Has the Amazon Shipping Freeze Halted Your Business?

As an Amazon FBA seller, you are aware that Amazon is not accepting any inbound stock for non-essential categories until April 5th, 2020. This may be extended – there is no guarantee that Amazon will be able to live up to that promise. If you are in this affected group and need fulfillment services, Zebrapals is here and able to support anyone set up to sell via Fulfillment by Merchant (FBM) so that your Amazon listings stay alive and prosperous.

Additionally, you will have noticed that even if you can sell your products using FBA, customers are now given a 30-day shipping date!  

That means customers are going to abandon buying on-line. Our customers are now going down to the nearest grocery, pharmacy or hardware store to buy a similar product as these businesses are considered essential services and are not affected by the lockdown policies of local governments. 

The Solution? Create secondary SKUs for Fulfilment By Merchant (FBM)

FBA merchants looking to shift Amazon orders to be fulfilled by Zebrapals should create new SKUs in either Amazon Seller Central, or their listing tool, which will appear as another offer on the same ASIN. This is because Amazon might view a duplicate offer (using both FBA and FBM and the same SKU) as a violation of their Terms of Service (TOS). 

SKU Easy

Creating a New SKU is Easy – Here’s How

  1. Use Amazon’s  “Add a Product” Tool, to add individual products, OR;
  2. Use Amazon’s “Add Products via Upload” to add several products at once. 
  3. Add the number of units you have in stock (not at Amazon) in the inventory slot in the listing. (Otherwise, the listing will not be live.) 

If you want to learn how to use inventory files to upload products in bulk, watch this video: 

https://youtu.be/CzmNjND9yh4

Note: If you are creating a brand new SKU that has never been in FBA, FBM likely may not win the buy box immediately as there is typically a 30-day waiting window for new offers not in FBA.

Converting FBA Listings into FBM

If you do want to convert your existing FBA listings into FBM (not recommended), do this: 

  1. Log into your Seller Central account. Go to Inventory>Manage FBA Inventory.
  2. Use the drop-down menu to the right of the items to select the products you want to convent, then select Change to Fulfilled by Merchant.
  3. Choose “Convert to ‘Fulfilled by Merchant’” and then confirm the items.
  4. The inventory will update within 24 hours. After you convert your products, you won’t get your items back from FBA until you request a return order. Getting your inventory back from Amazon will possibly take months – it simply is not a priority for Amazon right now. As this is a temporary situation, you will be able to turn on your FBA preference when you wish and continue selling your inventory via that program.

Stranded Inventory

Be aware that if you convert your existing FBA listing to an FBM offer, this could result in stranded inventory.  Any customer returns from the FBA listing could also become stranded. To remedy this, use the Fix Stranded Inventory tool once you switch back to FBA.

What About the Seller Fulfilled Prime Program?

If you’re not already registered this is not an option, as Amazon has suspended the program as they can’t do 2-day shipping at this time themselves. Here is a link explaining this change. https://sell.amazon.com/programs/seller-fulfilled-prime.html?ref_=asus_soa_rd&

Next Steps

What are the Next Steps?

  1. Once you are ready to ship inventory into Zebrapals, simply create a work Here.
  2. Fill out all your details which will automatically set up your account with us. 
  3. Add your FBM listings as detailed above.
  4. Work out your shipping settings for each SKU – so that the customer pays for the shipping cost upfront as they check out of their shopping cart. 
  5. To see what Amazon is going to charge the customer, or you if you’re planning to offer free shipping, you may have to set up the listing with a few items of inventory, place an order and see what was charged. You can cancel the order so you don’t have to ship the product if you can’t at this stage.
  6. Once you have your inventory with us batch print your packing lists and shipping labels in your Amazon Seller account at the end of each day and email the PDF to us. We will pick and pack and dispatch your orders to customers the following day.   

Pro-Tip

Many customers are wary of paying additional shipping costs, so you can adjust your Amazon retail price to include shipping costs and set your shipping settings to zero. Prime customers are accustomed to free shipping and by setting shipping settings to zero your offer will say “Free Shipping” which will help your conversion rate.

What Does Zebrapals Fulfillment Cost?

We charge $2.50 per item to pick, pack and ship your order.  If your product needs to be enclosed in a mailing envelope or box to ship, let us know the dimensions of your product so we can choose suitable packaging. We will let you know how much shipping boxes or envelopes will cost, per item, which shouldn’t be much as we can buy these items in bulk. 

For reference, Zebrapals can only fulfill Amazon FBM orders with “standard” shipping. Customers will receive their orders in 5 to 7 business days.

If you have any questions on setting up your FBM listings, email us and we will get back to you right away.

Here’s to your continued success – despite all!

Andrew

Managing Director

Zebrapals, Inc.