For vendors on Amazon, launching a new product can be a daunting task. Building sales velocity and convincing Amazon to stock enough inventory can feel like an uphill battle.
It is not as simple to sell as an Amazon Vendor as it is as a third-party seller on Amazon. As a third-party seller, you can list and launch as many new products as you’d like, whereas as an Amazon Vendor, you need to wait for Amazon to place a purchase order for your products.
That’s where the Born to Run program comes in. This invite-only program allows Vendors to request orders from Amazon and launch new products much faster.
What is the Amazon Born to Run program?
Amazon Born to Run is an invite-only program for Amazon Vendors to request orders from Amazon, instead of waiting for Amazon to place an order. Vendors will tell Amazon how many units they expect to sell in 10 weeks.
This program is great for Vendors who are launching new products with no sales history. Amazon purchases products based on the sales history of a product. New products will inevitably have a low forecast, so Vendors must estimate how many units they expect to sell.
If approved, Amazon reviews that request and will purchase your requested amount.
What happens if your products do not sell
Sometimes, Vendors may overestimate how many units they believe will sell through during a 10 week period. Any units that do not sell within the 10 week sell-through period are subject to returns or retention fees — you, as the Vendor, choose which option you prefer:
- Amazon returns your products. If Amazon overstocks your product, you can choose to have Amazon return your goods and refund them 100% plus 10% shipping and handling fees.
- Amazon keeps the unsold units. You must pay Amazon a retention fee equal to 25% of the cost of the unsold units.
Before using the Born to Run program, be sure you understand these downsides and factor in these potential costs.
What are the requirements for Amazon Born to Run?
In order to be invited into the Amazon Born to Run program, you must meet the following requirements:
- Must be an Amazon Vendor. This one is obvious. If you are not on Amazon Vendor Central, you cannot be invited to the program.
- The value of the products is under $50,000. The Launch Buy Quantity cannot exceed $50,000.
- Minimum product cost. The cost of the ASIN enrolled in the program must be at least $5.
- Meets certain product criteria. The enrolled products must not be heavy, bulky, or dangerous goods.
How to apply for the Amazon Born to Run program?
At this time, the Amazon Born to Run program is an invite-only program.
As stated by Amazon, “We operate an invite-only program, and we impose certain operational, profitability and other requirements and checks which we continually iterate on in order to ensure that Born to Run provides the optimal vendor experience and outcomes for us.”
Benefits of the Amazon Born to Run program
If you are eligible and receive an invitation to participate in the program, here are some benefits to consider.
- Boost in sales to a new product. Launching a new product through the Born to Run program can provide a boost in sales, reviews, and overall Best Sellers Rank.
- No advertising requirements. Vendors used to be required by Amazon to spend 10% of the total order value on ads for the stock on hand. This is no longer required, but Amazon still recommends running advertising for your products.
- Prevent stockouts. By utilizing the Born to Run program, Vendors can reduce the risk of running out of stock by providing Amazon with an accurate estimation of units.
- Start selling new products right away. Amazon places purchase orders based on sales velocity, so if you try to launch a new product, they likely won’t order a lot of units. This program eliminates this issue.
Are you enrolled?
We hope this article gives you a better understanding of the Amazon Born to Run program and how it works. If you’re an Amazon Vendor, work on improving and growing your business to receive an invite into the program.
Do you have more questions about Amazon Born to Run? Let us know in the comments.