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  #1  
Old 06-25-2010
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Default Fulfillment by Amazon

Anyone have some knowledge on Fulfillment by Amazon?

On inspection, this seems a quit interesting concept.

I see no real downside but I am new to selling on Amazon. It would appear to be a nice way to ship off a bunch of items in one shot and the rest would be hands free on cruise control...


Anyone use it?
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Old 06-25-2010
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higher fees
automatic refunds / returns
slow shipping
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Old 06-25-2010
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higher fees understood, but ok

automatic refunds / returns Thats the case really anyway isnt it? Cant tell a customer "no" anyway

slow shipping Seriously? From Amazon itself??
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pod View Post
higher fees understood, but ok

automatic refunds / returns Thats the case really anyway isnt it? Cant tell a customer "no" anyway

slow shipping Seriously? From Amazon itself??
well atleast when its you, you can try and state your case etc if its amazon its whatever the customer wants so you lose some money there. plus since they get free return shipping EVEN MORE buyers want to return.

Yes when you buy from amazon they make you wait till the expected shipping period. So if you dont pay for expediated and it says expected arrive date 7-14 days dont expect to get it any time sooner. Some customers hate that.
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For me, returns are a non issue. Its rare really and just not worth the grief to put up a fight. Just send it back and we can all move on...

But the shipping this is REALLY surprising. I can see a little delay if they have worked in a cushion on time and are a bit over taxed in the shipping department. But to let it sit until the last minute deliberately is a surprise.

The two main things that attracted me was the hands off, and what I assumed would be fast shipping on their part... so if they are doing the shipping and people complain about the shipping, do they at least cut you some slack since it wasn't even you??
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Old 06-26-2010
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I've always resisted the FbA because I make a point of shipping my orders very quickly and using first class mail (my competitors always use media rate unless they get paid for expedited). They fact that my orders arrive very quickly is my biggest factor in getting positive feedback. Were I to use FbA, I'm afraid I would not only get less positive feedback but also start getting negative feedback. So I don't think it's worth it.
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Old 06-26-2010
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I looked into it, but never used it. Like everything, there is an upside and a downside.

PROS:

1) Ship once and let Amazon worry about it.
2) Some customers feel more comfortable seeing the "FBA" Box on your item.
3) You can be a part of the "Free Shipping" program by Amazon, if you choose it.

CONS:

1) If your account is closed, they will charge you to send the items back - I believe it is 60 cents per item plus the actual shipping cost.
2) Less control over returns/refunds - although if a customer demands a refund you will have to do it anyways.
3) Returns are also handled by Amazon, so if your items are not 100% genuine, or not of excellent quality, you could have a problem.
4) Amazon has your merchandise, so they can easily inspect it if they think they are phakes.

The bottom line is, I think it could be a good option, but only if you are confident in the quality of your merchandise and the items are 100% genuine. Even then, I would always ship the same day or the next day, and there is no guarantee of that with Amazon handling it. Nearly all my positive feedback comments start with something like "GOT IT FAST!!!" so you might not get as much positive feedback this way.

Last edited by jeffweico; 06-26-2010 at 11:42 AM. Reason: typo
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Your pro list was what I too was thinking as well. My products have no vero connections, so real or bogus is mute.

Only disappointment is hearing they sit on shipping. I mean pretty hypocritical of them now isn't it. "You better bloody well ship fast, but we are gonna wait it out" - I was thinking the opposite. Warehoused at Amazon, so customers would get nice and fast. Esp since I'm in Canada. But if they wait a week to ship, just because they can, that's a let down...

Now the other thing I was thinking might be positive. Provided no poor feedback or claims, etc, that goes without saying; If Amazon was handling the fulfillment with products in their warehouse would they maybe allow a higher volume?
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pod View Post
Your pro list was what I too was thinking as well. My products have no vero connections, so real or bogus is mute.

Only disappointment is hearing they sit on shipping. I mean pretty hypocritical of them now isn't it. "You better bloody well ship fast, but we are gonna wait it out" - I was thinking the opposite. Warehoused at Amazon, so customers would get nice and fast. Esp since I'm in Canada. But if they wait a week to ship, just because they can, that's a let down...

Now the other thing I was thinking might be positive. Provided no poor feedback or claims, etc, that goes without saying; If Amazon was handling the fulfillment with products in their warehouse would they maybe allow a higher volume?
I honstly believe that Amazon does their best to ship as soon as possible. HOWEVER - in my experience, there is little practical difference between media mail and priority mail. Most of the time it arrives in 2-3 days either way. But the guidelines are 8-10 days for media mail. So, if Amazon is 2 days behind, they know that they will still be within the stated guidelines. I don't think this is a huge problem.

And, I am GUESSING here, that if your products are legitimate and good quality then Amazon may have more trust in you since they have physical posession of the merchandise and know that the orders will be fulfilled. It takes away the potential issue of customers receiving their items late or not at all. Again, this is just my GUESS.

