If you’ve ever used FBA, then you’ll be familiar with what Walmart is rolling out to its third-party vendors with its Walmart Fulfillment Services, or WFS.
WFS handles order fulfillment, customer service, and provides sellers with a dashboard to track inventory and other account-related metrics.
Like Amazon’s FBA, Walmart Fulfillment Services, or WFS, will enable third-party sellers to not only gain more visibility on the ecommerce site, but sellers will also be able to streamline their operations for Walmart further.
Those sellers who are expanding out of Amazon and onto other marketplaces will be able to reduce their own warehousing and logistical needs.
Here are some other benefits of Walmart Fulfillment Services:
Improved customer service with faster delivery, easy returns, and good customer service
Save money with simple pricing and no hidden fees
Track inventory, orders, and shipments with Walmart’s Dashboard
Get higher search placement and visibility with Buy Box and Two Day tags, along with more control over item page
Streamline returns and omnichannel free and easy returns (return online or at the store)
Personalized support from a WFS expert
Nationwide coverage with 2-day delivery
Why use WFS?
Sellers who use FBA know why a fulfillment service can be powerful: it reduces the need for employees to spend time handling support and order fulfillment.
Many sellers look to diversifying their marketplaces so that an incident, like a suspension, on one marketplace won’t drastically affect their business. But one obstacle to Walmart was the need to handle order fulfillment and customer service, aspects of a business that can be extremely labor-intensive and costly.
WFS provides roughly similar benefits to FBA, and just as importantly, WFS will allow sellers with limited warehouse space and technology to expand to a big marketplace like Walmart.
WFS and FBA are very similar in that both programs offer sellers the ability to offload their customer support, allowing Walmart and Amazon to handle customer service (questions, refunds, and returns).
Here are some possible advantages to WFS over FBA:
Customers can return their purchases to a Walmart store
As of March 2020, there are roughly 4 times more Walmart stores (4,769) than Kohl’s stores (1,158), making returns more convenient for customers
Fixed monthly storage fee and fulfillment price based on shipping weight alone (with exceptions for apparel and hazmat items)
Customer support for sellers from WFS associates
Like FBA, there are some restrictions for WFS that will turn away some sellers. Those are:
Products must ship from within the US
No perishable or regulated products
Maximum product weight is 30 pounds
Maximum product dimensions of 25″ x 20″ x 14″
The biggest of these restrictions is the first one: sellers won’t be able to ship from their factory out of the country straight into Walmart as they can with Amazon. This may help curb some of the rampant listings of Chinese products on Walmart.
Ultimately, sellers on Amazon will find it easier to migrate to an additional platform like Walmart. Previously, the need to handle warehousing, customer support, and other fulfillment logistics made selling on Walmart an obstacle, especially for the millions of smaller Amazon sellers.
Businesses will have to manage two different fulfillment services, so there’s likely room for mistakes and confusion, but once the confusion from adoption is resolved, sellers are likely to increase their sales with less work thanks to WFS.
Sellers who are already using FBA can easily expand to Walmart’s marketplace, and considering how ubiquitous Walmart is in the United States, the appeal to sell on Walmart through WFS will be very strong for all sellers if Walmart can make it work.
Learn how to import your inventory into QuickBooks Online using a sample inventory sheet that you can download from your company.
Learn what each column means and how to set up your inventory properly the first time. Also learn what some mistakes some users make when they first set up the sheet, along with some helpful tips for Amazon sellers!
Where to download the sample inventory sheet from QuickBooks Online
Before you can import inventory into QuickBooks Online, you’ll need to make sure that you have inventory tracking enabled. That means that subscribers must have at least the QuickBooks Online Plus or Advanced subscriptions.
If you have a lower subscription, you’ll have to upgrade to be able to take advantage of inventory tracking.
To turn on the option, go to the Gear icon > Company Settings. Then click on Sales, and under Products and Services, turn on “Track quantity and price/rate” and “Track inventory quantity on hand.”
Once you’ve enabled these options, you can now download a sheet from QuickBooks Online to fill out so that you can import inventory.
