AuctionBytes Blog
Covering auctions, collectibles and marketplace selling.

AuctionBytes Blog The AuctionBytes Blog has been giving a voice to online merchants since its launch in 2005. Named one of the world's top 30 blogs in 2008 by "Blogging Heroes." Weigh in with your thoughts on the joys and pitfalls of selling online.
Sun Nov 7 2010 12:01:05

Amazon Warehouses Over-Capacity - FBA Sellers in Limbo

By: Ina Steiner

Sponsored Link

There are reports that Amazon.com has stopped accepting oversize items from merchants using its FBA fulfillment service in at least some of its warehouses, and may not fix the problem until the week of Thanksgiving. The problem could not have happened at a worse time as sellers count on holiday shopping orders for a major part of their revenue, and as one seller wrote, "Can you imagine the back log in receiving come November 23? It will take over a week for listings to go live."

According to third-party sellers using Fulfillment by Amazon, some warehouses are rejecting shipments with the following notice:

"Due to higher than expected demand for FBA fulfillment services for Oversize items, we are temporarily unable to accept this and any other Oversize items (any packaged unit that does not fit within an area of 18" x 14" x 8" or weighs 20 pounds or more). We expect that you will be able to create shipments for Oversize items by approximately November 22, 2010. We apologize for the temporary inconvenience. Please note that you can continue to send in shipments of smaller items."

Sellers are concerned that it could happen to non-oversize items as well, and one seller reported that Amazon was incorrectly classifying his or her items as oversize. Wrote another seller, "I normally restock through mid-December. I don't want to spend a fortune on inventory one week and then find I can't send it in..."

Amazon.com encourages sellers to use FBA so those items qualify for its free-shipping and Prime shipping offers, and the items get better exposure on the marketplace.

The company told analysts in July it was building 13 new fulfillment centers - it's also expanding in Europe, and in October said it would continue to add additional capacity in the fourth quarter in terms of its fulfillment centers and from an infrastructure standpoint.

Adding to sellers' ire is that Amazon continues to try and attract more merchants to the service with banners on the site. In fact, Amazon FBA is running a promotion in which it offers new FBA sellers a $1,500 rebate.

Sellers said Amazon.com puts notices on self-fulfilled items in early December warning shoppers that those items won't arrive by Christmas. "It won't be very nice if we get stuck to self-fullfill with large inventories due to FBA storage issues and then that sign goes up on our listings again starting early December," wrote one seller.

On Tuesday, Amazon issued press releases stating it was hiring thousands of holiday positions for its fulfillment centers in Lexington and Campbellsville, Kentucky and Las Vegas, Nevada. Fortune magazine reported on Saturday that Amazon.com would buy Quidsi, parent company of Diapers.com, for $540 million.




Comments (19) | Permalink

Readers Comments

Amazon Warehouses Over-Capacity - FBA Sellers in Limbo   Amazon Warehouses Over-Capacity - FBA Sellers in Limbo

by: Joey

Sun Nov 7 12:24:53 2010

Sounds like the kind of problem you want to have if you're Jeff Bezos. Also sounds like the kind of problem you wished you had if you're John Donnahoe...

Amazon Warehouses Over-Capacity - FBA Sellers in Limbo   Amazon Warehouses Over-Capacity - FBA Sellers in Limbo

by: Digby
Web Site

Sun Nov 7 12:58:23 2010

Ha ha
JD has his servers overwhelmed with listings and noise, that are not selling.
JB is overwhelmed with sales!



Amazon Warehouses Over-Capacity - FBA Sellers in Limbo   Amazon Warehouses Over-Capacity - FBA Sellers in Limbo

by: eBuyer Feedback This user has validated their user name.
Web Site

Sun Nov 7 14:16:28 2010

@Digby

Actually having an overflowing warehouse could be caused by having no sales.  I'm sure that isn't the problem but warehouses being overcapacity are not proof of sales.  What it is proof of is poor planning.  Just like eBay's crash of November 2009.

Amazon Warehouses Over-Capacity - FBA Sellers in Limbo   Amazon Warehouses Over-Capacity - FBA Sellers in Limbo

by: Luxferro This user has validated their user name.

