Amazon Vendor Benefits Increase
With New FBA Labeling Service

By Joe Waynick
December 23, 2012

Has anyone tried Amazon’s new labeling service? As an Amazon vendor you're privy to a wide range of business and management services. And Amazon recently announced that if you’re using FBA they’ll label your books for you. That’s a major time saver if you’re a heavy FBA user.

Since I'm usually buying books wholesale I'll send 300 – 1,200 books to Amazon at a time, depending on whether I’m shipping them via UPS or ABF freight. Still, that’s a lot of labels.

The expectations of an Amazon vendor include delivering world-class customer service at all times. And the new labeling service helps us do that. However, the new service doesn’t come free (awe…sorry to disappoint you.)

How Amazon Labeling Works

The items you want Amazon to label must meet the minimum qualifications in accordance with the Amazon Services Business Solutions Agreement. Normally, books, DVDs, CDs, and VHS tapes that are not oversized will meet the qualification, but you should double-check your items to make sure.

When an Amazon vendor has items that meet the requirements, Amazon will label your qualifying inventory in their fulfillment center using the product information you provide.

You can increase your productivity by using Amazon's labeling service if you're willing to pay the freight.

One of the qualifications is that your items have a scanable barcode for easy data entry into Amazon's system. But if your books are ISBN only or pre-ISBN then you'll have to separate them out into their own shipment and label them yourself. If you don't separate them, then the books will be rejected.

Also, it goes without saying that if you don't clean old books Amazon reserves the right to reject those as well.

How Much Does Amazon Labeling Cost?

If you take advantage of this new service it’ll set you back $0.20 per item and it’ll be deducted right from your Amazon seller account. For a shipment of 1,000 books that’s $200 out of my pocket – ouch! Clearly, this isn’t meant for listing penny books even though Amazon prices for the service is extremely reasonable.

Nevertheless, if you sell big ticket items the service is well worth the extra cost. My minimum price threshold for using the new service is $10.

That’s not exactly “big ticket” but it leaves about $4.25 in gross profit less fixed overhead. And I can live with a 42.5% profit margin.

Obviously, the primary benefit to sellers using this Amazon fulfillment service is in saving time. After all, a one person operation only has so many minutes per day available to work his or her business; especially if that person is also holding down a full-time job.

The older I get the slower I get, and the harder it gets to paste all those labels. It's rare that you'll find fulfillment companies that offer this level of assistance.

These new fulfillment services being offered to the average Amazon vendor is starting to sound better to me all the time. Especially if you operate a small Amazon book store because this service will help you grow.

A Really Helpful Fulfillment-Service

There are product fulfillment companies that promise to help your business grow. But this simple act of labeling your books is one of those items that save time and money without breaking the bank.

Some fulfillment vendors make big promises and fail to deliver the goods. However, Amazon is known worldwide for its customer oriented philosophy.

Making a profit running your own business is hard enough. But if you work online selling books as an Amazon vendor, then you may gain some important economies of scale by looking into their labeling service.

This is especially true if you're taking advantage of part time income opportunities when you sell used books. It's one of the few quick ways to save money that may actually pay-off!

Joe Waynick is author of several eCommerce books covering the bookselling and publishing industry. Follow him on Twitter @JoeWaynick.

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