Tips and tricks to avoid a Expiration Violation
By: Angela Fleming
Amazon takes expiration violation concerns very seriously. Violations can be confusing to navigate through. The policies are hard to understand. Avoiding these violations is doable when following these tips and tricks.
A lot of products have a ‘Best Buy’ date, ‘Expiration Date” or “Manufacturing Date”. Expiration dates can easily confuse a customer by the way they are written. In result, create an expiration violation in your account for these issues.
For example, a customer might receive a unit with a manufacturing date stating 3/3/20 but the product does not expire until 3/3/21. When a customer reads this date, it causes confusion.
Even though it is only a manufacturing date, it can appear to look like the expiration date and result in a expiration violation.
This can also be confusing navigating through which date it is and how to track them in general, for everyone.
Included are tips and tricks that help immensely while dealing with expiration violations.
What are Amazon’s policies for expiration dates?
Amazon goes off a general shelf date policy that depends on the product and product category.
For example, chips and snacks can have a shelf life of 90-180 days. Beauty products can have a shelf life of 900 – 1,825 days. It is extremely important to follow the expiration date policies because even if that product does not have a date on it.
If it can expire- it needs a date.
Amazon does require extra time on top of these dates to ensure each customer has plenty of time to use the product before it expires.
Please refer to the help pages below for reference:
Labeling expiration dates on products – this extra step will help in the long run!
Expiration dates are easily confusing. Labeling the expiration date on your products for not only your reference but your customer can be a lifesaver.
This is an Amazon requirement for any products that has an expiration date. The requirement is either unknown by a lot of us or simply missed.
Please note, the dates should not obstruct any other date on the product.
Labeling products in MM/DD/YYYY format is the easiest for customers to understand.
Information on expiration violations are included in the help pages above for reference.
How do we track these dates?
Being detail oriented is the best way to avoid expiration violations. Organize regarding tracking every expiration date for products. This will avoid a headache in the future.
An easy way to do this would be to create a spreadsheet. Utilize something such as excel to track these dates using a first-in-first out method. This will ensure that expired or close to being expired products are not being sent to customers and resulting in a violation on your account.
Another great tip is to take a picture of the product. Invoice together showing the dates on the product and the invoice.
This will be a tool for reference and can be submitted to Amazon if a violation does occur.
When selling products that do have expiration dates, it is extremely important to be detail oriented as well as organized.
No one is perfect. Mistakes will be made, taking precautions will help avoid expiration violations.
Hopefully these tips and tricks help to better understand these policies and make expiration concerns easily navigated in the future.
Angela was with Amazon for 4 yeas as part of Seller Support with the Specialty team working with Amazon Fresh, Amazon Handmade and Amazon Home Services. She helped sellers through the application process and account management once they were up and running. Angela was also a vetting specialist to ensure that only the best and most qualified sellers were approved to move forward and sell in the specialty categories. They were high touch candidates who frequently reached out and she provided excellent customer service all the way up to handling Jeff Bezos escalations. In her free time, she enjoys books. playing with her dog Tellar and crafting.