SKU Limit in Novelty Category


Had an email from Amazon to suggest that there will be a 100,000 SKU limit in the Novelty clothing category as of March 2014 to ‘improve the customer experience’.

Spoke to seller support and it sounds like it’s going to be going ahead. Has anyone else had this email? Going to cause a massive headache for us. Can’t understand the logic behind it - a clothing seller who offers customers more choice in different sizes / colours will have a 100,000 limit. Offering one design in Mens, Womens, Kids, Baby etc can use up to 300 SKU’s per design - meaning a maximum of 333 parent products based on that information. Has anyone else received this and will experience similar problems?

Edited by: Air Raid Clothing on Feb 3, 2014 1:40 PM


yes… also got the same email :frowning:


Amazon are on amazon’s side. If we benefit from a decision the board make, great. They will look out for their own company and decisions affecting those they want to attract or improve sales with - not usually small sellers who can get trampled in the dust without notice by them.

We look out for our companies and don’t think of amazon in decision making, they return the favour.


with us on the German amazon page, all articles and all your categories are affected! not only clothing!


You’re lucky Air Raid. I had the same email except my limit is only 25K listings.

I feel rather let down by Amazon recently - their decision to revoke sellers UPC exemptions without telling them and now this is a rather shoddy way to treat small businesses who earn Amazon tens of thousands of pounds in fees each year.

I used to feel Amazon was on my side but I’m starting to feel very unwanted recently.

Edited by: Bertie’s on Feb 4, 2014 7:48 AM


>Amazon are on amazon’s side. If we benefit from a decision the board make,<

Baby and bathwater … Amazon risks losing a tranche of busy small businesses that keep Amazon’s fee coffers constantly supplied.

One wonders just who makes these decisions and on what evidence (other than some short sighted short term prediction) they are made?


Surely it depends what is classified as “novelty” clothing. I wouldn’t expect this to apply to normal every-day clothing; rather to things like fancy dress items, where the number of size/colour combinations is likely to be smaller. But as a humble book-seller I can’t claim to understand Amazon’s clothing categories. So could be barking up the wrong tree.



I just can’t understand the logic behind it - I get that they want to make things easier for customers but the clothing category is naturally going to generate more SKU’s for offering size / colour combinations - unlike a seller offering a board game that generates one sku - surely we are giving the customer more choice once they have found our product. It’s now saying ok, you can still offer all your products for sale but you can only sell all your garments in black as we don’t want you to offer a choice of colours to our customers? Also what about the smaller or larger customers? Looks like we’ll just have to plump for the majority and stick to offering Medium and Large’s all round to get under the limit?

We too have now received an email saying 25,000 sku’s - not sure if it referring to 25,000 per marketplace (UK, DE, FR etc) or for the lot combined.

Either way it is a very short-sighted view which will have a detrimental effect on clothing sellers. When I spoke to seller support yesterday the lady told me she was going to have to break the news to one seller who has 1.4 million sku’s in the Novelty category! I can’t seem to get my head around what classes ones products as ‘novelty’ also. I can see other sellers who are trading in the normal clothing category with similar products - not sure who makes the decisions here!


Hi I am selling vinyl decoration stickers we were effected to as we have more than 30 000 active products and they are created on daily basis there fire have to let go staff as no more growth will be available for new products, and there fore will move whole product sales to eBay as there support told us wen we spoke its indefinite 25 000 sku per seller and you can have a single trade account basically you screws if you want to do more business besides on what we sell, I am not he largest inventory holder by a mile so feel sorry for company’s with huge inventory. As they have to scrap to 25k skis within a month it’s a highest project… And don’t forget the items if you advertised you lost money in process. Best to sell on your own website or find alternative platform.
Kind regards
Petra’s Predko


To a degree I can understand Amazons approach. They currently have a catalogue that is stuffed full of SKU’s that attract no customer visits or interest whatsoever. Getting rid of a percentage will free up space on the site for more sellers. We currently have 165,000 skus active on the site which we have to reduce to under 100000. Having looked at our sales for the last 12 months, our entire Amazon turnover was generated from just 6700 of those listings! In reality this doesn’t pose us as many problems as it would for a seller carrying actual stock of that many items but because we manufacture 97% of our items ourselves to order, it is just a case of deleting the listings and not having excess stock to dispose of. Where this does concern me, and I’m not sure Amazon will have thought this through, is that one third of our turnover last year came from items we only ever sold one of, most of which we probably won’t sell again for two or three years if ever. Having deleted a lot of SKU’ s I am concerned that this chunk of turnover is now a risk and cannot for the life of me understand why Amazon are willing to take a chance with my and their businesses.


