        This information is solid for those who are selling their own created works though! If anyone hears anything about sellers being approved for selling general DVDs, please report back here. I know a few people (myself and a handful of others) were approved in the early days (when the policy was first created) but I’ve not heard of anyone having success recently

      2. to Dave B

        I too produce my own content and use a replicator. I have only a few titles and have been summarily rejected as a seller by Amazon. Any way/chance to piggyback with on you on your account??

        Fred
        AmericanMedia

        1. My suggestion is to visit the seller forums. There are US reps there that can help. Search there for my posts under altairtv and reach out to the same reps and complain loudly in the open forums if they ignore you. If you only sell your own produced films you should get gated with an agreement that those are the only DVD’s you can sell. HTH

  11. Since I really appreciate your elucidating posts, I’ll share the experience I had with Amazon. I approved back when the restriction was for all DVDs over $25 MSRP. Now there’s some sort of new restriction involving New condition DVDs. I’m not even able to select that condition when selling under the DVD category now. And when it was first put into place, I received a rather rude sounding email telling me that they had randomly decided to revoke my rights for selling New condition DVDs altogether. Nice.

    Anyway, I approved back then and received one email telling me I was approved. Then I went to sell DVDs and was told I was unable to. I called and they pulled up my application and told me it stated I was denied. This was rather confusing. I did everything I could to get approved again, but to no avail. Then a few weeks later, I was just absentmindedly surfing and went to a DVD listing with an MSRP of $25+. It seems through some sort of glitch in their system, it had turned out that we were approved to sell those DVDs. Subsequent attempts at finding out whether I was approved or not have all come back telling me that no, we are not. But I am still able to sell DVDs with an MSRP of $25 or above. Still unable to sell any New ones. But still.

    Just goes to show you how solid Amazon’s system is.

    1. Hi John (?),
      Thank you for the kind words. I also appreciate you for using the word “elucidating” as it helped me learn something new today (thanks Google!) This is a great story (and a funny one!) It seems clear to me now that there is actually no clarity with Amazon. It’s a bit of a mystery the hows and whys behind this policy and obviously it is not entirely consistent. In your case, however, you may have slipped through the cracks. I hope you are able to successfully sell a lot of DVDs as it sounds like you’re an honest seller and are doing the right thing! Good luck. Thanks again for the perspective!

    2. Hey Daniel,
      I’m in the exact position as Walker and Jeremy. could i request the list of distributors you mentioned. i will report back my experience and approval or lack of approval process. thank so much

  12. Hi Daniel:
    Thank you for your post. It is well-written, clear, and made me think about Amazon’s approval process more clearly.

    I have been rejected many times for the DVD category above $25. In my last round of attempts, I had one representative approve two of three invoices and only ask for a third to be approved. Having provided that third invoice, I was switched to a different representative who flatly rejected all invoices. Yes. It is frustrating and Amazon reps certainly seem inconsistent in the way they work. My last rejection came with the same response you gave in your post above, most of it to the word! So Amazon responses do seem canned.

    I agree with you that Amazon is a big business and that we should not expect Amazon to act like a small shop in working with small or individual sellers. Since the bottom line for any business is to make money, Amazon’s decision makers are going to look at processes that make the most money.

    Since there are a large number of third-party sellers, and since Amazon often says they “love” their sellers, it seems clear that third-party sellers make up a significant part of Amazon’s bottom line. Unfortunately, small-scale sellers making small amounts of money will not make up a big part of that benefit for Amazon and receive little love.

    It seems likely that sellers with revenues of $10,000 per month and upwards will be increasingly important and have an easier time getting approvals in any category because these sellers will benefit Amazon’s bottom line the most.

    I don’t think that means that Amazon will not approve small-scale sellers. I think Amazon will. But maybe Amazon is looking for sellers with more potential to grow. I might be wrong about this, and it is not clear to me how Amazon would discriminate sellers, but it would seem to make sense in terms of making money.

