Can you picture in your mind the Amazon business you want to create? Or if you have already started one, can you see it growing bigger? If thoughts of storage and delivery hinder you from expanding, perhaps you should consider shipping directly to Amazon FBA.

Let’s do a simple visualization exercise: Imagine how you want your business to become. See the products clearly in your mind’s eye. Think of all the orders being placed by customers. Watch yourself preparing stock for shipment.

Keep visualizing. As more orders get placed, you also begin to get more products ready for shipment. Your house gets filled up by boxes and packaging tape. You begin to trip and stumble over product parts and piles of paper. Little things begin to get lost amid the frenzy. You begin to lose track of items and orders. You get bad reviews on Amazon. The business fails.

Let’s change the visualization. This time, imagine your dream business once more. See all the little details. Visualize all the orders coming in.

But the difference now is, you’re working from any place you want. You’re posting product descriptions in Bali. You’re tracking orders through your phone while in Hawaii. You’re reading all the great reviews while sipping beer in your backyard.

Does that seem better? That’s what Amazon FBA can do for you. As your business grows, and as more orders get placed, Amazon then takes care of everything: from storing, to shipping, even up to customer concerns. All you need to do is to take care of the inventory.

What in the world is FBA?

FBA stands for “Fulfillment by Amazon.” It is when sellers make use of Amazon’s warehouses and logistics centers all over the US, in order to store items ready for shipment. More than just an online marketplace, Amazon is a shipping company, which means FBA can also take care of the handling, delivery, and coordination with customers. This becomes extremely crucial for small business owners wanting to expand, or those who are still in the start-up phase. Since Amazon takes care of all the legwork, the primary thing that online sellers must focus on is ensuring that the inventory is always filled so that they never encounter the problem of running out of stock.

Many people try to figure out ways to generate high sales figures without investing large amounts on storage and shipment. FBA takes care of both, and also deals with any further customer concerns such as tracking, returns, and refunds.

Remember the visualization exercise? Suddenly, it’s possible. Whether you plan to run your business at home or on-the-go, you now have a partner that will deal with the more demanding end of online selling. As an entrepreneur, you can now use the extra time and energy to upgrade marketing strategies, as well as come up with ideas regarding new products to sell.

Expanding to all corners of the globe is also possible. Though the warehouses are in America, Fulfillment by Amazon covers international shipping. Amazon US easily ships to Canada and all territories in North America, but can also export to other continents.  There are even ways to avail of FBA’s perks even to those living in Canada. All of a sudden, the business you have in mind has no limits.

There are more perks. Sellers can also take advantage of Amazon Prime through FBA, which means that Prime customers will receive zero Amazon shipping costs. Also, stock coming from another country can be sent directly to Amazon. The bottom line is, sellers don’t have to directly handle the items anymore.

The customers place orders through Amazon, and Amazon delivers.

Delivering Items Yourself vs. Shipping Directly to Amazon FBA

The opposite of the FBA is Fulfillment by Merchant or FBM. This is when sellers store, manually pack, and deliver individual items to the customers.  FBM also gives the seller more freedom when it comes to packaging.  Furthermore, FBA comes with extra fees, so those who do not want to shell out for the additional expenses may opt to store and send items by themselves.

Commingling is also a determining factor for those who choose FBM. Amazon may mix products from third-party merchants, as long as they have the same manufacturer ID. This process makes shipping a lot more efficient, as Amazon can quickly restock and deliver items from the same manufacturer. However, others may see this as too risky, especially when there may be counterfeit products with fake product IDs. The risk is low, but it still exists.

However, if your business is continuing to expand and the turnover rate is increasing, it is recommended to ship directly to Amazon FBA. If you don’t mind commingling, and items are not too bulky, then sit back and let Amazon do the legwork.

Pro tip: Most sellers think that when setting up a seller account on Amazon, they have to choose only one of the two. However, you can register for both FBM and FBA, which will increase modes of shipment, and therefore increase sales opportunities.

What Can You Sell on FBA?

The most common items sold on FBA are those bought in bulk. Wholesale items are usually cheaper. Therefore, it is good to have them shipped directly to FBA and then sold individually at a higher price. You can also find other non-wholesale yet cheap items in retail stores or other online marketplaces, and then market them on Amazon.

A lot of sellers also make money from private labeling. Private labeling is when a seller buys a non-branded product from a third-party manufacturer and sells it under a new brand. For example, you can get a Chinese manufacturer to create unbranded soap, have them shipped to what is called a “prep and shipper” for inspection and branding, and then send the items to FBA for storage. You then create a listing on the Amazon marketplace and wait for orders, and FBA will do the rest.

A Step-by-step guide to FBA

The first thing to do is to set up your Amazon account. Once you have registered as an FBA seller, you can then begin thinking of what products you'd want to sell. The next step would be to find the right supplier; this may mean finding a store that sells wholesale goods, or an online supplier overseas. Before placing a bulk order, it's a good idea to first buy just one piece. Check the quality in order to make sure that you won't get any customer complaints.

