Amazon Hazmat Review Process: The Why and How

Running an Amazon business is a tough job–from managing inventory to customer service, it often feels like there are a million things you must handle simultaneously.

So when Amazon throws curveballs like marking your product as a Dangerous Good or Amazon Hazmat (even when they’re not), the process can become even more frustrating. And as an entrepreneur, there are probably other things you’d rather focus on instead.

Unfortunately, the Amazon Hazmat review process can quickly feel like a nightmare if you’re not ready. Without proper preparation, your product could get stuck for weeks and require what feels like endless paperwork to get your product listing back on the platform. But let’s go back to the basics.

What are hazmat products on Amazon?

According to Amazon on Seller Central, Hazmat products are substances that pose a risk to health, safety, property, or the environment at any point through the distribution process.

Amazon has 9 different categories in their Dangerous Goods Review. If your product is marked Hazmat by Amazon, it likely falls under one of these categories.

Screenshot from Amazon Seller Central Help Center

Hazmat products will only concern Amazon sellers selling their items via FBA (Fulfillment by Amazon), since Amazon will be in charge of storing and transporting those products. Because of this, Amazon wants to ensure that each product you’re selling–and they are handling–is safe for delivery to and from their warehouses.

Working knowledge of the Amazon Hazmat review process is essential for stores that sell products in categories that experience frequent reviews. Examples include health and dietary supplements, essential oils, electronics, liquids, gases, batteries, etc. Different types of hazmat products may include:

  • Hairspray
  • Nail polish
  • Glue
  • Repellents
  • Pet care items
  • Shaving cream
  • Perfume

No FBA business is exempt from Amazon’s hazmat review, and the platform runs strict inspection. As a result, all FBA sellers have to submit an ingredients list from the manufacturer that Amazon then reviews. If any of the ingredients sets off any of Amazon’s red flags then the seller will need to submit additional documentation on the product to clear the review.

However, these red flags don’t always mean that your product is dangerous. Sometimes, something as minor as having sodium as an ingredient can get you a hazmat review. This can be a big headache for FBA sellers where Amazon frequently flags products that don’t actually represent any harm.

**What is the origin of Amazon’s Hazmat Review? **

Running Hazmat reviews on FBA products hasn’t always been part of Amazon’s operations. The platform first introduced the procedure back in 2014 after having to pay a fine of $350,000 due to harming UPS employees with leaking packages.

Since then, Amazon has the right to inspect any item it receives to its warehouses and determine whether it contains dangerous ingredients. It’s a way of protecting themselves and their employees and ensuring nothing goes wrong during transportation.

How does hazmat impact your sales?

Amazon classifying your product as a Dangerous Good can have highly negative consequences on your listing conversion rate. Often, it means you’ll have to stop selling your product for a while until you fix the issue. It’s also going to distract you from other tasks (such as marketing or improving your products) that you could be doing to take your business to the next level.

What happens when products are marked as hazmat?

Here’s what happens when Amazon flags one of your products as Hazmat in four different stages:

Step 1: Paused listings

Amazon may pause your product listings, and the FBA team will not make your product listing available until they complete a hazmat review of your product data. Amazon may also give you a notice with a short time frame (usually a couple days) to supply the hazmat review information before they take any action, such as pausing the listing.

Step 2: Fill out a SDS Request

You’ll have to supply Amazon with an SDS request from the manufacturer or an MSDS Exemption (Material Safety Data Sheet), which is an exemption form to fill out for non-dangerous products. The requirements include:

  • You must have updated the form within the past five years
  • Your SDS form must match your product listing (for example, ASIN title should be the same as your SDS product name)
  • You must include all the supplier information that corresponds to your product label’s supplier information
  • You must include all 16 standard SDS sections

Step 3: Submit the SDS Request within the deadline

If the documentation is not submitted within four business days, Amazon will block the listing. This is the point of no return, and if not submitted in time you’ll have to re-upload your product listing to go through the process all over again.

Step 4: Hazmat classification

Amazon reviews the product documentation (Amazon says to allow up to 4 business days for this review) and designates the product as one of three classifications:

  • Non-DG: Amazon has not found your product to be dangerous, so there are no hazmat restrictions. Business as usual.
  • Restricted DG: For Amazon to deliver your product, you need to enroll in the FBA Dangerous Goods program. Existing inventory may need to be transferred to a fulfillment center capable of handling dangerous goods (FBA initiates this transfer themselves). Additional units may be sent to fulfillment centers, but these products count toward your seller's dangerous goods inventory limit.
  • Unfulfillable DG: Amazon found your product to be too dangerous for delivery and will not fulfill it. As a seller you must create a removal order for the inventory and sell it through FBM. If not removed, Amazon will dispose of the inventory after 5 business days. The platform also gives you the option to request another Hazmat Review.

