This article applies to selling in: Australia

In-Stock Head Start

With In-Stock Head Start, customers can find and buy your eligible temporarily out-of-stock products when your shipment is on its way to the fulfilment centre.

Even with the best inventory planning, popular products can sometimes go out of stock, and that can affect your product discoverability and sales. In-Stock Head Start will make your eligible out-of-stock products available for customers to find and buy when your shipment is on its way to the fulfilment centre and we are confident about its arrival date based on the information available to us.

Customers may benefit from a wider selection of products, and you could see higher or more consistent sales.

How In-Stock Head Start works

Your out-of-stock inventory may be eligible for In-Stock Head Start if you send it to an Australian fulfilment centre using a carrier with a standing appointment, such as Australia Post, TLA, Toll or TNT, or you send a Less Than Truckload / Full Truckload (pallet) shipment where the carrier has booked a fulfilment centre appointment via Amazon Carrier Central. This allows us to have access to the most accurate inbound time and date information, so we can provide an estimated in-stock date for your products on the product detail page to customers so they know when they can expect to receive your product.

Note:

To protect the customer experience, Amazon may not make all of your out-of-stock ASINs available to customers before the products reach the fulfilment centre. This could occur if we aren’t confident that the shipment will arrive on time and contain the expected number of units, or if we are unable to obtain accurate inbound information.

If your inventory is eligible for In-Stock Head Start, we may adjust the estimated delivery for customers if we aren't confident that the shipment will arrive on time.

How you could benefit

In-Stock Head Start has a number of potential benefits:

  • Discoverability: Your eligible out-of-stock items will appear in search results, which can help increase traffic to your products.
  • Sales: Customers can buy eligible temporarily out-of-stock products, which can help result improve sales.
  • Inventory productivity: Taking customer orders while your products are on their way to the fulfilment centre can help reduce the time between shipment and sale.
Important: Your fees and Inventory Performance Index (IPI) score will not be affected.

Reconciling your inventory

You can continue using the same Seller Central reports and tools that you've been using to reconcile your inventory.

The Available quantity on Manage Inventory reflects the number of units of a SKU that are in the Amazon fulfilment network and that can be picked, packed and shipped.

The Inbound quantity reflects the number of units of a SKU in shipments that are on their way to the fulfilment centre, including units that are available through In-Stock Head Start. If your inventory is eligible for In-Stock Head Start, the offer for your temporarily out-of-stock item will show as Active on the Manage FBA Inventory page.

The Manage Inventory page will not show the number of units that are available through In-Stock Head Start or the number of units that have been bought while inventory is on its way to the fulfilment centre.

You will also not have visibility of customer orders placed on inventory that is on its way to the fulfilment centre until that inventory has been received by Amazon. Once that inventory has been received by the fulfilment centre, you will be able to see orders placed, and the inventory for those orders will be subtracted from the number of Available units shown on the Manage FBA Inventory page.

Frequently asked questions

How can I be sure Amazon will deliver customer orders on time?

With In-Stock Head Start, if a customer places an order for an out-of-stock item, the delivery date will be based on the estimated in-stock date. If your shipment to a fulfilment centre is delayed, we’ll adjust the in-stock date based on the information available to us.

Should I change my inventory replenishment cycle because of In-Stock Head Start?

In-Stock Head Start is intended for products that occasionally go out of stock. It is not meant to substitute your regular inventory replenishment schedule.

Staying in stock will lead to the best customer experience and could lead to higher sales.

Staying in stock will lead to the best customer experience. For restock recommendations, go to Manage Inventory Health.

Can I pick which of my products are included in In-Stock Head Start?

To protect the customer experience, Amazon will select which of your out-of-stock ASINs are eligible to participate based on historical shipment data. This means you will not be able to choose which of your products can participate in In-Stock Head Start.

How does Amazon determine which inventory to include in In-Stock Head Start?

The eligible out-of-stock products that will be available for customers to find and buy before products reach the fulfilment centre are determined based on a number of factors to ensure a great customer experience. These factors include your shipment history, such as whether the number of units received reflects what was expected under the shipment plan created, the historical accuracy of the carrier, and fulfilment centre capacity.

For example, if you consistently ship the number of products listed in your shipment plan, your products will generally have a higher probability of becoming buyable when they go out of stock, given our confidence in the available data.

Why aren't all of my products available to customers if my In-Stock Head Start status is active?

It could take up to 48 hours to make your products available to customers after we get the estimated arrival date from carriers using Amazon Carrier Central or from carriers with a standing appointment at Amazon. We need this information to estimate the in-stock date for your products.

Also, to protect the customer experience, we might not make all of your out-of-stock ASINs available to customers before the products reach the fulfilment centre. This could occur if we aren’t confident that the shipment will arrive on time and contain the expected number of products.

What shipments are eligible for In-Stock Head Start?

Your out-of-stock inventory may be eligible for In-Stock Head Start if you send it to an Australian fulfilment centre using a carrier with a standing appointment, such as Australia Post, TLA, Toll or TNT, or you send a Less Than Truckload / Full Truckload (pallet) shipment where the carrier has booked a fulfilment centre appointment via Amazon Carrier Central. This allows us to have access to the most accurate inbound time and date information, and ensures that this is reflected in the product detail page so that customers know when they can expect to receive the order. However, to protect the customer experience, Amazon may not make all of your eligible out-of-stock ASINs available for customers to find and buy before the items reach the fulfilment centre if we are unable to obtain accurate inbound information.

Is the In-Start Head Start feature only available for FBA inventory?

Yes, the In-Stock Head Start feature is only available for inventory that is fulfilled using Fulfilment by Amazon.

What happens if I pause In-Stock Head Start?

You can pause In-Stock Head Start at any time by clicking the Pause button on the In-Stock Head Start page. You can re-activate In-Stock Head Start at any time by clicking the Activate button. It may take up to 72 hours after pausing In-Stock Head Start for this change to be applied to your shipments.

Will I get an email confirmation after I click "Pause" or "Activate"?

No, you will not receive an email confirmation after you "pause" or "activate" this feature. You can check the program page to see your In-Stock Head Start status.

What happens to my Sponsored Ads when my out-of-stock products become active due to In-Stock Head Start?

Any active Sponsored Ads that are configured for your eligible out-of-stock product will continue to run when the offer becomes active again and the product is buyable for customers. Use the campaign manager to assess and manage the existing campaign.

Sign in to use the tool and get personalised help (desktop browser required). Sign in


Reach Hundreds of Millions of Customers

Start Selling On Amazon


© 1999-2022, Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates