Amazon Marketplace Team: New Shipping Policies


#1

Hello! This morning most of us should have gotten an e-mail from the Amazon team with some new policies. I am looking for help interpreting the last part of said e-mail, regarding tracking.

>New Requirements to Offer Two-Day Shipping
>Beginning next week, there will be new requirements for sellers that want to continue offering the Two-Day Shipping option. If you do not meet these requirements by October 15, 2014, Two-Day Shipping may be disabled in your account
>
>TRACKING
>You will be required to use a trackable ship method and provide valid tracking IDs on most orders. You must have a minimum of 94% tracking rate on orders placed with Two-Day Shipping and an 80% tracking rate across all orders including those with Standard or Expedited Shipping. Orders with Standard Shipping that contain only media products are not included when we calculate your tracking rate.

So we ship a lot of items in plain white envelopes with no tracking. The items are $1-5 and are collectible cards. Such a large percent of our orders fall into this plain white envelope tracking, we only have tracking on 9.8% of our orders. You would think this causes problems but we have minimal issues (0.07% ODR).

Since this e-mail we have become concerned about the future of our orders. Main questions are:

  1. Does not having tracking on a majority of our orders ONLY impact our Two-Day shipping privileges?
  2. If the policies are not limited to Two-Day Shipping privileges, do we face any other penalties?

We have contacted Amazon via phone about this twice, and got different answers each time. One saying we will be fine, and the other saying we need to change.

I am looking for help on the interpretation of this e-mail and the policy I am referencing to. Another employee is still working on getting clarification from the Amazon team, but I want to now how you see it.

Thanks!


#2

Okay, thank you Marilyn. That’s what we wanted to assume but it’s never good to take chances with Amazon. Especially since their Seller Support reps. gave us polar opposite responses!


#3

It only affects two day shipping.

It’s metrics much like the ones necessary to offer one day handling.


#4

I understood the requirements to be for being allowed to offer 2nd day shipping, hence the title

New Requirements to Offer Two-Day Shipping


#5

So if we didn’t receive said email, we’re not affected?


#6

Based on what you’ve written, you probably won’t have the 2-Day shipping Option after October 15, 2014.

"we only have tracking on 9.8% of our orders."
Amazon requires tracking for 80% of all orders shipped

“Does not having tracking on a majority of our orders ONLY impact our Two-Day shipping privileges?” YES

"If the policies are not limited to Two-Day Shipping privileges, do we face any other penalties?"
The New Policy is limited to Two-Day Shipping privileges. You face no penalties as far as Amazon.com shipping options go, but you won’t have the Two-Day Shipping option available.


#7

That’s what I’m assuming.


#8

I read it as on all Amazon orders - why would they put “You must have a minimum of 94% tracking rate on orders placed with Two-Day Shipping and an 80% tracking rate across all orders including those with Standard or Expedited Shipping” - standard orders and expedited are NOT Two-day. Thus, I believe it applies to all sellers and orders on Amazon.


#9

I am glad you asked this question. I read the email, then our “go to” person for shipping read it. We both came away with completely different interpretations.

I understood it to say, if you are going to offer 2-day shipping, the confirmation for all 2-day shipments must include a tracking number.

My colleague read it and understood it to say, if you are going to be allowed to offer 2-day shipping, ALL of your orders (standard, expedited, 2-day) must include a tracking number.

What was the final determination from your research?


#10

Put this together with the email they sent out a while back totally eliminating the one-day shipping (as of Sept. 30th) for FBM sellers and cutting out the 1 to 2-day handling time on orders shipping 2-day, I’d say Amazon was getting too many buyer complaints and shipping refunds issued because 2-day orders weren’t being received in 2 days as promised by the seller. I can’t see any reason other than that for Amazon to all of a sudden start cracking down on this.


#11

Dont offer 2 days shipping then, it wont affect you


#12

“+Orders with Standard Shipping that contain only media products are not included when we calculate your tracking rate.+”

I would take this to mean that the collectible cards you ship probably fall into this category, therefore it should not affect your ODR nor the percentage needed to be able to offer two-day shipping.

