If you are currently enrolled in Amazon’s Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) program, you might find yourself subject to one of the many downsides of the program. If you are unhappy with your FBA experience, you do not have to feel trapped. There are great FBA Alternatives available to you and your business.
If you want to make this change, here’s what you need to know about FBA Alternatives and the steps you need to follow to switch from Fulfillment by Amazon to an FBA Alternative for your Amazon store.
What is a Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) Alternative?
An FBA Alternative is a service that manages the storage of your inventory available for sale through your Amazon store, processes orders made for those items, and ships those orders to your customers.
Many Amazon store owners may not realize there are FBA alternatives besides doing it themselves. Even if you have heard of FBA alternatives, you may automatically assume that FBA is the best option since it is handled by Amazon itself. However, there are many reasons to consider an FBA Alternative for your shipping needs, including:
- Lower storage price.
- More customizable plans to fit your business’ specific budget and needs.
- Simpler sales tax obligations.
- Less complicated shipping.
- More affordable shipping.
- Seamless integration across multiple sales channels.
- Only one warehouse to keep stocked with inventory (instead of multiple Amazon fulfillment centers), meaning less frequent, larger quantity, and more efficient production.
If you are unhappy with your experience using the Fulfillment by Amazon program and are looking to make a switch, you have options and with the right partner like Specialty Fulfillment Center, the process can be much easier and painless than you would expect.
How to Switch
After deciding to make the switch from FBA to an FBA Alternative, you first need to decide how you wish to make this transition. Fortunately, you do not necessarily need to make the switch all at once. Instead, you have the option to transition away from FBA at the pace and scale that makes the most sense for your business, inventory, and budget.
Removing Inventory From an Amazon Fulfillment Center
If you wish to remove items in your inventory from an Amazon fulfillment center, then you must submit an FBA removal order and pay a corresponding fee per item you wish to remove.
Submitting an FBA Removal Order
In order to create and submit an Amazon FBA removal order, you may do one of two steps:
- On your Manage Inventory page within your Amazon Seller Account, select all of the items you wish to include in your removal order then select “Create removal order” within the drop-down menu labeled “Action on selected.”
- If you have a Recommended Removal Report within your Amazon Seller Account, select “Begin removal process” in order to remove inventory Amazon recommends you remove because it may soon be subject to Long Term Storage Fees (LTSF).
After you create an FBA removal order through one of these two options, go to the “Removal order details” page, then “Method of removal.” There, assuming you wish to have your inventory returned to you, select “Ship-to-address” and confirm the address you wish to have your items shipped to. Here you also have the choice to have your items disposed of or liquidated.
Once this is selected, you will see the option to “Set order ID.” Either select a custom order ID if you have reason to do so or leave this blank and Amazon will create one for you. Regardless, make sure to save the order ID for your records and tracking your FBA removal order. After this step, you will have options to add or remove items from the FBA removal order and set/edit the quantity of each item you wish to remove.
Once this is completed, you are finally ready to submit your FBA removal order. Review the items and their quantities you have selected to remove, the order ID, method of removal, and the address you wish the items to be shipped to are all correct. If anything is not correct, make sure to fix it before confirming your FBA removal order.
Next, it is time to review the removal fees under “Estimated fees.”
FBA Removal Order Fees
The standard removal fee is $0.50 per standard sized item and $0.60 per oversized item. There are also options available for disposal and liquidation of items (see chart below).
Image Courtesy: Amazon Seller Central
After reviewing the fees associated with your FBA removal order, confirm your removal order. FBA removal orders are typically filled within 10-14 business days, but may take as many as 30 days or more during the holiday season or Amazon’s peak removal periods during February, March, August and September.
Moving to an FBA Alternative
Fortunately, you do not necessarily have to remove any inventory from Amazon fulfillment centers nor wait for your removal order to be complete to begin transitioning to an FBA alternative. You can make this transition at the pace that makes sense for you, your business, your inventory, and your budget.
In order to start the process or request a quote, all you need is your Amazon Seller ID and a MWS Authorization Token. With this, we will be able to provide you with a quote for switching to Specialty Fulfillment Center for your Amazon store fulfillment services.
After receiving this information, to go forward with the process of using our FBA alternative, we will ask for a list of which countries you are doing business with through Amazon and the SKUs for the items you sell. Once your account is ready to go, we will provide the information you need to ship us your items so we can start managing your Amazon Fulfillment Services.