One important thing to note is that any product that goes through a Hazmat Review will also undergo additional dangerous goods reviews. Here’s what Pattern’s Senior Brand Manager Jordan Mower has to say about it:

“After a product is classified, this designation is not permanent. The FBA team will initiate a new review if they receive any conflicting ingredient information from any other seller—and possibly for additional reasons that we do not have visibility into,” says Mower. “We sell several products that are constantly going through additional Dangerous Goods reviews. A product will be reviewed and classified and then a few weeks later that classification will get changed again and we'll have to pivot on that. So you have to be pretty dynamic with certain products.”

How can you resolve Amazon Hazmat Reviews quickly?

Thankfully, Amazon marking your products as hazmat doesn’t have to be the end of the world. Here’s what you can do ahead of time to better manage Hazmat reviews when they arise:

1. Create an alternative SKU with Fulfillment by Merchant (FBM)

If a product is marked as Hazmat, you can create an alternate SKU with Fulfillment by Merchant (FBM) to keep selling your product. You’ll gain complete control over your inventory management and shipping instead of letting Amazon fulfill your orders themselves.

An advantage of fulfilling your orders themselves is that you won’t be paying any service fees to Amazon. However, you’ll also have to deal with more responsibilities than you would have with Amazon FBA.

2. Request more storage through Seller Central Support

FBA sellers have a limit for Hazmat storage. It this may affect your Hazmat fulfillment options if many or all of your products are Hazmat.

What they don’t know, however, is that it’s possible to ask for more through Amazon’s Seller Central Support. Keep in mind that often only larger sellers will get their request accepted.

3. Hire an Inventory Management Expert

Solving Amazon Hazmat Reviews all comes down to using the proper documentation. However, Pattern Senior Brand Manager Jordan Mower works with a few supplements brands and has often experienced this frustration.

In the end, it’s important to have a savvy inventory management person in place who can keep up with the dynamic changes that come with FBA and Hazmat reviews.

Hiring a team of experts to to handle the twists and turns of hazmat products–keeping up with dynamic changes from Hazmat reviews, managing your brand’s inventory responsibilities, and compliance–can save you a lot of time and even more headaches.

Plus, you’ll gain peace of mind that your inventory and hazmat issues are in good hands, so you can focus on other areas of improving your Amazon store.

**How can Pattern help Amazon businesses clear hazmat? **

As an ecommerce marketplace management company, we have vast experience submitting SDS and MSDS Exemption sheets through the Amazon upload portal. We also make sure to apply correct formatting and follow-up with Amazon to make sure the platform accepts your product listing.

Our clients benefit from Pattern’s positive track record of fulfillment and sales experience with the Amazon hazmat dangerous goods program. We also offer an extensive inventory storage threshold.

Contact us today to see how a Brand Manager’s expertise could help your Amazon listings take off. Our team of experts will be more than happy to answer any questions you may have about ensuring your products are compliant with Amazon’s strict hazmat policy.

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Amazon's Sponsored Product ads
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What Are Amazon’s Advertising Products? Sponsored Product, Brand, & Display Ads

What Are Amazon’s Advertising Products? Sponsored Product, Brand, & Display Ads

Utilizing Amazon sponsored ads can be a smart way for a brand to drive greater traffic to a product listing and start increasing sales. While many brands still struggle to manage their advertising strategies, 30% of Amazon brand sellers increased their advertising budgets in 2022. As ecommerce executives (or even on the nose with VPs of ecommerce?)  approve their 2023 advertising budgets, it may be worth it to take a look at Amazon’s advertising products and the benefit they may have on increasing conversions. 

​​Pattern is the premier ecommerce accelerator with all of the expertise, data-driven insights, and technology brands need to gain control on Amazon and maintain their competitive niche. We know the high value of and how to utilize Amazon’s advertising products to drive the most traffic and conversions to benefit and accelerate your brand.

Here are Amazon’s three main advertising products you should know about in order to drive listing traffic to your products and increase conversions: 

For a brand executive who is selling their product on Amazon, you may not already know the differences between campaign type, so we will walk you through the differences and uses for each of these three ad campaigns.

Sponsored Product Ads

Sponsored Products are a mid-funnel advertising strategy that gives visibility to products above the top organic listings (see example below). This strategy uses custom keywords to get products in front of the consumers who are searching for them, however it can be used to capture new audiences as well.These cost-per-click (CPC) ads require no additional copy or images, but usually receive the most interaction of the campaigns and need to be monitored closely.