To download the sample inventory sheet, click on Sales. Under New, click on the dropdown arrow, and then click on Import. On the next screen, you can download the form to edit and upload.
Once you download the form, open it up using Microsoft Excel, Google Docs, or any other spreadsheet application you use (LibreOffice or OpenOffice, for example).
Understand QuickBooks Online PnS (Products and Services) Sample Inventory Sheet
We’ll go through each column and discuss what to put in each one. Where relevant, we’ll offer some advice to keep your books more organized. Below is the sheet—close-ups are provided below.
The fields in the sample sheet correspond to the fields on the inventory or service items when you first create them. The form is below for reference.
Here’s a closeup of the first half of the sheet:
Product/Service Name – This field is required and unique—meaning only one Product or Service can ever have this name.
If you’re integrating your inventory with any other app, then changing the name may cause errors with that app.
If you’re an Amazon seller, we highly recommend that you set the QBO Name field to the same as whatever your Amazon SKU is. That’s because the Amazon SKU, like the QuickBooks Name, does not change.
Below is a reference. To keep things the same, we’d recommend that sellers use “SS_Spoon” in QBO for the Name field. That way, unique identifiers from Amazon and QuickBooks Online match.
Otherwise, whatever you decide to use for your Inventory Name, you’ll want to maintain a naming standard or consistency. Too often, sellers will just type anything into this field, and then as the business grows and others add to their product list, their entire inventory database can become very messy.
Then it becomes a mess to rename and redo everything; in some cases, renaming won’t be feasible. So think carefully about how you want to name your inventory.
Sales Description – This field is optional. This is where sellers would normally put the Product Name, or title, from Amazon. This field will automatically populate on the invoices whenever you select the product or service for documents. While it’s not necessary, it may be helpful if you don’t have descriptive item Names/SKUs.
If you’re optimizing your product title, then you may want to consider populating this field later if you want to maintain more precise and consistent records.
SKU – The SKU field is optional in QuickBooks Online. This part usually confuses many sellers since SKUs remain static or unique for most retailers. That means you can have multiple products in QBO that all share the same SKU.
If you sell on Amazon, we highly recommend you use your product’s ASIN here. That way, you can easily search by Amazon SKU or ASIN in QBO.
Type – This field is required. You can put either Inventory, Service, or Noninventory in this field. Most sellers would put Inventory here. If you’re uploading services and non-inventory, you may want separate sheets for those to keep them organized, or have a different section for services and noninventory so that they’re all grouped together.
Sales Price / Rate – This field is optional. You may want to leave this field blank so that users entering in transactions are forced to enter the correct price here.
Any value you put here will automatically populate when creating transactions. Since prices change often when it comes to ecommerce, you may want to leave it blank.
If you’re using SellerZen to automate your Amazon to QuickBooks Online integration, then we’ll automatically enter the price the item sold for on the transaction.
Taxable – By default, QuickBooks Online will mark Products as Taxable. If they’re not taxable, then you should enter “No” in this field.
Income Account – By default, QuickBooks Online will use the Sales of Product Income account for all sales proceeds from this item.
If you have a different account, then it’s important that you select that here.
For instance, if you have two Amazon seller accounts, and you’re tracking both accounts on the same QuickBooks Online company, then you may want to consider having two separate sales of product income account—one for each seller account.
This allows for better reporting so that you can see sales from each account rather than having both lumped into one sales account.
Some sellers may use separate sales of product income accounts to track different brands, product lines, etc.
You can have SellerZen use different accounts if you’re using our platform to automatically synchronize your Amazon seller accounts with QuickBooks Online.
Here’s a closeup of the second half of the PnS sheet:
Purchase Description – This field is optional. Some sellers may want to put the manufacturer’s description here or just notes regarding the item.
Purchase Cost – This field is optional. QuickBooks Online doesn’t really use this field to calculate your COGS or purchase cost. In the absence of any number, QuickBooks will refer to this field.
Your actual purchase cost will be determined through your POs, Bills, or other documents you use to purchase the item.
Expense Account – This field is required. The default account is the Cost of Goods Sold account. If you’re using a different Income Account, then consider using a different Expense Account as well.
Quantity on Hand – This field is required. Many sellers are tempted to put their actual quantity on hand here. But if you’re setting up your company for the first time, you’ll want to put zero.
Then use vendor documents like POs, Bills, or Expenses to record inventory purchases. This way, QuickBooks Online will accurately track costs. Make sure your dates are correct, as QuickBooks Online uses FIFO.
Reorder Point – This field is optional. This will let you know when you should reorder a particular product.
Inventory Asset Account – This field is required. You may want to change this if you’re changing the Income and Expense accounts.
Quantity as-of Date – This field is required. This date is important because QuickBooks Online uses this date as a limit; you won’t be able to backdate a transaction to a date before the as-of date of the product.
If you’re setting up your company for the first time, then you’ll want to use a date that precedes your first sale. Some sellers make the mistake of using a current date, and that will just result in errors when employees try to enter earlier transactions.
Even if you make a mistake, you can re-upload the form to update your list of inventory. Just select the fields you want to change. We’ll go over this in the next section.
Importing your inventory sheet into QuickBooks Online
Once you’re ready with the sheet, it’s time to upload it to your QuickBooks Online. Warning: make sure that everything on the sheet is correctly formatted. The dates should be in MM/DD/YYYY format.
The first row will be ignored, but everything after that will be imported. Delete the yellow warning on the first column that starts with “Do not import this file as is…”
You’ll want to avoid re-importing to update items, as that can sometimes cause confusion and errors.
Here’s a completed row for the inventory sheet. Note that the first row, containing the labels, will not be imported.
Let’s go ahead and upload this sheet into QuickBooks Online and get the product created.
Go back to Sales > Products and Services > Import (under the New dropdown menu). Click on Browse and select the sheet you’ve just created.
Click on Next on the bottom right of the screen.
Verify that all of the fields that have data in them are selected so that QuickBooks Online will import those settings.
If you changed the labels, you’ll have to select them again on the next screen to map your labels to the correct QuickBooks Online labels. For instance, if you renamed the Product/Service Name label to “Inventory Name,” then you’ll need to select “Inventory Name” so that QuickBooks Online knows the two labels are the same.
Click next once you’ve verified all the labels are correctly mapped. If you’ve used the same sheet you downloaded without editing the column labels, then you should be fine.
On this screen, you can verify and make any final changes to your products or services before you start the import. If you notice a lot of mistakes, it’s better to cancel the import, fix the mistakes on the sheet, and then go through the process again.
Otherwise, if you have just a few mistakes, fix them on this screen and start the import by clicking on Import on the bottom right of the screen.
And here we have the new product in QuickBooks Online that we’ve imported.
If you missed a column, then you can re-import and overwrite some of the values you previously entered, but this process can be tricky.
Sometimes, QuickBooks Online will overwrite the values with the updated ones on the sheet, while other times the process will complete with no updates even if you’ve checked the “Overwrite all values” option.
You’ll want to do your best to make sure that all the values are correct to save yourself the headache here. If the “Overwrite” option doesn’t work, you’ll have to manually edit all of your products to the correct value.
That’s it! The sample product and services sheet from QuickBooks Online may seem intimidating at first, but it’s a fairly quick process since many of the fields will stay the same. For instance, you’re likely to use the same information for the Taxable, Accounts, and Type.
As for the Name, Sales Description, and SKU fields, you’re likely to copy and paste the information from wherever you currently keep your inventory information. Most marketplaces, like Amazon or eBay, will allow you to download a spreadsheet of your inventory, making this process a bit less frustrating.
Most sellers on eBay and Amazon are familiar with retail arbitrage and drop shipping models of fulfillment. But just in time fulfillment is a fulfillment and inventory management model that may be more attractive to some sellers.
Like drop shipping, just in time fulfillment allows sellers to quickly expand their product catalog without large investments in inventory or warehouse space. Unlike drop shipping, just in time fulfillment gives sellers more control over the product that customers receive.
We’ll go over the advantages and disadvantages of JIT fulfillment in this article.
What is just in time fulfillment?
With JIT fulfillment, merchants place the order with their suppliers only when a customer places an order with the merchant.
For instance, you’d list an item for sale on your own website or another marketplace like eBay or Amazon. When a customer purchases that item, you turn around and place an order from the supplier. But you have that item shipped to you for repackaging before you ship it to the customer.
This fulfillment strategy is different from drop shipping because items are delivered to the merchant, not directly to the customer. JIT fulfillment allows for several advantages, as we’ll see below.
No need to store and process large amounts of inventory
Fewer issues related to stockouts, expirations, or deadstock
Lower capital investment needed because there’s no need for bulk inventory purchases and storage
Flexible cash flow because of reduced inventory and storage requirements
Can easily expand product offerings since inventory storage isn’t needed
Some marketplaces have strict requirements about drop shipping, so JIT fulfillment allows merchants to abide by marketplace dropshipping rules
Since you’re repackaging the product, you can remove all documents with the supplier’s information and include your own
This can mean marketing material, packing slip, invoices, or any other document that identifies the supplier
Ensure that the customer receives the product he ordered in the condition that he ordered it
Need strong relationships with vendors in order to fulfill orders on time
Poor relationships can lead to canceled orders, long shipping times, or other mistakes
Usually lower profit margins than drop shipping since there’s an extra shipping step involved (from supplier to you and then from you to customer)
No control over the fulfillment process from the supplier to you
Potentially longer shipping window
You’ll need to monitor your prices carefully and adjust for the fluctuating prices from your suppliers and for increasing shipping costs
There are many reasons why the JIT fulfillment model is better than drop shipping. Perhaps the biggest reason is that JIT fulfillment meets one of Amazon’s requirements about drop shipping: that you identify yourself as the seller on the packaging and inserts.
When you drop ship an item, you don’t have control over what the supplier does, but with JIT fulfilment, you’ll be able to remove all supplier information and put your own materials in there.
For instance, if you drop ship from a distributor to Amazon and the distributor sends the customer the product in its own branded box and inserts, your account would be put at risk for violating Amazon’s drop shipping policy.
Drop shipping isn’t as lucrative today as it was a few years ago. Many consumers today know about Alibaba, Aliexpress, or any number of Chinese websites selling consumer goods for super low prices.
In fact, many of those same Chinese suppliers now sell on eBay and Amazon, so you may be competing directly with them. This can really hurt you if they suddenly increase prices to force out their competition and harm your metrics.
In addition to competing with the suppliers themselves, perhaps hundreds of courses, workshops, and self-proclaimed Youtube gurus have pitched drop shipping as the next “get rich quick” business idea.
Just in time fulfillment allows you to better control the product and process for your customer, but it’ll cost you extra in shipping and time. Consider JIT fulfillment if you’re also considering drop shipping to see what works best for your business model and goals.
A lot of resellers and flippers use their smartphone and some kind of app to scan for profitable items, but smartphones don’t always make the best scanners.
They’re just not very convenient when it comes to scanning since phones generally aren’t the best at picking up barcodes. Dedicated barcode scanners can be faster, making you more efficient at sourcing.
Try out these portable bluetooth scanners instead. These are some of the top sellers on Amazon, and we’ve included some overview of the comments to help you make a decision.
You’ll also want to keep an eye out for compatibility. While most people will pair it with their iPhones or Android phones, there may be some issues with specific brands like Samsung.
Take a look at the product page for more details about compatibility.
This bluetooth barcode scanner is a little bit on the pricier side, but it’s highly reviewed and has a tiny footprint.
It measures only 1″ x 2.56″ x .71″ compared to its competitors. To give you a point of reference, that’s a bit larger than those ubiquitous rectangular pink erasers you used to carry around in grade school.
Some features of this bluetooth scanner are:
1D barcodes only
2MB of memory to store up to 20,000 barcodes
USB connection for data transfer and charging
Supports Apple, Android, PC, and Linux, including phones and tablets
5,000 reads per charge
Many of the reviewers criticized the device for its lack of instructions. The webite is also a bit sparse with any support, so you’ll want to be sure to keep the documentation the unit ships with.
It’s not a laser barcode scanner, but those are a little pricier if you need something with more precision and power.
Unlike other bluetooth scanners on this page, the KDC200i is a laser scanner, giving it much more precision and speed than your standard CCD or CMOS sensor.
While pricy, laser scanners can increase your scanning speed and reduce frustrations about having to get the right distance or scan angle. Having an uninterrupted time scanning can really speed up your sorting, and this reason alone may make investing in a laser scanner worthwhile.
Features for this laser bluetooth scanner include:
1D barcodes only
Android, iPhone, and Tablet compatibility
Rate of 100 scans per second
While the product page doesn’t list as many features, this bluetooth barcode scanner has customizable options like a mute function.
Like the KDC200i on this list, the Opticon OPN-2006 is the only other laser barcode scanner on this list. That means your scanning should be faster since laser imaging is more precise.
1D barcodes only
1.3″ x 2.4″ x 0.7″
Android, iOS, PC, Mac, and Blackberry compatibility
Free SDK and RX compiler for custom applications
Some sellers may be wondering why purchasing a dedicated bluetooth scanner is worthwhile. Indeed, if you’re just scanning a few items a day, then it’s not really necessary.
But if you’re searching through hundreds of items a day looking to list on Amazon or eBay, then having a dedicated bluetooth scanner can seriously save you time.
Scanning with a dedicated device makes capturing barcodes much easier, and it reduces the need to awkwardly shift your phone around to capture the barcode image.
While these scanners are 1D only, most barcodes you’ll scan at the stores will be 1D. 2D barcodes (and 3D ones) haven’t really caught on yet with manufacturers, and we’re only beginning to see 2D ones make more of an appearance.
Even if these scanners save you a five or ten minutes a day from scanning, that time can really add up over the course of a month or the course of your reselling career. At the very least, it’ll keep you from being frustrated about futzing around with your phone to be able to recognize a barcode label.
Read other related articles on SellerZen about barcodes and UPCs:
Shopify store owners will now have more fulfillment options when it comes to fulfilling their customer orders!
Shopify is allowing select merchants access to the Shopify Fulfillment Network, which is powered by machine learning to identify the nearest fulfillment centers and ideal inventory levels to get orders to customers faster.
To apply for Shopify Fulfillment Network, simply click on the Shopify link to log into Shopify and apply. You’ll receive an email about your application within 48 hours.
Is Shopify Fulfillment Network better than other fulfillment options?
No doubt you’re wondering if Shopify’s network of fulfillment centers is better than alternatives like Amazon FBA or third-party fulfillment centers.
It’s likely that Shopify’s fulfillment centers will get orders to customers faster than other networks because of Shopify’s native integration and technology.
And with the network of fulfillment centers powered by machine learning, customers will receive their orders faster than any private third-party fulfillment service can provide. That’s because Shopify has access to critical metrics and data that may not be available to other parties.
Sellers who use Amazon FBA to fulfill Shopify orders know that Amazon sometimes takes days before shipping out multichannel fulfillment (MCF) orders.
Not only does Amazon take a bit longer to fulfill MCF orders than its own marketplace or Prime orders, but they also charge more for MCF.
Delays in order fulfillment can drive customers away from marketplaces, including your Shopify store if customers are waiting too long for their products.
With Amazon’s move to 1-day shipping, customers will now, more than ever, expect to have their orders within a few days, if not sooner.
Here are some of the benefits of using Shopify Fulfillment Network instead of another service:
Faster delivery times because of technology maintaining inventory levels and identifying nearby fulfillment centers
Improved customer satisfaction due to faster delivery
Possibly lower fees compared to other service providers like Amazon FBA
If you’ve stayed away from third-party fulfillment services or Amazon FBA for your Shopify store because of inconsistent service, then consider Shopify’s fulfillment services.
You may be able to reduce your own labor and storage expenses while increasing your customer satisfaction and loyalty metrics. The result? Lower operating costs and increased sales.
Even if you’re not going to use Shopify’s fulfillment centers and technology, having increased competition will keep prices low and increase customer satisfaction. As a seller on Shopify and potentially other marketplaces, you’ll only benefit from a new competitor to the field.
Check out these top websites where you can sell your books.
Chances are you won’t get rich selling your personal used books, but you’ll get some extra spending money you didn’t have before.
Or if you’ve moved over to the digital format, selling your physical books can give you more storage space at home.
We’ll go over the best marketplaces you can use to sell your books. You’ll have to fulfill orders and handle customer service, but you’ll generally get more money for your books than selling it to a service.
Don’t want to deal with the headache of listing, customer service, and shipping? We’ll include a list of popular book buyback websites below as well.
Get a stack of your books ready (or a list of their ISBNs) and see how much you can get for your books today!
Used Book Marketplaces
Some general tips before you decide where to sell your books:
Be honest and transparent about the condition of your books to avoid refunds and returns
Take good, detailed pictures, especially if there’s some defect or damage
Ship using media mail when possible to save on shipping
Make sure to enter tracking information to reduce fraud
eBay may be a good alternative if you have niche or rare books. You’re likely to get more since these books can be offered at auction instead of a set price on other marketplaces.
One good note about eBay is that new sellers are usually given 50-100 free listings per month. That’s more than enough for most people who just want to sell some books from their own library.
You’ll only pay eBay fees when the sale happens (unless you’ve listed more than your free listings).
You’ll need a PayPal account to receive your funds unless you’re on Managed Payments.
The marketplaces listed above represent the majority of websites where you can sell your used books, but if you’re not interested in listing, fulfilling, and providing customer service, then there are faster ways you can sell your books.
Book Buyback Websites
These popular websites will ask you for the ISBN of your book and give you a quote on the spot.
If you accept the quote, they’ll provide you with a shipping label. You’ll send in your books, they’ll inspect it, and then you’ll receive the payout in the form you specify.
While there are many book buyback websites, we’ll list the ones that will accept paperbacks as well as textbooks.
If the majority of your books are textbooks, then going to a specific textbook buyback service like Chegg may be a better option.
Some considerations for buyback businesses:
You’ll get a lot less for your books compared to selling them through online marketplaces like Amazon
You may get less than what was offered if your book isn’t in good condition
You’ll get rid of your books much faster this way if they’re worth anything
Look into who pays for return shipping if the offer changes or they refuse the book based on condition
You can enter the ISBN of your books online to get a quote or bring your books to a physical store to get 50% more in store credit. This works out extremely well if you’re already a frequent shopper there!
Like other book buyback businesses, you’ll enter the ISBN into the search bar and the service will give you a quote.
If you don’t want to deal with the hassle of looking up prices and shipping or payment options, then selling your books locally may be an option.
It’s probably not worthwhile to list individual books (unless they’re textbooks and you’re near a college), so consider grouping them by genre or author.
You’ll find it difficult to sell older books through these marketplaces, but they’re usually free to list. And you’ll get paid in cash.
But be prepared to deal with hagglers, no-shows, and other issues that usually accompany local sales.
If you’re a student, then consider selling your textbooks to other students who are taking the course. You can simply ask them before class begins, and you’ll get a lot more than selling the textbook online.
There’s also the option of selling your textbook back to the campus bookstore. You won’t get much as you would from another student, but you won’t have to hunt down where the class is being taught.
It’s free to list here, but avoid leaving your phone number and email address off the listing unless you want a lot of unsolicited calls and emails.
This marketplace is quickly becoming more popular in some regions than Craigslist. But the ease of browsing the site may mean you’ll be handling a lot of messages from window shoppers rather than serious buyers.
Instead, consider joining a Facebook group for specific genres or authors. You may be able to find more serious and interested buyers.
Independent Used Bookstore
If you’re lucky enough to be in an area with a lot of used bookstores, then consider this option. You may be able to get more in store credit so that you can get books that you want.
Apps like LetGo, Mercari, OfferUp, etc.
The success of these apps will depend on the region. In some places, marketplaces like Mercari or LetGo may be more popular than Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace.
Use the money you’ve earned from selling books you no longer want to fund other fun activities. Or go out and buy more books!
Consider donating books you don’t want to your local school, library, or non-profit to reduce waste. Your discarded books can kindle a love of reading for someone out there!
Selling temperature-controlled products like grocery products and looking for a 3PL cold storage and transportation service? Check out our list of top 3PL cold storage and transportation providers based in the US today.
These businesses not only offer temperature-controlled storage, but they’ll also offer e-commerce fulfillment. Businesses can expand their presence and increase sales by using a 3PL fulfillment service that specializes in cold chain logistics.
Expand your reach by using a third-party fulfillment service that can properly store, transport, and ship your perishables. Some of these services offer add-on services like order fulfillment that can streamline your business operations and increase your audience.
Visit the website for up-to-date features and pricing. We’ve included companies that offer fulfillment in addition to their temperature-controlled transportation services and warehousing.
SellerZen is not affiliated with any of these services, nor does SellerZen endorse any of these services. We’ve created this list only for informational purposes, so do your own due diligence before you sign up with any services listed in this article.
For example, the price for two-day shipping for a 1 pound item to zone A is $8.19 ($7.84 base rate + $0.35 per pound).
Shipping to Canada is also available.
UPS currently has a 60-day trial where the minimum monthly fee of $1,000 is waived. Once that trial period ends, users will pay whatever their shipping fees and storage costs are for the month OR $1,000, whichever is higher.
With our sample shipping cost of $8.19, you’d have to ship approximately 4-5 orders per day to go above the $1,000 monthly minimum.
Amazon FBA vs. UPS eFulfillment
Costs will vary based on what products you’re selling and how long they sit before they sell.
To start, Amazon’s storage fees begin at $0.69 per cubic foot and go to $2.40 per cubic foot during Q4 for standard-sized products. You’ll also have increased rates for long term storage (after 365 days).
UPS doesn’t have a long term storage fee, nor is there a higher storage fee for Q4. The rate of $0.93 per cubic foot per month is fixed.
To fulfill an order for an iPad Mini 4 case, FBA costs $2.41. Amazon shoppers generally expect fast delivery, and Prime members usually get 2-day shipping.
UPS eFulfillment would cost $8.19 for the same 2-day service.
The difference in cost is significant for smaller and lighter items. But heavier items shipped through UPS may be cheaper, depending on the location.
For instance, a 20-pound tire that measures 25 in x 25 in x 9 in would cost $15.10 to fulfill through FBA (small oversize rate of $8.26 + $0.38 per pound above the first 2 pounds).
UPS eFulfillment would cost $14.84 for 2-day shipping to Zone A.
Of course, there are other considerations. For instance, FBA handles all customer service, but some sellers may prefer handling customer service for more complex products.
There are other considerations when deciding on a fulfillment service like inbound shipping costs, removal fees, and other processes like damage and lost products at the warehouse.
Do the calculations to see if using UPS eFulfillment makes sense for your business.
Even if the fulfillment and shipping fees are slightly higher, sellers on multiple marketplaces may still save money overall by using one integrated service.
Don’t forget that you can still use Amazon to fulfill orders from other marketplaces through Amazon’s Multichannel Fulfillment service (MCF).
Streamlining your fulfillment to one service may actually save you money. Your employees won’t have to learn multiple processes. As a result, you’ll make fewer mistakes due to having one service provider instead of multiple ones.
Read these related articles on shipping and fulfillment:
Amazon to offer product photography for sellers through Amazon Imaging services. The program is still in Beta, but current fees are $50 for at least two high-quality photos that meet Amazon’s Style Guide.
How do I use this service?
Amazon Imaging is only available for products already at fulfillment centers.
Not all ASINs may qualify for Amazon Imaging services. To see if your product is eligible, go to your Seller Central Account.
Click on Inventory > Manage Inventory. Look for the product that you want Amazon to photograph and click on the image to edit and upload photos.
On this page, you’ll see a link to Amazon Imaging services. Click on the link to opt into the service.
What’s the process?
If you pay for the service, Amazon will pull the products from the fulfillment center and take at least two high-quality photos. The process includes editing and uploading photos to the listing.
The entire process can take up to 15 calendar days from when the studio receives the product from the fulfillment center.
Afterward, the products are returned to fulfillment centers.
Amazon will reimburse sellers for any losses or damage to products during this process.
Why might sellers want to use this service?
Product photos are one of the most influential factors for making the sale on Amazon. Sellers who don’t take the time to provide high-quality photos are likely losing sales to sellers with superior images.
If you’re a new seller and don’t have the time to learn how to take and edit good photos, this service may be an option.
Taking product photos can be a simple process of taking out your phone and snapping a few pictures at different angles. Smartphone photos may be adequate, but they don’t always give customers the best impression.
Taking professional product photos that can drastically boost sales is an entirely different process.
Professional photos require a setup: background, lighting, cameras, and supporting accessories like lenses and props.
The editing process can be intensive as well, requiring knowledge of software like Adobe Photoshop. That’s not to mention the hardware requirements, like having an accurate color display.
For new sellers, learning about photography can be a distracting task. Paying for product photos, at least to start, can be a good alternative to having to invest in expensive and unnecessary photography equipment.
Benefits to Amazon Imaging
Here are some of the benefits of using Amazon Imaging:
Photos will follow Amazon’s Style Guide so that you don’t have to worry about listing suppression due to image-related issues
You don’t have to look for a photographer who specializes in product photography and Amazon’s requirements
Photos will be automatically added to the listing
Saves you time from having to research photography requirements
Saves you money from having to purchase expensive equipment and software.
Points to Consider with Amazon Imaging
Aside from the current cost of $50 for at least two high-quality images, here are some points sellers will want to consider:
Amazon retains the copyright to photos it takes, so you won’t be able to use the photos outside of the listing, with some limited exception for sellers registered on Brand Registry 2.0
If you have your own ecommerce site or you sell on eBay, you’ll still have to use your own images
You won’t receive any images or files outside of the ones uploaded to the listing
You can’t dictate requirements or provide input on how Amazon takes the pictures
There’s no way to preview pictures before they’re uploaded
While you can delete or replace photos on the listing, there’s no refund if you’re not happy
If your product has tamper-evident seals, make sure the product isn’t returned to your fulfillable inventory
Your metrics or account may be penalized if opened inventory is sold as new
For many sellers, the current price of $50 is a reasonable fee for taking good product images that meet Amazon’s Style Guide.
Going to a photographer for product photos will likely cost more, and the images may not be up to Amazon’s expectations.
The benefit of going to a photographer is that sellers will likely have high-quality image files and the ability to use these images on other platforms.
Regardless of which method sellers use to get their photos, product images should look professional and appealing.
Paying a little more at the start will translate into more sales and higher sales rankings than competing listings with poor images.
Learn more about taking your own product photos by taking a look at these helpful articles:
Sellers who want to expand into Mexico will face the same issues other sellers face when selling in a foreign country: cultural and linguistic barriers, customs, and taxes. Check out these fulfillment services below if you’re looking for a 3PL provider in Mexico. These businesses offer third-party fulfillment and warehouse services in Mexico. Some may offer FBA services as well. Keep in mind that you may still have to provide customer service if you’re not using FBA. SellerZen is not affiliated with any of these services, nor does SellerZen endorse any of these services. We’ve created this list only for informational purposes, so do your own due diligence before you sign up with any services listed in this article.
One of the difficult aspects of finding a 3PL or FBA prep and ship provider is the language barrier. You may find more FBA prep services in Mexico if you’re fluent in Spanish. Many of these 3PL providers also have warehouses and offices in the US, and they’ll take care of customs for you as well. Check out our massive list of 3PL services or see how these FBA prep services in China can help you send inventory straight into fulfillment centers in the US.
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