Once the item passes your quality check, you can now order in bulk. You send your products directly to FBA, where they’ll store them in one of their many warehouses. In there, your products will be inventoried and sorted. No need to worry about damaged items, as not only will Amazon ensure that they’re taken care of, but they also offer full reimbursement for any product damaged in their storage areas.

Now you can focus instead on optimizing your product listing and handling processing orders, as the next steps are already automated under Amazon. This means that when a customer places an order, Amazon will take care of the transaction, even up to packaging and shipping. They also will follow up to make sure that the customer has received the product. If there are complaints, or the customer demands a refund, Amazon will handle all that as well.

A word of advice: make sure that you always have stock in your inventory, and continue on advertising. Though FBA will take care of the legwork, it’s up to you to attract and keep the customers.

Benefits vs. Drawbacks

Of course, having Amazon's resources and manpower is the biggest benefit of signing up for FBA. However, it's also good to note that shipping items this way will have Amazon's brand more easily associated with the product, which can lead to more patronage. Delivery will also be fast, and Prime customers will have an extra advantage because they can avail of the free shipping.

Sellers under the FBA program will also gain a better ranking on the Amazon search algorithm. To add to this, the chances of securing the Buy Box will also increase.

Not all sellers are aware of the Buy Box, and what having this entails. The Buy Box is the "Add to cart" or "Buy now" button right beside the product details, which of course, leads to more sales as people can then instantly buy the item in that listing. If there’s no Buy Box, then Amazon will redirect the buyer by showing a “See all buying options” button instead.

New sellers, products with low sales, and items that Amazon thinks are priced too high often do not get a Buy Box. The site seeks to lessen customer complaints by redirecting them to all options available, and customers can then choose which sellers or items they think they trust. You'll easily surmount this with a Buy Box, and chances of securing one becomes higher if you sell through FBA.

However, there are some disadvantages that should be looked into before registering with Fulfillment by Amazon. The first one would be the cost, as Amazon charges both storage and fulfillment fees. Therefore, these should be taken into account before setting the item prices. You may also opt to get advice from an Amazon Shipping Company so that you have more options.

As much as you can utilize the Amazon brand through FBA, that also means that it’s not possible to repackage the products in any other way. In short, to the customer’s eyes, all these products will come packaged as just from Amazon.

Lastly, there may also be an increase in returns. Since Amazon will handle all customer concerns, this also makes it easier for customers to return products.

All in all, the benefits seem to outweigh all the disadvantages, especially since having access to both the Amazon brand and its resources is already a huge thing.

Fulfill Your Dreams

Visualize your business reaching its maximum potential. How many orders are being made each day? See the items, neatly lined up, being shipped in the fastest ways possible. See yourself relaxed, looking at the numbers pile up from the comfort of your home or favorite vacation spot. This is possible. Fulfill your dreams with Fulfillment by Amazon. Sit back, and let them do the legwork. 

If the cost is what’s keeping you from making this vision come true, or you’re from Canada and want to avail of FBA’s services in the US, then check out how these options can help you.

This isn’t just a visualization exercise anymore. Your dream business can now become a reality.

There’s no doubt that this global pandemic has negatively affected a lot of businesses in the world. From Asia to the Western countries, it seems the higher demand, but a limited workforce has impacted shipping companies that offer delivery services. While it’s true that the need for Logistics Services has risen significantly, it’s the lack of manpower that hinders their operations. 

Ecommerce has also been on the rise, especially in Canada. Denied access to their jobs, people have come up with a new way to earn money and pay their bills - online selling. Starting your online retail business can be exciting until you realize that you need to find a shipping carrier to deliver your products to customers. It’s not all about finding the cheapest shipping rates in Canada. Let’s not forget a few details when choosing your logistics service. 

Find a Logistics Company that Suits Your Needs

There are many shipping companies that operate in Canada and all of them have services they can offer you. The most efficient way to decide is to do your due diligence in finding out how these different companies can benefit your online business. Know how each company operates first before signing your name on the dotted line.

Consider the Cost of the Packaging Materials

It’s so easy to forget that the cost of these shipping materials can add up to a lot. It’s not all about the cost of shipping from Canada. Let’s say, Company A charges less for shipping but you shoulder the cost of packaging materials. Company B charges a few dollars more for each item but they provide the packaging materials for free. Those few dollars you’ll be saving with Company A might not be enough to cover the cost of the packaging materials. In the end, it’ll be better for you to sign with Company B.

The Fast and the Curious

Amazon started offering free two-day shipping for their Prime members, so consumers now have raised their expectations regarding how fast companies can deliver. There has been an increased demand for same-day and next-day deliveries. Of course, some customers still prefer free over fast.

Sellers need to ask questions on how fast logistics companies can deliver their products. After all, the faster the products can get to customers, the more money you make. 

Your Logistics Carriers Should Be Easy to Contact

You should be ready with questions like, “How to ship from the US to Canada?” Delays are inevitable in the online selling business and customers know that too. However, it’s vital that your logistics carriers are easy to contact in cases like this. Why? Because you can’t do anything about a product being delayed but you can at least give your customers an idea on when they can expect delivery. Giving them nothing to go on is a recipe for disaster. You can kiss your positive feedback goodbye.

