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Tue Oct 11 2016 13:49:27

Why Amazon Has Begun Restricting FBA Shipments

By: Ina Steiner

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Sellers spotted a message on Amazon that indicated sellers who are new to Fulfillment by Amazon would not be able to send inventory to FBA fulfillment centers if they hadn't completed their first shipment prior to October 10th.

"If you have not completed your first shipment to Amazon before October 10, 2016, we invite you to start shipping to Amazon after December 19, 2016. This is to ensure that we can continue to provide excellent service to existing FBA sellers."

Sellers were unsure if the reports were correct, since the message disappeared from where it had been posted. Adding to the confusion were reports that some but not all new-to-FBA sellers were still able to send in inventory.

We received official word from Amazon spokesperson Erik Fairleigh on Tuesday who answered our query with the following statement:

"We are restricting shipments from new-to-FBA Sellers to ensure we have the capacity necessary to quickly receive and store inventory and ship products to customers. If new FBA Sellers have not completed their first shipment to Amazon before October 10, 2016, we encourage them to start shipping to Amazon after December 19, 2016. If the situation changes before December 19th we will notify them by email. We encourage Sellers to continue selling on Amazon and fulfilling orders directly to customers."
 
Sellers have been buzzing about what this means - some think it's a great move, others are concerned about how it might affect them.

For sellers who have struggled in the past with inventory stuck in transit because FBA warehouses were not able to accept them from shipping carriers or because FBA was unable to process them in a timely fashion, this may not be the worst news.

But it does indicate sellers shouldn't take anything at Amazon for granted these days.




Comments (9) | Permalink

Readers Comments

Why Amazon Has Begun Restricting FBA Shipments   Why Amazon Has Begun Restricting FBA Shipments

by: TomH This user has validated their user name.

Tue Oct 11 16:49:39 2016

Well, I wonder if Amazon is still going to collect the FBA monthly subscription of $39.99 for those new FBA sellers that are going to be affected....

Why Amazon Has Begun Restricting FBA Shipments   Why Amazon Has Begun Restricting FBA Shipments

by: Bidonmine This user has validated their user name.

Tue Oct 11 23:36:33 2016

The $39.99 is NOT an FBA subscription charge.
It is a professional seller charge and applies to FBM and FBA sellers. What the fee does is eliminate the $1 per item fee charged to casual sellers (so, if you sell more than 40 items a month, you save money with this fee).

Why Amazon Has Begun Restricting FBA Shipments   Why Amazon Has Begun Restricting FBA Shipments

by: Santini This user has validated their user name.

Tue Oct 11 23:55:18 2016

TomH, that fee is not necessary for a seller to sell via FBA, but I do think it's a bit cheeky of Amazon to charge that to a new seller or new-to-fba seller when they suddenly limited their options like that.

Why Amazon Has Begun Restricting FBA Shipments   Why Amazon Has Begun Restricting FBA Shipments

by: TomH This user has validated their user name.

Wed Oct 12 05:57:49 2016

@ Bidonmine

lol, I know, but that's no fun.

Why Amazon Has Begun Restricting FBA Shipments   Why Amazon Has Begun Restricting FBA Shipments

by: TomH This user has validated their user name.

Wed Oct 12 07:43:17 2016

@ Santini

I know. Many sellers join for the FBA program a short period before the Christmas season. Many mainly because of the Toys & Games category Christmas restrictions, which do not apply if you have the item FBA.

As we all know, Amazon is very reluctant to release any viable numbers, but I would dare to say many new FBAers are distressed by this latest Amazon decree.  

Why Amazon Has Begun Restricting FBA Shipments   Why Amazon Has Begun Restricting FBA Shipments

This user has validated their user name. by: RKTOYS

Wed Oct 12 17:30:43 2016

As willfully slow as FBA has gotten for non-Prime customers, I'd rather have merchants do their own fulfillment anyway.

Why Amazon Has Begun Restricting FBA Shipments   Why Amazon Has Begun Restricting FBA Shipments

by: KDash This user has validated their user name.

Wed Oct 12 23:53:41 2016

I signed up for Amazon FBA not even two weeks ago. I have been studying it and spending every moment of my free time to treasure hunt. I spent over $400 on items and removed all the tags so I am not able to return.

I'm very disappointed in how Amazon handled this and how they would rather block FBA shipments from new sellers than to block all the slow moving ASIN's from all members instead of using their weekly millions earned to purchase additional or adequate holiday storage. The problem with lack of storage has very little to do with new members. Amazon could have provided more notice, they could have sent an email instead of waiting to share this unfair alert way after I've spent all my free time shopping, searching for boxes, purchasing a scanner, labels, poly bags, storage and more. I was really excited and making plans for nothing. I even convinced two friends to sign up who also got the alert while preparing a shipment. I think it's also unfair they allowed us to sign up under the impression this was an option and then to take away that option real shady like without notice. I am not interested in merchant fulfillment. If I was, I'd rather do this with eBay. I'm looking forward to Amazon having some real competition who has the business smarts and balls to handle an unexpected overflow of business with integrity.  

Why Amazon Has Begun Restricting FBA Shipments   Why Amazon Has Begun Restricting FBA Shipments

This user has validated their user name. by: toolguy

Sun Oct 16 23:44:19 2016

Some of my eBay purchases come from Fulfillment by Amazon.

I would think that Amazon would not be happy with type of seller behavior.

Why Amazon Has Begun Restricting FBA Shipments   Why Amazon Has Begun Restricting FBA Shipments

by: TomH This user has validated their user name.

Mon Oct 17 11:10:51 2016

@ toolguy

I, as many others do also, use Amazon FBA to fulfill orders on eBay and other venues (such as Craigslist, eCrater), including my own web-store.

All of mine are my own products. If the item is around 25 dollars or less I'll let Amazon ship in their branded box. If the product is a higher priced item I'll usually pay Amazon the dollar they require to ship in a plain, non-Amazon box.

Amazon is happy to do the above.

Amazon is, as you mentioned, probably not happy when an Amazon Prime customer uses them to fulfill an eBay order (as if they were giving a gift to someone). It is against Amazon TOS, but people do it anyway. Hard to track for small sellers. A quandary for Amazon --- after all, a sale is a sale.



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