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EcommerceBytes-NewsFlash, Number 2719 - January 17, 2012 - ISSN 1539-5065    2 of 4

More Sellers Are Impacted by Amazon Split-Shipment Policy

By Ina Steiner
EcommerceBytes.com
January 17, 2012




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In October, Amazon.com moved to a split-shipment policy for some merchants who use its Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) service, and on Monday, additional sellers received notice that they too would be impacted by the policy, which will increase their cost of sending inventory to Amazon's fulfillment centers.

Amazon began requiring some sellers to split inventory between multiple warehouses last fall. Sellers impacted by the policy see increased costs, since they have to send more than one shipment of goods, and are more likely to end up shipping to warehouses farther away from their location.

Amazon acknowledged that the change would affect sellers costs, but said, "This change allows us to continue to offer the benefits of FBA at low rates, and we believe both you and your customers can benefit from product placement in multiple regions." However, that part of October's message was missing from the letter Amazon FBA customers received this week.

One seller said he believes Amazon wants to discourage merchants from sending large quantities of the same product.

Several sellers forwarded the email they received from Amazon FBA, which says the new policy will go into effect for them next month.

Dear FBA Seller,
Effective February 25, 2012, inventory may be assigned to multiple fulfillment centers at the ASIN level during the shipment creation process to help better position it to reach customers at the delivery speeds they choose. We anticipate that both you and customers who purchase your products will benefit from this change, including for the following reasons.

  • Products located in multiple fulfillment centers can gain a competitive advantage over products located in a single fulfillment center. Order cut-off times for Prime and expedited shipping can be extended by as much as three hours with inventory in multiple fulfillment centers, so your offers will more likely be available for last-minute orders in more locations.
  • Products can be available for fulfillment to customers sooner than if you shipped them to one fulfillment center, and we then transported them to other fulfillment centers.
  • The impact of regional and local events on your products will be reduced. Events such as snowstorms, flooding, and earthquakes can disrupt transportation in a region or local fulfillment center. Having your inventory in multiple locations during these events increases our ability to ship orders to customers on time.

Please visit Inventory Placement for more information. If you still have questions, please contact Seller Support (sign in required).
Thank you,
Fulfillment by Amazon Operations

About the author:

Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com.

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