Amazon gives FBA sellers leeway on new inbound workflow

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Amazon had given sellers until September 1 to adapt to a new “Send to Amazon” workflow to send inventory to its fulfillment centers. It now gives sellers more leeway as it fixes some of the issues that sellers are reporting and gives them more time to adapt.

Sellers described a number of issues that they believe would make preparing shipments to Amazon FBA more complicated, time-consuming and costly after Amazon made the announcement in June. It is apparent from seller feedback that Amazon asks sellers to include additional detailed shipping information that is difficult for them to provide before creating their quotes.

Here are some of the comments shared by sellers about the new process:

“The box information must be entered beforehand. With the current supply chain constraints, we often do not receive full shipments from our suppliers, and creating a new shipment with the quantities we do get is much more complicated. with the new system.

“Not knowing the destination before packing is a major problem.”

“What if your shipment is split between multiple fulfillment centers and you have already packed your boxes? This is the reason why I continued to use the old system.

“The obvious first question we sellers want to know is why don’t you allow both systems if they work for everyone involved? Forcing sellers to adopt one system simply creates havoc and many issues that many others will address in detail, I’m sure.”

“We ship from one warehouse, with one truck. Using the new workflow required us to ship to different Amazon fulfillment locations, even if its LTL. We cannot send a truck to two different states to deliver.

On September 1stAmazon said it solicited feedback from sellers and continued to incorporate suggestions and requests into the updated workflow, as well as delaying the strict deadline, writing in part:

“You now have more time to upgrade to the Send to Amazon workflow. The old workflow will remain available until October 16, 2022. You can make changes to shipments created with the old workflow until November 29, 2022. Please also note that submissions on the old workflow will not be removed and will also be continuously available. This revised date will be updated shortly on the welcome banner and the stream help pages work Send to Amazon.

A seller asked Amazon what problem the change solves. Another seller replied, “Sellers will bear the cost in money and time of sending the items directly to the FCs where Amazon wants the product instead of the nearest one, and then Amazon will split the shipments and divert the products themselves.”

In response to a question, the Amazon moderator responded in part: “To ensure that seller inventory is available to meet the latest customer demand signals and to fulfill the Prime Promise, we need to know the contents of the box before shipping splits are shared.”

The moderator answered additional questions in the thread.

While many sellers commenting appeared to be high volume sellers, one an interesting discussion has emerged when a low-volume used book seller spoke out on the subject of split shipments (when Amazon asks sellers to send their inventory in multiple shipments to different fulfillment centers).

A seller responded by saying that split shipments had been less common for them for at least about three years, but added that it made less sense to require a small seller to split shipments than a large seller.

“Saying ‘because you’re a small seller’ is actually a good reason NOT to split the shipment. It makes sense (for Amazon) if you have 30 units of an item to send 15 to an FC and the other 15 across the country. For just one book, no matter where it goes. Plus, you end up with nonsense like a $20 book (will fetch about $12-14) split into one shipment to send across the country, for a cost of $10 or more.

As October 1 approaches, sellers are feeling the pressure to prepare for holiday sales without additional distractions.

Ina Steiner

Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner is the co-founder and editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on e-commerce since 1999. She is a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is the author of “Turn eBay Data Into Dollars” ( McGraw-Hill 2006). His blog was featured in the book “Blogging Heroes” (Wiley 2008). She is a member of the Online News Association (September 2005 – present) and Investigative Journalists and Editors (March 2006 – present). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send topical tips to [email protected] See disclosure at EcommerceBytes.com/disclosure/.
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