Freaking Out About Frozen Items Being “Frozen?”

If you have sold any items related to the Disney movie Frozen, then you probably received an email that starts something like this:

Hello from Amazon,

Amazon strives to provide the best possible experience for customers. As part of our ongoing efforts, we have implemented listing restrictions on certain items. You are receiving this email because your listings for the effective ASINs are among those that have been removed as a result of this policy. This removal is effective immediately.

For the remainder of this blog post, I’ll do my best to answer some of the FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) about the sudden removal of almost all Frozen movie related items being sold on Amazon. Disclaimer: I am not associated with Amazon and these questions are all answered to the best of my knowledge. Before acting on any of my answers, be sure to do your due diligence and consult Amazon directly to confirm the most up-to-date information and policies on this situation.

Screen Shot 2014-05-23 at 9.00.17 PMWhat does this email mean?

Amazon had many upset customers claim that they were sold counterfeit Frozen movie related items, mostly toys. Even Amazon themselves were selling counterfeits unknowingly. This has led Amazon to do an intensive investigation of almost all Frozen movie related items to insure that the items are genuine. To conduct this investigation, Amazon needed to move almost all Frozen items to inactive status so that the FBA warehouses can pull all Frozen stock to confirm if it is genuine or counterfeit.

Is Amazon accusing me of counterfeiting? Will my selling account be cancelled?

Since even Amazon was unknowingly selling counterfeit Frozen toys, they know that others are doing the same. Amazon is very customer-centric and they want to insure that they are selling genuine Frozen items. The only chance you have of getting your selling account cancelled is if you were indeed selling counterfeits. If you purchased your items from The Disney Store, JCPenney, Target, WalMart, or any other retail store that sells Frozen items, then you should be fine.

Screen Shot 2014-05-23 at 8.57.28 PMHow do I find out if Amazon has blocked my Frozen items from being sold?

1. Log in to Seller Central. 2. Click on Inventory and Manage Inventory. 3. Type in the word “Frozen” in the search bar and hit return. 4. You will be able to see all of the items in your inventory that relate to the word Frozen. Items that are blocked will have a blocked icon and also state that it’s blocked.

When will I be able to sell my Frozen items again?

Once the investigation is complete, your genuine Frozen items will become active again and will be available for sale. There is no current timetable for this investigation, but I’m sure that Amazon wants to get this taken care of as soon as possible. Amazon is losing a lot of money because of this and wants to get back to selling Frozen items again soon.

I bought Frozen items from Amazon so that I could resell them on Amazon. What if I bought one of the counterfeits that Amazon sold me?

If Amazon concludes that you are indeed selling counterfeit Frozen items, then they will most likely deactivate your account. I would assume that since you have proof that you bought the item from Amazon that you can tell them that Amazon was the original source of the counterfeit item. In fact, if I were in this situation, I would not wait until my account was deactivated to tell Amazon this fact. If you bought a Frozen item on Amazon to resell on Amazon, then I would open up a ticket and explain yourself to Amazon so that they know this ahead of time. This might save you a lot of time and trouble if you are able to inform Amazon about this before they deactivate your account. If your account gets deactivated, then it could take weeks or months (or never) before you can get your account reinstated. Be proactive and let Amazon know ahead of time that you are concerned that some of your Frozen items are counterfeits because you originally bought them from Amazon themselves.

Screen Shot 2014-05-23 at 9.04.08 PMCan I create a removal order and get my Frozen inventory back?

No. Almost all of the Frozen movie related items are currently being held for investigation. You can’t ask for a removal order, and you can’t ask for Amazon to send it to a buyer via MCF (Multi-Channel Fulfillment). Once the investigation is complete, your genuine Frozen items will become active again and will be available for sale or removal.

I just bought some Frozen items to send to Amazon. Can I still send them in?

No. Amazon will not allow you to send any more Frozen items at this time. If you try to send them in now, you will get a notification that the item is currently restricted.

I just sent some Frozen items to Amazon. What will happen to those?

Your Frozen items will arrive, get checked in, and immediately become inactive. They will also be included in this counterfeit investigation.

I just shipped some Frozen items to Amazon — should I call UPS and have my shipment re-routed back to me?

