With all the pressures of running an ecommerce business, as well as Amazon’s strict performance metrics, taking a holiday might seem impossible. Some Amazon sellers will set their inventory quantity to zero or extend shipping times while they take a break, however, with a few simple steps and a bit of preparation you can temporarily deactivate your listings and avoid disappointing customers with delays.
Changing your listing status on Amazon
If you’re heading off on holiday and won’t be able to accept and process any orders then it’s crucial that you make your listings inactive. You can use Amazon’s Listing Status feature to temporarily remove all of your open, seller-fulfilled listings.
- Within your seller account select ‘Settings’ and then ‘Account Info’
- On the seller account information page there is a ‘Listings Status’ section, click on ‘Going on a holiday?’
- You can either change the status of all your listings on all marketplaces by clicking ‘Inactive’, or you can change your listings for each marketplace by clicking ‘Inactive’ next to each one.
- When you’ve made all the relevant changes click ‘Save’.
It’s important to note that once change the status of your listings it can take up to 36 hours for the listings to be removed. And, when you return and change your listings to active again, it can take up to 36 hours for your listings to appear on product detail pages and in Amazon’s search results. Only items that you fulfil yourself will become inactive, all Fulfilment by Amazon (FBA) listings will remain active.
Even if your listings are set to inactive, buyers will still be able to contact you, and Amazon will continue to monitor your Contact Response Time (a measure of the percentage of customer-initiated messages that you respond to within 24 hours).
Taking a break from selling on Amazon
As well as changing the status of your listings there a few other things you should consider before you take a holiday:
- Fulfill and ship all your orders before you go away - allow time for any last minute orders that come in before your listings become inactive.
- Check for pending orders as they will not be cancelled when you change the status of your listings. If you have orders pending, make an arrangement for them to be dispatched once they’ve been processed.
- Don’t leave it until the last minute to set your listings to inactive. Allow up to 2 days before you go away for your listings to be removed from product details pages and search results, and to process any last orders.
- Set up an automatic response to let shoppers know that you’re away, and when you’ll be back, if they get in touch. To prevent any negative impact on your Amazon Customer Metrics you should try to check your Amazon messages once a day while you’re away. Learn more about Amazon’s customer metrics here.
- You must process return requests within 24 hours even if your listings are inactive. Before you go away you can change your settings so that you receive return request emails with links to ‘Authorise’, ‘Close’, or ‘Reply’, or you can allow Amazon to automatically authorise return requests.