Sun Nov 7 14:43:08 2010

Gotta make room for the Kindle! Do you think Amazon is out of room for their own products? Of course not! Only 3rd party sellers.

Anyone equating this problem to a "good thing" needs to think a little more. When things don't sell, warehouses fill up.

Amazon Warehouses Over-Capacity - FBA Sellers in Limbo   Amazon Warehouses Over-Capacity - FBA Sellers in Limbo

by: buck efay

Sun Nov 7 15:23:36 2010

Everybody is ramping up for the busiest time of year, AMZ should have foreseen that a 40% increase in sales means a corresponding jump in FBA. They should just start leasing some of the vacant stores in malls. The Halloween popup shops are all closing now, so they are going dark again. Start with Circuit Citys, they are all over the place & vacant. This is most likely a seasonal issue, so use a short term solution & implement it rapidly so there's no disruption for buyers & sellers.

Amazon Warehouses Over-Capacity - FBA Sellers in Limbo   Amazon Warehouses Over-Capacity - FBA Sellers in Limbo

This user has validated their user name. by: Pete

Sun Nov 7 18:58:53 2010

"Anyone equating this problem to a "good thing" needs to think a little more. When things don't sell, warehouses fill up."

I thought about it like you said but the fact that they are hiring people means that they are selling stuff not hoarding it.

Amazon Warehouses Over-Capacity - FBA Sellers in Limbo   Amazon Warehouses Over-Capacity - FBA Sellers in Limbo

by: Luxferro This user has validated their user name.

Sun Nov 7 19:20:45 2010

Pete,

It could be, who knows, Amazon never gives enough details to know anything for sure.

But one thing I'll tell you for sure; there will be enough space for Amazon's own stuff. For 3rd party self-fulfilled sellers, they are warning shoppers that items ordered early December won't arrive by Christmas. That is dramatic reduction in high-season selling time.

Amazon Warehouses Over-Capacity - FBA Sellers in Limbo   Amazon Warehouses Over-Capacity - FBA Sellers in Limbo

by: Kitty

Sun Nov 7 21:03:06 2010

Amazon's revenue for 2009 was $24.5 Billion.  This year the first two quarters posted $13.83 Billion in revenue, with an expected 46% increase over the 3rd and maybe 4th quarter.
It isn't a matter of items not selling.  It appears to be a slow moving response to needed space for the growing sales.
It remains to be seen whether a huge undertaking such as new warehouses and new staff right before the holiday season is a good thing.
Time will tell.

Amazon Warehouses Over-Capacity - FBA Sellers in Limbo   Amazon Warehouses Over-Capacity - FBA Sellers in Limbo

by: Either they didin't get an efficient sipping syste

Mon Nov 8 10:34:23 2010

Check out medved auction counts to see eBay's drop in sell through rates since the changes. Very dramatic.

UNLESS They have more listings so the sell through rate percentage is diluted by the volume of merchandise. Although duplicates have been removed which might have reduced the number of listings.

Amazon Warehouses Over-Capacity - FBA Sellers in Limbo   Amazon Warehouses Over-Capacity - FBA Sellers in Limbo

by: Nate Gilmore
Web Site

Mon Nov 8 14:25:42 2010

Shipwire warehouses in USA, Canada and UK are ready to receive your inventory!  We have an Amazon Connection.  

Just redirect your inbound shipments to our warehouses and use us for the holiday sales period.  

Get a free trial.  We'll give you a receiving SLA so you know we'll get your goods into the warehouses in a timely manner.

http://www.shipwire.com/trial


I have a couple other thoughts about this.

1.  Are the warehouses really ''full'' or are their receiving bays jammed with inbound amazon product?  IF that is the case there could be a very good argument made that Amazon is prioritizing its own receiving ahead of FBA merchants. This could be YET ANOTHER reason a merchant should have a back up plan for FBA.

2. It seems irresponsible to not proactively notify merchants that receiving product during the holidays will be difficult.  Merchants pay  A LOT of money for inbound transport and freight (especially for oversized items). It seems to me that merchants have a right to be pretty mad that Amazon's lack of notice is going to cause them to pay extra freight, storage  not to mention loss of sales.

3.  IF you have already redirected your inventory to a local warehouse, you can still use Shipwire to manage your Amazon orders to that small warehouse.  http://www.shipwire.com/anywhere

Good luck sellers.

