Home > Sell On Amazon > Update: Amazon FBA Fulfillment Center Assignment

Update: Amazon FBA Fulfillment Center Assignment

As you recall, a few weeks back I mentioned that Amazon is changing the way it splits shipments from third party vendors to its fulfillment centers.  Previously, almost all products from a given third party vendor went to a single fulfillment center.  Now, to have products as close to consumers as possible, Amazon will split your shipments up to go to multiple fulfillment centers, even within a sku.  So if you’re sending 4 items of a particular sku, they could end up going to 4 different fulfillment centers.  That’s a huge waste of time (splitting up and creating 4 shipments) and money (it costs a lot more to ship to multiple fulfillment centers than to a single fulfillment center) for you.

Amazon doesn’t roll changes like this out to all vendors at once.  They seem to start with the smaller / newer vendors, and work their way out to the larger / older vendors.  But by now the changes have probably affected everyone.

I’ve made 3 main changes to my Amazon business as a result of this.

First is that I now order single skus at a time from manufacturers that don’t ship merchandise in casepacks.  This way every box I receive from a manufacturer has a single sku in it, and can be re-shipped to the Amazon fulfillment center with a minimum of time on my part.  For now, at least, Amazon doesn’t make you split casepacks of a single sku to multiple fulfillment centers, casepacks can be shipped unopened to a single fulfillment center.

Second is that I now only ship casepacks to Amazon.  Previously, especially for slower selling items, I would order and ship a small number each of several skus to Amazon in a single box.  I don’t do this anymore, because the skus will be split among several fulfillment centers and the time / expense of doing this is prohibitive.

Third is that I no longer sell slower selling items through FBA.  As I just mentioned, the time and expense are prohibitive.

From the perspective of third party vendors these are unpleasant changes.  From Amazon’s perspective they make life easier at their fulfillment centers.  I’m sure it’s easier to process casepacks of merchandise than loose skus.  I’m also sure Amazon has no desire to store slower selling items at their fulfillment centers.

What adjustments have you made based on FBA splitting your shipments to their fulfillment centers up at the sku level?

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