A better solution would be finding a company using their own shipping software. Having this streamlines the whole process from packaging the product to delivery. This software can help you avoid mistakes like mislabeling products, choosing the wrong delivery option, or forgetting to include items for an order. 

Know the Prices and Surcharges

As a seller, having real-time information on how much it costs to ship somewhere is key. You can give your customers accurate information on shipping costs if you’re armed with this information without losing money. That’s why a shipping calculator is a big plus for shipping companies. For example, there are questions like, “what’s the cheapest way to ship from Canada to the US?” You can answer those questions using a shipping calculator. Be careful of surcharges related to minimum volume, residential deliveries, weekend deliveries, etc. Learn to read the fine print. You’re here for profit, after all. 

Look for Companies with Online Tracking

We’ve already established that information is key in this business. The advantage of logistics companies with online tracking is you can check where your products are real-time and monitor your operations. Since delivery is one of the major drivers for seller reviews, it should be an aspect of your online selling business that shouldn’t be neglected. This way, you can give delivery information to customers or better yet, give the tracking code so they can check the delivery themselves. This plus offering the cheapest shipping rates in Canada is a good recipe for any logistics company.

Check the Shipping Company’s Reviews

Sellers need to be smart about this. The only way to know if a shipping company delivers on promises is if you look at their past customers. Don’t expect a spotless reputation (it’s rare but possible). A company getting 80% positive reviews is pretty good. That means their customers’ opinions matter to them. Anything higher than 90% could mean several things. It could mean the company is very good at their job and they’d be a perfect choice. It could also mean they don’t have a lot of customers yet, though they’ve made their customers happy. Do your research.

Key Points

We can all agree that price is a major consideration in looking for a shipping carrier. However, it's not just about the cheapest shipping rates in Canada. It depends on what values you consider important. Some would be willing to pay more for fast deliveries to their customers. Others would pay more for a more convenient shipping process. 
If you want to know more about shipping within Canada and international shipping, please email us at [email protected].

Nowadays, people think of Amazon as the poster boy of online shopping. The Bank of America concluded that in 2019 alone, it accounted for 44% of all e-commerce sales in the US. This number is expected to skyrocket to 50% by 2020, which only means one thing: Amazon e-commerce will continue to boom as an industry and will be a significant driver to advance modern globalization.  

For sellers, the growth of the Amazon brand created an outlier that inevitably affected the businesses they operate on the Marketplace: the perpetual rise in Amazon shipping costs. It has been such a money-maker for Amazon that it racked up $37.9 million on shipping costs alone— imagine the amount of money people spend on shipping every day and the number of products that move from point A to B!

We know it is essential for Amazon businesses to learn how to strategize and calculate their shipping costs ahead of time, but despite this fact, most entrepreneurs still make crucial mistakes at the start. This article talks about three critical factors I wish I had known about the platform’s shipping costs, so you don’t make the same mistakes.   

Setting strategic shipping goals are essential. 

The first lesson you need to learn as a seller is always to define a clear set of goals ahead of time. Shipping costs are no exception. If you don’t take Amazon shipping into account when you plan to venture into e-commerce, it will most likely drive your profits down. 

Shipping goals may vary from seller to seller, but these are the most common factors that people list down when you first start their business:

Make sure to have these objectives in mind, so you and your future team have a general direction to follow. 

Proper packaging is essential.

Proper packaging is vital to ensure your products don’t get damaged in transit. But did you know that it also affects how much your shipping costs will be?

The Amazon shipping process lets sellers choose between its standard box sizes. Failure to select an appropriate package can heighten the risk of product damage, leading to shipping more than one of the same product. Similarly, the wrong product packaging can cause you to choose a larger shipment box and lead to additional Amazon shipping costs.

Ensure that your product packaging is firm enough to hold your goods, but not too tight that protective covers like bubble/mesh wraps won’t fit in.   

Registering your business to Amazon’s FBA Program can be beneficial.

Amazon FBA is a unique program introduced on the Amazon Marketplace to help businesses streamline their fulfillment process. The fundamental idea of FBA is that Amazon will store, deliver, and monitor all shipments for goods that you successfully sell.  

Amazon FBA shipping charges will cost you money at the start, but its long-term advantages will undoubtedly benefit your business. After all, you can liberate yourself from the headache of shipping and allow Amazon to handle everything. It has warehouse storage, transportation, and monitoring capabilities that focus on other parts of the business. In the process, you are also able to ride the coattails of Amazon’s stellar reputation!

Amazon FBA shipping rates vary for every product that you sell. If you’re interested in registering for the program, Amazon Seller Central is the place for you to start.    

Conclusion

The Amazon platform can indeed be a place where any aspiring entrepreneur can make a decent profit, but not everyone can maximize its potential. The right entrepreneurial mindset and a systematic approach are needed when managing Amazon shipping costs. If you want to prevent losing more than just money, these lessons will surely help you get on the right track.

If you’re interested in hiring a team of shipping professionals to provide top-quality assistance, we at Stallion Express can help you with your Amazon shipments. Book an appointment today!

