Using Amazon Prime convinced me you should use FBA

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Amazon Prime featI’ve never used Amazon Prime until the last couple of weeks. But I’m starting to wonder why.

I was perfectly happy with free Super Saver delivery which I routinely selected. Whilst current ecommerce wisdom is that everyone needs their purchases delivered tomorrow, that’s not the case. With most of the products I buy I’m perfectly happy to wait a few days, if delivery is free.

When attending a meeting with Amazon staff, they were shocked that I wasn’t a Prime customer. So much so they insisted on signing me up then and there for a free trial of Amazon Prime. So what difference has it made to my buying habits?

The most important change has been that for the purchases I’ve made in the last week I’ve immediately hit the “Prime Eligible” button. That means if your products aren’t stored in an Amazon warehouse for fulfilment I’m not even going to see them. I can’t be the only Amazon Prime customer that does this and I know from talking to sellers that as soon as they start using Fulfilment by Amazon (FBA) their sales for FBA products instantly accelerate.

I’ve also learnt that not every Prime delivery is next day. Some products do take longer to arrive especially if they’re stored in FBA warehouses in Europe. Of the three products I ordered on Wednesday last week, one was here Thursday, a second delivered on Friday (an item that is in stock but needed to be delivered from a remote UK fulfilment centre) and the final item (from FBA in Europe) isn’t due to arrive until Tuesday this week. Importantly however, even though delivery wasn’t next day for all items, they were still “Prime Eligible”.

I’ve also watched a movie using Amazon Instant Video and (as Dan pointed out when they signed the old Top Gear team to produce a new car show for Amazon Prime Video) that would be the incentive for me to sign up.

When my free trial expires I’ll be keeping Amazon Prime and happily paying my £79 per year. I’m not convinced, as an avid user of Super Saver delivery, that the £79 is worth the upgrade to free delivery on it’s own but I’ll probably start using Amazon’s No-Rush Delivery Programme to receive promotional credits towards a future purchases. Delivery benefits with video, photo, books and music make it appear a very low cost subscription.

The big lesson using Amazon Prime has taught me is not the benefits for the buyer. The most important thing to realise is that if your products aren’t shipped via Amazon FBA then your sales are suffering. If you’ve never used FBA before, sign up for a few of your best selling lines and let us know if you see accelerated sales as a result.

10 Responses

  1. It’s been a constant that amazon has favoured FBA sellers (buy box opportunities) for a while, but with the increased push to get everyone on prime with prime day / instant delivery / drone delivery / expanding prime video it’s slightly concerning as someone who’s business does not work well with FBA.

    If the FBA model is viable for your business I’d certainly recommend looking at the pros and cons for you.

  2. My thoughts – as an FBA seller, and a general consumer:

    – “Prime Eligible” button. Whilst I love this as a seller, as a consumer you’re missing out on numerous deals. Very rarely is FBA stock the cheapest; usually it’s considerably more than the same item from a non-FBA seller. Depending on what you buy, you’re likely wasting huge amounts of money simply by ignoring non-FBA stock.

    – That said, FBA sellers are more likely to have somewhat better stock and an overall better consumer experience. Some of the non-FBA items I’ve purchased have been frankly shocking. That’s not to say FBA doesn’t have some bad items (pirate DVDs etc), just it’s a whole lot less likely.

    – “Free Shipping” ohohohoho. Nothing’s ever free, not even shipping. How many subscribers does Prime have? Collectively paying £79 a year for something that’s “free”? Or non-prime users paying £6+ for shipping FBA orders (for items where the consumer Royal Mail cost, let alone discounted costs, are much much cheaper)?

    And then bear in mind none of that money is actually used to cover the cost of shipping anyway – FBA sellers pay this through their fees (fba pick pack + fba weight fees, which are also higher that Amazon’s actual shipping costs). So you’re effectively paying for something (shipping) that someone else (the seller) is already paying for, regardless of how often you’re told it’s “Free”. Although there is Top Gear. Some say, that is indeed worth £79 a year. Maybe.

    Quite the earner for Amazon, but I guess something has to fund the insurance / chargeback / refund claims.

  3. Don’t forget that once your free trial is over you’ll also get an ‘invite’ to Amazon Music so in theory you won’t need Spotify any more.

  4. The initial post reads like an Amazon advert, with no thought about the costs involved with using the FBA for the seller.

    Why don’t you try focusing on what sellers are REALLY struggling with on a day to day basis??

    Like eBay changing all the shipping options on all my listings along with payment methods…

    Not a dickie bird on this so called Tame eBay forum….

    And this isn’t the 1st time I’ve raised similar issues that just get ignored!

    Thinking about cancelling my feed as all this is just total rubbish!

  5. I would very much like to see some analysis of the break even point, that is, at what level of business does this become worthwhile?

    I sell just a couple of items on Amazon and I doubt it would be worth it for me.


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