They are restricting to a single trade account too?
Darn, thats a blow.

With permission we’ve had more than one, have met a guy with 3 different accounts for his 3 businesses.


Would it be worth contacting associations dealing with larger sized people, e.g. ISAA?

This decision looks like it will lead to many sellers restricting their size range to only the most common sizes.


From an email I had back from Amazon they said that you can have more than one account, however if you’re wanting to put the same items in a different account they will still class them as Novelty and will only allow 25,000 sku’s across all your accounts, regardless of how many you have.

I agree totally with ‘Danetree Gifts’, (except the fact you will have to reduce to 100,000 sku’s - Amazon are now saying 25,000.) Yes when we look at our reports we have sold about 23,000 of our active sku’s in the past, but about 25% have only ever sold once. Even looking at today’s sales it seems about 25% have never been sold before so can now be added to the 23,000 that have been sold - but it’s those one sales per SKU that do come through that Amazon are jeopardising. If we were to cut our SKU list down to 25,000 - which no doubt would have to be the ones that have sold in the past - we would have a complete mish mash of colour size options on different designs all over the show. Customers will be emailing asking why we only have a particular design on an XXL yellow for example - where’e the logic?

I can understand Amazon wanting to cut back on listings on mugs / stickers where there’s only 1 SKU per product and the seller has 25,000 designs where only a handful have ever sold, but for us where we offer potentially 300 SKU’s per design over a range of different clothing it seems impractical for us to fall under this SKU limitation.


We got hit with the same in the USA. I have to pare 5.5 million SKUs down to 100,000 - slash 98+% of our catalog. It was explained to me as follows: “novelty” here does not refer to “silly / specialty” items like a top-hat, but rather any product that is printed on-demand (i.e. not held as constant inventory). So anyone doing digital printing (apparel, posters, mugs, phone cases, etc.) is going to be hit.

I can appreciate that this method of manufacturing has allowed a lot of garbage to flood in en masse, but it seems to me that by failing to vet individual merchants for commitment to design quality, they’ve thrown the proverbial baby out with the bath water. We offer highly specialized, well designed niche items that we very seldom compete with anyone on for our search terms - we were not harming or clogging the search system for anyone. And yet, we will lose sales, Amazon will lose fees, and the customer will lose the opportunity to purchase a unique item. I am still in shock that Amazon would act so draconianly, and so suddenly. It will literally take me the better part of the 30 days’ notice just to remove all of my products, even via flat files.


Jerry - USA


Well, looks like ebay and other sites become a lot more attractive for certain items.


I do have to say that for a company that prides itself on being customer centric, they have just, in a flash, deprived their own customers of a huge range of products and condemned the site to be just another online store rather than somewhere you can buy anything which was, I believe, the aim,


Agreed, Danetre. What perplexes me is that this was not a sudden problem. Digital / on-demand production has been available and growing for at least the better part of a decade. This was not an overnight crisis, and I while I can see why Amazon may want to curb the growth in this section, it did not need to be done so drastically. I don’t understand why there wasn’t a review / appeals process in place as opposed to mass cuts across the board with an absurd time frame for compliance. If I recall properly, we were given several months notice when new image requirements were put in place - you would think a decision that requires some sellers to cut staff (I had to lay off three people this week as a result of this) would warrant more than four weeks’ notice.


Well, I am a one man band so only me to worry about. No staff to lay off thank goodness and I do feel sorry for you and your staff.

On the slightly positive side having cut our 160,000+ listings to just under 85000 on Saturday our sales were down 30% on Sunday and so far up 20%+ up to 9.30pm today on the same days last year. Hopefully the trend will stay level but I have a nagging fear that over a longer period sales will suffer.

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