New Amazon Restriction: How I Got Approved to Sell DVDs Over $25 MSRP (After Being Denied!)

142

green lightIMPORTANT UPDATE 3/10/15:

The below strategy may still work for you, but it seems there is a lot of confusion lately both on the part of the seller and Amazon.  Please read my updated post on this policy HERE.

Also, Mountain View Movies has released a page with their own thoughts on this matter HERE

You may have heard by now about Amazon’s latest seller restriction.  Any DVD, or Blu ray with an MSRP of $25 or greater will not be able to be sold unless you gain approval by Amazon.

When I first received the notice, I did not think it was going to be difficult to get approved.  After all, I’ve been selling DVDs for several years and have maintained a 100% feedback rating.  After submitting my information, I was denied!  I did some searches to attempt to look deeper into this new restriction.  I found that articles have been written all over the internet, sellers were talking about it in forums and overall, there is widespread speculation, anger and panic! None of the sources I found provided a method on how to get approved.  I could not even find a single seller on the forums who did get approved!  (I found a lot who had been denied however!)

Today I want to provide you with what I wish I would have found in my searches.  As I’ve said in past posts, I’m happy to provide information that helps you to learn from my mistakes rather than your own!  Through a lot of back and forth with Amazon and several attempts, I’ve been approved!  Let’s talk about exactly what this restriction is and how to get the green light from Amazon!

WHAT IS THE NEW RESTRICTION?

Recently Amazon sent a notice entitled “important information about your DVD listings.”  This was sent to sellers who have sold media (DVDs, CDs, Blu ray etc) through their accounts stating that a new restriction would be taking effect starting November 17th which would restrict sellers to offering DVDs (or Blu rays) with an MSRP of $24.99 or less.  For sellers with an account in good standing, an application can be made to become exempt from this restriction.

WHY IS AMAZON ISSUING THIS RESTRICTION?

If you ask Amazon why this restriction is being issued, they will tell you it is to help combat piracy.  This is likely true (recently Warner Bros sued a multitude of Amazon sellers due to pirated media!)  If you read seller forums and blogs, however, there are numerous suspected reasons Amazon may be doing this.  These speculations range from the absurd to the fairly likely.  One guess mentioned that seemed possible was that Amazon has a partnership with major studios.  These studios hate arbitrage sellers (sellers who buy at discount stores, on clearance etc and resell) because the studios essentially lose control of enforcing a MAP (minimum advertised price.)  Thanks for the First Sale Doctrine, it is completely legal for small sellers like you and I to purchase products and resell them without any permission from the manufacturer or studio (the first sale doctrine is what allows you to hold a yard sale, sell your personal belongings on Ebay and even allows places like Goodwill to be in business.)

I have personally been confronted and even threatened with legal action from a couple of manufacturers/suppliers.  They saw that I was selling an item on Amazon (which I had purchased on clearance) which I was not “authorized to sell” or in one case, was selling below the MAP (minimum advertised price.)  When this happens, I kindly explain that the item was purchased on clearance and that I am selling it in accordance with the first sale doctrine.  In most cases, I either do not hear back, or I am told “thank you for explaining.” and we part ways.  In one case, the supplier became very hostile and threatened legal action and told me how aggressive they were with going after “distributors” who “violated contract” etc etc.  I explained again and again that I did not violate any contract because I never signed one.  We went back and forth for a while.  I refused to take the item down and eventually they gave up.  Why do I tell you all of this?  I believe it shows that manufacturers, suppliers and studios do not like the fact that this law (first sale doctrine) takes a degree of control away from them.  This move by Amazon could very well be due to the studios fighting back! As part of the potential approval process, Amazon is asking their sellers to verify their sources.  I noticed in the email that Amazon says they are not accepting store receipts.  Interesting…  this certainly seems to confirm this suspicion that Amazon/the studios are not a fan of the arbitrage model.  Arbitrage (whether for media or general merchandise) still works and I don’t believe it is going away any time soon, but I do think it would be wise to work your way through the 6 steps I lay out in my free ebook (step 3 is arbitrage, but if you make it to steps 5 and 6, it’s a much more secure position to be in for the long haul!)

WHY THIS MATTERS:

First, my original 6 step strategy focused heavily on selling media to start (DVDs, Blu rays etc).   I’ve since updated the strategy so it can be implemented without selling media at all (though it’s still in there- it’s optional).  When I first received this announcement, I thought I would get approved easily (I was wrong!)  When I was denied, I figured “it’s ok- most of what I sell is below $25 anyway.”  This is true, but read carefully!  Amazon will not allow sellers to offer any title with an MSRP of $25 or greater!  MSRP is “manufacturers suggested retail price.”  For instance, if you look at THIS blu ray on Amazon, you will see that the price is under $25.00.  Now look right above the price where it says “list price.”  That is the MSRP: $39.99. Starting in November, this title will be RESTRICTED!… along with thousands upon thousands of other titles!  The price you sell it at makes no difference, it’s the MSRP that will determine whether or not you can sell the title.  This will greatly limit your options when searching for media to sell!

HOW TO GET APPROVED

So, what can you do?  First, let me say, I don’t have any secret knowledge to the inner workings of Amazon.  I can only say what worked for me and why I think it worked.  I can make no guarantees that Amazon will act favorably toward your account.  With that said, I think following these guidelines will greatly increase your chances of being approved!

Amazon says in the email they sent out that they require 3 things:

1) Your primary source(s) of inventory

2. A minimum of three invoices or purchase order for inventory with MSRP greater than $25 that you plan to sell

3. A written summary of processes that you have in place to prevent inauthentic goods from entering your inventory

As I mentioned earlier, my first time around, I was denied!  The problem was, I did not take the time to read and response carefully.  Perhaps I was a bit too confident due to my 100% feedback score and my DVD selling history.  I learned quickly that Amazon does not care about this.  They want you to read their requirements and give them what they ask for.  Let’s go through it one step at a time.

Step 1: Click the link.

In the email that was sent out, Amazon provides a link to “begin the application.”  Click the link.  Here they will ask you for a brief explanation of why you wish to sell DVDs.  I said something along these lines:

“Our company has been selling DVDs, CDs, and Blu rays for several years.  We buy only from reputable sources and maintain a 100% feedback rating.  Please consider our company for an exemption to this new policy.  Thank you!”

Step 2: Receive and (thoroughly) read the followup/application email

In a day or two, you will (likely) receive an email from Amazon asking for the required information (see above).  You have 48 hours to respond.  If you do not, Amazon will close the case (don’t worry, you can re-apply if necessary)

Step 3: Provide information:

This is of course, the most important step.  First, you will need to scan in invoices (if you don’t have a scanner, you can take a picture as long as it’s clear.)  Be sure to block out the prices (Amazon requests this.)  I used invoices from Mountain View Movies.  You can use invoices from anywhere as long as it’s a legitimate supplier- not an individual, or a retail store  These need to be dated within the last 180 days.

Note the language Amazon uses.  This is very important (I did not pay close enough attention to this the first time and I believe it was why I was denied)

A minimum of three invoices or purchase orders for inventory with MSRP greater than $25 that you plan to sell

I only provided three invoices, but offered to provide more upon request.  The main thing to note is this: The MSRP must be greater than $25.  Amazon does not just want to see where you get your inventory.  They want to see where you get your inventory with an MSRP of $25 or greater!  I went through an noted a couple of the specific items with an MSRP of $25 or greater and mentioned these to Amazon in the message (which I will paste below)

Note also that Amazon says inventory you “plan” to sell.  This seems to mean if you don’t have receipts yet, you can go still buy some inventory now (you will need to do this at least 3 times before November 17th) and still apply for this exemption!  Note there seems to be some uncertainty on this point in the seller forums.  In particular, one seller was informed by Amazon that the invoices must be dated before 9-16-14.  With that said, keep in mind that Amazon has huge support centers with countless seller support representatives and their information is not always accurate.  I have personally received contradictory information from different support reps.  If you haven’t yet purchased DVDs, I would say it’s worth a shot- just make sure the titles can be sold elsewhere if Amazon does not accept this (think Ebay).  If the sales rank is excellent, you could also sell before November 17th! on Amazon!

