This has been a big week in the world of e-commerce when it comes to news about shipping. Just this week we learned that the Trump Administration is backing out of an age-old agreement that allowed China to send packages to the USA and steeply discounted, subsidized pricing. Then we learned yesterday that the Canadian …
Dropshippers Who Rely on Cheap Chinese E-Packet Shipping at Risk Earlier today a major story was published on the New York Times entitled “Trump Opens New Front in His Battle With China: International Shipping”. The overall summary is that as part of the ongoing trade war with China, the Trump Administration is terminating the …
Attention Amazon Sellers,
In case you haven’t noticed, Amazon is making serious changes to their policies impacting 3rd party marketplace sellers. Just a couple of weeks ago they started restricting well-known brands from being sold without approval. Just last week they announced a major change in their return policy as well.
It appears they are still making changes to improve the overall customer experience in the buildup to Q4 and the 2016 Holiday Season. In yet another announcement, Amazon is requiring merchants who are fulfilling very small, lightweight items that are typically shipped in regular first class envelopes or flats to include tracking. This does not apply if the item is priced less than $10 USD. Otherwise, the addition of the “package” weight and delivery confirmation from the US Postal Service will add a couple of bucks to each shipment.
Beginning October 12, 2016, Amazon’s package tracking requirement will extend to small and light items that are priced over $10 USD (including shipping). Please note that this is a change from the previous policy that tracking would not be required for any items that fit in a USPS Standard Mail envelope or First Class Mail envelope.
Small and light items under $10 in price (including shipping) can still be shipped in USPS Standard Mail envelopes or First Class Mail envelopes without tracking; however, starting on the date listed above, we will require tracking for small and light items over $10, just as we do for the catalog in general.
Amazon displays package tracking information buyers because we find that being able to check an order’s shipment status and not worry about its whereabouts creates a better experience for buyers. This peace of mind is especially important for higher-priced orders.
In addition to an improved customer experience, providing valid tracking numbers for all of your shipments has several benefits:
1. Decreased order defects and better seller feedback ratings
2. Fewer buyer messages
3. Reduced lost shipment costs
4. Improved conversion
If you choose to fulfill the tracking requirement by shipping your item as a parcel, there may be a $1-2 increase in base shipping cost but you will receive complimentary tracking on the parcel. You can access parcel rates while using the same packaging that you typically use by wrapping your item lightly in bubble wrap before putting it in the packaging, such that the thickness is more than 3/4” thick.
Small and light packages that are shipped before October 12 will not be counted toward the valid tracking requirement. After October 12, if you aren’t providing tracking on 95% of your items in a given category (including small and light items over $10), you risk losing your ability to sell non-FBA items within that category.
You can view your current Valid Tracking Rate by category by going to Seller Central > Performance > Customer Satisfaction > Account Health. Tracked packages will count toward your Valid Tracking Rate when there is at least one carrier scan recorded. If you purchase postage through Amazon’s Buy Shipping service, tracking will be automatically applied to the shipment at the time of purchase.
Learn more about :
• The new Valid Tracking Rate: https://sellercentral.amazon.com/gp/help/201817070
• Premium Shipping options: https://sellercentral.amazon.com/gp/help/201503640
• Amazon’s Buy Shipping services: https://sellercentral.amazon.com/gp/help/200472530
Thank you for selling on Amazon,
Amazon Seller Performance Team
Amazon is certainly tightening down in preparation for the holidays. Marketplace Sellers are being hit left and right with now policy punches that can make it more difficult (and more expensive) to run their businesses.