As I read it, anything that is shipped that is not media, 80% of it should have tracking numbers and if it is supposed to ship two-day then they require 94% with tracking numbers. Seems easy to comply with unless you ship a lot of non-media items first class without tracking.


#13

IMO it makes sense. If buyer is looking for 2 day or expedited service and the seller they are thinking about using hardly ever follows though, they would be able to weed through the seller that don’t make the effort. Those that do will stand out. I like the idea since we get the items to the local sorting center 5 blocks away pretty quick.


#14

Never got this email. Always check my spam folder too.
HMMMM. No notice on my main seller page either.
Is this Amazon’s latest scam. Not notify sellers, then shut them down because they didn’t comply.


#15

May I ask WHY you would ever sell anything on Amazon for less than $5? Amazon charges $1.00 minimum fee on most categories now, so I don’t understand when I see items on Amazon for $1.00 Prime with Free Shipping they are literally paying Amazon another $2.57 on top of that for the customer to take it. It would be far better to just Dispose of that item. We won’t sell anything under 3.49 - 3.95 and only when it’s a dumping ground closeout, where we would be sending it to local auction or recycler, last ditch effort to get rid of it. The minimum cost for a “Letter Tracking” used to be 1.25 for things in an Envelope, but those don’t really “track” for Amazon purposes.

The smallest cost to sell anything on Amazon is about 2.25 - 2.57 whether or not you use Prime. Then with the new $1.00 minimum commission it is up to $3.57 on all Prime Items and just slightly less than that with Merchant Fulfilled depending on your shipping method.

I don’t see how you are making any profit at all. Our goal is to have a minimum purchase of $14.95 or we won’t even list it going forward to any online venue. We will just re-bundle those items to make an assortment or increase the Qty of the package.

We’ve NEVER offered 1 or 2 day shipping options because the only way to meet that is with Fedex or UPS. Unless you are selling super expensive items and really hammering the customer there is no way to use those methods… If an item needs to be Expedited we always send it into FBA because then it costs us 1/20th of what our cost is :slight_smile:

Best wishes,
Jay

Edited by: 3rd Venue on Sep 15, 2014 4:50 PM


#16

You answered your own question with “on most categories”. Trading Card Singles is an excluded category.


#17

HotSauce,

I’m right there with you, though about a third of my orders ship with tracking. I haven’t received any further messages on this issue lately, but I interpreted it to mean that it would only affect my ability to offer 2-day shipping, and would not affect anything else.


#18

As a newish seller, I still use the post office to ship, on the bottom of every address that I ship to, shows a tracking number on the receipt! And as I am setting up to use stamps online, they offer free tracking, as does endica,etc , so I’m not sure why tracking would even be an issue? “Never received the email” however; I have reset my shipping to not include 2day or overnight in the last 2 weeks Because coming out of a small coastal community, it always takes 2-3 days, and to guarentee it in two means it has to go overnight, (which I don’t have to tell you would kill any kind of profit) And shipping overnight takes two days from here anyway, so it’s not worth the possible negative feedback.


#19

I’m not sure if I’m following the initial portion of your message…are you referring to the lower percentages of tracked shipments? If so, that is an inaccurate view, as HS and I are referring to standard & economy shipments without tracking. 2-day shipments obviously do ship with tracking (I am unfamiliar with any 2-day services that don’t include tracking).

I view Amazon’s decision as creating more of a gap between speedy delivery by non-Prime fulfillment and Prime eligible items (hence the elimination of 1-day completely). It encourages buyers to subscribe to Prime by greatly eliminating speedy delivery from non-Amazon & non-FBA offers, which in turn will increase FBA participation. I don’t know to what scale this would occur, but this was what immediately popped into mind when I saw the elimination and limitation of shipping options choices available for 3P sellers.


#20

Thanks American Hobby, I think you interpretation is correct. We are still waiting to get some kind of official word back from Amazon but it basically looks like we won’t be able to Two-Day ship anymore. Unless TCG’s count as media items, which I personally am unsure of.