At the turn of the millennium – the year 2000 – Amazon invited third-party sellers to list and sell their products on its website. Following the announcement, people started to jump on board – everyone from small businesses operating out of a garage to big-name brands began listing their wares online.
The company soon realized that to achieve greater growth, it had to empower third-party sellers and launched its hallmark FBA (Fulfillment by Amazon) shipping services program. As the Amazon logistics network grew, it partnered with leading logistics service providers like UPS, FedEx, and USPS to further strengthen its shipping capabilities.
Because of these steps, sellers can now ship products to customers using services other than FBA e.g. Merchant Fulfilled Prime and Amazon Buy Shipping, the latter of which will be the focus of today’s post.
After reaching the end of this blog, you will be able to answer questions like:
Amazon Buy Shipping service is a feature within Amazon seller central that allows merchants to purchase carrier labels and ship products to customers. Sellers can buy and print these labels individually or in bulk (a maximum of 100 at a time), ship and confirm orders, and easily track their shipments.
Sellers can use the Buy Shipping service to partner up with leading delivery service providers like USPS and FedEx and ship products to customers. Amazon maintains a list of these service providers and suggests names based on the Promised Delivery Date (when the buyer expects to receive the product), the ship date, and the Transit time (TT).
Since carriers vary in terms of performance and transportation fees, Amazon will only suggest names that match your criteria (i.e., how soon you want the product to be delivered and what you’re willing to pay).
Log into your Seller Central account and:
After clicking on the Buy Shipping button, you’ll need to provide packaging details, e.g., your Ship from address, the shipping date, the parcel dimensions, and the weight of your product.
Amazon suggests carriers based on the information you provide.
Click on the Select all options drop-down menu to view the complete list of available service providers. For example, in the image above, the seller set their shipping template to show the cheapest and fastest options first.
The benefits of using the Buy Shipping feature to fulfill orders on Amazon are:
Amazon’s system automatically pulls up the best shipping service providers based on your customers’ delivery promise time and your budget.
Buy Shipping offers added protections to sellers, which is crucial because these metrics impact your account health.
Good account health matters because only sellers whose performance is up to par are allowed to do business on Amazon. Suppose you ship orders via any of Amazon’s trusted carriers. In that case, you’re safeguarded against negative customer feedback, as long as the feedback is solely related to delayed shipping times or undelivered packages.
Amazon will strike out such feedback and leave a reply stating, “The fulfillment issues associated with this order were not due to the seller.” Also, it will prevent the bad reviews from negatively impacting your Order Defect Rate.
With Buy Shipping, sellers are also protected against A-to-z Guarantee claims, provided the carrier shipped your product on time, and the complaint was strictly related to the delivery. However, should a customer file an A-to-z guarantee claim, you’ll still have to bear the financial loss.
Note: To remain an active seller on Amazon, your Order Defect Rate, or ODR, must remain below 1% over a 60-day period.
Sellers can print up to 100 Buy Shipping labels at any given moment. There’s also a nifty feature that lets you set predefined shipping preferences like creating custom packaging types, prioritizing shipping methods, and selecting confirmation options that save a lot of time.
Note: The bulk shipping feature isn’t available for international orders yet.
Amazon calculates Buy Shipping charges according to the weight and dimensions of your product as well as the product category you sell in. The total cost varies from one carrier to another. As such, there’s no fixed Buy Shipping cost on Amazon.
An Amazon FBA business consists of many moving parts. It also involves staying up to date with the latest updates and changes to the algorithm. As a seller, your time is valuable—you need to run a profitable Amazon business without spending the whole day in front of the computer screen.
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