|Sun June 19 2011 23:42:57|
Amazon FBA Booksellers Now Restricted to One PA Warehouse
By: Ina Steiner
Booksellers who use Amazon FBA fulfillment learned last week that they must ship all FBA book inventory to a single warehouse in Pennsylvania (link to discussion).
This is bad news for West coast and Midwest sellers, since they'll pay more in shipping costs and it will take longer for their inventory to arrive at Amazon's distribution center. The news comes not long after FBA sellers received news of a new weight-based long-term storage fee for items stored over 365 days.
A seller said about 6-9 months ago, Amazon had begun requiring Amazon Advantage sellers to ship to the PA warehouse too. (Amazon Advantage is a self-service consignment program for publishers, music labels, studios, authors, and other content owners to promote and sell their media products directly on Amazon.com.)
For now, the new requirement affects new shipments, but booksellers are concerned they could be forced to send inventory already stored in other Amazon warehouses to Pennsylvania.
Could we see more warehouse specialization? While it seems warehouses dedicated to fulfilling certain types of products could be about operating efficiencies, an area in which Amazon.com excels, it would cost Amazon more for shipping multi-item orders. For example, if a customer orders a book, a toy, and a consumer electronic gadget, and they're located in different warehouses, that would be three different packages Amazon would have to mail instead of one.
Amazon FBA is an extremely attractive program for some sellers, since it boosts their items' exposure and lets them concentrate on running their businesses without having to deal with packing, shipping and customer service. The program is not without its problems, however.
Here's information about Amazon FBA, and here is the letter sellers report receiving:
Dear FBA seller,
Effective June 28, 2011, we will begin directing most new shipments of media Units to a fulfillment center in Breiningsville, PA. This fulfillment center focuses on media storage and fulfillment services and is positioned to provide a better buying experience by bringing the inventory closer to buying customers. At this time, we're only planning to direct your new shipments of media Units to this fulfillment center.