Update (2nd Nov, 01:10 BST): In a statement given to ArsTechnica, Amazon has responded to the restrictions placed upon third-party sellers (see original article below). The restrictions were supposedly put in place “in error” and have since been reversed.
Yesterday’s email [to third-party Amazon sellers] was sent in error, and all impacted listings were reinstated within hours.
Original Article (1st Nov, 16:15 BST): Major online retailer Amazon has implemented a new system whereby third-party stores hoping to sell Nintendo products must first seek direct approval, potentially having a huge impact on the sale of used games and consoles.
The news comes from an email which has been sent to a number of third-party sellers who operate on Amazon’s digital storefront. It notes that the new requirements technically came into effect yesterday, 31st October, and warns that any products listed from now on “will be removed”. Here’s a snippet:
As part of our ongoing efforts to provide the best possible customer experience, we are implementing approval requirements for Nintendo products. Effective on 2019-10-31, you will need approval to list the affected products. If you do not obtain approval to sell these products prior to 2019-10-31, your listings for these products will be removed.
As reported by ArsTechnica, sellers have been experimenting to discover exactly what this means. It would appear that if a product’s producer is listed as ‘Nintendo’ – which would include any first-party games or consoles – it can no longer be listed in ‘used’ or ‘collectable’ condition. Some sellers have reported that they can list items in ‘new’ condition, and that third-party games on Nintendo platforms (meaning any title published by a studio other than Nintendo) can still be listed as before.
The move has sparked some rather heated discussion amongst Amazon’s third-party sellers, with one person accusing the retailer of “shutting everyone down so they can sell the items for more money”. The change actually comes after a string of similar changes to Amazon’s policies on the sales of items like DVDs and Apple products, and appears to be an attempt at cracking down on the sale of counterfeit products, of which plenty can be found online.
It’s unclear whether it was Amazon or Nintendo which decided to enforce the change, although other gaming platform holders Sony and Microsoft haven’t received the same new rulings. Many sellers who make a substantial profit from the resale of used Nintendo games have understandably been left concerned by the news.