The Complete Guide to Amazon Born to Run Program

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Introduction

Launching a new product on Amazon which is one of the biggest e-commerce marketplaces worldwide is a big deal for most vendors.

Why? For one, data reveals that 89% of shoppers say they prefer to buy products from Amazon than other e-commerce platforms.

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It’s no wonder that about 4000 products are sold per minute on the platform.

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But the joy and thrill of launching a product on such a huge platform are often short-lived when as a vendor you come face to face with the everyday challenges associated with launching new offers on Amazon.

The excitement gives way to the stress associated with brainstorming on how to make the product sell profitably.

It doesn’t also help that there are more than 2.5 million active sellers in the Amazon marketplace, which makes it a highly competitive ground for new products to thrive in. The vendor launching the product needs to convince both Amazon and the target audience that their product is worth buying before sales trickle in. This can be very slow and hectic.

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Thankfully, Amazon has come up with the Amazon Born to Run program which gives newly launched products a boost in the market from the very first day the items are listed on the platform.

What is Amazon Born to Run?

Amazon Born to Run is a program designed to speed up the process of a product launch on the platform.

Instead of using the conventional methods of boosting the sale of products, which are usually slow and dependent on a lot of factors, the Born to Run Program enables sellers to make good sales within a short period of launching their product.

The program enables sellers who are launching new products to request orders for the items being launched.

The seller tells Amazon the number of units of the product they expect to sell within 10 weeks. And upon approval of the request, Amazon will buy the said number of units stated by the seller and sell the products.

The Amazon Born to Run Program relieves sellers of the stress associated with having to generate sales through various means like getting loads of positive reviews, which are often difficult for new products.

It also eliminates the need to prove to Amazon that the product has sales potential because getting approved for the program isn’t as strenuous as what a seller who is not a member of the program will have to go through to convince the platform of their product’s sales capacity.

Benefits of Amazon Born to Run Program

 

 

Sellers who use the Amazon Born to Run Program have an edge over sellers who don’t especially when the product is one that will be popular in the market.

Below are a few benefits of the program:

  • Sellers of successful newly launched products do not have to worry about the products going out of stock in the peak of sale. Amazon purchasing some of these products helps to reduce the risks associated with products going out of stock, hence giving the seller the opportunity to keep up with the demand and enjoy the full benefits of spikes in sales.
  • Amazon can place recurring orders for the product if it performs well in the market. If the products they bought from the seller sell out before the 10 weeks elapse, Amazon can buy more of the products from you as many times as necessary until the timeframe for the program is over.
  • The program gives new products an opportunity to thrive in a very competitive market. Sellers who are launching new products need not pass through the stress of struggling for sales with competitors who have been in the market for a long time.
  • Getting Amazon to market the product is good publicity for the product.

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Amazon Born to Run Program Eligibility

Applying for the Amazon Born to Run Program is a simple process, in fact, it doesn’t take more than 20 minutes to fill out an application for the program.

There are just a few requirements that vendors must meet to take part in the initiative. The requirements are basic and this is to make sure that most vendors on Amazon can participate in the program without being restricted by the inability to meet stringent conditions.

It is however important to note that only first-party (1P) sellers on Amazon can access this program. A 1P or first-party relationship means that the marketplace (in this case Amazon) acts as the retailer of the product while the vendor or owner of the product is the wholesale supplier.

Below are the factors that determine the eligibility of vendors who wish to take part in the program:

  • The Amazon Standard Identification Number (ASIN) which is a unique identification number given by Amazon for product identification must not be allocated to a product that costs less than $5 per unit and must not be heavy/bulky or considered hazardous material (hazmat),
  • The vendor must have been using Amazon advertising for at least ninety days before they sign up for the program.
  • The product being enrolled for the program should not have been in the fulfillment center for over thirty days. This is because a product that has been in the fulfillment center for over thirty days is not considered a new product. Only new products are eligible for the program.
  • The product cost of the Launch Buy Quantity (LBQ) should not exceed fifty thousand dollars ($50,000).