Lastly (and this was another area where I failed the first time), Amazon wants a “written summary” that shows you have a strategy for keeping inauthentic goods out of your inventory.  This was tough to figure out since in reality, it’s nothing I’ve thought through.  Blatant fakes are easy to spot, but I’ve basically trusted Mountain View Movies (as well as my other sources) to provide authentic goods (of course I look them over as well!)  The key seemed to be explaining this in a more intelligent manner that sounds verifiable (rather than just saying “uh… I just trust my supplier.”  That’s not going to fly with Amazon)

Finally, I provided some additional information that was not asked for in the first email to help Amazon understand that we were transparent and trustworthy.  Below is my entire response to Amazon (I’ve removed specifics other than what is publicly available)

Hi [name of Amazon Rep],
Thank you for the reply. Below and attached is the required information:

1. Our primary source of inventory is Mountain View Movies (mountainviewmovies.com)
2. Attached are invoices from our purchases. We are happy to provide more if needed. Please note, not all of the titles we purchase have an MSRP of $25 or great, but many do (For instance “[title 1]” and “[title 2]” (both of these can be found on the attached file “Mountainview 1″)
3. Our first step to preventing counterfeit material is to buy only from reputable suppliers. Mountain View Movies currently has an A+ rating with the BBB and only carries authentic, factory sealed media. You can find more about the company here: http://www.mountainviewmovies.com/about_us
Furthermore, we inspect each title that comes in to insure authenticity. Most counterfeit DVDs, CDs and Blu rays can be easily identified (poor artwork printing, no barcode, blue, purple or green surface rather than silver, stickers on the face of the disc rather than screen printing etc. Our media is hand processed and must be verified as authentic before circulating into our inventory. Please let us know if you have further questions about this. I’m happy to clarify anything!

Our company information:
[company name, address, email and phone number]

Please see invoices for names and quantities of products

Let us know if you require further information. Thank you!

Supplier’s information:
Mountain View Movies
PO Box 165
Davenport, NY 13750
607-278-5401

Attachments:
Mountainview 1.jpg
Mountainview 2.jpg
Mountainview 3.jpg

This was what worked for me!  I hope this is helpful and I hope that many of you are also able to be approved!

CONSOLATION:

I prefer having many many options.  I’m not a fan of restrictions.  In all honesty though, if I would not have been approved, it would have been discouraging, but not devastating.  First, I sell far more titles with an MSRP of $24.99 or less than titles over the $25 MSRP mark.  At closeout sources, it is not difficult to find quality titles under the $25 MSRP mark- it just creates a little more work (checking the list price on Amazon.)

Furthermore, steps 3 through 6 really help round out the business.  I sell a lot of DVDs, but the majority of my income does not come from this.  It’s important to have a diverse selection of products and eventually diverse sources of income (from sources outside of Amazon.)  This new restriction only serves as further motivation to me to keep working toward adding in other channels (Ebay, my own websites, other marketplaces etc.)  Amazon has a lot of opportunity and I highly recommend selling on this platform, but remember, it’s their marketplace and they make the rules.  It is wise to avoid putting “all of your eggs in one basket” and this serves as a great reminder!  Best of luck on being approved!

If you haven’t yet and would like to sign up to my mailing list, you will receive my ebook completely free which provides and overview of the strategy I’ve used to achieve a 6 figure a year (profit) income and also gives you some actionable ideas to get started!  Thanks for your support!

142 thoughts on “New Amazon Restriction: How I Got Approved to Sell DVDs Over $25 MSRP (After Being Denied!)

    1. Unfortunately, I don’t think that would work. They are not even accepting most liquidator invoices anymore (which would be seen as more legitimate than buying from a seller on eBay). Sorry :(

    2. You guys won’t get approved with invoices from a 3rd party distributor. Purchase inventory from the real deal Sony or any mayor DVD manufacturer and request the approval if the invoice is not from the direct manufacturer Forget it

  1. Daniel,

    I’m currently a seller of DVD’s on Amazon.ca in Canada. A while back Amazon created a unified account and with one hand encouraged me to use my unified account to sell on Amazon.com, and then of course with the other hand denied me the ability to sell since I was not approved.

    I have a 100% approval rating so I decided to attempt to get approval to sell on .com and was denied. My current business model is to buy from Auctions and apparently the invoices I was receiving from auction houses was not sufficient. So at the time I decided to stay focused on the Amazon.ca side of the business.

    Recently I have been looking at a new supplier, a company called BklynBooks out of New York. This issue with them is I will have to buy in larger quantities than I usually buy. This made me start to think about trying to get back on the Amazon.com website again…might as well give it another shot.

    Have you heard about BklynBooks, and do you know if they are an acceptable supplier. It would also be nice to see your list of “likely” acceptable suppliers, maybe that’s the way I need to go in the short term to get my .com approval.

    I think it’s ironic, on the .ca website I have 100% approval ratings and everything is fine (for now) but the same company won’t authorize me to sell in the US. Go figure.

    Jeff
    Golden Horseshoe Media Distribution

    1. Hi Jeff,
      I’ve had similar (but different) experiences with Amazon. I once received an email recommending me to source and sell specific items. I went and found sources at great prices (arbitrage) only to find out the items were “restricted” from being sold (they were Disney items… Amazon restricts a lot of these). That was very frustrating after buying so much inventory! I’ve not heard of BklynBooks so I cannot say, but I will email you the sources I know of which will hopefully help!

  2. Love the blog! Thanks for all your helpful insight. My sales have improved thanks to your blog and the e-book. May I also have your suggested distributor list? I understand this may or may not work to be ungated, but if I get the ok or denial I will make sure to report back. my email is ferraes04@yahoo.com

    1. Hi Manny,
      So glad you’ve found the content helpful! I just sent you an email with some ideas for distributors to try out. Thanks for the support!

    1. I received my first denial to sell DVDs yesterday and found your site today. Amazon’s rep was very vague about reasons for denying my application. I had three invoices (2 from Mountain View). Anyway, I will try again (and again). Thank you for the info. Looks like I’m not alone in this.

      1. Hi Julie,
        Yes, unfortunately, you’re not alone. Apparently Amazon stopped accepting Mountain View Movies as a source for approval. This is what I’ve heard from both outside and inside Amazon. :( Best of luck as you keep trying! Please report back if you have any success!

        1. Thanks, Daniel. Can you email me your list of DVD sources? Love your story.Thanks for sharing it with us.

            1. Daniel,

              You seem knowledgeable. Would you be willing to help me? I am the producer of two documentaries and can’t seem to get them on Amazon and we cannot continue to sell and ship in house. We need to be making more movies.

              Would you be willing to help for a fee?

              I have sent you an Email.

              Thanks!

              Mary

            2. Hey Daniel,

              I’ve tried invoices for numerous DVD distributors to get approved to sell DVDs on Amazon and they’ve rejected them all. I have no idea whom they’re accepting now and what “mysterious” criteria they require.

              Can you please help?

              Thanks,

              Chad

    2. Hey Ricardo,

      What’s the list of approved distributors to get ungated to sell DVDs on Amazon? I’d really appreciate the help!

      Thanks,

      Chad

      1. Hi Chad,
        I just sent you an email. Unfortunately I don’t have a verified list of Amazon approved distributors, but I have gotten some information here and there which I think may be helpful.

  3. Thank you for the post! I have been searching for a way to get un-gated from the DVD&Blue-Ray category for quite some time now…and I understand that your method will not work 100% but still want to give it a shot.

    Q: Since I am a new Seller on Amazon (started up August of this year), do you think I am unlikely to get ungated since I am applying AFTER they closed the gate to pretty much all new sellers? I ask this because I noticed that you were already selling DVDS&Blue-Rays before the gated happen.

    #2: Can I also get the list of your DVD sources?

    Thanks in advance and thank you for this post!

    1. Hi Alexander,
      Unfortunately, I DO think it’s unlikely that you’ll get approved. It seems when Amazon first created this policy, they approved SOME established sellers and a few new sellers. Something happened since and it seems like they are approving almost nobody (I have not heard a single positive report on this in months!) I will send you the list. The most important thing to remember is to pick out titles you can sell elsewhere (ebay, craigslist, ioffer, bonanza etc etc) so you’re not stuck with “dead inventory.” Do let us all know though if you get approved. That would be really encouraging for a lot of people (for the record, I haven’t heard a lot of “rejection reports” lately either, so it’s possible people are getting approved and not reporting back)

    2. I have a lot of USED DVD I have been finding on amazon, is there a way I can sell them? Most of them have good ranking numbers and are less than $25

      1. Hi Joe,
        I believe you will still need to gain approval from Amazon. I would suggest writing them directly and explaining your situation. I hope this helps!

  4. Hi:

    I too have found Amazon’s wording very confusing. I do not have to have permission to sell below that price do I?

    Thanks!

    1. Hi Spring,
      I’m not sure if I understand your question, so correct me if I’m not getting it. Amazon’s restricts DVD sales from all new sellers now. If you’ve already been selling DVDs for some time, Amazon is now restricting DVD sales of more than $25.00 MSRP (manufacturer’s suggested retail price- or what Amazon calls “list price” on their product pages.) If the MSRP is under $25, you can sell it at whatever price you want (higher or lower) but if it’s over $25 MSRP, you will be restricted from selling it unless you are approved. Hope this helps!

  5. daniel, if you know anyone that wants to sell their amazon business that is ungated in the dvd/media category, can you contact me…will give you a finders fee for your trouble
    thanks

    1. Hi Becky,
      I will look into this a bit. With my current understanding of how Amazon works, I’m guessing even if you were able to buy up an approved account (which Amazon’s policy does not generally allow), Amazon would likely “unapprove” your ability to sell in this category as they would know the account was transferred. You would essentially be selling DVDs from different sources from what gained the approval in the account and Amazon doesn’t want that. They have reversed approval in this category for other sellers for this very reason (when they use a certain source to get approved and then another source to actually buy from and sell DVDs). I could be wrong about some or all of this, so I will do some digging and will report back if I hear anything differently.

        1. Hi Becky,
          Oh, I agree completely. I hope it did not sound like I was accusing you (or anybody) of using sources that were less than legitimate! If so, I apologize. I was referring to Amazon’s perceptions. Even when a seller uses a legitimate source to get approved and then another legitimate source to sell from, Amazon has at times revoked their privileges in that category. It seems Amazon is extremely strict about this and I would hate to see this happen to anyone else (particular if there is a financial burden of buying up an account associated with it!) If you happen to use the same source that Amazon approved for the account, then you’d be golden!

          However, here is Amazon’s policy about buying and selling accounts:
          http://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html?nodeId=201028580

          I’m intrigued by the word “generally” which implies there may be a way to do this. It may be worth contacting Amazon for more details… Wishing you the best. I’ll let you know if I hear anything!

    1. Hi Daniel,
      Absolutely! I just sent out an email to you. However, I want to emphasize (to you and everyone who has been asking) that I can make no guarantees that any of these sources will gain you approval with Amazon. Since the changes on Amazon’s end, I’ve not been able to “crack the code.” It seems more and more sellers are being rejected. Proceed with caution…

            1. Hi Brandon,
              I emailed you, but can make no promises. Honestly, I’m quite in the dark as to Amazon’s requirements for DVD approval at this point as a lot has changed since I was approved. The information I emailed you will hopefully help get you started in the right direction. Good luck!

                1. Hi Jesse,
                  Sure thing! I send out an email to you. However, I want to emphasize (to you and everyone who has been asking) that I can make no guarantees that any of these sources will gain you approval with Amazon. Since the changes on Amazon’s end, I’ve not been able to “crack the code.” It seems more and more sellers are being rejected. Proceed with caution…

      1. Hi Daniel,
        Could you send me your list? I’ve ordered from several distributors (including mountain view) and have been rejected over and over. I fully realize you make no guarantees, I’d just like to try a few more before I give up.
        Thanks!

        1. Hi Johan,
          I just sent it to you via email. Do let us know if you’re able to get approved. I’ve unfortunately not heard many positive reports of this since Amazon tightened up the rules :(

  6. Hello Daniel, I would like to know where you have found the MSRP for DVDs that Amazon wants? and How did you present them to Amazon? I am about to go through my 3rd go around with this for approval on selling them. I’m following all your advise so cross your fingers. I think I’ve read everything posted here but I can’t find the MSRP information. My last bout with Amazon I was so steamed. I talked to the rep and I am sure he kept reading the same script response. grrrrrrr. No answer was provided to what was wrong with the invoices, but I’ve got 3 Mountain View’s invoices with prices blanked out so I’ve submitted them with a very professional comment as well. If you could help me with the MSRP issue I think I might be set to go.
    By the way Great web post
    thank you, Courtney

    1. Hi Courtney,
      Yes, unfortunately Amazon can be frustrating in this way- particularly with this issue where they will not clue the seller in to the reasons for the denial. Be sure to read my updated post HERE
      To answer your question, the MSRP is usually listed on Amazon. Take THIS blu ray for example. You will see it is selling at $19.99, but right above that it says “list price: $32.99″ The $32.99 is the MSRP. I hope this helps!

      1. Daniel, well here it is folks Amazon is not even approving new DVD sellers who have been contracted with Baker & Taylor, Ingram, waxworks, XSDepot etc. I set up a retail account with all these companies. I followed everything to the letter and today some clown named Jaswant from Amazon called my phone let it ring 1 time and hung up, then he called back and did the same thing. in less they two minutes I had my denial email and my case closed on Amazon and he stated that he tried to contact me with no reply.

        Oh I’m so pissed it’s gone beyond funny and If I got enough people together I’d sue Amazon for discrimination, I have the perfect invoices, I have retailer contracts with the wholesales that are contracted to provided these products from all the major movies studios including WB who sued Amazon.
        There is no more people getting approved I have not found 1 single person. My book business revenue has fallen off on a steady decline and I’ve increased the volume of my inventory, this seems to be the same story for dozens of other sellers I know and none of us can account for it.
        so there’s my rant and I am going to speak to a business lawyer this denial makes 5 and now I’m sitting on almost 2k in DVDs with no outlet and it’s just my opinion but EBay is worse. Everyone there want’s the products for free and it’s not worth the time.
        I don’t blame you if this doesn’t get printed and you’ve a great help Daniel but I am so close to just selling what’s left or giving it to a good cause and devoting my time to talking smack about Amazon. I now have to find an outlet for all those DVDs, over 300 Heritage Press Collectors books in perfect condition, along with almost 3K books.
        I have to go take care gook luck, Minnesota is getting an Amazon warehouse built 15 minutes from my house hee hee I may need to get a part time job just to see in I can discover anything.
        later guys.

        1. I’m so sorry to hear this! What a frustrating situation! You said: ‘I don’t blame you if this doesn’t get printed.” I don’t have an official “policy” (at least not yet) on comments, but just know that as long as comments are respectful and potentially helpful to other sellers, they will get printed regardless of the opinion or the experience the comment represents and regardless of whether it is in line with everything I think or write. Diverse opinions and conclusions are helpful because we’re not in this alone. Nobody should listen to just me. I’m just one person with an individual experience. I felt this comment was really valuable because it tells your experience and may help other sellers make an informed decision. I’m just sorry you had to go through all of this in order to reach this conclusion :( Thank you for your contribution!

  7. I have just put in a couple orders for Mountain View in an attempt to satisfy the Amazon requirement. Now they’ve sent an email out:

    This email is intended for those who resell on Amazon.com or wish to resell on Amazon.com.

    Mountain View Movies has been inundated since September of 2014 with inquiries about the new amazon dvd reseller restrictions now imposed. We have been responsive to each and every inquiry and provided only the information we could, always indicating that we do not work for Amazon.com nor are we affiliated with Amazon.com.

    If we could get you accepted, we would. However, this is between you and amazon.com. Mountain View Movies is being thrust into this process as a result of the non responsiveness or evasiveness of amazon.com. However, that does not change the fact that Mountain View Movies is not part of the amazon applicaiton review process.

    1. Yeah Paul. I haven’t contacted Mountain View because I know that’s it’s Amazon making things more difficult. I am attempting a third time soon.

  8. I was denied. All they will say is that my invoices don’t qualify. I bought 3 orders over $300 scanned them and priciest the info needed. Here is their response. Does anyone know what the new restiction is? I bought all of the items from Mountain View Movies. Do i need more supplies from others? Any suggestions? Out another $300 and Amazon just keeps blocking us! Class Acton lawsuit?

    “Dear Seller, I would like to inform you that the invoices sent by you earlier used to be accepted, however, the Approval Team has updated criteria for approved invoices beginning current year. So, that is why these invoices are not acceptable for the approval. You and I have something in common that we are under Amazon Policy.

    Please be informed that we are not discouraging you to apply for pre-approval rather I’d like to encourage you to proceed further and gather other/different invoices and submit it.”

    1. Hi Hunter,
      It sounds like (based on what you heard from Amazon) that they have tightened the requirements. Unfortunately I don’t know what the new requirements are. I would recommend asking Amazon outright what they require. This will take out the guesswork. Of course, it’s possible that they will not give a direct answer. In that case, I hope others who have been approved recently will chime in! Sorry this happened.

