If you are looking to build a business online you, might be considering Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) services. Many business owners look to Amazon’s fulfillment service because they feel it is the simplest way to enter the e-commerce landscape and manage logistics and shipping.
Amazon FBA offers a number of services that are essential to e-commerce businesses. This includes order fulfillment management, automated logistics, seamless return management and unlimited storage for merchandise. Nevertheless, Amazon FBA is not the only order fulfillment management company of its kind, and you may find your business is better off working with Amazon FBA alternatives.
We’ll go over some key considerations of Amazon FBA and Amazon FBA alternatives so you can make the best decision for your business.
Understanding Amazon FBA
Amazon FBA is a fulfillment option that allows e-commerce businesses to store their products in Amazon’s fulfillment centers. Once an order is placed, Amazon picks, packs and ships the product on behalf of the seller. Amazon FBA offers a simple, efficient and cost-effective way to manage order fulfillment, storage fees and shipping rates.
Amazon FBA is just one of many e-commerce fulfillment companies. Amazon FBA alternatives also offer many of the same services. Some, like Print Bind Ship, deliver more customized solutions.
How Do You Sell Products on Amazon?
The steps below explain how you sell items on Amazon.
Forward Your Products to Amazon
Amazon has more than 100 warehouses across the U.S. Some warehouses cover more than 1 million square feet. You will let them know which products you’re shipping, and they will inform you which warehouses can easily ship your products.
Once Amazon receives and accepts your products, it will add them to its inventory. Your products are stored in Amazon’s warehouses. In the event that something goes wrong in the warehouse, Amazon will compensate you for the damage.
Get Complete Order Fulfillment
When a customer places an order for one of your products, Amazon picks, packs, ships and tracks the order for you. An Amazon warehouse worker or robot picks up your product from storage, packs it in a box and ships it to the customer. Once the customer receives your product, Amazon follows up to make sure the sellers are satisfied with the shipment.
Amazon Handles Returns and Refunds
Amazon assists in handling returns, refunds and supports the processes its customers have grown accustomed to.
Disadvantages to Amazon FBA
Despite its many benefits, Amazon FBA may not be the best fulfillment option for every e-commerce business. That’s why exploring Amazon FBA alternatives is important. Different e-commerce fulfillment options include third-party logistics (3PL) providers that offer many of the same services as Amazon FBA. This includes warehousing, order fulfillment, shipping and return management.
Even though many sellers choose Amazon, the pricing model is important to many. The FBA method is expensive. Amazon charges both storage fees and fulfillment fees.
Because of the easy return policy, you might see more returns. Amazon has strict guidelines on preparing and shipping your items, which can be difficult for many sellers. With multiple channels, it’s hard to keep inventory changes in sync and up to date.
Every state has different regulations for sales tax collection, which makes it difficult to automate the tax rules without an agent. To increase efficiency, Amazon gives you the option of commingling your products with the same products from other sellers.
While Amazon does its best to vet its sellers there is a chance that some sellers who carry similar products to yours may have counterfeit or damaged products, which can affect your reputation. In all cases, the sellers have no way to contact a customer after the sale. This prevents you, the seller, from remarketing to anyone who buys your products.
Amazon FBA Cost
Amazon FBA pricing can be confusing. Below are some of the many fees charged to Amazon sellers:
- Referral fees
- Storage fee
- Completion fees
- Individual per-item fee
- Professional seller monthly subscription fee
- High-volume listing fee
- Rental book service fee
- Closing fee based on your product
Lack of Customer Information
The concern for all sellers is that they have no way of knowing who buys their products. Many sellers are not aware of this before they sign up for Amazon. This is a disadvantage when it comes to creating a marketing list and better understanding customers so you can develop a better product line.
A minimum of 25 cubic feet of storage is required for standard, oversized, clothing or footwear inventory. Storage fees are based on the weight and dimensions of the product. Fees are calculated using information about the weight and dimensions of the product.
You Might Not Qualify for Prime Shipping
Prime members have two-day fast shipping and all Amazon.com customers can get free shipping on eligible orders. When you list products for FBA, they are eligible for free shipping.
Only qualified FBA lists appear with the Prime logo, so customers know that Amazon handles packaging, delivery, customer service and returns, but qualifying for the listing is not available for all sellers.
Storage Fee Increases
Amazon storage fees may increase over time and can change during peak seasons. It’s a good idea to keep this in mind so you aren’t taken by surprise if you are charged higher fees.
Amazon Book Sales Have Very Little Profit
Although Amazon offers easy publishing features, most Amazon booksellers make only 1% to 3% profit per book.
Choosing an FBA Alternative
If you want help with your fulfillment and retaining your customer information, you need a third-party company to support you. If you are selling 100-plus packages through your e-commerce site, it’s time to consider a fulfillment center.
Keep reading to see how Print Bind Ship can offer you the same benefits as FBA at a lower price.
How Print Bind Ship Can Help You Grow
Print Bind Ship can help you reduce costs, increase sales and provide your customers with the best experience possible.
Printing and Binding Services
Print Bind Ship has over 60 years of professional printing experience. We can handle anything from T-shirt printing to hardcover bookbinding. Our specialists also tailor solutions to your specific business needs.
Some additional services available are:
- Custom box printing
- Hardcover book printing
- Large-format printing
- Promotional materials
We ship worldwide daily. Get the same fast shipping you expect from Amazon FBA from Print Bind Ship — without the additional charges.
Managed Inventory and Warehousing
We offer a well-organized inventory and warehouse system to keep your products safe. With Print Bind Ship you can observe your sales, shipping and returns from our online customer portal. If you need help, give us a call. We’re a Michigan-based fulfillment center with customer support standing by.
Suppose you want to ship multiple products or have a subscription box business. We can handle your pick-and-pack services. Send us your items and we will combine them and send them to your customers. We can also provide custom packaging to keep your customer experience on brand.
Like Amazon FBA, we make returns easy for your customers. Once the item is shipped back to our warehouse we will inspect it for damage and determine whether the item can be returned to inventory or should be disposed of.
Over 60 Years of Industry Knowledge
We have decades of experience handling our customers’ shipping needs and have built long-term relationships with our customers.
Fulfillment Services From Print Bind Ship
Choosing the right fulfillment service for your business should be a priority. Getting educated about the ins and out of Amazon FBA and other fulfillment options can help your business grow.
With Print Bind Ship, your business is in good hands. Our dedicated team looks forward to helping your e-commerce business thrive. Call us or get an online quote today to get started. To learn more about our fulfillment services click here.
Businesses other than Amazon FBA can provide services such as warehousing, packing and shipping items as well as dealing with returns. Print Bind Ship offers many of the same solutions as Amazon FBA.
Yes. Amazon FBA alternatives may offer lower fees or a more specialized audience, allowing sellers to reach their target demographic more effectively. Some alternatives may not have the same stringent fulfillment standards as Amazon FBA.
FBA stands for fulfilled by Amazon, meaning Amazon will warehouse and fulfill orders from sellers. FBM stands for fulfilled by merchant, meaning the fulfillment method is done solely by the seller who warehouses and ships orders.