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Amazon Born to Run Program Terms

After a product has successfully been enlisted into the Amazon Born to Run Program, there are a few terms that the vendor needs to agree to and abide by during the duration of the 10 weeks that the program will run for.

Below are some terms:

  • At the beginning of the ten weeks, Amazon expects the vendor to choose the Launch Buy Quantity (inventory position) for the product launch for full return rights on any unsold products from the Launch Buy Quantity.
  • Before now, Amazon expected the vendor to pay 10 percent as advertising support on the launch of the product but they have removed this condition. The vendor can now advertise the products in any way they deem fit.
  • During the registration for the program, the vendor must choose what he/ she wants Amazon to do with unsold inventories at the end of the sell-through period (10 weeks). The vendor can choose to either allow Amazon to return the unsold inventory and refund 100 percent of the product cost of each returned unit with 10 percent of shipping and handling fee, or the vendor can let Amazon keep the unsold units and still pay 25 percent of the cost of the unsold units as retention fee.
  • NOTE that the vendor cannot negotiate an offer with Amazon upon the expiration of 10 weeks based on whether Amazon should keep the product. The unsold units are subject to whatever preference the vendor selected while registering for the program.
  • Also, note that Amazon’s terms for the return of damaged or defective products also apply to products in the Born to Run Program.
  • The ten weeks sell-through period begins on the same day the ASIN the vendor signed up for the product is in stock on Amazon. The return timer starts on the same day and not on the day the first sale is made. After the ten weeks elapse, depending on what the vendor filled out during registration, Amazon will either return the product to the seller or keep it.
  • Vendors must ensure that the product is in full stock before the commencement of the program and must also be ready to process orders immediately, as purchase orders can be generated on the same day.
  • Vendors who choose to have the unsold products returned after the expiration of the 10 weeks sell-through period, should expect the return of the products about one week after the expiration of the 10 weeks. Amazon requires the vendor to refund 10 percent of the shipping and handling fees for the return of the unsold products.
  • Amazon can buy more of the product in the course of the ten weeks if the sales traction of the product is good and the demand for the product is high. If the products from the extra orders are remaining after the 10 weeks, they are subject to whatever the vendor chooses at the beginning.

How does “Born to Run” work?

As stated earlier, Amazon Born to Run speeds up the launch and sale of new products.

The normal order of things is that Amazon will wait until a product shows signs of performing well in the market before getting a large quantity of the product from the vendor.

The Born to Run Program bypasses this protocol and enables Amazon to source a large amount of a new product from the vendor for 10 weeks.

The process of application and approval is straight forward but Amazon reserves the right to approve or reject an application.

If you are an Amazon vendor and you wish to launch a new product with the Born to Run Program, below are 4 simple steps to take:

  • Start by setting up the ASIN or product on Amazon. Once you do this, contact your VM to get the Born to Run Intake Form. Fill out the form and crosscheck it. Then, submit it to your VM.
  • If they approve your request, you will receive a copy of the Born to Run policies contract to your email. Amazon outlines the policies of the program including return rights in this contract. Sign to show that you agree with the policies and will adhere to them. Return to your VM after signing.
  • After you have sorted the paperwork out, the next thing is a purchase order will be created, which
    can happen on the same day but it will take about 2 days to be processed by Amazon. The purchase order will contain the number of units of the product you agreed to supply to Amazon.
  • Once the purchase order is approved and the product is in stock on Amazon, the countdown to the 10 weeks begins.

Conclusion

If you are an Amazon vendor about to launch a new product and you are eligible for the Born to Run Program, get in touch with your VM and request a form. The program is free with no hidden charges asides the refund that you will make to Amazon if any units or the products are remaining when the 10 weeks elapse.

Have you used the Amazon Born to Run Program to launch your product? Feel free to share your experience with us.