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Beware Amazon Issues Impacting FBA Inbound Shipments

Fulfillment By Amazon FBA
Beware Amazon Issues Impacting FBA Inbound Shipments

Some sellers are reporting problems when sending inventory to Amazon FBA fulfillment centers due to shipping carriers’ practices, and they say Amazon customer service is failing to help them.

In a nutshell, FedEx is placing its “Sortation Assist Cover Labels” over the seller’s label on boxes heading to fulfillment centers and fail to remove them prior to delivery, resulting in Amazon workers issuing warnings to sellers because the boxes are “missing” the contents label. One seller explained in this Amazon discussion board thread, “We were shown pictures of the boxes, and it was clear that the labels were, in fact, on the boxes, but were covered by these FedEx labels.”

“I had never heard of these (Sortation Assist Cover) labels, but I’m surprised that an Amazon warehouse wouldn’t recognize and remove them,” the seller continued.

One seller expressed surprise and said “Amazon needs to communicate to the local FedEx and UPS terminals to stop this practice for inbound FBA and Vendor Central small pack packages.”

The original seller followed up to report that customer service fixed one issue for them but in a second case denied the dispute “due to your carton arriving with another label covering your carton content label. As a result, our receiving scanner was unable to read it. Please contact your carrier in order to avoid this situation in the future.”

But as one seller pointed out, it was likely “Amazon’s” carrier, not the seller’s:

“Did you ship on your own FedEx account or using Amazon’s partnered carrier? If the latter, as many of us do, then I would push back on this response to “contact your carrier in order to avoid this situation in the future”. This is Amazon’s partnered carrier and you placed the FBA carton label on the box as instructed – Amazon needs to step in and address this issue with their partnered carriers – both FedEx and UPS.”

Sellers also discussed the problem – and other problems impacting labels – in another thread, where one seller identified “three unexpected ways to ruin a bar code on a thermal label.”

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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/.