Your Guide to Amazon’s Born To Run (BTR) Program

As an Amazon seller, you understand better than anyone how difficult it can be to launch a product on the platform. You have to make sure you have a great product, set it up in your store correctly, and jump through more hoops to ensure a successful launch. It can be a tedious process at times, and while Amazon is a great place to sell products, it can be hard to keep things in stock. And when you’re constantly running out of inventory, it gets increasingly harder to maintain a successful Amazon store. 

Amazon observed this as a pain point for many of its vendors and sellers, so they came up with a way to help them have more successful product launches. The Amazon Born to Run program is available to select vendors in Vendor Central and allows them to expedite their product launches by choosing inventory for an initial 10-week period (also known as the Launch Buy Quantity, or LBQ). 

In short, Amazon would buy the inventory of your product before it launches. This ensures that you won’t run out of stock and it allows you to find quicker success when it comes to your product sales. The only catch is that Amazon has the right to take back all unsold inventory after the initial 10 weeks is complete, which can set you back slightly if you’re not careful. However, most people find success using the Born to Run program and it can greatly benefit your business. 

What are the benefits of Born to Run? 

Since new product launches can be stressful or take a lot of time, it can be hard to build up your sales velocity. This happens for a variety of reasons, but inventory issues are a major reason businesses fail or get held up in the launch phase. The Born to Run program alleviates this problem by giving vendors the chance to prove themselves on the platform and find great success. 

According to Vendor Society, Amazon ran a pilot test for the Born to Run program that proved it would be a great resource for vendors. They found that ASINs enrolled in Born to Run saw a 1.9x increase in sales, a 1.7% decrease in out-of-stock rates, and went from setup to sales 3.3x faster than typical launches. 

Another benefit of Born to Run is that Amazon takes on the risk of launching a new product by taking responsibility for the inventory. They rely on the vendor to launch a product they know will sell and do well, and it’s a win-win situation for Amazon and the vendor. 

How do you know if you qualify? 

There are a few requirements you will need to meet if you want to be considered for the Born to Run program. These include: 

  • You (the vendor) can only use Born to Run if you have been using Amazon’s advertising platform for at least 90 days. 
  • If the ASIN is a hazmat, heavy, bulky, or costs less than $5 per unit, it will be disqualified. 
  • The total cost of the LBQ (quantity the vendor wants to launch) cannot be more than $50,000. 

Example of Born to Run 

The best way to understand the Born to Run program is to see an example. Let’s say you are a vendor on Amazon and you sell cookware. You have a proven track record of selling items, you advertise on Amazon, and you have great reviews. You have a few best selling items, such as mixing bowls, pots, pans, and cutting boards. Your customers know and love your products, and you want to add a new line of hand mixers at $40 per unit. You launched a similar product a few years ago that sold out, so Amazon knows this will likely do well too. 

Using the Born to Run program, you can get Amazon to purchase 1,000 hand mixers, which totals $40,000 in LBQ. As a vendor, you are required to invest 10% of the LBQ (so $4,000 in this case) to Amazon Advertising Services. You also agree to sign off your unsold inventory rights after the 10 week period is over. This will set you up for a successful launch now and will open up opportunities in the future for you to use Born to Run again.

Is it worth it?  

Born to Run is a great way to have successful product launches and get your brand out into the world. The process can be confusing, but don’t worry – there are always people who are ready and willing to help. 

At Laser Sight Digital, we have a team of Amazon experts who are fully qualified and equipped to help you succeed as an Amazon seller or vendor. If you would like to schedule a free strategy session, click here. We look forward to working with you! 


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