I would love it if someone who has actually USED FBA would chime in, but when I look on their website, almost nobody uses it.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffweico View Post

but when I look on their website, almost nobody uses it.
I think the extra fees and lack of control are what turn folks away.
Lack of control is fine by me. Running on auto pilot sounds great.
Fees would really be offset with what I end up paying extra in shipping. Shipping 6 of the same item to Amazon would be a fraction of shipping 6 separately

My situation is a bit different being in Canada
1. Shipping is obviously slower with crossing the boarder
2. Duty fees. Many customers see Canada and wont buy in fear of duty. One bad experience with excessive duty fees and some folks never buy from Canada ever again. Or worse, flip out calling it "extra shipping fee" I never told them about.
3. Shipping items from Canada is stupid expensive. 2 or 3x the cost of US. So I wouldn't have to hide some in price or charge a higher rate.
4. If Amazon ships item I have to believe "I didn't get item" would not be held against me.
5. Sold by Amazon has to carry some buyer confidence over "John Doe in Canada"

What really caught my attention was I bought some stuff from smallparts.com. They also sell on Amazon. But I bought direct from their own site. But the stuff came from Amazon. It seems Amazon handles their entire inventory now.

And I received my stuff in 2 days at very very reasonable shipping fee! $10 and change. I priced out the same box from me to them at 6 days - $36.....

So extra fees, I think, would not be relevant to me in the long run. Or at least not a burden,

All assumptions here. But it is always nicer to hear from a seller that uses it.
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I suggest you go on google and search for order fulfillment services. There are cheaper ones available online including Shipwire. There are many other places available which offer this service, I was planning to do something similar but instead, selling on Ebay. There are even virtual mail box services which offer, "business plans," to full fill orders. The only downside is that you have to manually input all the addresses and etc. Shipwire has the auto shipment option but you have to put something in the script...
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Burning View Post
I suggest you go on google and search for order fulfillment services. ...
Being your own products, they wouldn't consider that drop shipping would they?

I will check some out. Thanks

But I do see using Amazon in house as apposed to a 3rd party being more advantageous though.
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Quote:
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Being your own products, they wouldn't consider that drop shipping would they?

I will check some out. Thanks

But I do see using Amazon in house as apposed to a 3rd party being more advantageous though.
I suggest you try SHIPWIRE:

Ecommerce Order Fulfillment Service - Warehouses in the U.S., Canada & Europe - Shipwire

They charge a monthly fee depending on how much space you use. I believe they have auto fulfillment for amazon and eBay. Since you are interested in amazon, you should check it here:

Shipwire: Amazon Order Fulfillment for Amazon Seller Central

I use another place which offers mail forwarding and fulfillment but the downside is that you have to enter the addresses manually. It's another place I use but I will NOT be mentioning it as I use it for ebay and paypal. They send all the items out via Fedex and they do not charge any commission on top of it to ship the item out, but you have to pay a monthly fee of $30 for this service. I'm just letting you know this so you can keep your doors open, do not limit yourself just to Amazon fulfillment. Google is your friend and use it to your full advantage. Wish you all the best.
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Thanx Burning, those look interesting for sure
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Quote:
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Thanx Burning, those look interesting for sure
Look on google and do your research, also remember, these places DO NOT accept direct shipment from international countries such as China. These places require you to have a brokerage agent in order to do so....
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Old 06-27-2010
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Look on google and do your research, also remember, these places DO NOT accept direct shipment from international countries such as China. These places require you to have a brokerage agent in order to do so....
How do they feel about shipping out ⊗⊗⊗⊗ stuff? Their prices aren't bad at all. I'd just be worry that they'd get weird and seize my stuff, or call the cops.
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Originally Posted by StillersFan View Post
How do they feel about shipping out ⊗⊗⊗⊗ stuff? Their prices aren't bad at all. I'd just be worry that they'd get weird and seize my stuff, or call the cops.
I cannot imagine that any legitimate company would KNOWINGLY send out ⊗⊗⊗⊗ merchandise. It might slip by them, but it would be a risk.
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If i was selling "non real" stuff I would want control over the inventory for sure. I don't have any experience in selling ⊗⊗⊗⊗, but from what I see on here there are problems with stuff getting seized at the boarder sometimes. Loosing one shipment would suck, but losing all your inventory at a shipping warehouse would be awful.
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Old 06-28-2010
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I used FBA in the past in different countries. Until recently there was a major advantage using FBA, because they used to mix in the FBA inventory together with everyone else's. So they would never be able to pinpoint who sent what, but on the other hand you would be getting someone else's returns as well.

Another big pro would be getting the free shipping and you cover their fees just with what you are saving on shipping, and to whoever said that they sit on shipping, I found that they ship extremely fast.

Bottom line, I would continue using FBA.

One more advantage, its much easier to remove a negative feedback.

Just my two cents.
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Thanx Joe. Appreciate the input from a user!
Cheers
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Quote:
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Until recently there was a major advantage using FBA, because they used to mix in the FBA inventory together with everyone else's. So they would never be able to pinpoint who sent what, but on the other hand you would be getting someone else's returns as well.
That would be an INCREDIBLE advantage, but I can see why they no longer do it.
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Quote:
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That would be an INCREDIBLE advantage, but I can see why they no longer do it.
I am not sure if they stopped it all across, because on one of my accounts I can still send in without putting labels.
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