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Tue July 18 2017 16:35:29

Amazon and All that Warehouse Space Is Out of This World

By: Ina Steiner

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Amazon has built an impressive distribution network around the world, which helps it deliver on its promise to Prime customers for fast, "free" delivery even as it adds new services like video streaming and grocery deliveries to sweeten the pot for members.

And it keeps growing. A research report from Deutsche Bank made an interesting observation: "In the US, Amazon has already added more distribution square footage YTD (year to date) (2.2M sq ft) than it announced in all of 2016. We see the DC (distribution center) expansion as a good leading indicator for retail trends." 

photo of Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos was circulating on social media this week showing him sporting a military physique, leading some to speculate he might be preparing to become an astronaut. (Bezos owns space-exploration firm Blue Origin.) 

Which gave us pause - with all his expertise in robotics-powered logistics, is Bezos thinking ahead to the day when Amazon may be building fulfillment centers and making deliveries out of this world - to space stations or colonies?

But back to more down-to-earth issues, do Amazon's expanding fulfillment centers have an impact on FBA sellers in terms of split-shipments and online sales tax obligations? And does the growing international network provide opportunities to FBA sellers?




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Amazon and All that Warehouse Space Is Out of This World   Amazon and All that Warehouse Space Is Out of This World

by: Stig of the Dump This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jul 18 17:20:44 2017

When they started in the late 1990s I was thrilled with Amazon's ability to get me so many books so quickly. Gradually as they became more and more gorilla-like my affection faded, until about 2 years ago I realised I no longer had any friendly feelings for them. At this point I actually hate them.

Amazon and All that Warehouse Space Is Out of This World   Amazon and All that Warehouse Space Is Out of This World

by: TomH This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jul 19 21:53:27 2017

For a small seller their increasingly more and more warehouses does present a good many problems. It gives them even more opportunity to split your inventory into that many more shipments to the various warehouses. It can quickly get prohibitive even when receiving Amazon's very good UPS rates. (Make no mistake the rates are very, very good. Even knowing that Amazon takes a cut out also -- as they do for each and every thing.)

The alternate for FBA sellers is to choose the Placement Plan with  a thirty, forty, fifty cents and so forth fee for each item sent to a fulfillment center. With this you mostly get a shipment of XX items sent to one fulfillment center. Actually it is a ''sort'' center where
they separate and re-distribute your items across their warehouse net work.  We deal in a lot of toy collectibles where one or two of each item is the norm, so the placement fee/service works for us.

They are fair in a lot of surprising ways. Under the placement service we were sending almost everything to a warehouse in Indiana. They recently opened a sorting warehouse in NC and automatically switched our shipments to that warehouse. About one hundred and fifty miles closer and saves us several dollars per shipment

The state sales tax situation is horrendous. Takes a lot of work and mostly very tedious and ridiculous. Many FBA sellers ignore it as much as possible except for their home states.  Others wade through the unbelievable complexity and pay their nickels and dimes to many states, depending on which warehouse their FBA inventory is stored (seldom if ever the ware house you sent the stuff too) and whether that item that sold was in the ware house state or not. Or sold into a state where you have other items stored in a different warehouse.  

You can pull down detailed reports of where everything is stored and with much eye strain track each and every sale and compute any required sales taxes for reporting and paying. There are several 3rd party companies providing this service for a fee. Good and not so good reports about their efficiency or costs.

CONGRESS really must step up and solve this, BUT I am not holding my breath about it.

Just my several cents about it.....



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