A primer on Amazon Seller Fulfilled Prime

With an estimated membership of more than 90 million Amazon subscribers in the U.S., there’s no arguing that selling on Amazon can seem quite tempting, and especially when you consider Prime subscribers spend an average of $1,300 per year (compared with the $700 per year non-Prime members spend) with Amazon. If your ecommerce business wants in on the opportunity to sell to such a broad customer base, it’s time to take a look at Amazon Seller Fulfilled Prime.

Seller Fulfilled Prime vs. Fulfillment by Amazon

With Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA), Amazon takes care of the order fulfillment once you’ve sold an item through Amazon. This means Amazon houses your products (whatever you choose to provide them) and is responsible for picking, packing and shipping the orders. Through FBA, your products are eligible for Amazon Prime’s free two-day shipping. While there are many benefits to FBA including increased visibility and sales, there are factors like fees to consider.

With Seller Fulfilled Prime, products you sell on Amazon are still eligible for Prime free two-day shipping, but your business is responsible for order fulfillment, not Amazon.

Benefits of Seller Fulfilled Prime

There are many benefits to Seller Fulfilled Prime, including:

  • Complete stock control—your inventory stays in house and there’s no need to split up your inventory to share with Amazon
  • You can use the Ship by Region feature, where items flagged as Prime-eligible by the seller are only shown as available for Prime shipping to customers whose registered shipping address is in the seller’s close proximity
  • There’s no shipping costs for sending your inventory to a FBA warehouse
  • You won’t pay Amazon the storage and fulfillment fees you would if using FBA (the inventory will be housed in your own warehouse or business)
  • There are no long-term storage fees for products sitting too long in Amazon’s warehouse

While on the subject of benefits, it’s worth pointing out some of the items that are great for selling through SFP:

  • Bulky items that would cost too much to store at a fulfillment center
  • Items such as hazardous material that are ineligible or unsuitable for FBA
  • Country-specific items like electric plug adaptors and language content such as books

Refund policy

While there are many benefits to SFP, you’ll want to keep in mind that participants need to adhere to Amazon’s refund policy, in which the seller has to pay for return shipping label in all cases except if:

  • The buyer makes an accidental order
  • The buyer finds a cheaper price elsewhere
  • The buyer no longer needs or wants the item
  • Performance or quality of the product not adequate
  • The product is incompatible or not useful for its intended purpose

Getting started

Not just anyone selling on Amazon is qualified for Seller Fulfilled Prime. You need to qualify in order to participate and will need to have a Professional Seller account and gain Premium Shipping eligibility. Amazon’s trailing 30-day eligibility requirements for Premium Shipping are:

  • An on-time delivery rate of at least 92 percent for Premium Shipping orders
  • A valid tracking ID for at least 94 percent of Premium Shipping orders
  • A cancellation rate of less than 1.5 percent for Premium Shipping orders

Once you achieve Premium Shipping eligibility, then you can enroll and start your SFP trial and must meet the following performance requirements on a minimum of 200 Prime trial orders:

  • An On-Time Shipment Rate of at least 99 percent
  • Use of Buy Shipping Services for at least 95 percent
  • A Cancellation Rate of less than 1 percent

Once you pass the trial, you’re enrolled in SFP. You must also agree to:

  • Buying all shipping labels for orders with a Prime item via Amazon’s Buy Shipping Services
  • Automatically directing all post-order customer service inquiries to Amazon
  • Adhering to Amazon’s returns policy
  • Offering Prime shipping benefits and guaranteed delivery dates

ShipWorks can help!

Did you know that ShipWorks supports Seller Fulfilled Prime as a premium integration with the Amazon Buy API? Learn more.