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Amazon Considers Peer Fulfillment Option for 3P Merchants

Amazon is apparently considering a peer-to-peer fulfillment option for when sellers are out-of-stock or otherwise unable to fulfill an order themselves.

The marketplace is currently conducting a survey of sellers titled, “The impact of shipping speed on customers and performance.” Amazon reminded sellers, “Shipping speed is part of customer service and impacts your Seller Rating” before asking them the following questions:

1) After receiving an order, Amazon expects a Marketplace seller to ship the order within 2 – 3 business days. Have you ever been unable to ship within this time frame?

2) If you were unable to ship within 2 – 3 business days, would you be interested in transferring your order to another seller to avoid a bad customer experience and having your Seller Rating negatively impacted?

3) If another seller was having difficulty shipping within this time frame and you have the product available to ship within 24 hours, would you be willing to have this order transferred to you?

There are cases where merchants discover they can’t fulfill an order: they run out of inventory, the seller discovers a flaw in a unique item when they go to fulfill the order, the merchant accidentally damages an item while packing it, or the merchant is physically unable to fulfill orders, perhaps due to illness or – a not uncommon problem – weather.

What do you think of this idea, and how would you answer those questions?

Comment on the EcommerceBytes Blog.

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Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner
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. See disclosure at EcommerceBytes.com/disclosure/.