We would love to help you get your holiday sales back on the right track.

1.  Get a free trial
2.  Set up your products
3.  Connect Shipwire to your Amazon account
4.  Redirect your inventory to one of our 5 warehouses
5.  Keep the sales engine going, ecommerce sales will shine this year...don't let this stop your sales.

Nate Gilmore
Shipwire order fulfillment
http://www.shipwire.com

P.S.  Ina let me know if you think your readers need more info.


Amazon Warehouses Over-Capacity - FBA Sellers in Limbo   Amazon Warehouses Over-Capacity - FBA Sellers in Limbo

by: Nate
Web Site

Mon Nov 8 14:55:54 2010

Here is the documentation on the Shipwire real-time connection to Amazon Seller Central.

http://www.shipwire.com/help/amazon-order-fulfillment/


Every
Shipwire free trial or account can use this.  Take about 5 minutes to set-up.


If you're concerned about Fulfillment By Amazon...maybe you just need Fulfillment FOR Amazon :-)

Nate
Shipwire

Amazon Warehouses Over-Capacity - FBA Sellers in Limbo   Amazon Warehouses Over-Capacity - FBA Sellers in Limbo

by: maine seller

Sat Nov 20 17:53:02 2010

It is VERY UPSETTING for me to report this to my fellow sellers but if you do not visit rateebay or even inas column you will get a HUGE INCREASE IN SALES (blackouts still occur though)! We stayed away from ratebay, inas blog, all ebay ''discussion forums'' and the barrons Ebay stock page this week and our sales are up over 50% from last week! We have a very hard time not visiting inas site this week as we greatly appreciate her work. Those are all OUR BUYERS over there JD and they cannot squeeze anymore items in their warehouses as THEIR SAles have hit the roof! aMAZON IS hirING NEW eMPLOYEES AT light speed, WHILE WE eBAY SELLERS GET blackouts.
PLEASE TRY THIS EVERYBODY~ go search for an item you listed while you are LOGGED INTO Ebay. Go to a neighbors computer and DO THE SAME SEARCH and YOUR ITEM WILL NOT BE FOUND.
Go and leave a blog on ''Rateebay'' and your BIDS WILL STOP DEAD-COLD. Go and just visit Ina's page (we LOVE you Ina), your BIDS WILL STOP.
It is NOT the servers, it is not ANYTHING ELSE. You have to eat best match and the MANIPULATION ABOUT ALL OF OUR EXPOSURE, it is LIES.
They want to do what they want and we are just tools, they are EXPERTS at SMOKE AND MIRRORS and when you speak back or visit ANY WEBSITE that is not EXCLUSIVELY PRO-EBAY they KNOCK OUT YOUR EXPOSURE IMMEDIATLY. THAT is what we get for our loyalty.
When we were ACTIVELY COURTED to go full-time on ebay it was a hard decision for me to personally make. I have a masters and I had an excellent job with insurance. Ebay said I could be my own boss and could set my own policy and this was what they promised and we made our committment based on that promise. We were not pleased with the service we recieved when WE bought something and we knew that we could do things the CORRECT old-fashioned way, based on a good OVERdescription, EXCELLENT and IMMEDIATE communication, and 12 hour shipping EVERY ITEM, no ifs, ands, or buts but being lumped into this 1 horrible DSR/FB system and the DECEPTIONS from ebay itself.... wow.
We have all made a real mistake committing to ebay here I think..... who would have thought that this is what could happen because of 1 man?
1 person should never have this much control over such a big thing that so many HUMAN BEINGS rely on.
INTERESTINGLY, 2 weeks ago as an experiment, we left a POSITIVE on rateebay and we saw an immediate INCREASE in BIDS???? Also, we see the toolguy who HARASSES EVERYBODY on the board is one of the 22 SPECIAL COUPON SELLERS???
This is VERY INTERESTING?!?????
Ebay, have you REWARDED YOUR TROLLS???
Ebay~ you MUST FIRE JD or this company will be over. You are seeing the beginning now and MUCH WORSE is ahead.
(and after all this MANIPULATION, they claim to be ''just a venue''~ you make your own decisions folks.
I STAND FIRM with all my other fine sellers, this makes me SICK.