This is completely your call. If the majority of the items you are sending to Amazon are restricted Frozen items, and you are ok with re-routing your shipment and dealing with how Amazon would react to a re-routed inbound shipment, then make that call. I personally would not.

Screen Shot 2014-05-23 at 9.07.53 PMCan I sell Frozen items Merchant Fulfilled?

No. Amazon seems to have completely removed all selling privileges on almost all Frozen items.

I’m selling a Frozen item, but it’s not restricted. Should I be worried?

Amazon seems to be adding more and more to the list of restricted Frozen items, so some items not currently restricted could become so soon. You could try to lower the price of the items to sell ASAP, or you could just wait and see if the item will become restricted.

I have Frozen items to sell at home. What should I do? 

You can still sell Frozen items on eBay, Craigslist, or any other non-Amazon platform. If you are dead-set on selling these items via FBA, you could still hold these items and wait until the investigation is over.

What’s going to happen next?

There are a few rumors going around. The first rumor is that Amazon will weed out the counterfeiters and selling will resume to normal. The other rumor is that Frozen will be opened up again to sell, but will only be sold by Amazon, Disney, and any approved vendors. These rumors are just that… rumors. It’s not worth worrying about, but it is a good idea to prepare yourself for whatever might happen next. 

So how have you handled the news from Amazon about Frozen inventory? What do you plan to do to make the most of this situation?

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22 Responses to Freaking Out About Frozen Items Being “Frozen?”

  1. Steve,

    All points are great and the questions that you asked I answered them the same way. No worries if you are doing just what you are suppose to be doing in the first place.

  2. I have been so busy sourcing, cleaning, organizing, and shipping this week that I haven’t checked in on any social media to know that this occurred. I am sure a lot of people in Facebook groups are in an uproar. These Frozen items have made many FBA sellers quite a bit of money.

    I currently don’t have too much tied in this merchandise (probably less than $25), but for those that do, I assume eBay will be the place where they will try to unload it.

    I went ahead and checked the one Frozen item I do have in stock and the listing is still active but I’m not sure how long that will last.

    I hope this is settled soon and that another gated category or product restriction doesn’t happen as a result.

    • Good to hear that you’ve been busy with working hard to grow your business and not spending too much time on social media. Social media is great, but it can be a time and productivity sucker. Keep up the hard work!

  3. I wanted to share a question that one of our readers emailed to me concerning this. I thought that some of you might be in the same situation:

    A.W. asked this: “Thanks for this Stephen! I just saw this alert in my inventory on my frozen Elsa doll and was wondering what might have happened. What makes me worried is that I bought mine from a garage sale so how would I known if counterfeit? Ug! The lady said her daughter just didn’t want it. So it was one single doll only. Should I send any communication to amazon?”

    My response: “I’m almost certain that you did not send in a counterfeit doll, and if you did (unknowingly), I’m assuming that Amazon would not suspend your account over one incident. It’s those who have 10, 100, 500 counterfeit Elsa dolls that are going to be removed from Amazon. I don’t think it would hurt to email amazon and say, “I noticed that the Elsa doll is now restricted because of possible counterfeit concerns. I wanted Amazon to know that I only am selling one doll and I got it at a garage sale. I just wanted Amazon to know this as they begin their Frozen investigations.” Most likely, this will not be necessary, but I don’t think it would hurt.”

    Hope this has helped some of you!
    ~Stephen

  4. I have sold only one Frozen item that I just happened to come across at the store. It was temporarily marked 50% off and was the only one left so I grabbed it. It sold and I made a nice profit on it, but haven’t found many other Frozen items since. It really sucks that people put out counterfeit products and ruins it for the rest of us, but I’m glad to see that Amazon is taking action and will hopefully get them outta here.

    • I agree. It’s frustrating when other people ruin a great party, but it’s life, and the best thing we can do it adjust, learn, and grow from the experience. I too am glad that Amazon is doing something to combat the counterfeit situation.

  5. Stephen,
    Great post! One thing I thought of is that if you have Frozen inventory at home and are worried about being able to sell it, you may wish to simply return it to the store, free up your inventory dollars and look for something else. Like all hot fads, Frozen is going to melt one day anyway. There are other toys to sell. In Target the other day (which is totally cleaned out of Frozen items), I had one pissed off mother unload on all those “bastards” who buy products from Target and then jack up the prices online so no one can afford them. Good thing she didn’t know what I was doing! Anyway, Target/Wal-mart/TRU/WAGS will have no problem re-selling your Frozen inventory and that way your sales are not delayed while Amazon works this out.