      The good news is, if you can figure it out and get approved, you can get rid of your inventory on Amazon. If not, you may want to look into Ebay, Half.com etc to unload it. Hope this helps!

      1. Well i just got denied. I followed everything that they asked for and used tips from this website so now I don’t know what else to do? Does anyone know why certain invoices are being denied? I used two from mountainview and 1 from dva.com. They sent me back a long response, here is just part of it. Any info anyone here can provide to me I would greatly appreciate.

        We have reviewed your invoices carefully. While reviewing your invoices we found that your invoices are not meeting the requirements. Due to proprietary information we are unable to disclose why certain invoices ought to be disapproved. Earlier the invoices you have sent used to be accepted, however, the Approval Team has updated criteria for approved invoices beginning current year.

        Therefore, I request you to kindly provide additional invoices from other resources for reviewing your application in order to approve you for selling DVDs on Amazon.

    2. Hi Hunter
      If you are Red Top Mtn Media, than the issue may be that we have not yet shipped your orders, as you placed them yesterday?
      We advise that you use the invoice included in your package, not the emailed order invoice.
      Amazon does not want the invoice to look like a website order.
      As instructed by the moderator of this forum, you should use the package invoice, blank out the prices and scan that version.
      I hope this helps.
      Tiffany
      Mountain View Movies

      1. Tiffany, I placed another order a few days back. Will you send a shipping confirmation? I have not seen anything for my 3 orders. Thank you. I am getting Amazon’s lovely messages about closing out the ticket in 48 hours. They’re saying that I have to start over. My comment to them is they make things so difficult for the people that make them profit! lol

      2. I got denied again. I noticed that the first packing slip invoice has info about your web address on the invoice. They won’t say why except that they are denying the invoices. They are asking that I provide more. One of the invoices I realized is for Blu-Ray. That was accidental. I can assume they are only counting 2 that qualify out of the 3 purchases from your company. Any suggestions?

        1. This is a reply to the handful of you who have reached out to me about the DVD approval issue. I’ve put my thoughts into a post HERE
          If there is any additional information you feel would be helpful for those trying to get approval, please feel free to comment on the new post. Thanks so much!

          1. Hey Daniel. I applied this week again. They ate asking for more invoices. I think they are looking at the low number of purchases. I’m not sure but they are asking for more. I placed a $120 order and added it to the other 2 that I had from late feb (26th) and only have a few days left until they don’t count my original purchases. Would you want to take a look at my invoices and see if there is something they may be excluding me for?

            1. Hi Hunter,
              This sounds really frustrating. I’m sorry to hear that they are putting you through this. Unfortunately, I have no idea at this point how Amazon’s policy works or what their requirements are. Some sellers have followed exactly what I posted originally and got approved. Other sellers followed it exactly and did not. Your best bet is to ask Amazon directly. The problem is, they will likely not tell you. It will be something like “unfortunately, we cannot disclose the exact reasons etc etc” but since I’m a bit in the dark, I don’t know that I’ll be much help either. If you’d like to send the invoices my way, I’ll be happy to see if there are any glaringly obvious problems, but please be aware that any advice I give is just guesses at this point. Sorry I can’t help more!

              1. We have tried twice now in the last week to get approved for the over $25 category. We currently have been selling under $25 DVDs for over one year now with no problem. What we did find out is that all the 3 vendors we used which included Mountain View videos did not have their contact information on their invoices and one vendor it did not say invoice on it but it is clearly an invoice. Hope this helps some. If the DVD vendor’s information is not on the invoice it appears you will definitely not get approved. I am seriously beside myself trying to find more vendors for DVDs. Any ideas? Thanks for all your help.

                1. Hello Michelle
                  Our business name, billing address and phone number are indeed on our invoices.

                  This is the invoice header
                  Mountain View Movies
                  PO Box 165
                  Davenport, NY 13750
                  (607) 278-5401

                  Thank you
                  Tiffany
                  Mountain View Movies

  9. I am a new seller trying to get started selling DVDs on Amazon, and just ran into this requirement. Obviously I don’t have 3 receipts from before November 2014. Any suggestions on how to get approved as a brand new seller?

    1. Hi Dennis,
      I’m 99% sure you can still get approved for the DVD category by submitting current invoices. The “before November” policy was implemented because November was the month Amazon began this restriction. Double check with Amazon, but I don’t think you’ll have any trouble with submitting recent invoices. Hope this helps!

    2. Daniel is correct (of course). You must have your invoices within the last 180 days. They are very specific on the details as Daniel has stated. I’m in limbo now as I sent email invoices that I scanned. Make sure you have a delivery type of invoice!!!

  10. Hi, thanks for all of the great info! Just curious though, am I understanding correctly that if the MSRP is $24.99 or less you can sell it without requesting approval? Or must you be approved to sell any DVD?
    Also, do you have any thoughts on how selling a DVD combo set that includes a book would affect all of this?
    I am interning at a church and they want me to set up an Amazon account to sell some bible study materials (some of which includes a DVD lesson and accompanying study guide.)
    Sorry for all the questions, but any help would be so greatly appreciated!

    Thanks,
    Keri

    1. Hi Keri,
      Thanks for the comment! Yes, this new policy was very confusing and I had to do quite a bit of digging to find out the full story. Here is the deal

      IF you have an existing account in good standing and you’ve been selling DVDs for a while, the new rule only restricts you from selling DVDs at $25 MSRP or above, however, IF you are a new seller and/or have never sold DVDs, you are restricted from selling any DVDs without prior approval.

      This restriction does not apply to books or study materials. You would certainly be allowed to sell bible study books and I don’t think the DVD lessons would be a problem (since it’s a bundle) as long as it’s listed in the books category.

      To be 100% sure, you may want to check with Amazon, or you could simply try listing it. If it’s already available on Amazon, just click “sell yours here” and Amazon will tell you right away if you’re restricted from selling it or not. Hope this helps! Good luck!

  11. Hello all,

    I am sorry if this has been covered already.

    I had problems finding movies on mountainview that I can make a profit on. I must have checked 20 different titles. What am I missing?
    What other movie sources do you suggest Daniel?
    Some good news. I got approved for groceries with store receipts. My email is aruizinvesting at gmail.

    1. Hi Alex,
      No, you’re not missing anything. Unfortunately, this is the downside of publicly revealing a source- everybody starts using it and the titles are gone much faster. With that said, be sure to get on their mailing list. When you sign up, you’ll be among the first to sort through the new stock which almost always includes profitable titles. Remember too, not everyone who uses Mountain View Movies sells on Amazon. “profitable titles” is a relative term. For instance, if you had a brick and mortar store, many of the titles up on the site right now are likely very profitable. For online, also check Ebay, Half.com, Bonanza, Ioffer and other sites like this! For Amazon, I find the newest stuff is the best, though you can sometimes find great stuff in other sections as well (clearance, box sets etc) Hope this helps!

      Congrats on getting approved for grocery by the way! Great category to sell in- just watch those expiration dates!

  12. Hi Daniel,

    After several attempts, I finally gained approval by buying DVDs from mountainviewmovies and submitting the invoices from the purchases back in October. I just received an email from amazon this week stating that my invoices had been reviewed again and denied this time, so I can no longer sell DVDs with MSRP over $25. After asking why they are now denying me, Amazon told me that they are no longer accepting invoices from Mountain View because of “authenticity issues”. Do you know if anyone else is running into this problem? Any advice on another distributor that I can use to gain my ability to sell again in this category?

    Thanks!

    1. Hi Nate,
      I’m sorry to hear this! This is the second case of getting “approved” and then having that approval revoked!” The other case was a bit different though (not related to Mountain View Movies.) This is really strange. I’ve never had authenticity issues with Mountain View, so I’m not sure where this information is coming from on Amazon’s end. I’m going to email you privately with some ideas for sources. Hope this helps!

      1. hi
        i just wanted to chime in here about the comment above.
        this person actually contacted us directly.
        they only used ONE invoice from mountainviewmovies, i do not know what the other 2 sources were. he insisted that amazon mentioned that mountainviewmovies is not a trusted source.

        of course, i knew this to be untrue.

        after i asked him to forward me the email from amazon, he agreed to forward it, and than admitted that it DID NOT mention mountainviewmovies.

        We have been in business 10 years, with a flawless reputation.

        I can assure everyone that we are absolutely a trusted supplier.

        Anyone who used 3 of our invoices (no other sources) have not had a single issue.