The global trade industry continues to thrive even when the novel coronavirus pandemic derailed the movement of goods. While shipping and transportation lines were affected when the virus first emerged, most courier services have found ways to safely deliver goods. After all, the cargo shipping industry is moving approximately $4 trillion worth of goods worldwide every day. If the global shipping process stops completely, almost all multinational businesses will not complete their fulfillment processes for customers. 

If you’re an entrepreneur who’s interested in shipping products abroad, you might be wondering, “How long does standard international shipping take now that we are in a pandemic?” Standard shipping time might be hardly affected on the surface since trucking and maritime shipping services try their best to get products delivered on time. However, there are still some hurdles that most shippers do not tell you about. 

Are you ready to ship your products abroad? This article tells you everything that you need to know about standard international shipping during the COVID-19 era. 

The Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Shipping

There is no denying that the COVID-19 pandemic affected all walks of life in an instant. From governments imposing lockdowns to people suddenly canceling school and working from home, this situation has everyone reeling under a crisis full of uncertainty.

The COVID-19 pandemic also severely affected the shipping industry, especially in the first quarter of 2020. Most maritime and trucking shipment firms weren’t ready for such an unprecedented situation, and so their regular transportation routines were shaken up very quickly. After all, international shipping is highly dependent on constant human interaction and travel from one destination to another. The vast majority of shipping firms were unprepared, and as a result, the average number of daily shipment goods decreased.

The disruption caused by COVID-19 on land and sea trade networks also exposed the lack of technological capabilities within specific global ports. While each shipping location varies in capacity, strength, and size, the reality is that all ports need to equip themselves with the necessary technology for keeping data exchange and maintaining shipment regulations. As a result of this mishap, most shipping schedules have been delayed.

If both public and private sectors invest money in boosting online connections and advanced automation services, shipping time could be reduced for most companies.         

Standard Shipping Time: Before the Pandemic vs. Now

So, how long does standard international shipping take these days?

Before the pandemic, standard shipping would arrive at your customer’s doorsteps in a span of 3 to 5 days. While there are instances where shipments get delayed, the maximum shipping time for common goods was around 14 business days. Your customers could also choose express shipping as a mode of delivery, albeit this option is significantly more expensive. 

Nowadays, some business owners have reportedly experienced shipping delays for as long as a month. If you’re an eCommerce entrepreneur who’s highly dependent on international shipping, the pandemic brings many problems for you. For instance, you might ask questions such as “can Amazon ship internationally during the pandemic?” The answer is yes, but it will take as long as 1 to 2 months to get to your customers’ doorsteps. On top of that, the Amazon platform has also reduced the range of goods it can ship internationally due to shipping safety regulations.

The only silver lining for most eCommerce businesses is that customers are more understanding during this difficult time. Since they are fully aware of the effects that the COVID-19 brought to traditional shipping processes, they wouldn’t mind waiting a few extra weeks for their orders to arrive. 

3 Tips to Manage Shipping Time During the Pandemic

Even during a global pandemic, you can still do some things to try and manage your shipping schedule. These troubling times may have caught everyone by surprise, but at least you can continue to do something about it.

For starters, you can try to implement these useful and time-saving strategies in your shipping process:

Our Final Word: How Long Does Standard International Shipping Take, Really?

How long does standard international shipping take? Because of the uncertainties brought about by the coronavirus pandemic, shipments will be delayed for as long as two months. This is the reality that all businesses have to accept, whether you like it or not. These extraordinary situations force us to manage our shipping schedules to fulfill our end of the bargain on time. 

If you’re interested in hiring a shipping professionals team, we at Stallion Express provide standard and express shipping services for a fair price. Our top-quality shipping services will let you in on how to ship cargo internationally during the COVID-19 pandemic, so schedule a free consultation with us today!

A vast number of small and medium-sized businesses now conduct their operations on Amazon, primarily due to its ability to reach a large customer base online. In 2019 alone, Amazon recorded a total of 2.5 million sellers on its platform, making it the world's largest e-commerce website today. Think of any object you want to have, and most likely, Amazon has a seller that can provide you with the product that you want.   

2006 was a groundbreaking year for the Amazon team, mainly because it launched the Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) program. The Amazon FBA Shipping Service allowed sellers to ship directly to Amazon FBA centers, and have them take care of the rest. Upon launch, the program was met with critical reviews by e-commerce vendors who had difficulties thinking about the logistics side of their businesses. Fast forward to today, and you would see a lot of companies dedicated to Amazon FBA alone.

As good as the Amazon FBA Shipping Service is for the general public, it likewise has a set of cons that sellers should be warned about. This article will discuss both the pros and cons of Amazon FBA shipping and some tips to maximize a seller's FBA experience. 

The Basics of Amazon FBA Shipping Service

The mantra of the Amazon FBA Shipping Service is this: a seller sells his/her product, Amazon ships them. Below is a simple step-by-step guide on how the FBA process works.