  6. Theresa Carlton

    I don’t understand how or why it got to this point. Most of us sellers knew the very day that fake Frozen listings started appearing on Amazon and even if you weren’t familiar enough with the merchandise to visually know a doll was fake, surely the low price was a huge trigger. And if you still didn’t know, the lack of the word “Frozen” in the listing title was a huge red flag. I was very surprised that someone at Amazon did not see these fake listings and take immediate action. I mean come on, how could their buyer not be bright enough to know they might be buying fakes based on visual inpection of the rec’d inventory or realizing the deal was too good to be true. They need some kind of quality control and inspection of items that they buy and also to monitor new listings that are created, especially those from Asia.

  7. I highly doubt frozen will be reopened.

    One doll–tickle me Elmo–was single handedly responsible for the Amazon holiday toy restriction policy. And that was one doll. This is an entire product line.

    Based on over a decade on Amazon, I doubt frozen will reopen any time soon. I also know from someone inside Amazon that they are planning to expand the embargo to other categories. And I’m personally betting that in the not too distant future, comingling will disappear from toys, and I’m 50-50 on toys becoming restricted year round. (And I’d be one hundred percent aok with both those things).

    The only surprise in all of this is how long it took Amazon to act.

  8. If I had purchased a counterfeit doll from Amazon (to resell), I would have known right away. Any of us selling Frozen dolls regularly would know.
    I would have contacted Amazon immediately for a return/refund. I am guessing these dolls have the counterfeit UPC also (matching the one on the real dolls). And I am guessing the folks sending in the counterfeits are commingling. They must have sent in counterfeit dolls deliberately to commingle.
    That said, I know any of us could make a mistake on something we are not very familiar with and list it incorrectly if we don’t use the UPC symbol (which really isn’t always reliable as the listing can have the wrong UPC symbol).

  9. I got the email and pretty much made the assumption that you conveyed in this great article. I am very busy,too. I appreciate your take on this matter. I have several Olafs in the inventory that are legit. I sold out on my dolls for now.

    Luckily, I am selling my Frozen products 6x higher on other platforms successfully.

    I think it is very important to diversity your inventory. Amazon is not the only game in town…something to think about.

    Thanks again, Stephen

    • You’re welcome, Elon! Selling Frozen on another platform is the best thing to do while Amazon has Frozen inventory tied up in their investigation. Good to know you are making the most of this situation. I currently have all my Frozen items in a FBA warehouse, but it’s only about 5 items now, as I had sold out of most of my Frozen inventory and the ROI just wasn’t that good anymore for my business model.

  10. I had gotten some Frozen items and have already sold out, but I just found some more and was going to list them when I got the email from Amazon. The Disney Frozen Castle & Ice Palace Playset that I had sold, and was replenishing, had about 80 sellers. Now there is ONLY ONE, Amazon. I dont believe they are restricting just because of counterfeiters, but so they can monopolize the market. Look up Disney Frozen Castle & Ice Palace Playset and you’ll see Amazon is the only seller and they are importing the item from China.

    • It’s an interesting theory that Amazon want’s to monopolize the market with Frozen items. The funny thing is that when Amazon sells the item, they usually sell it around the MSRP (Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price), and not at what the market currently demands. When Amazon was selling the Elsa doll a month ago, they sold it around $15.99, but when Amazon sold out, the 3rd party prices shot up to $50-$70. I think Amazon loved getting their share of that piece of pie just as much as they enjoyed being the sole seller of the item.

  11. As with any business model, you have to learn to take the good with the bad. With most of the decision Amazon makes, as has been said, we don’t have to worry as long as we are doing things the right way.

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  14. Does anyone have a COMPLETE list of all the Frozen ASINS that are blocked? I have 5 from the Amazon e-mail sent to me, but I know there are more blocked ASINS. A complete list would be helpful for everyone. Thanks!

    • I don’t think anyone has that list because it keeps changing. If someone does have an up-to-date list, I’d love to share it with everyone.

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