Amazon Q4 Policy Update – FBA Shuts Out New SellersCaitlin Donnelly
Amazon announced this week that they are closing the FBA (Fulfillment by Amazon) program to new sellers until after December 19. To qualify for Amazon’s FBA program during the 2016 Q4 season, it seems that customers needed to have submitted an inbound FBA shipment prior to October 10. With the changes they have made in the past few months, this policy update makes sense for Amazon. They are quickly running out of space in their fulfillment centers, and need to reserve capacity for their current sellers during the 4th quarter.
What Can You Do?
In typical Amazon fashion, the announcement came yesterday without any warning or time to act. If you had not created and approved your first FBA shipment before yesterday, there isn’t anything you can do to use FBA before Christmas. Amazon has noted that they will email sellers if the policy changes prior to December 21, although given the circumstances that is not likely. You can, however, continue to sell on Amazon with merchant-fulfilled orders. This means, you will need to fulfill orders yourself or use a 3rd party fulfillment company that specializes in fulfillment by merchant.
How Can FBAforward Help?
We can help in a few ways. Whether your first shipment is under production, already on a boat or plane, or you were just hoping to get in on some of the Q4 madness, we can help! Over the past few months we have been piloting direct fulfillment for a few of our customers. We’ve been pleased with the implementation so far and are ready to roll it out full scale, focusing on those new sellers unable to use FBA for the time being. After the 4th quarter, when Amazon reopens the FBA program, we’ll help you transition by sending your remaining inventory to Amazon for you. There are a few advantages to using FBAforward during the 4th quarter:
- We’ll make sure you stay compliant with Amazon’s shipping policies. “Fulfillment by Merchant” has very strict standards regarding shipping times and tracking numbers. We are experts in all Amazon policies and will keep you 100% compliant.
- Our Q4 storage prices are half the cost of Amazon! Amazon boosts their storage rates during the 4th quarter to $2.25 per cubic foot. Our storage rates are $1 per cubic foot during November and December.
- Merchant Fulfilled Prime may be available to you! Even though you won’t be using FBA, you can apply for Merchant Fulfilled Prime, and still get the Prime badge on your pages for certain shipments from our warehouse.
Changes at FBAforward
This is a big undertaking, and we want to make sure we are meeting each of our clients’ needs. In order to keep up with everything this 4th quarter, we have brought on 4 new members to our support staff, and are doubling the size of our warehouse team. We’re hard at work on decreasing our response time, our warehouse processing time, and increasing our overall capacity. We’ve just finished our move to our new warehouse, and now have more than triple the space we previously had! We’re committed to doing everything we can to help you build, grow, and scale your Amazon business this 4th quarter.