  1. Amazon sellers have to enroll themselves in the FBA program and start preparing and shipping their items to their nearest Amazon fulfillment center. 
  2. Amazon stores the seller's product inventory for a specific time, which can be easily tracked through Amazon fulfillment services tracking systems. 
  3. Once customers buy products through the platform, Amazon picks and packs the chosen products.
  4. Amazon ships the products to the customer for free or for a discounted price. Amazon FBA shipping rates are covered.
  5. Amazon handles any customer service concerns and manages any product returns disputes. 

Now that you are aware of the science behind Amazon FBA let's take a closer look at the good and the bad that it offers. 

Pro #1: Fast and Free Shipping

Two of the main factors that convince customers to buy products on Amazon are shipping rates and delivery speed. A National Retail Federation study concluded that 65% of customers look exclusively at free shipping options before purchasing products. If they see that they don't have to pay for shipping and don't need to wait too long for a product to arrive at their doorstep, best believe that they're making that purchase. 

The Amazon FBA shipping service provides this exact advantage for its sellers. Since an FBA-listed product is tagged with a free shipping option, Amazon FBA businesses have an insane power by having their products at the forefront of search engine results.       

Con #1: It will cost you money.

At first glance, the privileges that come with Amazon's FBA program sound amazing. 

What Amazon doesn't tell you, though, is that these privileges come at a hefty cost. How much is Amazon shipping, you ask? To start, it charges at least 15% for each product shipped to a customer, and between $2.41 and $137+ on fulfillment fees for products listed through the FBA program. On top of that, the seller also has to take into account short-term and long-term storage fees and item removal fees that are either returned to the seller or disposed of by Amazon.

Another common question asked by most Amazon FBA sellers is, "Does Amazon FBA pay for shipping?" The answer to this is relatively straightforward. The seller covers the initial shipping costs to the fulfillment center, and Amazon includes any subsequent shipping fees afterward. Most sellers are overwhelmed by Amazon's prices since they have to account for all the fees mentioned and add their initial production, packaging, and shipping costs.

To ensure that your business makes a profit through Amazon FBA, it is essential to do your research and make the correct pricing calculations ahead of time. 

Pro #2: Your Products Will Be Associated With the Amazon Brand

There is no doubt that products associated with the Amazon brand will look more credible than other products, and will likely be patronized by customers.

Amazon built a long-standing reputation with its customers over the years and has been generally thought of as a reliable e-commerce brand to buy products from. Through the Amazon FBA Shipping Service, sellers can simply take advantage of Amazon's name and ride on the coattails of its success. An Amazon tag acts as a "quality guarantee card" for customers who expect free shipping and rapid delivery time schedules.  

Con #2: Amazon has a history of mishandling FBA products. 

Mishandled inventory is one of the top issues sellers report, especially the fact that the platform takes days to weeks for inventory to be logged in the Amazon FBA system. This mishap creates a ripple effect because when the shipments are delayed, people write bad reviews on the product or cancel orders. Amazon handles enormous amounts of cargo daily, so there should already have been a system close to perfect to maintain efficiency. 

Why? Simply because the reputation of small businesses, such as the sellers, is tarnished and compromised.

Pro #3: Fulfillment Across Multiple Channels

The Amazon FBA program has provided an additional feature called "Multi-Channel Fulfillment," which is essentially an extra layer of management service for sellers who operate outside the Amazon Marketplace. Multi-channel fulfillment lets Amazon take control of your business website, then proceeds to handle all your orders and inventory. Amazon can even handle sales from physical stores if you prefer to outsource that part of your business.   

If you are interested in hiring Amazon for its Multi-channel fulfillment service, you must have a Pro Seller Account. Since the feature has recently focused its efforts on European countries, your business can ship products within your country. Amazon can send its equivalent versions to Europe through the following available subscription plans:

The Multi-Channel Fulfillment service may be an optional feature, but it helps sellers maximize their sales outside Amazon without having to worry about logistics.

Con #3: The COVID-19 pandemic disrupted traditional Amazon FBA patterns.

The COVID-19 pandemic shook every part of the globe when outbreaks began to surge, and most countries required people to remain in lockdown for months. Economies tumbled for the worse, businesses were severely affected, and a vast portion of people went unemployed. Amazon is no exception to this massive disruption in daily life.

As the pandemic began to be more felt by more countries around the world, Amazon has struggled to keep up with the demand from FBA customers scrambling for household goods. Amazon has announced to all FBA merchants that it will prioritize household goods to deal with the rise in demand and that it won't be receiving restocks for other products. This decision is a shot to the core for most Amazon FBA companies who rely on the program as a means to make sales.

Most e-commerce business models, as a result, have turned to other third-party fulfillment programs to be able to continue delivering orders during such a difficult time.  

Pro #4: Amazon Handles Customer Service and Return Management Concerns 

Most sellers have a lot of things in mind that they want to focus on, and as a result, they are not always able to provide the best service to their customers. Under the FBA Program, however, Amazon takes care of all customer-related concerns related to your products. They have to call Amazon's customer service hotline, and a representative will accommodate them. This benefit is such a huge plus for sellers who want to focus on other parts of their business operations.   

