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Using a 3PL vs Amazon for eCommerce Order Fulfillment

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Amazon dominates the eCommerce landscape globally and services like prime make it easier for customers to buy almost anything on Amazon with convenience and quick delivery options. On the other hand, the retailers feel pressured to choose the FBA Fulfilled By Amazon to handle their warehousing and logistics of Amazon’s vast logistics operations.

Amazon has recently announced a 5% increase in the FBA charges to its retailers and cited the rising fuel prices as a reason for this increase. Among other costs that the retailers have to incur already are the selling fees, advertising costs, and referral fees among other costs. Amazon is very serious about its logistics business and has seen a growth of 11% amounting to 30.3 billion in the last quarter just for its logistics services.

In this article, we discuss the alternatives to Amazon FBA and how you can save overhead costs by partnering with a 3PL fulfillment service like ShipBots.

3 Models of Amazon Seller Central

Amazon’s Seller Central program allows its merchants to choose between different order fulfillment models, among which are FBA, SFP, and FBM. All models can be fulfilled in-house or fulfilled by partnering with a 3PL fulfillment company.

Fulfilled by Amazon (Amazon FBA)

With FBA, your business sends all of your inventory to Amazon’s warehouses to store, manage, ship, and fulfill on your behalf. In this scenario, Amazon acts as a third party logistics (3PL) fulfillment service provider. Fees associated with FBA include product fees based on size and weight as well as storage fees.

Seller-Fulfilled Prime (Amazon SFP)

In seller-fulfilled prime, the merchants have to display a prime sticker on the packaging while delivering the products. They also have to follow the strict shipping guidelines following a 2-day delivery option for every delivery through prime.

Fulfilled by Merchant (Amazon FBM)

In the FBM model, the merchant is responsible for the shipping when it receives an order from the customer through Amazon. Again, the merchants can either handle the logistics and ship orders themselves or they can choose a 3PL service to handle the entire order fulfillment journey.

Reasons to Choose a 3PL Fulfillment Center as an Alternative to Amazon FBA

More Control over Inventory

Inventory management is a fundamental part of any eCommerce business. Amazon has very strict rules for its FBA merchants to use their warehouses. Amazon also penalizes its merchants for a low inventory turnover rate, adding to the costs for the merchants. With ShipBot’s intelligent inventory dashboard and analytics, you can make wise decisions about your inventory to avoid understocking, overstocking, and deadstock.

Custom Branding and Packaging

With Amazon FBA, merchants have to sell their products in Amazon-branded packaging. This gives little room to create a personalized brand experience for your customers.

However, if you partner with a 3PL company like ShipBots, standard packing material including mailers, dunnage and tapes are inclusive of our fulfillment services. ShipBots strives to use the best packing material for secure yet lightweight packaging with affordable shipping costs. You can also use your own customized packaging according to your product to create the brand experience you want for your customers.

No Extra or Hidden Fees

Amazon FBA fees are complex and tricky and vary according to the products and handling of each product. For example, Amazon charges an additional $0.40 per item in the case of apparel brands. Amazon is also very strict about packaging, FBA prep, and labeling guidelines and charges extra penalties in case of any violation of its guidelines. In addition to all of the above fees, Amazon has implemented a massive 5% increase in their FBA charges for its merchants which you can avoid by switching to a 3PL partner like ShipBots.

Simple and Honest Pricing

ShipBots offers transparent pricing with no hidden fees and no contract to its merchant partners. For a detailed overview of our eCommerce fulfillment pricing or to get a custom quote, please contact a ShipBots fulfillment specialist.

Major Shipping Discounts

ShipBots enjoys exclusive and discounted shipping costs with all the major carriers in the United States and transfers these benefits to its merchant partners to enjoy lower shipping costs for their parcels across the country.

Best-in-class Support

Amazon has thousands of sellers on its platform and when an urgent issue arises, the support takes time. In the case of 3PL companies like ShipBots, a US-based unparalleled customer support experience is available 24/7 to give you personalized support over the phone, chat, or email.

Multichannel Fulfillment

ShipBots works with all the major eCommerce platforms including Amazon, Shopify, BigCommerce, WooCommerce, and more to provide a multichannel fulfillment experience through simple API integration with its fulfillment platform. It allows you to sell and deliver anywhere using a single fulfillment dashboard.

ShipBots provides simple, fast, and transparent fulfillment services for Amazon sellers and other major eCommerce platforms and marketplaces to automatically fulfill orders and always on time with our strategically placed fulfillment centers across the US.

Ready to switch? Speak with our fulfillment experts today.