Amazon Seller Fulfilled Prime - How to Get Started + Pros and Cons
Amazon is an E-commerce power house and your products having the Prime badge has been proven to increase sales. However, for some of us, it doesn’t make sense to send our products into a warehouse due to several reasons:
Personalized or custom items
You don’t have the money to invest in inventory to stock the Amazon warehouses
1. How does Seller Fulfilled Prime work?
1) You don’t need to stock an Amazon warehouse
Traditionally with FBA, you would need to prep your inventory and send it to the Amazon warehouse. When an order comes in, an employee in the warehouse, gets your item, and fulfills the order - you never have to do a thing. But as mentioned earlier, this business model is not for every market. With Seller Fulfilled Prime, YOU are the warehouse. SO you get the benefits of the Prime badge, but once an order comes in, you are responsible for packing, shipping and getting it to the customer in the promised time frame (2 days).
2) Shipping Costs and other fees
If you choose seller fulfilled prime, then YOU are paying the shipping costs, compared to Amazon paying it when you do FBA. However, you are able to work your shipping cost into your product.
As for fees, you pay the standard selling fee for seller fulfilled prime - yay! But if you did FBA, the fee is larger and will range depending on how large and heavy your item is. This can also change depending on how much time it takes to sell your inventory. So as you can see there are pros and cons to selling FBA vs SFP (seller fulfilled prime).
One more thing to consider is the type of shipping costs you will incur. Ever price out 2 day shipping? It can be fairly expensive - and if you sell “lower priced” items, it will be hard to recover. The way around this is to apply for the small and light shipping template (which I will go over later).
3) Get an order, YOU ship on time and deliver on time
The responsibility of shipping these orders yourself, may not be a big deal since you may be doing that already, but these order will take priority since you MUST print the shipping label by 2pm. These orders will have the expedited text where you see the type of shipping selected, and it will show the date it needs to ship by. If its a prime item and it shows expedited, it will need to be printed by 2pm.
After you move passed that hurdle, you will need to make sure that the package actually gets delivered in 2 business days. So getting these packages to the post office in time, with the right shipping method is super important!
BTW, if you don’t own this shipping label printer, it is cult favorite among the seller community and we think its an absolute MUST.
2. Apply to Seller Fulfilled Prime
1) Not everyone can get in
So if you are still interested and want to do this, you would need to apply. Not everyone can get accepted. There is currently a wait list but you can apply here: https://services.amazon.com/services/seller-fulfilled-prime.html
2) Keep your status
After you get accepted, they will give you a 30 day trial that you will need to prove yourself. You have to show amazon that you are able to ship on time and get all those packages delivered on time. If your metrics slip up, you may be denied.
3. Apply for Small and Light Shipping Template - 3-4 Day shipping
1) When 2 days is not enough for handmade items
For some of us, we have items that take some time to make. So Amazon has created a shipping template for Seller Fulfilled Prime that is named “Small and Light”. With this additional template, you get to apply it to the listings where you want to have it delivered in 3-4 days, and not 2 days. I know that sounds strange considering that “prime” is usually 2 day shipping, but this is a cool loop hole.
So essentially if you get an order today, you can print the label by 2 pm and choose USPS Priority mail (2-3 day) and it can get there in 3-4 days total - make sense?
If you need at least 1 day to make your items, then you can print the label the same day, ship the next day, and you would still need to purchase 2 day shipping to get it to the customer on time.
2) When 2 day shipping is way to high
For small and light items, they usually correlate with lower prices and including your shipping costs in it can be problematic for conversions. So using this small and light template, allows for you to ship the same day, but choose a more affordable shipping option (USPS Priority mail) to get it to them in the 3-4 day total as promised.
You can apply for the Small and Light template here once you are accepted to Seller Fulfilled Prime: https://services.amazon.com/fulfillment-by-amazon/small-and-light.htm.html
3. Other things you need to consider
1. Continue to maintain your status or you may lose it forever
2. Shipping rates may increase if the area it is shipping to, is experiencing delays.
3. If your items are not personalized, heavy/large, or you have enough funding, it may be more efficient to send in FBA
4. You may get a boost in search because of the Prime badge
5. You can edit the amount of prime orders you are able to receive in a day.
6. You can turn it off for a certain period of time.
7. This is not an alternative to horrible listing set up. Get your Amazon shop set up properly, including SEO because these listings need to be found. My Amazon webinar will walk you through, step by step, how to set up your Amazon shop properly including the most important part - getting your listings optimized to get found in search
GOT ANY QUESTIONS OR COMMENTS? LET ME KNOW BELOW, I'D LOVE TO CHAT!
Oh and I also have a private Facebook group you can join and ask questions and my awesome members and I will answer :) JOIN THE GROUP
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