The same thing can be said for return management concerns. Since Amazon has an Online Returns Center for customers to go to, sellers enrolled in the FBA Program don't need to worry about reverse logistics problems. Data shows that 60% of shoppers make a return purchase at least once every year, so proper return management is crucial to managing customer retention.  

Con #4: Beware of Commingling Inventories.

Commingling is an inventory management process on Amazon that combines products from different inventories to make one single collection. Sellers opt to commingle their inventories with others since individually, segregating and labelling your products apart from other sellers can be time-consuming. 

Most Amazon experts discourage commingling inventories under the Amazon FBA Program. If you work tirelessly to make your product as authentic and as hi-quality as possible, you shouldn't be taking risks of having your products mixed up with another seller's mediocre inventory. 

Our Final Thoughts

Enrolling your business to the Amazon FBA Shipping Service poses amazing benefits to boost your brand and reach more online shoppers. However, it does have drawbacks that you must be aware of, and you must expect these common problems to arise should you decide to enroll yourself in the program.

If you are looking for a reputable shipping company that can help you out with Amazon FBA, we at Stallion Express can deliver your products straight to Amazon's fulfillment centers. Book an appointment today!

If there's one reason why Amazon is so popular today, it's because the company was the first to build a customer service infrastructure that other e-commerce platforms can only dream of. Amazon implemented a customer-first philosophy to ensure that shoppers get the best possible experience, and it worked.

Canada is no different than the rest of the world. Canadians hear the word "Amazon," and they automatically think of online shopping. In 2018 alone, more than 30,000 small and medium-sized businesses registered with Amazon Canada generated $900 million in sales and increased profits by 30% during the November/December holiday season. These statistics show that the Amazon brand we know today won't be leaving the Great White North anytime soon.  

While the Amazon Marketplace is dedicated to shoppers who are keen on buying products online, some features help Canadian entrepreneurs reach more customers and ultimately maximize their profits. One such feature is Amazon Canada Fulfillment Services, where businesses can enjoy the FBA Program's benefits. This article is a quick guide for new Canadian firms to know about all costs related to Amazon FBA so that they can make the best possible financial decisions. 

What is the Amazon FBA Program?

The Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) Program is a feature introduced on the Marketplace in 2006 to help sellers streamline their fulfillment processes. Every time an entrepreneur successfully sells a product on the platform, Amazon ships it to the customer for a certain fee. 

If you're an Amazon entrepreneur, you only have to ship your products to your nearest Amazon fulfillment center and let them do the rest. Besides shipping services, you can also allow Amazon to store your products and handle customer service/returns management concerns.

Sellers who wish to integrate their businesses into the program can follow this step-by-step registration process:

Fulfilled by Amazon international shipping can also be provided for businesses with operations outside Canada. While Amazon's international shipping does cost a bit more, it is undoubtedly worth the investment. After all, Amazon has a reputation for providing top-quality customer service to its customers, so any FBA business will be able to ride the bandwagon and absorb the positive feedback from customers. 

How much does Amazon FBA Cost in Canada?

Amazon FBA shipping rates in Canada can be expensive and can turn into quite a hefty business cost very quickly. Any entrepreneur with an FBA business needs to take a systematic approach and plan for these fees ahead of time. This article breaks down all costs that you should know about.

Fulfillment Fees

Amazon Canada Fulfillment Services is calculated either in envelope, standard, or oversized fulfillment fees. You can see the differences between these three shipping rates below:

Removal fees

Amazon also charges a separate fee if you decide to pull out an unsold product from a fulfillment center. After all, Amazon FBA doesn't exist simply to store your products in a warehouse-- it's meant to be sold and shipped to customers. Removal fees are something that any business dread to pay for, so you should try your best not to let this happen.  

Like fulfillment fees, removal fees are also charged for each shipment. It can be calculated as follows:

Disposal Fees

A disposal fee is another unwanted penalty that FBA businesses try to avoid. If you spend your valuable time, effort, and resources on a product and you end up throwing it away, it's always a bad look on your brand.

FBA disposal fees can be calculated as follows:

Long-term Storage Fees

If you choose not to remove or dispose of your products from Amazon's warehouses, you can choose to let them stay there. For an additional cost, of course.

The main difference in calculating long-term storage fees is that it is not charged for every product. Instead, Amazon analyzes the space that your goods take up and subsequently proceeds to make a quote. The more space you take up, the more you have to pay.

Amazon charges CAD 150 in long-term storage fees for every cubic meter. For media-related products, however, Amazon charges per product under a special rate of CAD 0.15.

Conclusion

Amazon Canada Fulfillment Services can be overwhelming for any new Canadian business, especially when they have to factor this on top of other business expenses. Therefore, you need to have a go-to cost breakdown that you can review if you forget about Amazon FBA costs. You can attempt to minimize FBA expenses by creating high-quality products, launching effective campaigns, and building a solid customer base.
Suppose you are interested in hiring a team of shipping professionals to assist you with your shipping needs. In that case, we at Stallion Express can surely help you ship directly to Amazon FBA warehouses. Book an appointment today!