    This also makes sense with regard to Amazon’s inconsistent policies. Policies are restrictions that tie down any entity that adheres to them. It seems that Amazon does not want restrictions with their decisions for DVD approvals; therefore, they violate their own policies or better yet say they are secret. That way, they can make any decision for any reason and simply call it a business decision within their own secret policies.

    In getting approved on Amazon for DVDs above $25 (BTW, this restriction does not apply to Blu-Ray discs), it sounds as if I may just need to sell more and get my account above that $10,000 mark. I am not sure what else there is. Please let me know of your thoughts.

    1. Hi Ron,
      Others have suggested the possibility of Amazon favoring higher volume sellers as well. To be totally honest, I’m completely in the dark at this point. I’ve heard so many conflicting stories (people getting approved as absolute beginners, people being denied after selling for years and vice versa) that I can’t seem to make any logical sense out of what Amazon is doing. This was the reason for this more recent post of mine. When I got approved, it seemed fairly clear cut, but it seems now like Amazon is simply taking it on a case by case basis and it depends heavily on the rep you are assigned to as to whether or not you’re approved. One reader even wrote me and told me that he was fully approved and then contacted shortly after by another rep who revoked the approval. It’s all a bit maddening to me as there does not seem to be any set policies (like you guessed as well.) For me, at this point, I’m still selling DVDs, but not at the volume I used to. I’m focusing my main efforts on arbitrage, wholesale and private labeling. Sorry I can’t shed more light on it at this point, but know that sharing your experience helps. The more people who share, the closer we can get to figuring out the rhyme or reason behind Amazon’s decisions… assuming there is any at all :)

      1. Hi Daniel:
        Thanks for your response. I can’t help wondering what is happening on Amazon’s end to make the approval process so inconsistent and unreliable. Hopefully, things will straighten out rather than get worse.

    1. Hi Jack,
      I was approved through Mountain View Movies, but it is unclear whether or not Amazon is still accepting these invoices. I could list several other sources, but the problem is, I cannot confirm whether or not Amazon is accepting invoices from those sources for approval. My hope is that someone will jump on here stating they were approved recently and shed some light on the situation. Unfortunately, I can only provide my personal experience, but it seems Amazon may have tightened the rules since then. Sorry I can’t help more :(

    2. Hi Daniel
      Thanks so much for replying so quickly…
      Please tell me all distributor sources as many as you know…
      I wanna give all of them a try…After that..I’ll post all my experience here..
      TKS

  13. Thanks for this exhaustive but very well done explanation. I think I actually understand the process you describe. For me the frustration is to be unable to sell the DVDs that I bought ON AMAZON. How difficult could it be for Amazon to allow sale of any title purchased from them? They have a list of everything I’ve bought, after all.

    1. Hi Page,
      Yeah, Amazon is funny like that. Keep in mind they are a big corporation. Dealing with a big corporation is a lot different than dealing with a small independent movie shop where you can go in (or contact them online) and actually meet the owner. With a small company you could simply have a conversation like this:
      “look, I bought this from you. You can see it in my sales history. You allow third party sellers to offer their products on your site/at your store for sale. I would like to resell it on your site/at your store”. An independent store owner is likely going to say “yeah, that makes sense. Cool, lets do business together.”

      Amazon, on the other hand is going to say things like “we have very strict policies to follow and unfortunately we are not authorized to disclose the nature or reason for these policies. We value you very much as a seller. I’m sorry that we must deny your request. No matter how much you want to reach a “real human” you will likely be stuck in an endless loop of hundreds or thousands of representatives all reading the same script or copying and pasting the same message. It can be frustrating when you just want to reason with somebody, but in the end, I’ve decided that the benefits of selling on Amazon far outweigh the annoying parts. I just accept that Amazon is a big company. I follow their rules, I don’t make a big deal about the policies that bug me and in return, they let me use their platform to build my business. I’m pretty happy with that.

      I feel your frustration and I hope you’re able to get somewhere with Amazon, but if not, I hope you continue to utilize what’s working. Thanks for reaching out!

