Saturday, 16 November 2013

Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) - the solution for selling new products?

So far when running my Amazon business I've resisted the almost constant persuasion by Amazon to ship my stock off to their warehouse so they can dispatch it for me. That's all FBA basically is, and I'm still reluctant to hand over any more of my control to Amazon than I have to. Plus, with a lot of the things I sell that I've not sold before, I haven't got much of a clue about how long they'll take to sell. So I was also wary of storage fees. And I became increasingly cynical about Amazon's "FBA" scheme. What's in it for them? What kind of scam are they using to get my money?

Well, I'm still not sure but my iron resolve has crumbled a bit. As we speak I have a box of books ready to be posted off to a Scottish warehouse on Monday. Here's why. I bought a load of books from thebookpeople and some of them didn't have listings on Amazon. Woohoo! No competition. When there's no other sellers though, I'm always a bit put off as a buyer. I'd much rather buy from a listing where Amazon is at least offering to sell (even if I don't actually buy it from them). It gives a sense of security I think, that Amazon sell or dispatch a product themselves. So after I'd made the new listing, I decided to try out FBA. FBA also allows buyers to use Super Saver or Prime delivery, which could be important in the run up to Christmas when people need gifts fast.

I must say I've not become a huge FBA fan yet, even if I can now see it's uses in some circumstances. The process is OK, the instructions aren't full of jargon and I've just about managed to get through it. The one off-putting thing though is that Amazon asks for a tracking number before you mark the shipment is complete. I guess that's alright if you use UPS (which Amazon recommends) but I want to post these books off as soon as possible so I'm using good old Royal Mail, meaning I don't get a tracking number until I post it off. So I've had to mark the shipment as completed already, but the parcel is still in my bedroom. I suppose that's alright, I don't suppose Amazon will mind if the books take a little longer, I just think its wrong and has made me paranoid that I've done something wrong and those books will mysteriously disappear into the postal system or Amazon's warehouse. I'm sure that won't happen. I just don't like it. Anyway, I'll keep you posted.

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