I don’t know about you but my least favourite part of selling products via the Internet has always been the packing and shipping element. I just don’t enjoy it but if you want to sell physical products, it is a job which has to be done.
Drop-shipping goes part-way to getting round this task but for me there have always been too many ‘cons’ and not enough ‘pros’ when it comes to this method of trading. The ideal scenario would be to have someone who would happily store, pick, pack and ship your products as you sell them. Someone trustworthy, someone with reliable and tested systems already in place, someone who isn’t going to charge a fortune to do this for you. Someone like Amazon perhaps?
Yes, its true, Amazon are now offering a pretty amazing service called Fulfilment by Amazon which does exactly what the name suggests. Amazon will store your entire inventory (from one item to thousands of items) and pack and ship your products as you sell them. This service isn’t just designed for those who are selling their products on the Amazon website (although it integrates perfectly if you are) but you can also use Fulfilment by Amazon if you are selling on eBay, from your own website or pretty much anywhere else online!
It’s affordable too. Amazon charge a fee for handling, picking and packing and a weight-based fee. Obviously with such a range of products available charges will vary widely but to give you an idea, fulfilment by Amazon (for a product sold on Amazon) of a 1kg electrical product would cost just £1.85 plus normal Amazon Marketplace fees. Fulfilment for the same product sold somewhere other than Amazon would cost £3.85 which is still a pretty good price in my book when you consider the amount of work saved.
If you are selling high value products on the Amazon Marketplace, things get even better as Fulfilment by Amazon are currently charging absolutely nothing to fulfil products with a value of £300 or more (they simply make their money on the normal Marketplace fees). For high value products, surely the Fulfilment by Amazon service is a complete no-brainer?
Amazon have for some years been catching up with eBay and some would say they are already over-taking them as the place to sell. Offering a complete fulfilment service will put Amazon way in front for many sellers. This is particularly the case when you consider that eBay has always attracted buyers looking for a bargain whereas many sellers find that Amazon buyers are happy to pay higher (and often more realistic) prices.
There is one other huge advantage of using Fulfilment by Amazon and that is that it will give sellers the flexibility to take time off and actually go on holiday. If you sell on eBay or anywhere else online, you will know that your business is open 24/7. This means if you want to take a break, you either need to arrange for someone to ship orders for you or you just have to close things down for a week or so. I tend to close my eBay shop down when I am away as it just easier but if I was using Fulfilment by Amazon I wouldn’t need to. As long as I had an Internet connection to keep an eye on orders etc, I could sit back and let Amazon handle everything for me. The ideal scenario in many ways and one which is long overdue. Well done Amazon!