  14. You mentioned how to source out suppliers and private label products a year ago in your tutorials. You have got some great amazon numbers that speak for themselves. Please advise when that tutorial will come around. Thanks a million.
    Your fellow Amazoner.

    1. Hi Zia,
      Glad you’re enjoying the content. I plan to create a few new posts on private labeling (among other things) very soon. One is already in the works and will be posted within the next few days. Thanks for stopping by!

  15. I tried the method from DVA.com and was told the invoices need to come from a Brick and Mortar store. I tried these invoices on 3 different accounts and got same response all 3 times.

    1. interesting, I was told by Amazon (along with several others) that they would NOT accept invoices from brick and mortar stores. I attempted to confirm this with them and get information by writing the following:

      You mentioned that Amazon will not accept:
      Online store invoices
      Offline Store invoices.
      Retail invoices
      Store Receipts
      Email copy of invoices
      Purchase Orders

      What is it you are looking for? The above list seems to include every type of invoice a seller would get from a wholesale or retail corporation. Thanks!

      I received this reply (which didn’t tell me much)

      Greeting from Amazon Seller Support,

      Thank you for contacting us.

      Please accept our apologies regarding this issue. We still are unable to provide any further specific details regarding the issue. I know this is not the answer you wanted to hear, but please know I have exhausted all resources and investigated the issue to its full extent, and Amazon will not be able to disclose anything further concerning this matter.

      I truly understand that some of our policies sometimes causes inconvenience to our valued sellers. But as this involves a business decision, we as Seller Support would not be able to intervene or make changes on the decisions made by the concerned team.

      If you have other information/invoices, please submit the required documents. I hope you understand that we are just relying on the standard operating procedures given to us when we review an application. If you have any other concern please feel free to contact us again.

      I appreciate your understanding and co-operation in this matter.

      Thank you for selling with Amazon,

      To me, this confirms that the reps really don’t know what the requirements are and whoever made the requirements (if there are consistent ones at all) isn’t speaking. Sorry to hear this happened!

  16. I am not even bothering with applying. Now I got to find out what to do with all those DVDs I just purchased. Last week I bought $470 worth from Daedalus and Mountain View.

  17. Hi Daniel,

    I went through the DVD approval process as you described it, that is to say, in your original post that detailed exactly how it was that you got approved. I’d been selling under $25.00 MSRP titles for years, so I was already approved for that. But I knew the big money was in the above $25.00 category. So, I followed your advice to the letter, sent in my three invoices (from one of the companies you mentioned), with each invoice showing DVDs with MSRP and above, etc., and still I was denied. The reason? “We are not accepting invoices from “xxxxx” company,” and so on.

    My first thought was to keep trying. Maybe I didn’t have enough of the above $25.00 items on each invoice. Maybe I should wait a month and try again with the same invoices—maybe then I’d get a more sympathetic representative, and they’d approve me, where the other rep didn’t. Maybe Amazon was looking at the ratio of my used items vs. my new invoiced items. Maybe this, maybe that. Fact is, I simply didn’t know what Amazon’s reasoning was. They weren’t talking. And you know what? I was no longer interested in trying to figure it all out.

    This is not to discourage anyone from continuing with the process. If a seller thinks they can make a go if it, then more power to them. Collect those invoices and try, try again. The companies you mentioned were fine, and the one I bought from is one that I’m completely satisfied with. I would buy from them again in a heartbeat.

    I’m an optimist and an opportunist when it comes to business. When one door closes, another one opens. All one has to do is look for that open door. If you can’t find one then you make your own. Simple as that.

    So that’s what I did.

    I was not surprised by the number of sellers who got invoices and were approved, only to be disapproved or even banned later on. I predicted from the very beginning that there would be sellers who would think that, after approval, they could go back to selling all kinds of above $25.00 MSRP DVDs, and from all kinds of sources. Why these sellers would think that Amazon would allow them to do that is beyond me, especially when one considers that the stated purpose of the whole thing was to keep counterfeit items out of the marketplace and thus create a better experience for buyers. Amazon would not have asked for invoices if they were not dead serious. One must think about that, and carefully.

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