        Wonder why these people are reluctant to mention these other sources?

        Anyway, I thought it was necessary to clear up the above mis-statement by Nate.

        Thank You
        Tiffany
        Owner, Mountain View Movies

        1. Hi Tiffany,
          Great to hear this from “the source” (literally!)

          As I mentioned, I’ve only heard of 2 cases where someone got approved and then the approval was “revoked.” The one mentioned that Amazon had a problem with the source (your company- Mountain View Movies) the other was unrelated to this entirely.

          Obviously I’m not on the “inside” of Amazon and I didn’t see the email, but from your comment, it sounds like there may have been a misunderstanding and that the issue was actually not about Mountain View Movies, but perhaps a different source. For the record, I’ve had only good experiences with your company and the invoices actually got me the approval that I needed which I’m thankful for. Numerous others have reported getting approved based on buying from you as well, so I’m glad to hear the issue is not with your company! Thank you for clearing this up!

          1. Opps, the customer who contacted us was not Nate. Sorry Nate. If you are having any issues that you think Mountain View Movies can help you with, feel free to contact us at sales@mountainviewmovies.com.

            Only ONE person has contacted us (as mentioned above) that said their selling privileges were revoked too. Only they only purchased one time with us.

            Nate, if you submiteed 3 invoices from our company, than I would suggest to resubmit them again. Unfortunately, it appears the amazon process is subjective, so it may depend on who reviews the invoices.

            I can assure you that we are a legit, reliable wholesale dvd source. We have been in business over 10 years, and have a flawless reputation.

            Dont give up.

            Tiffany
            Owner, Mountain View Movies

  13. Thank you! :)

    Hi Daniel,
    I needed to say thank you for your generous information. I was approved on my first/second attempt (Depends how you look at my paperwork).
    I can’t thank you enough for helping me with the confidence to move forward and prepare me for what I can expect in order to get approved. The information you provide is invaluable.
    God bless and good luck in all your success.

    Caesar

  14. Hi Daniel,
    I was perusing the MOuntainview Movies list and I could not find a single DVD with an MSRP of $25+ can you help? Much appreciated. I was also curious from reading your explanation on how vastly different your denial response was from the response you posted that got you approved? thanks again.

    1. Sure thing Milla,
      I just sent you an email that should help you out. As far as my response to Amazon that was denied, the biggest differences were:

      A. I did not point out the titles that were over $25 MSRP
      B. I did not include a written explanation of how I check for counterfeits. I believe I just said “I only deal in brand new, sealed DVDs and do not sell counterfeits.)
      C. I did not include the contact information and BBB rating for my supplier

      I basically just sent the invoices. In general, it seems like if you want to get approved, the more detail you provide, the better. Good luck!

  15. Hi Daniel,
    Your post was incredibly encouraging. I was denied by Amazon twice and gave up. I talked to an Amazon representative who seemed to think if I attempted to submit invoices now, it would be denied because they are not accepting any new applications until after the Holdiay season. do you know if this is true? I thought I saw a post from a seller who got approved tonight?
    also, I was curious to know if you know any sellers or yourself who listed DVD titles you “planned” to sell, but in fact sold differently on Amazon? so, if I included an invoice for “X” title, and got approved to sell it on amazon, could I sell “Z” title instead? thanks for your post and hope you can provide additional help. thanks

    1. Hi Elle,
      Great questions. I honestly don’t know about that non-approval during the holiday season. If it were me, I would simply open up a new case and write Amazon again. The representatives do not always know the policies inside and out and it’s common to get misinformation from time to time. With this said, I do know Amazon puts a hold on Toys and Games approval after a certain date (they restrict this ONLY during the holidays for sellers who don’t meet a certain criteria) so it is possible this is true. I would keep trying though (ask several reps)

      If you get approved with title X, you can indeed sell title Z. However, keep in mind the purpose (at least according to Amazon) is to fight piracy. So long as title Z is a completely legitimate title, there shouldn’t be a problem. Amazon simply wants to know where you generally source your movies. I would recommend simply being honest about this. If you have never sourced through the company you are using to get approval, I would buy from them with the intention of selling the titles on Amazon. If you end up selling them elsewhere, I’d say it’s not a huge deal. The key is to be honest about your intentions and only sell legitimate media. As long as you’re taking that route, you should be in good shape! Thanks for reaching out!

  16. Hey Daniel,
    I just wanted to extend a Thank You to you! With your help, based on the info you provided here, I was able to get approval tonight for the dvd category. It was rough before and like many have said, it has been a lot of inconsistent info given from different Sell Support reps. I previously applied and was declined. Dvd’s were a major part of our resell business, as well as importing, but I’ve found that the traffic from the dvds causes sales to rise across the board for other items we have listed as well. Happy early Thanksgiving and Blessings to you are your family.

  17. Well, I have been selling DVDs and Blu Rays on Amazon for almost a decade, have 2900 feedback at 100% feedback and got denied. I realize this doesn’t matter but figured I’d mention. Anyway, I gave Amazon three invoices and they seem to be changing the rules on me. This is what was asked for in the application process:

    Must be dated on or after August 21, 2014 – THEY WERE FROM THIS WEEK
    Must have document issuer’s name, address, phone number, email or website – INFO IS ON THERE
    POs must have your name or issuing business name – INFO IS ON THERE
    POs must have contact information for your business (e.g. address, phone number, email or website) – INFO IS ON THERE
    Please obscure pricing information (optional) – I SHARPIE’D THIS OUT AND SCANNED IT.

    This was the response I got:

    I apologize for the inconvenience this has caused to you. We are implementing this restriction because these products may have a higher risk of authenticity issues.

    The invoices you sent us are not valid. If you have some other invoices to provide please feel free to send us.

    Please be informed we are not considering online receipts, email receipts, purchase orders and store receipts for reviewing an application. THIS IS WHERE I THINK THEY CHANGED THE RULES AFTER THE FACT. I SCANNED ONLINE RECEIPTS.

    The invoices should contain the information noted below :

    • Three legible, scanned, or clearly photographed invoices for the products you intend to sell in the Video,

    DVD, & Blu-ray category

    • A brief summary of processes you have in place to prevent inauthentic goods from entering your inventory

    Note: All pricing information should be removed from the invoices . We are not currently accepting store receipts for review.

    Your invoices must i)be dated within the last 180 days or show an item delivered or purchased within the last

    180 days and (ii) include the following:

    • Your name and contact information or your company’s name and contact information

    • The name and contact information of the company that provided the invoices.

    • The names of the products you purchased and the quantity of each product.

    Please attach the required documentation to your email response (e.g., as a PDF file or an image file). We reserve the right to
    verify all submitted documentation including contacting any vendors identify in your application.

    So would I need to order from an online source that sends an archive shipper with the package? I don’t believe mine does. I just get the e-mail and that’s it. Is this the deal breaker you think? It’s unclear. I’m just curious if your initial rejection felt like they were changing the rules on you.

    Thank you very much for posting how you got approved. It’s extremely helpful. I’m definitely in the ‘eggs in one basket’ category and am trying to get back in the game. Most of what I sell has a $29.99 MSRP and the business model (for me, at least) doesn’t work on ebay due to people selling bootlegs.

    Lastly, I would like to use Mountain View Movies to get me back in the $25 and over category but am having trouble finding ones that are $25 and over. Is the secret out? BIG THANKS for your advice and for being there with your story for us small sellers.

    1. Hi Lucas,
      Yes, this is very frustrating! The good news is you can re-apply (and I believe you can do this as many times as you’d like- though I’m not 100% sure on that). The “no online receipts” was a requirement in the beginning. My apologies if I didn’t mention that. This was stated in the original email Amazon sent out, so yes, I’m quite certain that this was the issue for you.

      Another reader mentioned Mountainview Movies having a very small selection of titles over $25 MSRP. The last email I received from them said “new stock- all over $25 MSRP.” My guess is that Mountainview has caught on to the fact that a lot of people are using THEM to get approval to sell on Amazon (probably partially as a result of my post!) The bad news for you and others though is that they seem to be selling out of these titles extremely fast! (also likely in part due to my post!) If you continue to run into trouble, please write me at daniel(at)atlittlesliceofthepie(dot)com and I’ll provide a few other sources for you. I’d have no problem posting these publicly, but if I do, you may run into the same problem. The funny thing is, my blog is not really one of the “popular blogs” out there, but that post drew a lot of interest!

      I hope this is helpful for you! Good luck!

