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Achieving eBay Top-Rated Seller status with Amazon Shipping
Amazon Shipping are keen for you to use their service that they’re even touting the service as a stepping stone to achieving eBay Top-Rated Seller status and gaining the eBay Premium Service badge on your listings.
“Reliable shipping plays a role in achieving eBay Top-Rated Seller status. Top-Rated Sellers receive a prominent eBay Premium Service badge on qualified listings as a mark of consistently outstanding customer service. This is measured, in part, by a high rate of on-time deliveries, so Amazon Shipping’s fully tracked next-day service can help to get you there.
As a recognised fully tracked, next-day shipping provider for eBay parcels, it couldn’t be easier to start using Amazon Shipping if you’re an eBay seller, but it doesn’t stop there. When you also consider hassle-free compatibility with so many other channels, you have the perfect delivery partner for all online retailers, across a variety of selling platforms you may use.”
It might seem strange for Amazon to be promoting eBay and suggesting that they can help you in achieving eBay Top-Rated Seller status… and in some ways it is. Just as strange as eBay offering Amazon Shipping as a shipping option. However marketplaces touting each other’s services is nothing new – for instance Otto Marketplace in Germany have their own equivalent of Amazon Shipping and it’s called Hermes, and no one objects to Hermes being promoted as a shipping option on eBay. The only difference between Amazon Shipping and Hermes is that Hermes isn’t called Otto Shipping so it’s a slightly less contentious issue than Amazon.
The facts are that Amazon are are pretty good at shipping, run a highly efficient tracking operation and are competitively priced. The downside of trusting them to power your eBay business is having your eggs all in one basket. Indeed, at the start of Q4 Amazon actually dumped some merchants from Amazon shipping. Other issues cited are strict volume limits and a claims process which became more onerous. Pick up can also be cumbersome as every parcel has to be scanned on collection, so make sure you have some warehouse floorspace clear as sodden parcels from the inevitable British weather isn’t going to be an attractive proposition.
The one thing we’ve been unable to establish is the volumes that Amazon Shipping are able to handle from any one merchant. If you’ve 10 or 20 parcels a day it’s definitely not going to be an issue, but if your shipments number in the 100s or 1000s we have no idea thus far if Amazon can handle that type of traffic – definitely scanning each parcel on collection would take hours!
As well as helping you in achieving eBay Top-Rated Seller, Amazon Shipping also want to power your Etsy, Magento and Shopify deliveries as well, of course, as your Amazon shipments.
Our advice would be that if Amazon Shipping is available in your area then it’s probably too good a deal to turn down… but make sure you retain the services of a back up courier and can switch additional volumes (or your entire volume) should the need arise. That is of course the advice we would give regardless of which courier service you use.
Ever had anything delivered via Amazon shipping. 90% of the time the courier scans the item to cover himself/herself (I’ve watched them do it) and then leaves it on your doorstep. This is OK (I suppose?) when it is obvious that someone is at home but they don’t even ring the doorbell to alert you to the fact that they have been. I think you’d be crazy to let Amazon interfere with your ebay business
Unfortunately Amazon Shipping is not available for third parties in Scotland.
I don’t know how they can honestly claim they will enable us to tell our buyers we offer next-day delivery, with the following past experience that will result in some customers being forced to use another carrier with potentially a slower service as the backup, or will not deliver to all of the UK at the same speed:
1) Strict shipments limits based on forecasts given weeks before, and adjusted by them, so once you reach the limit you have to use another carrier who may not be so fast.
2) Purchase a Next-Day delivery, but as it is in an area they are not serving, it gets handed off to Royal Mail with a 4-day delivery time due to the hand-off process and it going RM 48 Tracked instead. Linnworks integration enabled us to get shipping quotes and spot which ones were expected to be much slower. Many packages delivered in 2 days if not handed-off to another carrier.
3) Some postcode areas will not even hand-off to another carrier, even in mainland England, not just in remote areas like the Highlands and Islands, so we literally could not send via Amazon Shipping at any speed. They could not give us a list of postcodes where delivery would be slower or not at all so we could adjust our shipping rules accordingly on Linnworks or our web site. We had to check every order one by one.
4) Was on an agreed tariff for 11 months, then next day they upped the fees significantly claiming we were not shipping enough so were put on a different tariff, despite having given them our volumes when we signed up, and continued giving mandatory forecasts, and the limits placed on us were lower than the volumes for the tariff I was on! Effort needed to increase prices again then.
5) They dropped us with 3-weeks notice in November 2020, our peak month for deliveries, and they didn’t care. Had to focus on finding an alternative carrier and adjust prices accordingly based on new carrier prices at a time when we’re already busiest in the year. Very hard to offer great customer service and delivery times when your main carrier is pulled with so short notice and no explanation.
6) It was nigh on impossible to get anyone at Amazon Shipping to rearrange delivery or correct and address, etc. with it taking days for this to happen, or not at all, so we ended up having to resend every time there was a problem. Very similar to my current experience with Hermes in that respect.
On the plus side, when there were delivery issues it used to be very easy to claim reimbursements, but I hear it has got much more difficult since.