Amazon is the face of the modern e-commerce industry and one of the world's most valuable companies. Its online platform is flocked with shoppers who are enthusiastic about buying products, and sellers who are equally motivated to profit through the Amazon brand. 2019 data shows that Amazon sells products worth $4,700 every second, $280,000 every minute, and approximately $17 million every hour— a clear testament that the platform won't be going anywhere soon.

A considerable portion of Amazon's generated wealth is through its FBA Program. Ever since it launched in 2012, more and more sellers are beginning to register their e-commerce businesses to the Amazon FBA Program, and it's not hard to tell why. As part of the company's goal to revolutionize the e-commerce fulfillment process, Amazon found a strategic way to handle end-to-end solutions for sellers. As a result, a 2019 article posted by G2 Learning Hub showed that businesses enrolling in Amazon FBA saw a 30% to 50% increase in sales.

While FBA is an essential tool for success on Amazon, small and medium-sized businesses usually have a hard time financing the program. For one, Amazon FBA shipping rates are demanding, and it is considered a long-term investment by most entrepreneurs. This article is about trying to outsmart these FBA costs, so you can streamline your Amazon international shipping process and ultimately maximize your sales.

Amazon FBA Costs: Here's What You Should Expect

As a new Amazon entrepreneur, seeing all the FBA costs add up so quickly can be overwhelming. However, if you're too afraid to take a little risk, you might also miss out on the beauty of Amazon FBA. If managed effectively, it's a long-term investment that will allow you to reach more customers and boost your profits.

We've simplified these Amazon FBA costs and separated them into three main sections:

Only if you familiarize yourself with the basics of these three different costs will you create a sound financial strategy. Remember, you still have to factor in your monthly Amazon account and sales fees on top of these costs above, so you have to be prepared! 

Tip 1: Strategize which products you are going to send to Amazon FBA Warehouses.

You know a thing or two about FBA fees, but now we will focus on managing Amazon FBA shipping rates

The first and most practical way to outsmart Amazon FBA shipping costs is to analyze which products you will send to warehouses. After all, Amazon FBA only looks at the size and weight requirements for initial cost calculations. Since your end goal is to have an optimal return of investment with the FBA Program, we suggest only sending products that are priced higher than other items.

For example, if you have a product priced at $5 and another product at $50, it's illogical to send the $5 item if you want to have decent returns. 

Tip 2: Do not send heavy or oversized products.

Heavy and oversized products will cost you more, so it's better if you stick to the right size and weight requirements. Amazon charges penalty fees on a per-item basis, so imagine paying extra for each item you send to the FBA warehouse!

To give you an idea, penalty fees for overweight/oversized products cost between $8.50 (for small parcels) and $137 (for individual, oversized items). Some businesses may send a few oversized items, fully knowing that extra fees exist, but they only do so if they can still ensure a profitable return once the items get sold. 

Another significant disadvantage to heavy and oversized items would arise when you decide to store them in an Amazon warehouse. FBA long-term storage fees are calculated by cubic meters, so heavy or oversized items will cost more since they take up more space.

Tip 3: Calculate all shipping costs ahead of time.

Assuming you ship everything you sell on the Amazon Marketplace, shipping is 50% of your entire business operation. Failing to calculate your shipping costs is undoubtedly a recipe for disaster, so you should know how much you have to pay down to the last penny.

A simple "Amazon ship US to Canada" Google search or FBA inquiry doesn't hurt, especially for newbie sellers with operations in Canada. For instance, if you try selling a $3 wine glass package and think the entire packaging, storing, and shipping process to Canada is not worth your time, you have to rethink your FBA strategy and probably move on to a different product. 

The secret to outsmarting Amazon FBA is knowing which products are worth the service, so calculate your shipping fees in advance.

Tip 4: Bundle your items and ship them as a single product.

Bundling items together is a genius move that savvy FBA entrepreneurs do to save on FBA shipping costs. Amazon's FBA shipping costs are calculated per item. If an entrepreneur decides to sell 20 identical products, he/she has to pay for 20 different shipment fees. To combat this, resourceful sellers thought of this reasonably straightforward formula: You tie or pack multiple items into a single product, and have Amazon ship it using only a single shipment box.   

The only tricky part of the bundling technique is meeting each shipment box's size and weight requirements. If you bundle your products, but you still have to pay for oversize and overweight fees, then doing it is practically useless. Ensure you group your items strategically, so you only reduce your spending and not pay for other penalties.

Tip 5: Utilize the Amazon FBA Inventory Performance Dashboard.

The Amazon FBA Inventory Performance Dashboard is a useful tool for FBA sellers to monitor their inventory movement and productivity. Smart entrepreneurs know that real-time data matters— if they notice a product doesn't move much or isn't selling as well as others, they immediately grab it off the warehouse to reduce long-term costs. On top of monitoring capabilities, it also acts as a bot consultant that provides suggestions on how you can better manage your FBA inventory. From stranded inventory actions to excess inventory and restock tips, the Inventory Performance Dashboard is helpful.