  18. Thanks for posting this info as dvd selling is my only source of income but I need a little help.. If I purchase from the supplier you shown

    1. do I need to make 3 seperate orders.
    2. How many of a specific title do I need to purchase to get approved
    3. How soon after purchase do they send an invoice? Or do I have to ask them for one?

    Thanks

    1. Hi Michael,
      Thank you for writing. Understand that I can’t know for sure what Amazon requires (I’m not an “insider”) but I can tell you what worked for me. The strategy I posted also helped numerous other people get approved. To answer your questions (to the best of my knowledge) :

      1. Yes, I believe you need 3 separate orders
      2. I’m not sure, but I would suggest purchasing at least 2 titles that are MSRP $25 or higher
      3. The “invoice” I used is actually the packing slip that comes in the box. Since this had the company’s information, my information and order information, this seemed to do it.

      Hope this helps!

        1. Hi Michael,
          I’m not sure honestly. I believe I just purchased until I reached the $100 mark (for free shipping) but honestly I think if you buy 4 or 5 titles per order, this should be acceptable to Amazon. I want to emphasize that I don’t know for sure, but this seems to be working for other. Thanks!

  19. Hi Daniel,

    We cannot thank you enough. Ours is the exact case of which you have written. We were already long-term sellers, deriving full-time income from our Amazon sales. We searched the entire Amazon posts regarding MSRP $25 and found yours there. We followed your suggestions to the letter and, to our great relief, were just approved.

    I am not only writing to thank you, but to encourage other sellers who come to your site to follow your instructions to the T.

    Two added pieces of information that some here have wondered about:
    1) The three Mountain View Movies invoices we submitted were all dated from after September 16th.

    2) 1 invoice was for 7 titles/20 items
    the 2nd invoice was for 8 titles/29 items
    the 3rd invoice was for 12 titles/32 items

    We worked incredibly hard, dealing with massive stress, since Sept 17 to piece it all together, part of which was finding your post. Additionally, we did extensive research on how to identify bootlegs so our presentation of how we keep our inventory clean was succinct and comprehensive. Pay attention to this part: The most important thing is to know and convey that the best way to keep bootlegs out of your inventory is to source from reputable sources. As a result of all this work, I feel we are better sellers with better sources, and a better risk for Amazon.

    We are proof it can be done by following your instructions and everyone should feel very encouraged and give it a go. The key is to follow your instructions. Except for one thing: Amazon no longer wants to know about “all your sources.” They just want the 3 invoices and how you’re keeping inauthentic goods out of your inventory.

    All the best to everyone. Daniel, we are so grateful to you. Truly, thank you!!

    1. Hi Roubien,
      Thanks so much for sharing this! It’s great to hear about an actual case of another seller getting approved due to the information in this post! For me, this makes taking the time to write the post well worth it. Thanks for sharing and enjoy your continued sales!

  20. Daniel, great blog and book. I have two questions concerning selling DVDs, per your step two.
    1) Amazon is now requiring all new sellers to meet requirements of 3 invoices from approved sources. This makes the this step considerably more difficult, financially, and otherwise. Do you still think this is the best option to learn the ropes, and establish a seller rating?
    2) On the meeting the requirements, I did an order with MV, and the documents I received were a sales receipt by email with Inv # and no detail, an email with some product info on it but no Inv #, and a packing slip with all detail. None of these contained a physical address of the wholesaler, so I got that information off the shipping label. I had to give information from all 4 of these documents to get approved. It seems you sent only 1 document per order. Is there a different way to get an invoice from MV that avoids all this hassle?

    1. Hi Kerry,
      Yes, Amazon has unfortunately made things a bit difficult. I definitely still recommend the step as the vast majority of titles you order from closeout companies will be under $25 MSRP. However, if you can get approved for this category, it will make things much easier!

      As for your second question, Mountainview Movies always sends me a packing slip with their address on it. I’ve copied one of the invoices below. Did you receive something like this in your order? It should be included with the DVDs. This was all that was needed for me. Sorry it turned out to be such a hassle for you. Did you end up getting approved?
      Mountainview Movie receipt

      1. Daniel, thanks for the comeback.

        On the 1st item, the qualifications, I think they may have a slightly different procedure for new sellers than for existing sellers. I was prevented as a new seller from selling any DVD, at whatever price as far as I can tell, until approval. I had already done an order thru MV and was ready to go, I thought, until I ran into this. Now I have to come up with 2 more orders and am having trouble finding any more titles that are profitable, and have a decent ranking. I sort of went thru the whole list on the first order. The requirement of 3 orders is a bit of a hardship.

        On the document requirements, the East Asian support guys say they want an invoice, so at first I didn’t send the packing slip but the email documents. I sent the two ones from email, one with the Invoice # on it. But then they said the wanted detail. And they wanted a physical address. I get the idea they don’t know the difference between an actual invoice and a packing slip, and having the terminology confused makes it hard to communicate with as I am guessing you discovered. Anyway, the only place the physical address appears is on the shipping label. Finally, after giving information from 4 sources they accepted it. If they would just accept the packing slip as an ‘invoice’ that would be great. I will try that first next time.

        1. Hi Kerry,
          Thanks for the information! If new sellers cannot sell DVDs at all without approval, this certainly puts a damper on step 2! This is news to me! I believe November 17th in when the new policy finally takes affect. I will wait until then to see how limiting this is for new sellers. If they will not allow any DVD sales, I’ll definitely need to think this through and modify the strategy. There are certainly other items that can be sold which are low risk and high sales, but DVDs have always been my “go to.” I’ve been working hard at modifying updating and expanding my ebook anyway, so I’ll just wait until after everything is finalized with Amazon before the final draft.

          Yes, the packing slip is what got me “through the door.” I’m glad you were approved also, but sorry to hear it was such a hassle! It can definitely be frustrating as Amazon seller support sometimes has incorrect or even contradictory information! Thanks for the update! I’ll definitely keep an eye on the development of this policy and come up with a solid strategy accordingly!

          1. Yeah, I went to the Add a Product page, and it has a notice up saying I have to qualify for any DVD I try to list, regardless of price.

            1. Hi Kerry,
              Yes, last night I confirmed this with Amazon also. They directed me HERE

              I’m still unclear on what it would take for a brand new seller with no sales history to be approved to sell in this category under $25 MSRP. I’m waiting to hear back on this, but it looks like it may be time to update my strategy. Starting with step 3 for selling can work, but DVDs tend to be great due to the extreme low cost (usually between $.99 and $4.99 a piece!) I’ll think this through. Thanks for the heads up!

      2. hi dan,
        thanks so much for this post. I’ve been selling on amazon since 2004 and have mostly dealt with selling rare out of print dvds I find in legitimate stores. I’ve placed orders with mountain view and dvaspecial. I had a question about your invoice that you posted, you blurred out the titles of the films, is that something you did just for the website here or do we need to blur out the titles too? On mountain view I placed 1 order so far, but need another. So many of the titles are below $25 msrp (according to amazon) many being 24.95$ Do we have to be over 25$ and do they have to be titles that have a restrictive notice when trying to list? I’m having trouble finding over 25$ msrp titles to buy from the wholesalers. Please help. Thanks

        1. Hi Alessio,
          Sounds like this change could really hurt your business. I hope I can help! First, please see the response I gave to Lucas as you two asked a similar question about titles from Mountain View Movies. Second, the blurring of titles was just for the blog. I did not blur these out when I sent them to Amazon. They only ask that you block out the prices. I hope this helps and I hope you get approved! Good luck!

  21. I was just getting ready to implement your strategy and I find out about this limit. I’m on step 2. I have not sold on the DVDs category. Will Amazon stop accepting new sellers on nov. 17 or can I still be approved? Do you think I should submit an application now without any sales? Thanks.

    1. Hi Joe,
      Yes, this new policy has certainly put a damper on “step 2.” Fortunately, it’s still possible to implement, but within some limits. If it were me, I would certainly try to get approved even before selling. In the email, Amazon asked for “DVDs that you

        plan

      . It is unclear whether or not people are actually getting approved without a sales history, but I would say it’s worth a shot. Just be sure to purchase titles that can be sold elsewhere if you end up not being approved. Good luck!

      to sell.”

  22. This is really useful information for those who are trying to stay on the platform and have the means to do so. Has anyone confirmed that more recent invoices from these companies will be enough to get approval? If I made a purchase today would I still have a chance of getting approved? This is the first time I have found an example of a site Amazon would consider legitimate.

    1. Hi James,
      I’m glad this helps! I have not heard absolute confirmation one way or another unfortunately (new or old invoices). If you have current invoices, I would say it’s best to try with those. If not, it’s worth a shot to purchase new media- just be sure you’ll be able to sell them off-Amazon if you don’t get approved. Good luck!

      1. Hey Daniel,

        I have been selling on amazon for about 6 months now and have 100% (which I know doesn’t matter to them) I have sent them everything they asked for and have been rejected 4 times now. They keep telling me that my invoices are invalid and that I should resend more invoices. I have sent them a total of 12 invoices now. When I ask them to specify what exactly is wrong with the invoices their reply was: “I understand that you want to know the specific number of minimum requirements that amazon has set. Unfortunately, we are not allowed to disclose any information regarding the minimum required documents that you need to submit.”

        The only thing I didn’t do was scan the invoices which I don’t think is a big deal, I used the PDF invoices that were given to me by my vendors.

        Please help me because I am stuck with a lot of DVDs and Box sets with an MSRP of over $25.

        1. Hi Dan,
          I’m terribly sorry to hear this! Amazon reps can be frustrating sometimes can’t they? I’ve encountered similar situations (being told I’m not doing it “right” but not being told what “right” is!)

          Unfortunately, I don’t have any access to the inner workings of Amazon. I can only tell you what worked for me. I scanned physical invoices that were sent in the actual shipping box from my suppliers. I’ve also read on the forums that others have not had luck with PDFs or electronic invoices. I believe Amazon at some point mentioned that they would not accept any “online invoices” or “retail receipts.” I believe they are looking for scanned copies of a physical document. If you have those, I would be your chances of acceptance would be much greater. If not, I would suggest requesting them from the supplier you purchased from- and as soon as possible. I’m hoping to hear a positive report! Good luck!

            1. I had the same problem. It turns out they want either an image or scanned image of a PHYSICAL INVOICE. Just take a pic of the invoices that come inside the box and you should be good to go. Just make sure to mark out the pricing!

    2. There’s another problem with all of this that a few sellers have hit on. There are going to be a number of sellers who will buy from wholesale outfits for no other reason than to get the minimum of 3 invoices that are required by Amazon. If they get approved, they may go on to sell MSRP $25.00 and up DVDs from a variety of sources, not just from the primary source(s) they’ve identified to Amazon. Those DVDs and sets will then be listed and sold on Amazon’s platform. The problem is that now that these sellers’ *primary* sources of inventory have been disclosed to Amazon, it’s very easy for Amazon to go right behind them and check to see that the above $25.00 DVDs the sellers are listing did indeed come from the wholesale places the sellers have listed as their primary sources.

      I would caution everyone that if you’re going to throw your hat into the ring, you’d better be honest about what you’re doing. If not, you could be facing some grave consequences down the road.

      1. Good point Dave. I honestly think this policy was created as a way to weed out some sellers and to make sure those who are selling have legitimate sources. Of course, if someone chooses to buy from a legitimate source just to get “through the gate” and then decides to sell counterfeits… well… choices like this catch up to those people eventually. I agree- it’s no way to build a sustainable business. Thanks for the thoughts!

        1. Amazon can be sure that approved sellers have legitimate sources, but only if they’re willing to do follow-ups on subsequent listings. The sources will be there initially, but that’s only a temporary measure. To put the policy in place and then not check on things later makes little sense, certainly not in light of their stated purpose of increasing buyer confidence.

          If the reason Amazon is doing this is to weed out the counterfeiters and therefore satisfy the studios…well, I have to believe the studios aren’t exactly dumb, either. The studios are going to want more assurances, and you can bet your change purse that Amazon’s going to do everything they can to satisfy them.

          This is the reason why I chose not to play the game in order to touch what I believe is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the new DVD ruling. I don’t want to be limited to a few wholesale suppliers. Not only that, but I don’t want to lie, I don’t want to get caught in a lie, and I definitely don’t want to risk my reputation for a few bucks. As you say, it’s all about choices, and bad ones tend to catch up to you, eventually.

  23. Hi Daniel,

    The wholesaler you mentioned has a required minimum purchase amount of $100.00. Does this mean that in order to get the 3 invoices needed to be MSRP gated on Amazon, one would have to buy $300.00 worth of goods from the wholesaler? It seems the wholesaler would send only one invoice per shipment, not three invoices for a single $100.00 order.

    1. Hi Dave,
      Yes, I see they have recently raised their minimum purchase price. You may want to check out other wholesalers and liquidators like DVAspecial.com (they work directly with the studios and are extremely reputable) or wwliquidators.com (another favorite of mine) There are several others as well. Alternately, you could ask Mountainview Movies if they would be willing to spit the shipment into 3 invoices. Explain the new Amazon policy and inform them that you would like to continue to buy in the future, but will be unable to if you do not get approved. They may be willing to do this. If you’re not aware, Mountainview Movies is a personal/family owned company. Tiffany is the owner and she has been accommodating to me in circumstances like this in the past. I hope this helps!

  24. Hi Daniel,

    I finally found a site that has intelligent information and perspective on selling movies on Amazon. I’m a long time movie seller on Amazon, yet I’ve been away from the marketplace for the last 6 years. Like you, I thought it would be no problem for a seller such as myself with nearly 5000 100% positive feedbacks to get approved. I was wrong, and have been getting very frustrated with the Seller Support reps in the process. I’ve been turned down about 4 times now. I recently sent them an invoice for 1 movie, another invoice for 1 movie, and another for 25 movies. I’m pretty sure they’re all over $25 MSRP. Actually one of them has a list price of $24.95… Hard to say. I’m glad you provided information about this just in case this too is holding me back.

    I’m trying to figure out how much quantity is acceptable for them. I wonder if I should provide them with invoices of 10 of each, or could the magic number be more?… Also, should my invoices have multiple movies on each one or is one item acceptable? You may not know the exact answer but maybe you can speculate from your own experience. I also sent Amazon and email from the distributor that appears to be an invoice. I made sure to save it as a PDF and delete the price. They told me that they needed a real invoice with the company’s mailing address on it. It’s hard to believe how strict and thorough they’re being about this. 10 years ago they welcomed sellers. Now they’re way bigger and know that we need them. I’m going to have to read your e-book about diversifying your online business. My problem is that I used to have a lot of success on Amazon and am having a hard time moving on from it.

    Thanks in advance for your response.

    1. Hi Jeremy,
      I’m glad this post was helpful to you. Believe me, I understand your frustration! Unfortunately, I can only speculate on Amazon’s policy here, but I think it’s safe to say the more items you have on the invoice, the better. If you have one with 10 or 20 items rather than 1, I think your chances are better. It also seemed to be helpful to point out to Amazon “not all of the items on this invoice are over $25.00 MSRP but these ones are” and then list the specific items that are.

      Also, Amazon asks for AT LEAST 3 invoices. I made it with 3, but you could try attaching more. They only allow 3 per message, but you reply to yourself in Amazon’s system and attach 3 more. Basically I think Amazon just wants to see that we’re taking this seriously. I hope this works for you! If so, keep everyone here updated! Thanks!

  25. Daniel, I have an unrelated question that I (and I’m sure many others) am wondering. When building your FBA business, at what point did you start to “pay” yourself, as opposed to reinvesting everything back into the business?

    Like you, I started this business because my family needed money, but I’ve found that paying myself at this early point is halting my growth. For example, if one receives a $400 payment from Amazon, keeps $200 for bills and $200 for inventory, then doubles their $200 inventory investment into $400, you’re back where you started. Any thoughts, insights, or advice?

    Again, love the blog and the community you’ve got going here!

    1. Hi Aaron,
      This is a great question! I’ve actually created an entire blog post about my personal finances and how that works vs business finances, but I’ve been hesitant to post it (it feels so uncomfortable talking about personal finances for a variety of reasons!) I wrote the post almost a month ago and I’m still debating making it live, but it sounds like it could ultimately be beneficial for you as well as some others, so be looking for that this month! (maybe)

      In the meantime, I’ll attempt to answer your specific question. When you start paying yourself really depends on your goals. A good rule of thumb is to wait as long as possible! If your goal is to leave your job, it’s probably wise to wait until your profit is surpassing your current income from your job (and keep in mind, that you’ll want to reinvest in product and you’ll likely have to pay in for taxes!) If the goal is to simply provide some supplemental income, you’ll want to determine a number. For instance, let’s say you want $1000 a month added to your family’s income. In this case, you may want to start paying yourself when your profit exceeds $1000 (preferably when it exceeds it by quite a bit). This should still leave some money to invest in products. Obviously, if you can stand to wait longer, you could invest that extra $1000 (in addition to whatever you got back in profit cost) back into inventory. This would allow you to actually grow.

