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EcommerceBytes-Update, Number 287 - May 22, 2011 - ISSN 1528-6703     3 of 7

Common Questions about Amazon Marketplace Shipping-Label Program

By Ina Steiner

May 22, 2011

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Amazon.com sellers now have the option of printing postage through the Amazon website, but many merchants have questions about the program, which is powered by Stamps.com.

We spoke to Stamps.com Director of Online Marketing Eric Nash to learn more. Eric said that Stamps.com provides the back-end programming and powers the engine for Amazon's Marketplace Shipping Label program.

While Stamps.com is a technology partner and helps customers with questions, Amazon ultimately has the say as to what they add and implement on their site, Nash said. "Since the program has started, Stamps.com has tried to be very active in helping and resolving customer questions - mainly using the message boards and our call center to help customers."

We asked Eric if he could identify some of the most frequently asked questions Amazon merchants have regarding the fairly new program. He provided a list of the most common questions Stamps.com's support center receives regarding the program along with answers. The list is divided into two parts - the first part consists of questions from non-Stamps.com customers, and the second part consists of questions specifically from Stamps.com customers.

Common Questions from Non-Stamps.com Customers

Question #1: Why can't I add Delivery Confirmation to Media Mail or First Class Packages?

This issue is caused due to the Amazon Marketplace program recently adding a new option of "Envelope" or "Box" under the package dimensions section. "Envelope" is the default option. If the user has chosen "Envelope," then Delivery Confirmation is not available since "Envelope" is translating into "Large Envelopes & Flats" and the USPS does not offer Delivery Confirmation options on "Large Envelopes & Flats" for First Class Packages or Media Mail. To add Delivery Confirmation, simply choose "Box" under the package dimensions section and the Delivery Confirmation option should appear.

Question #2: Why am I paying 7 cents for each label printed in the Amazon Marketplace program?

The 7 cents transaction fee is charged by Amazon to utilize their shipping label program. Stamps.com customers that chose to print shipping labels on the Amazon Marketplace program can avoid the 7 cents fee by logging into their Stamps.com account via the Amazon designated Stamps.com customer login.

Question #3: How does Amazon issue refunds to customers for misprinted shipping labels printed on the Amazon Marketplace program?

Amazon sellers who need to apply for a label refund must go through the Amazon Marketplace program. Only packages that included delivery confirmation are eligible for a refund. Stamps.com is unable to issue any form of refund since we do not have any of the customer's contact or account info from Amazon. Stamps.com has no way to issue the refund nor any method to check on a refund request. Amazon sellers should reference this page.

Question #4: How do I apply for a package insurance refund for a label printed on the Amazon Marketplace program?

Amazon Marketplace offers Stamps.com (PIP) Insurance at a lower price than USPS Insurance. Amazon Marketplace customers cannot file a claim at the Post Office and are required to file electronically for a faster resolution. Amazon Marketplace support will direct their users to file insurance claims using this link so they can file their claim for processing by PIP. Amazon Marketplace customers who have filed an insurance claim and want to follow up on it should contact PIP at: 1-800-325-7390 Ext 320.

One exception to the above is in the event the customer has purchased an Express Mail label, which is automatically insured by the USPS up to $100. In that case the customer can file via the USPS online, by mail, or at a physical post office. Here is a link describing this process which may be provided to your customer.

Common Questions from Stamps.com Customers

Question #5: What happens when a Stamps.com customer sees a package that was printed in Amazon Marketplace program being re-imported into their batch import profile in the Stamps.com software?

If a Stamps.com customer uses the Amazon Marketplace program to print a label and then later imports orders using their batch file import, the label they printed on the Amazon Marketplace program will also be imported a second time into the Stamps.com software.

When this occurs, customers should NOT mark the label as "Printed" within the Stamps.com software - they should mark the label as "Cancelled." Marking labels as "Printed" within Stamps.com software will override the shipment date for orders that were previously marked as shipped within Amazon.

Marking an order as "Cancelled" within Stamps.com is a better solution as it will remove the order from your Stamps.com queue without updating the order on Amazon.

Question #6: What happens when an Amazon seller is unable to import orders into Stamps.com software via batch import?

Importing orders from Amazon into the Stamps.com batch option only works for sellers that have an Amazon Pro Merchant account. Amazon has restrictions on the Amazon Marketplace Individual Accounts. Please click on the following link to see each plan - link.

Question #7: I'm a Stamps.com customer, when I print on the Amazon Marketplace, where does my postage value come from?

If a Stamps.com customer prints postage on the Amazon Marketplace program, the postage will be deducted from their Amazon account and NOT their Stamps.com account. The designated Stamps.com log-in feature inside the Amazon Marketplace program only eliminates the 7 cents fee - it does not connect the two accounts.

Question #8: I have a free eBay Stamps.com account, why am I still getting charged the 7 cents fee on Amazon?

The 7 cents transaction fee are only waived with a paid Stamps.com Pro plan or above. No transaction fees are waived for customers on the eBay (free) Stamps.com plans.

Question #9: What are the benefits of getting a paid Stamps.com account?

Amazon sellers can waive the 7 cents transaction fee by signing up for a paid Stamps.com account, which costs $15.99 per month. Stamps.com offers other benefits including the ability to import data from other marketplaces and/or XML files, batch printing up to 1000 labels at a time, thermal printer support, Return Shipping Labels, discounted insurance rates and advanced reporting and tracking plus much more.

Links to More Information

Amazon - Buy Shipping Services & Print Labels - link to help page

Amazon - How to Buy Shipping Services & Print Labels - link to help page

Amazon Discussion Board - Order Management, Shipping, Feedback & Returns - link to board

Amazon Discussion Board - Third-Party Software & Services - link to board

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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