Last night, we got a notice that one of our products had been removed from our Amazon storefront because we didn’t get age verification of the recipient and we had violated Amazons Policy on the shipping of bladed products.

The policy which was introduced at the end of June states thus

1) From 28th June, all age restricted bladed products must be shipped with an age verification on delivery (AVD) ship method. Tracking numbers for each age restricted product shipped must also be uploaded to Seller Central, to enable Amazon to verify that the product has been shipped with an appropriate AVD method.
UPS is one carrier which offers an age verification service which is compliant with above requirements.

However, if you wish to use a different carrier to ship your products with AVD, please contact, with the following details:

a) The name of the carrier.
b) A link to the carrier’s website which shows the age verification on delivery service offered.
c) Confirmation that the carrier requires a signature for all age restricted products shipped.
d) Confirmation that the carrier employs the ‘Think 21’ or ‘Challenge 25’ standard for all age restricted products shipped.
e) The unique identifier for age verification that will be displayed within the order tracking number. This will enable Amazon to review your orders and confirm that you are using age verification on delivery for all orders
i. Example: All Age verified shipments sent by ‘Carrier A’ have the letters ‘AV’ in the 5th and 6th character of the tracking number – such as: “d4h6AV9O0pL”

Amazon will then review the information provided to determine whether the carrier can be included in the list of permitted AVD carriers.

The other two policy changes relate to the type of products which require the “over 18 Knife” warning on the product detail page. The table below highlights the changes which will be made to the existing bladed product policy on 28th June.

2) All bladed products, regardless of the length of the blade, will require an “over 18 Knife” flag and must be shipped using an acceptable AVD method (see above) – this will include all unlockable folding blades of less than 3 inches, which under the current policy are exempt from needing AVD.
3) All knives (excluding steak or cheese knives) included in ordinary cutlery sets with spoons and forks will no longer require an “over 18 Knife”, and can be shipped without an AVD method.
Thank you for your cooperation.

The item in question was a fruit peeling knife priced at £2.75, just a little bit sharper than your average spoon.

The issue with Amazons requirements are that the courier companies charge a large amount of money for age verified deliveries. We sell predominantly household cleaning products with a small range of kitchen utensils and general household items. If we were selling hunting knives or swords then I could understand the problem. Secondly, why should the onus be on the dispatcher to verify the age of the recipient, surely the age verification should be on the purchase of the item not the receipt of it and surely it should fall to Amazon to police this in house as you have to have a credit card to buy from Amazon in the first place and you must be of age to set one of those up.

One day, I am going to write a book based on all the daft decisions Amazon have made and the crazy logic they employ when dealing with their merchants. In the meantime, you will have to use your own knife to peel your fruit, we can’t send you one anymore.

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