      The goal is to live on less than you’re making (this is what my post is about). This is the only way to allow a business to grow. If you’re making “just enough” (ie- an extra $1000 in profit a month if that’s your goal) you may struggle. It’s important to remember that not every product will sell at the price you want it to sell at and sometimes not at all. If you’re counting on $1000 a month and you make $400 that month, you’re going to be hurting, but if you’re needing an extra $1000 a month and your business is regularly making $3000 a month profit, you’re going to be in good shape even if you have a down month- and if you have a GREAT month- just reinvest it and stick with your needed $1000 a month and watch your business grow!

      I hope this is helpful! Thanks for the great question and good luck!

        1. I’ll definitely consider it. I’m behind on my income report for last month for a variety of reasons, but I’ll try to get that up in the next couple of days and then think about posting the post on personal finances. Thanks for your interest!

  26. Hi Daniel,how many items were on the invoices you sent in? I’ve read from some people that Amazon wants to see 30 titles – is that on each invoice or total? What do you recommend?

    1. Hi Stacey,
      Great question. There were definitely not 30 titles on a single invoice. I rarely buy that many different titles at once. I’d have to check the invoices, but I think there were no more than 15 unique titles on any one invoice (though there may have been over 30 titles total.) It seems if Amazon wanted this, they should have specified this in the email that went out.

      The fact is, Amazon is a massive company with countless representatives working in various call/data centers who do not always have correct information. I’ve had issues in the past where I’ve talked to 5 different Amazon representatives and have gotten 5 different (and usually contradicting) responses. The person (or people) who created the new DVD policy is not the person you end up being connected with when asking your questions. I could speculate about the motives of Amazon reps (ignorance, misinformation etc) but the concrete answer I can provide is this:
      I did not need 30 unique titles on a single invoice. This means there is certainly a possibility of being approved without this. As far as needing 30 total titles, I cannot say for sure. Sorry I don’t have more information on this, but I hope this is helpful!

  27. Love the books and blog, Daniel. I have a question for you regarding DVDs. In your book you suggest buying and selling DVDs as a feedback generator, as well as for a small profit. This makes sense to me. What I’m confused about is this: why continue to sell DVDs for a small profit instead of putting your money into more profitable items? I’m currently on step 3 (arbitrage) and not having money to buy inventory is the only thing holding me back from growing. It seems that tieing money up in less profitable items as opposed to investing your money in more profitable items would cause slower growth.

    You’re an expert on the subject (you’ll deny it, but all your fans think so!) and I’d love for you to elaborate.

    1. Hi Aaron,
      I appreciate the kind words. While I will deny that I’m an “expert” (and I have an upcoming post that I’m working on to prove it- it will highlight some of my epic failures), I do recognize that I’ve figured a few things out that work and that sharing these things has been beneficial to many people, so I will take the compliment. Thank you.

      After completing step 2, continuing to sell media is certainly optional. I happen to like selling media. It has always seemed to “fill in the gaps” particularly during slow times. It has kept sales coming and has kept me motivated when other items were not selling. It has also been my “go-to” over the years when I’m having a hard time finding inventory or new products to sell. When I would seem to hit a “drought” in arbitrage sourcing, I’d always come back to media because there is so much of it available and it sells fast. Yes, I may only make a dollar or two on a particular item, but then I’d go and order 10 of that title and make $10! Then I’d find 10 more titles, order 10 of each off those and make $100! This has motivated me to keep going in the slow times.

      It is really just a personal preference. However, if you’re finding items through arbitrage sourcing at higher profits, it makes far more sense to purchase those instead of investing in DVDs, CDs, or other media. If you have only $100 to work with for example, and you could make $25 in profit investing in DVDs or $125 using arbitrage methods, it makes far more sense to take the higher profit opportunity. If you’re going through a “low time” and not finding anything to sell or just want to build up your inventory with “filler”, media has been great for this in my experience! Always do what works best for your business and don’t take anything I say as “the only way.” After all, I’m not an expert :)

  28. Hey thanks for the tip it may come in handy soon since I have some Blu rays in my inventory. However Im experiencing some new tactic by amazon forcing some of my large quantity orders cutting them in half and sending to different locations. Have you had this happen?

    1. Hi Jay,
      Thanks for the comment! Yes, this is Amazon’s way of saving shipping (theirs, not yours) on products. They have strategically placed fulfillment centers around the country to allow every item to travel as little distance as possible (thus saving them on shipping costs.) Unfortunately, someone still have to send all of the inventory TO all of those warehouses. We (the sellers) end up paying for it. The good news is, Amazon’s UPS partnership makes this relatively inexpensive. Alternately, you can opt to enroll in Amazon’s “inventory placement service” where you can ship all to one fulfillment center and Amazon will sort it and split it for you. Amazon charges for this of course. I believe it is 30 cents per item. This is usually not worth it on small margin items like DVDs, but can definitely be worth it on items with larger profits. If you wanted to check this out, you can change it at any time (and change it back at any time) in your settings in your account. Hope this helps!

  29. Hi Harris,
    It was my understanding that new sellers can sell DVDs below $25 MSRP. I could be wrong about this. I went back and forth with Amazon to understand this issue and received conflicting responses. I’m not sure the “higher ups” communicated this policy well with the representatives. Perhaps the policy was even left a bit ambiguous to allow room for adjustments before November. This is just speculation on my part. If you happen to find a solid answer to this, please let me know. Thanks!

  30. Daniel, I think the restriction of DVD selling is not only for MSRP higher than $25, but it applies also to new sellers who start to sell media now. They need to apply for approval even if they are going to sell DVDs lower than MSRP of $25. Is this correct?

  31. Interesting and valuable information.

    Aren’t you concerned with disclosing your supplier online? And aren’t you concerned with your supplier finding out where you sell your merchandise?

    1. Hi Ken,
      Glad to hear this information was helpful to you! I have a long answer for your short question :)
      Like everybody who sells online, I am moderately concerned about competition. However, when I was trying to figure out how to make an income online, I could have benefited tremendously from someone “giving away secrets.” This type of information did not exist at the time. I want to be able to provide at least some specifics to get people started who are feeling completely lost like I was when I started. I realize this potentially invites some competition, but a few things I like to keep in mind:

      1. Not everybody who reads will take action. In fact, the number of people who do take action seem to be in the minority. It’s much easier to read a blog and get inspired than to do the hard work. This reduces my competition

      2. The supplier I disclosed is a liquidator/closeout company. This means they carry different items constantly. Let’s say they have 30 of a particular title. If it’s a good selling title, it will be gone within a few hours of going up and will never return. If I buy all 30 or even if I buy 10 and 2 other sellers buy 10, I will not have long term competition on that item (and I’ll have many more unique items). They will sell out, I will sell out and we’ll all move on to different items. I like this supplier because of the diversity of movies that I can purchase- and I can constantly change the products I’m selling. This makes direct competition with me pretty difficult. You won’t find me disclosing my wholesale suppliers as this would allow others to purchase the exact same product as me (that I have dozens to hundreds of in stock) and essentially destroy a steady stream of income that comes from that product/those products.

      3. I’ve already disclosed this supplier (and others) in previous posts, comments and videos. Not everybody who reads a post on my blog reads everything on my blog. The sellers that will see this post are likely the ones who are already selling DVDs and already have established sources. My hope is to provide them a method of using those established sources to get approved. To me, if feels a bit like applying for your own job. We (DVD sellers) have already been selling in this category and in this price range for a while (for many, it’s been years and for others still, it provides a full time income!) It seems a bit unfair that established sellers with accounts in good standing should be denied from doing what they’ve already been doing (successfully). I understand Amazon’s reasoning, but they provided very little guidance on how to be approved. A lot was left quite ambiguous. I wanted to give other sellers a better chance at getting approved. This was my motivation

      As for the supplier, they already know I sell on Amazon. In fact, they have a program where they will send DVDs directly to FBA for sellers (I don’t use this service, but many people do.) For many suppliers, they require that we tell them where we sell (this supplier does not, but many do). This is not a concern for me.

      All in all, I know revealing specifics of my business carries a bit of risk (including most of what I write on this blog!) but the reward (hearing success stories and connecting with other sellers) seems worth the risk!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>