Amazon Warehouses Over-Capacity - FBA Sellers in Limbo   Amazon Warehouses Over-Capacity - FBA Sellers in Limbo

by: Oh my GOD! Ina FRONT PAGE THIS!

Sat Nov 20 17:55:58 2010

Dear Ina,
Can you post this persons message somewhere where more folks will SEE it? Incredible.
Thanks

Amazon Warehouses Over-Capacity - FBA Sellers in Limbo   Amazon Warehouses Over-Capacity - FBA Sellers in Limbo

by: Wow, just WOW.

Sat Nov 20 18:08:05 2010

Good god almighty~ Ina, this is NEWS! Thanks for your good work, it is all making sense now.
january 1st. Ebay need a class-action lawsuit as they are not giving seller the exposure that they say they are!
This is like George Orwell's 1984!

Amazon Warehouses Over-Capacity - FBA Sellers in Limbo   Amazon Warehouses Over-Capacity - FBA Sellers in Limbo

by: maine seller

Sun Nov 21 17:08:42 2010

Bids are now DEAD AS DUST. No new watchers in 3 days on 105 auction items and my sell through was 63% last week and now 19% now~ COME ON!
You guys at LIVEWORLD need to go to jail too. I am not going ANYWHERE you RATS!
CRIMINAL BEHAVIOR!!!!!!!!!!!!
12 year TRS seller/ dsr's 5, 4.9, 5,5; WTF!

Amazon Warehouses Over-Capacity - FBA Sellers in Limbo   Amazon Warehouses Over-Capacity - FBA Sellers in Limbo

by: maine seller

Sun Nov 21 19:51:14 2010

Okay, new WIERDNESS~ relisted 68 items from last week, about half had watchers (from before I posted here on Friday night).
Now on the relisted items, ZERO WATCHERS/ ZERO BIDDERS.
(Not even the watchers from last week are showing).
Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmm????????
I am GLAD these items didn't sell this week because now I KNOW what they are doing.

Amazon Warehouses Over-Capacity - FBA Sellers in Limbo   Amazon Warehouses Over-Capacity - FBA Sellers in Limbo

by: Sayonara eBay

Sun Nov 21 23:32:18 2010

@Maine Seller

You need to calm down a little and write a serious piece about your experience in losing sales because of your negative statements about eBay.

I'm finding it hard to believe you and yet I know that what you're writing could certainly be true.

Amazon Warehouses Over-Capacity - FBA Sellers in Limbo   Amazon Warehouses Over-Capacity - FBA Sellers in Limbo

by: Sayonara eBay

Mon Nov 22 00:01:59 2010

Don't know why that's on 3 times -- I only posted it once.

Amazon Warehouses Over-Capacity - FBA Sellers in Limbo   Amazon Warehouses Over-Capacity - FBA Sellers in Limbo

by: maine seller

Wed Nov 24 02:10:33 2010

Ebay provides a page on their forum where you can enter a topic or an id, but the problem is is that you can enter a phrase, an unusual one that an OP uses or a rare term, or set of phrases and a dishonest person can use that ebay tool to find similar phrases, in Ebay or on Inas page or on rateebay if the OP uses a unique phrase. This tool is being used by not nice folks on ebay to identify folks all over~ it's like Ebay is now providing "Phrase-matching software" to its users and the bad folks always look for weaknesses and this is one of them.
Now as to the experiments I have been running I am continuing them and I am documenting them and I will try to keep everybody posted.
I was ranting last week when I concluded the car experiment and I will try to behave myself. We are quite upset about this of course.
I am a "TRS" (sic.) and it has no difference~ we believe that everybody should be on an even playing field.
I respect Ina, David and all of the Auctionbytes readers.
(Happy Thanksgiving)
We support Phil too~ he has done alot to bring attention to the perils of ebay.



Login is required to post comments.
To sign in to leave a comment using your AB Verify User Name, fill in the form below. If you have not yet signed up for AB Verify, or if you'd like more information, go to the Registration Page
.

Login for AB Verify
Be sure and use your email address and password to log in.

 
Email:
Password:
 
 Forgot Your Password?
 Even though you are signed in with the AuctionBytes Blog, you will have to sign in to the EcommerceBytes blog. But you can sign in with your existing AB Verify info.