As you can see, these ads look just like an organic listing, however they say, “Sponsored,” on them. These types of ads can be especially effective forms of advertising because they tend to blend in with the organic results around them. With Sponsored Products, you can get your products in front of qualified customers who are searching for your product in such a way that doesn’t make them feel like they are being served an advertisement.

Sponsored Brand Ads

Sponsored Brand Ads are a top-of-funnel brand awareness tool and function on keywords. This ad format helps show a customer what they may be in need of and where to get it.  Commonly used to promote product lines or best sellers, a Sponsored Brand ad shows up as a banner above the search results (see example below). This type of ad requires that the brand showcase at least three separate products.

Unlike other campaigns used on the Amazon platform, Sponsored Brand ads require ad copy and a unique logo. These ads also can take customers to a custom landing page, or a page on the brand store, that way they get a clear and overall picture about who your brand is, what other products you sell, and why they can trust your brand

Sponsored Display Ads

Sponsored Display ads can be a tactic for top, middle, or bottom of the advertising funnel due to its varying targeting abilities. Although most commonly found under the bullet points of a detail page, these ads can also show in emails, newsletters, and even more locations off platform.

Unlike the previous ad campaigns discussed, sponsored display ads can target shopping behaviors, like repeat purchasers, similar product purchasers, and even people who viewed the detail page but did not buy. Sponsored Display ads help customers discover your brand, drive awareness, and create loyalty. 

The example above shows just one of the many placements Sponsored Display has.

Accelerate Your Sponsored Products With Pattern 

Rather than competing with each other, each of the three sponsored ad products focus on a different section of the sales funnel, allowing you to target your customers and hit your sales numbers, all while edging out possible competitors. When brands use these advertising campaigns, they can better optimize their ad budget to improve ROAS and build revenue. 

At Pattern, we have all the resources to help your brand build successful advertising and digital marketing campaigns on Amazon so you can increase traffic and conversions, which will in turn increase your revenue

Global Ecommerce Weekly News: 27th September 2022
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Global Ecommerce Weekly News: 27th September 2022

Get up to date with this week's ecommerce headlines from around the globe. --- Amazon News --- Amazon drives renewable energy push with 71 new projects Amazon is planning to add 2.7 gigawatts of clean energy capacity through a couple of new projects as the company attempts to use 100% renewable energy by 2025. The ecommerce business will soon have a total of 329 renewable energy projects, generating 50,000 gigawatt hours of clean energy, which is equivalent to powering 4.6 million US homes every year. [Read more on Reuters](https://www.reuters.com/business/sustainable-business/amazon-drives-renewable-energy-push-with-71-new-projects-2022-09-21/) Amazon launches Prime Early Access Sale Amazon is launching a new 2-day shopping event for its Prime members only, beginning on the 11th of October. Across 15 countries, Prime customers will have access to the shopping event, with thousands of deals on offer globall, ranging from fashion to electronics to essentials. The event has the purpose of giving Prime users the chance to spread the cost of items over the winter months, 6 weeks ahead of Black Friday. [Read more on Charged Retail](https://www.chargedretail.co.uk/2022/09/26/prime-early-access-sale/) --- Other Marketplace News --- Shopify unveils new localisation tool Shopify is launching a new localisation tool, called Translate & Adapt, which works with Shopify Markets to offer localisation for sellers who are looking to expand into new markets. The tool translates a user’s online store into different languages, including product pages and information pages. Merchants are also able to create different shipping terms for each market using the new tool, which allows international expansion and offers a more localised consumer experience, unveiling new potential. [Read more on Ecommerce News](https://ecommercenews.eu/shopify-launches-new-localisation-tool/) Etsy is set to invest hundreds of millions into its marketing platform Etsy CEO claims that the company is on route to spend more than $570 million USD on marketing this year. Even during a time of macroeconomic pressure, inflation and rising interest rates, the company is preparing itself and its sellers for the upcoming holiday season and is focused on retaining interest from buyers. [Read more on Yahoo News](https://uk.news.yahoo.com/etsy-600-million-on-marketing-ceo-154054219.html) --- Other Ecommerce News --- Meta looks to cut costs by 10% in the coming months Meta employees are facing job redundancies as the company plans to cut its costs by 10% over the next few months. Meta reported a 22% YoY increase in costs and expenses, totalling over $20 billion USD. The cuts are expected to come in the form of job redundancies as a result of department reorganisations rather than formal layoffs. [Read more on Charged Retail](https://www.chargedretail.co.uk/2022/09/22/meta-to-slash-costs-by-10-over-coming-months/) DHL teams up with Quadient to offer smart locker deliveries in the UK DHL and tech company, Quadient, have partnered to offer smart lockers parcel pick-up throughout the UK. The new contactless, secure locker stations will give recipients more choice and flexibility to receive their parcels at a time and location best suited to them. The partnership plans to install 500 locker stations across the country by the end of 2022. [Read more on Charged Retail](https://www.chargedretail.co.uk/2022/09/21/dhl-partners-with-quadient-to-offer-smart-locker-delivery/) The online fashion market is set to be worth nearly $170 billion USD in 2025 The European online fashion retail market is set to grow 50% by 2025, with an online turnover of $170 billion USD, which is 33% of the retail branch’s total. Cross-border marketplaces prove to be the largest drivers of this growth, with online websites and apps like Vinted largely pushing the market’s online growth. Zalando recently became the largest cross-border fashion retailer/marketplace, responsible for 11.7% of the online market’s share. [Read more on Ecommerce News](https://ecommercenews.eu/online-fashion-market-worth-e175-billion-in-2025/)