The dashboard is also useful for achieving a higher score on the Inventory Performance Index (IPI). Amazon tracks the inventory performance of all its sellers every quarter, and sellers with higher ratings get unlimited storage for their inventories. Those who score lower are given a strict storage limit and subsequent over storage fees.

Conclusion: Yes, you can outsmart Amazon FBA Shipping Rates.

Amazon may have pre-determined shipping rates for its FBA Program, but that doesn't mean you can't navigate it and reduce your shipping costs. Savvy entrepreneurs formulate strategic business plans, know the Amazon shipping process's ins-and-outs, and are aware of all the tools that can help them boost their sales even more.

The Amazon FBA Program inevitably sets you up for potential success. With the ability to tap millions of customers and ride the coattails of Amazon's success, skyrocketing your e-commerce business to the next level is possible. To achieve this, minimizing FBA shipping costs should be one of your top priorities. 

If you're interested in hiring a reputable Amazon shipping company, we at Stallion Express have a team of shipping professionals who can ship directly to FBA warehouses for affordable prices. Book an appointment today!    

In the second quarter of 2020, North America had the highest internet penetration rate at 90.7%. With the unexpected pandemic, people have relied now more than ever on the internet for most of its purchases.

As an e-commerce seller, opening your business to other parts of the globe allows you to cover a wider market for your product. While setting up an account in online marketplaces seems easy enough, getting the product to your customer in the fastest time possible can be challenging. You need to find the right balance between when to resort to standard versus express international shipping. 

Allowing your business to partner with a reliable e-commerce shipping provider that offers the cheapest international shipping from Canada is crucial. Evaluating between figuring out how to save on delivery costs and the overall customer experience takes practice.

Best practical shipping options

Picking out the cheapest international shipping rate is good for your business, monetary-wise. But not ideal for the eager customers who ordered it.

If you are selling in-demand items, then most likely, picking out the most affordable shipping fees (which takes the longest delivery time) will take a toll on your overall customer satisfaction.


For context, high delivery fees seem to be the number one frustration of consumers, more than being unable to touch the product, and the item priced too high. Seventy-seven percent discard their shopping cart after seeing the unexpected delivery costs.

So how do you find the right spot of keeping your margin while not compromising on customer experience? 

Free Shipping

As mentioned earlier, a big chunk of online buyers often do not proceed with their checkout after seeing high shipping fees. This is why offering free shipping is a very effective method. 

Ideally, free shipping would mean that you, as a seller, would shoulder the cost. However, many online retailers have figured out ways to go about this technique and still keep their profit.

  1. Let the customers shoulder some of the shipping costs by integrating the amount on top of the product price. So, upon checkout, they no longer see an added shipping fee.
  2. Create a price bracketing. Set a total minimum purchase price for customers to get free shipping. As the free shipping concept is very straightforward, buyers find it easier to shop for more items to get free shipping.
  3. Offer free shipping on particular products that will make enough sales to cover your cost on fast-moving and highly marketable products from your store.

Flat Rate Shipping

Flat rate shipping may not seem as eye-catching as free shipping. However, this, too, is a very no-fuss shipping option.

  1. No matter what the total order value is, the customer pays a flat rate. No more, no less.
  2. Devise a fixed rate tier. Based on the subtotal value, customers pay a specific flat rate (for orders up to $20, shipping rate is $5; orders up to $50, the shipping rate is $10)
  3. Fixed-rate tier based on subtotal value and geographical location. The further from the major hub, the higher the rate.

This shipping method is convenient for the customer because it eliminates any confusion upon checkout. As long as the flat rate shipping instructions are listed on the product page itself, the buyer will be clear about the approximate fee they are ready to pay.

Integration

Remember, people shop online for the convenience of it. So be transparent on your item listing about delivery rates and days. This way, customers will not be shocked to see some added charges.

Since there are many technical variables when it comes to shipping, one practical way to approach it is to integrate your e-commerce site/s to numerous courier services. This is done through third-party providers, or you can directly set-up accounts, individually, to major delivery providers.

The integration allows you to offer a variety of shipping options upon checkout. By incorporating your e-commerce platform, you give your customers the freedom to choose their delivery provider and package option.

This integration is an additional expense for your business, but it enables you to have more time to attend to other business matters.

In conclusion

While the idea of ultimately offering the cheapest international shipping from Canada is very tempting, it is crucial to consider that the customers’ average waiting time for delivery of goods is now between 2 - 4 days. However, expedited international shipping is costly too. Finding that balance of not overcharging your customers and keeping your margin afloat, takes some time to figure out.

Integrating your site with different delivery providers enables you to focus your efforts on other facets of your business. Having options at checkout empowers your customers to decide which shipping method and courier they prefer, therefore, resulting in conversion rates and overall customer satisfaction.

Are you interested in knowing more about how to start integrating your site? Explore your options and call our toll-free number at 877-863-7447 and talk to one of our account executives.

Ship faster, smarter, and cheaper with Stallion Express
© 2020 Stallion Express  |  Legal
Ship faster, smarter, and cheaper with Stallion Express
Stallion Express 2020  |  Legal
crossmenuchevron-down linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram