Amazon.com up the ante for media delivery expectations
If you sell media on Amazon.com then you need to be aware that from the 31st of August this year you’ll have to deliver products within a 4 to 8 day delivery window. Previously this was a 4 to 14 day delivery promise.
The big impact of this change for sellers is that the most popular delivery method has traditionally been USPS Media Mail which is pretty cost effective. Media Mail promises delivery in 2 to 8 business days but when shipping from the East Coast to the West Coast or vice versa sellers know that sometimes it takes longer plus it doesn’t allow for a handling time.. The service is also only promised within the contiguous US so for instance mail to Hawaii could regularly be considered late according to Amazon.
Naturally the USPS offer alternative services to Media Mail, but they all cost considerably more. Sellers also don’t have the relatively simple option of fulfilling with Amazon FBA as a low cost alternative as Amazon hiked selling fees for media on the 1st of March this year and in a double whammy are due to hike multichannel FBA fees on the 30th of August. This means that it’s already costing you more to sell media on Amazon and if you use FBA to get your orders fulfilled to meet the new delivery window target and also want to fulfil orders on other marketplaces or your own website then you’ll get hammered again.
Frankly the whole media business on Amazon is starting to get very cut throat and the fees are really starting to impact sellers. Either you fulfil yourself (or a fulfilment house) with Media Post with the new higher selling fees and trust that your feedback and seller metrics won’t be impacted, or you get Amazon to fulfil with higher FBA rates from the end of August which will impact your profits.
Many have said that media is a dying category with the advert on ebooks and streaming media but nothing could be further from the truth. Books, DVDs, CDs and even vinyl are just as popular as ever. However if you wish to continue selling media on Amazon.com then you’ll need to examine your margins and ensure that it’s still a profitable category to trade in.
Does this impact international sellers? How are we meant to achieve those delivery times?
We are in media, and had to take into account the 50p hit from the 1st of August. We simply increased our prices to cover the cost, and put all our international prices up.
We have always been pretty careful with what we put into this companies warehouse, we are under no illusions Amazon serve Amazon, they are killing everyone else off.
Margins are at an all time low, we have to compete with those who pay no VAT (under £18.99) and the likes of magpie.
We have had to move so much away from the likes of Amazon. We will still use the FBA services but on a very limited scale.
eBay want to actually wake up and lower their FEEs in this area to try and get an edge, but they are far to shortsighted.