Top 5 Ways to Prepare for Peak with Google Ads
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Top 5 Ways to Prepare for Peak with Google Ads

Peak season is almost upon us and with all signs pointing to it starting earlier than ever, with Christmas gifting searches now ramping up in August and September, it’s time to start preparing for peak. In this article, we’re sharing our top five tips for planning and preparing for peak season with Google Ads and the strategies required to get your Paid Search ready so you can drive success over this crucial period.

1. Go Early

In 2021, gifting search terms started increasing in popularity in August. The general trend is that people are looking, researching and weighing their options early, so it’s best to start your Paid activity early to ensure that you’re capturing that early research traffic. This will help drive revenue alongside aiding those consumers who are in their research phase.

From 2020 to 2021, spend during Cyber Week actually only rose 2% but in the weeks leading up to it, it increased by 16%. However, Cyber Week is still the biggest period during the latter half of the year, accounting for 23% of all online spend by consumers over peak. Being prepared and starting early will help you to maximise your time during this period.

2. Get Ready for Privacy Changes

 According to Google, 48% of global consumers have stopped buying or using a service due to privacy concerns. Privacy is front of mind when consumers are shopping online and we know that Google is phasing out 3rd party cookies in 2023. This is going to make it much harder to track users online and it’s something that brands need to think about this now – waiting isn’t an option.

From a Google Ads point of view, you want to ensure you have set up the Google Ads tag across your site and have enabled ‘Enhanced Conversions’, which ensures all conversions are tracked and allows you to monitor other actions such as ‘Add to Cart.’ This is relatively easy to set up, especially if you use ‘Google Tag Manager’.

It’s also vitally important that you build up your first-party data during this time as this is data you own and it can be used when targeting consumers that have provided your brand with their email address. Pattern’s own experience shows that by segmenting and using first-party data, you can see a 10% improvement in revenue and ROI.

3. Ensure Consumers Can Discover your Brand

A full-funnel approach is now more important than ever as consumers become more discerning and have more choices than ever of where to shop.

Pattern has seen success with Google Ads’ ‘Discovery Campaigns’ (image-based ads that appear on Google platforms such as Gmail and the Google app), which have driven success both from a traffic and revenue perspective.

The performance of these campaigns is significantly enhanced by adopting a segmented and nuanced approach to first-party data and incorporating these into your campaigns. Other options for a full-funnel approach include YouTube and testing bidding on keywords that are more representative of the research phase. (e.g. ‘best baby clothes’ for a baby clothes brand)

4. Get Moving with Performance Max

Earlier this year, Google announced that they were moving away from Smart Shopping and launched Performance Max. This is a new campaign type that incorporates features and placements from Smart Shopping but expands them onto other platforms such as Gmail but also alternative creative options, such as images and videos.

Since Google has already started automatically upgrading Smart Shopping campaigns to Performance Max, expect to see some fluctuations in the first 2 weeks following the switch over but results generally seem positive. We recommend upgrading sooner rather than later to limit any potential impact to peak period.

5. Flight Budgets Accordingly

Peak period will be even more competitive than in 2021 and you’ll need your budgets to support this period, we recommend boosting budgets in October to start capturing that early peak traffic. As we enter November and the Cyber Period, start early and make sure you are capturing those consumers looking for early bargains, ensuring you are being nimble in your optimisations and reacting to the data that you are seeing.

Overall, peak period is vital to help drive your sales and by preparing early, you will see strong results and drive success for your brand. If you want to discuss how your brand can navigate this next peak period, contact us to discuss your options with our performance team now.