Sept 12 – FBA Tools With Chris Green

Chris Green, FBA Power, Scout, Repricer and More

Chris Green  Chris Green is an amazing person to learn from!  I’ve known Chris on a couple of email lists for a year or so and I’m constantly amazed at his brain!  He just thinks different. Comes up with these amazing products, does not know what “You Can’t Do That” means and really knows his stuff about eCommerce, selling on eBay and Amazon and much more.

I’m excited to announce a partnership between eCom Connections and FBA Power – if you sign up to try out FBA Power or the entire suite of FBA Products (FBA Scout, FBA Repricer AND FBA Power), you will get an EXTENDED free trial. Sign up at the official FBA Power website and you wil get a 2 week free trial. BUT use our link!  and you will get a full 30 day free trial! This is a great chance to TRY out this tool set and find out if selling on Amazon using FBA (Fulfillment By Amazon) is for you!

Now for the bonus info I promised the listeners today. This is an article Chris wrote for his own blog and was also posted in Skip McGrath’s newsletter.  I am re-posting the entire article here with a link to his blog so that you may follow his thoughts in the future. This is a fantastic piece on leveraging the power of Amazon’s amazing Shipping Costs to build your business anywhere, even, yes, EVEN, on EBAY!

FBA and eBay: Using Amazon’s Fulfillment Program to Ship your eBay Orders

There is a lot of talk lately about Amazon’s fulfillment program called Fulfillment By Amazon, or FBA, but is it only online sellers who sell on Amazon who can get in on all the fun? The answer is no. A common misconception is that FBA is for Amazon only and while Amazon and FBA certainly go hand in hand, a seller’s items are not tied to the Amazon sales channel once they are stored in an FBA fulfillment center.

Amazon’s FBA program has what is called Multi-Channel Fulfillment meaning that you can still list and sell your FBA inventory on other channels and fulfill those orders through FBA.

This article has two ‘A-HA’ moments. The first is that you can ship your FBA inventory to fulfill orders that you receive from any channel such as eBay or your own website at very competitive rates (likely less than what it costs you to do it yourself). Using Multi-Channel Fulfillment allows you to sell on any sales channel and still fulfill your orders needing only access to a computer. You don’t need to store your own inventory, multiple sizes of boxes, print labels, or go to the Post Office every day. You get the orders, Amazon ships them out. This goes on whether you are at home or on vacation. Once you get your inventory to an FBA fulfillment center, you can manage it from anywhere on the planet! A-HA!

The second is the big one; how to LEVERAGE this new information into increased margins and a more efficient business model. Using Multi-Channel Fulfillment properly can truly revolutionize your business. You can lower your overhead in shipping costs, warehouse space, and labor costs while at the same time increasing your margins on every item that you sell. This is because of the extremely competitive costs associated with Multi-Channel Fulfillment. More on this after the fee breakdown.

This is truly a win-win-win situation that most sellers would not believe is true:
Win #1: Increase margins and profits (higher payouts per item)
Win #2: Reduce work (outsource storage, picking, packing, shipping)
Win #3: Improve customer satisfaction (shipments arrive faster)

This would seem like a magic potion from business fairlyland, but it’s not; it’s simply learning how to use the available tools optimally. Run the numbers (shown below) and take the steps to streamline your business.

Fees Involved

Yes, there are fees involved but these fees are fixed and known upfront for Multi-Channel Fulfillment orders. Since they are your orders and not orders on the Amazon website, there is no Amazon commission.

Multi-Channel Fulfillment Fees
The Multi-Channel Fulfillment fees consist of a per order ‘Order Handling’ fee, a per unit ‘Pick & Pack’ fee, and a per pound ‘Weight Handling’ fee. These fees can be seen below:

You can calculate your Multi-Channel Fulfillment rates prior to sending inventory to FBA. You can also experiment with your FBA inventory by making ‘pretend orders’ and reviewing the rates for Standard (Ground), Expedited (2-Day Air), and Priority (Overnight) shipping services.

I just did a ‘pretend order’ in my Amazon seller account on a five pound item. Total fulfillment fees (inludes picking, packing, boxes, shipping, etc.) are as follows:

Standard (Ground): $7.75
Expedited (2-Day Air): $11.25
Priority (Overnight): $23

This is for anywhere in the USA. It is not based on zip code; it is based on fixed fees and weight. Once these costs are known, you can then price your items strategically on other channels (more on this later). For comparison, here are the UPS Published Rates and Daily Rates for a five pound shipment from Massachusetts to Washington State:

Ground Published: $13.98 – one week in transit
Ground Daily: $9.76 – one week in transit
2-Day Air Published: $44.25 – two days in transit
2-Day Air Daily: $35.04 – two days in transit
Overnight Published: $77.00 – one day in transit
Overnight Daily: $67.04 – one day in transit

Remember, in addition to being more expensive to ship myself, I would also have to store the product, be home to process orders, keep boxes and other packing materials on hand, pick and pack my own orders, print shipping labels, and then get my boxes to UPS or the Post Office. Easy choice if you ask me!

Inbound Shipping Fees
To use Multi-Channel Fulfillment, you have to get your items sent to an FBA fulfillment center. They have to be labeled properly with special barcodes so that Amazon can properly identify your items. You are able to use Amazon’s partnered UPS rates for inbound FBA shipments. These are the best rates around. Depending on where you are located and what fulfillment center your items are going to, this will be about $.20 – $.60 per pound.

Storage Fees
Amazon does charge storage fees based on unit volume. These rates are very low and can easily be managed by only sending in enough supply to match your sales. Many sellers find the storage rates to be so attractive that they want to send all of their inventory to FBA. It is recommended to only send in a maximum of one year supply at a time as Amazon charges $45/cubic foot for items left in FBA inventory more than one year.

Removal Fees
If you no longer want to have your inventory in Amazon’s fulfillment centers, you can request to have your items returned to you or destroyed. Having your items returned to you costs $.50 per unit for regular items and $.60 per unit for oversize items. If you want Amazon to simply remove and destroy your inventory items, the cost is $.15 for regular items and $.30 for oversize items.

‘A-HA’ Moment #2 – How to LEVERAGE Multi-Channel Fulfillment

Having access to Multi-Channel Fulfillment at Amazon rates a very powerful thing. Imagine UPS came to your small, fledgling eBay business and said that you can now have Amazon UPS rates for all of your shipping needs. Impossible? Too good to be true? You could lower your shipping costs drastically without having to be a big shipper? This is essentially what you get by using FBA’s Multi-Channel Fulfillment. Your shipping rates are now significantly lower than your competitors; use this to your advantage! Here’s how:

There is more to a purchase than ‘just the item’. There is more to a transaction than just price; even on commodity items where you and your competition sell the exact same item. Consider ways to differentiate yourself as a seller on eBay: feedback, return policy, a well designed listing page (or not), and shipping options/speed (among others). The shipping is where you can now trump your competition by offering your customers something that they simply cannot offer (at least not at the price that it costs you).

There are several strategies that you can use. Since your shipping rates are now lower than your competitor’s, you can beat them on price and still make the same profit per item. This is an ‘apples to apples’ comparison. You may now be able to sell at a price that is profitable for you, but not for them. This may cause them to stop selling a product and you would not have to compete against them anymore (and prices will rise). You can also set up barriers to entry to new competition who can’t figure out how you are able to make a profit on your items since they don’t know you are using FBA Multi-Channel Fulfillment.

Another strategy to use would be to offer premium shipping such as 2-Day Air on your products at the same price as your competitor charges for Ground shipping. This makes it a ‘rotten apples to fresh apples’ comparison. You are both selling apples and for the same price, you are able to offer the customer MORE than your competitor can. If a buyer on eBay is buying a commodity type item and they can get it for $100 from you in two days or they can get it from your competition for $100 but will have to wait a week or more, who do you think will get the sale? You are able to maintain margins and take the lion’s share of the sales by offering your customers more but not increasing your overhead. This will drive your competition crazy as they will think that you are paying high shipping rates to ship 2-Day Air and must not be making any money. Let them think that all they want; just keep it your little secret.

How to Increase Margins with Multi-Channel Fulfillment

The previous examples are valid ways to use Multi-Channel Fulfillment, but personally, I don’t recommend these strategies, especially for small sellers. You are able to capture more sales, but that also comes with more work. I prefer to increase margins and differentiate myself as a seller from my competition and not compete solely on price. What I’ll show you below is how using Multi-Channel Fulfillment allows you to market you items at higher prices effectively, while keeping your overall fulfillment costs the same. This increase in margin goes directly towards your business’ bottom line.

I strongly recommend this book:
It will change the way you see price, buyers, and your competition. It is worth every penny. I only wish I read it before I started selling on eBay where I tried to compete solely on price!

Above we talked about how you can use Multi-Channel Fulfillment to stop fighting in the ‘apples to apples’ comparison game. When you can change it to an ‘apples to oranges’ comparison, you can then market your oranges against your competitor’s apples (even though the actual items that you both sell are the exact same). You can make your oranges more attractive for the same price and capture sales, but I prefer to position my oranges as a premium seller. I can offer the same commodity item as my competition but with faster shipping and charge more for it. I can charge more because I am offering more (fast delivery options vs. slow delivery options). You will find customers that will see the difference and the added value that you provide with your oranges and they will pay you more for it. This is how you increase your margins on the same items that your competitors sell.

On eBay, you can also now add the Get It Fast option to your shipping settings. I recommend offering 2-Day Air shipping for free and factoring in your fulfillment costs into the price of your item. Then, just calculate the difference between Expedited (2-Day) and Priority (Overnight) and make that the upcharge for Overnight shipping (or round it to something neat like $9.95). Again, these are options that you competition simply cannot offer at a competitive price. EBay makes these options available because they know some buyers want their items FAST and these buyers are willing to pay more to get their items fast. They even let you sort search results showing only items with the Get It Fast option. You are able to charge more because you are offering more. Here are two images I made to pomote my eBay listings. Feel free to use them if you like.


Check out this example with costs and fee breakdowns. Note the increased Return On Investment (or ROI). This is the key.

$17.53 – $22.60 more on each transaction and 35.1% – 45.2% higher margins.

This isn’t even an ‘apples to apples’ comparison! In addition to making more money per sale, I’m doing less work AND my customers get their items faster. But don’t just take my word for it; run the numbers yourself.

It’s all about the perceived value of what you are offering. 2-Day Air shipping is incredibly valuable, especially to a buyer who needs their items fast. It would normally cost $30-$40 for 2-Day Air shipping on that five pound item, but they get that value from you for less. This is what makes your items more attractive than your competitor’s.

This is not a volume game; it’s a margins game. Sellers who consistently make the most margins will thrive in the good times and survive in tough times. Sellers who ignore margin and try to ‘make it up in volume’ will work way too hard for too little of a reward. Always run the numbers!

Different channels may fare better by using different strategies. Learn the customer base of each one and market your items appropriately. What works on eBay may not be the best strategy for your own website. A combination of these strategies is also something to consider.

FBA Multi-Channel Fulfillment is currently only for domestic orders although I would expect that Amazon is working towards adding more international options. If you get a lot of international orders, you may want to consider keeping some of your items on hand to ship yourself and only sending a portion of your inventory to Amazon’s fulfillment centers.


Chris wrote up this amazing piece and posted it in the FBA Forum. He sent it to me this morning with permission to repost for you. The FBA Forum is a help site for FBA Power users and FBA Power recently hired one of our favorite guests, Bob Wiley, to help out there so it should be run well!

Years ago I would never dream of sharing info like this, but I’ve mellowed out a bit since then. This the type of deal that we make big bucks on. It’s too easy. Check it out:

Only good through 8/18/2011
They are likely trying to move a bunch of inventory to make room for Q4 (Christmas) stuff.

This works because multiple things are happening at once. Price drop on both kits: $149 down to $129 and $269 down to $199.

Buying these kits for RESALE means you do not pay tax. Anyone buying these kits should to go the Post Office on the way to Home Depot and ask for a Mover’s Packet and get the 10% off Lowe’s coupon. That makes the OUT THE DOOR price for these kits $116.10 and $179.10.

Buying the smart way (tax free and with a 10% off coupon) means that you are paying LESS than any competitors. In Texas, this was 18.25% LESS! If we sold at the same price as our competition, we made more per sale because our costs were lower.

Plus you get a FREE TOOL on the spot (way better than a mail-in rebate).

Best tools to get free:

Ryobi P260 18V Impact Wrench

Ryobi P221 18V Rotary Hammer

Why are these the best? Because they have the highest resale value.

P260 on Amazon:

P260 on eBay:

P221 on eBay:

P221 isn’t even on Amazon yet.

You could sell as kits, or the money-maker way is to part them out. This is like a ‘chop-shop’ where the pieces are worth more than whole kit. RUN THE NUMBERS YOURSELF. See what you can sell the tools, batteries, chargers, even the bag: even has them pre-bundled:

How do you get tax free online?
You will have to pay tax at checkout, but you can fax your tax exempt status to Home Depot afterwards and they will refund it back to you. Spend $249+ to get free shipping.

If you have a Home Depot 10% code for online use, you can enter it here. The best price would be in store. Go to the Pro Desk and explain what you want to do.

hope you see what I see – LOTS to learn here!

Amazon Holiday Toys Sellers Requirements out!

AmazonHello from Amazon Services,

To maintain buyer confidence in Amazon this holiday season, we are implementing Holiday Selling Guidelines for the Toys & Games store.

Effective September 19, 2011, we will stop accepting new non-FBA sellers in Toys & Games.* Effective November 15, 2011, only those sellers who meet the following performance criteria will be eligible to sell in Toys & Games from November 15, 2011 through the first week in January 2012:

- Seller’s first sale on must be prior to 09/19/2011 (sale does not need to be Toy-specific).
- Seller must have processed and shipped at least 25 orders (do not need to be Toy-specific) during the 60 consecutive days preceding 11/1/2011.
- No greater than 1% short term order defect rate as of 11/1/2011.
- No greater than 2.5% pre-fulfillment cancel rate for the trailing 30-days preceding 11/1/2011.
- No greater than 5% late shipment rate for the trailing 30-days preceding 11/1/2011.

*Orders fulfilled by Amazon will not be subject to the holiday season restrictions provided your account is in good standing.

You can find your Customer Metrics in your seller account. If your performance does not meet the above criteria, we encourage you to take corrective action.

We will provide final notification about your eligibility to sell in the Toys & Games store by the middle of November 2011.

Beginning November 15, 2011, we will monitor the performance and listings of sellers who are approved to sell in Toys & Games during the holiday season. Amazon Services reserves the right to cancel listings, suspend accounts, and prohibit the sale of specific products to maintain a marketplace that is safe for buyers.

Here are some steps you can take to remain eligible to sell in Toys & Games throughout the holiday season:

- Monitor your Customer Metrics and take corrective action if necessary.
- Utilize Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) to ship products to your customers.
- Check your orders frequently in the Manage Orders section of your account
- Minimize order cancellations; don’t show more stock for sale than you have available to ship.
- Ship orders and confirm shipment in a timely manner.
- Ensure your seller policies are up to date.
- If you work with outside drop-shippers, solidify their SLA commitments for providing prompt shipping confirmation.

For answers to common questions, please see the FAQ below. Thank you for selling at


Amazon Services

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Why does Amazon implement Holiday Selling Guidelines for the Toys & Games store?
Buyers have high expectations for purchases made during the holidays.  We want to ensure that our sellers in Toys & Games provide a high-quality customer experience.

2. When will all sellers be able to list in the Toys & Games store again?
All sellers will be able to list in Toys & Games during the first week in January 2012. We will post an announcement in your seller account when the holiday season restrictions have been lifted.

3. How will I know if I’m approved to sell in the Toys & Games store during the holiday season?
Amazon will notify you by e-mail of your eligibility by mid-November. Note that as of September 19, 2011, no new sellers will be eligible to sell in the Toys & Games store until the holiday restrictions have been lifted.

4. How do the Holiday Selling Guidelines affect me if I use Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA)?
Orders that are fulfilled by Amazon will not be subject to the holiday season restrictions provided your selling account is in good standing.

5. Do these restrictions apply to my Webstore?
Yes. Again, this is to ensure that that our sellers in Toys & Games can provide a high-quality customer experience and that all orders are fulfilled and delivered in a manner that meets or exceeds our customers’ expectations.

6. What is an order defect?
An order has a “defect” if it incurs a negative feedback, an A-to-z Guarantee claim or a service credit card chargeback. Your order defect rate is defined as the number of orders with a defect divided by the number of orders in the time period of interest. Order defect rate is the key measure of your ability to provide a good customer experience. Learn more about performance criteria for sellers by searching with keywords “performance measurement” in our online Seller Help.

GREAT update for Amazon Sellers Return Policies!

New options for customers #LIKE this!


New returns management features
Jul 15, 2011

Within the coming weeks a new Manage Returns page will be available in the Manage Orders section of your seller account.

Buyers may now initiate returns through the Online Returns Center, just as they do for products sold by Amazon. When a buyer requests a return authorization, a message will be sent to you. If you authorize the return, the buyer will receive a non-prepaid Return Merchandise Label (RML) that includes your return address and a Return Merchandise Authorization (RMA) number.

You can enter your return address in the Settings section of your seller account. This information will be required for return approval through Manage Returns and will be reflected on the RML the buyer receives.

For more information see the Manage Returns and Return Address seller Help pages. You can add your return address now if you like.

To ensure a consistent experience for buyers, Amazon sellers are required to have return policies that are at least as favorable as the Amazon return policies. To help provide the best experience for buyers, we have updated the return information in your Returns tab to clarify that buyers may return products to you in accordance with the return policies.

The updated return information directs buyers to the return policies and gives buyers the ability to contact you for information about any more favorable policies that may apply. If your inventory includes Fulfillment by Amazon items, your Returns tab will reference the return policies.

For more information see the return policies Help pages.

Amazon Updates FBA Storage Program!

Amazon Seller Services

Just got this in my email and thought others who are considering FBA (Fulfillment By Amazon) might be interested. I do NOT see this as a game changer – simply a reminder to be AWARE of what is going on with your inventory and not plan on using the FBA warehouses as long term storage. – Kat

Dear FBA Seller,

In May we communicated by e-mail to all Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) sellers FBA’s Long-Term Storage program, as well as our ongoing commitment to providing world-class shipping and customer-service for your products. This program is one part of our new Seller Inventory Management program; the full FBA Seller Inventory Management program is summarized below. This announcement includes a complete list of everything we have planned for this program this year.

This program will have three key elements, each of which will be launched over the balance of this year and are described in more detail below.

Long-Term Storage Program

As we communicated in May, on August 15, 2011, (and every February 15 and August 15 following), FBA will conduct an Inventory Cleanup, at which time inventory that has been in our fulfillment centers for 365 days or longer will be assessed an upfront, annual Long-Term Storage Fee of $45.00 per cubic foot. This translates to $1.10 for an average-sized (8″ X 6″ X 1″) book or $4.58 for an average-sized (11″ X 8″ X 2″) toy. To provide additional flexibility to maintain your unique selection, one Unit of each applicable product ASIN will be exempted from the annual Long-Term Storage Fee.

If you would like to remove inventory prior to the Long-Term Storage program launching on August 15, you have the option to do so for a reduced fee: inventory that has been in our fulfillment centers for 270 days or longer may be removed for $0.20 per Unit with no shipping fee ($0.40 per Unit with no shipping fee for Oversize Units), or disposed of for no charge. Please submit your removal requests early since the amount of time it will take for us to remove your products will be longer the later the removal is requested.

Please see FBA Long-Term Storage for additional details.

Enhanced Tools

In May, we launched the Inventory Health Report (IHR) to provide you with important information to identify how many weeks of coverage your inventory has, your inventory that has been in our fulfillment centers longer than 365 days, and your inventory that soon will have been in our fulfillment centers longer than 365 days.

We are currently working to enhance this report in two important ways.

  • We will be including the specific quantity of each ASIN that will be eligible for the Long-Term Storage Fee as well as the potential fee associated with that inventory.
  • We will be updating the report to better account for aging inventory by accounting for all inventory on a first-in-first-out (FIFO) basis across our entire fulfillment network. This change is described in more detail under FBA Long-Term Storage. As a result of this change in accounting, some sellers will have less aging inventory.

We plan to launch these updates in July, along with a report that will enable you to pre-populate a removal request with the inventory that will have been in our fulfillment centers for 365 days or longer as of August 15, 2011. Later this year, we also plan to provide FBA sellers with recommendations on quantities to inbound of specific ASINs to identify high-demand products and reduce the possibility of sellers being charged for aged inventory in the future.

Inventory Storage Limits

To ensure that customers are able to get the products they are most interested in, we are setting inventory limits for certain FBA sellers.

Beginning in August, all new sellers whose first shipments of inventory have not been received at an Amazon fulfillment center will be given a Inventory Storage Limit, which is a limit on the amount of inventory that may be maintained within Amazon fulfillment centers. Additionally, we have already contacted a small group of sellers who have large quantities of inventory with low overall inventory turnover and notified them that they will also receive Inventory Storage Limits. Sellers can verify whether they have been given a Inventory Storage Limit by visiting thePerformance Notification page in their seller accounts. All sellers who have been given a Inventory Storage Limit will have a notification on this page.

Please see Inventory Storage Limits for additional details.

We’re excited about the growth of FBA and are implementing this three-pronged Seller Inventory Management program, so we can improve FBA’s ability to provide customers with the products they want while providing the best possible support for our sellers. As we release more details on the features we have listed above, we will continue to send updates through e-mail, the FBA Seller Newsletter, and your seller account.


The Fulfillment by Amazon Team

Fulfillment By Amazon (FBA) with Bob Willey and Chris Green

Bob Willey

This week’s show had two amazing guests, both experts at using Fulfillment By Amazon (FBA) to grow their own businesses and help others learn to use this powerful tool.

Our first guest was Bob Willey, who owns Bob’s Neat Books & Bob’s Neat Stuff.

Bob has been selling on Amazon using FBA since June of 2008, and on Amazon since 2005. He is mostly FBA and uses FBA to sell practically anything! When it comes to selling on Amazon using FBA, he doesn’t discriminate. The only requirement is that the items are profitable! Bob sell toys, games, books, and media items such as DVDs, CDs, even VHS tapes! He has also been selling on eBay since 1998 with over 11,000 feedbacks (100% Positive)!! Bob’s been an eBay Trading Assistant for over 5 years. Also sell some Media items on eBay. I also moderate the YahooGroup BookSellersFBA (see link below). My background is varied, as I owned a computer consulting business for 28+ years, and a Brick-n-mortar Auction House for 5 years with a weekly auction filling a 15,000 sq ft building. Plus I have done over 150 Estate Appraisals. OK, I enjoy STUFF….

Bob’s newest addition is a dedicated teaching/mentoring class that we are proud to be a part of called the Proven Amazon Course.

Our next guess was Chris Green, the Founder of two fantastic tools that can help make using FBA easier and more efficient, FBAPower and FBAScout.

FBA ScoutChris launched FBA Power in July of 2010 and FBAScout in October 2010. The iPhone app just released on 3/31/2011 and has just begun to spread.

iPhone app is now available in the iTunes store and is free. You can use it for 50 scans before registering the App. If you go through Bob’s FBA site, you will get a 30 day free trial of BOTH FBAPower AND FBAScout. The normal trial is for 14 days. FBA Power

FBAScout is $39.95 a month OR $20 a month if you are an FBAPower user. FBAScout works on iPhone, iPad, iTouch, Droid and many more – specific model details can be found on the FBAScout website.

For FBAScout you can use the RED LASER (free) app to scan barcodes, or purchase and use a bluetooth scanner for more speed.





Thinking about FBA ? Check out the PAC !

Recently I’ve been having a lot of sales through the Amazon FBA (Fulfillment By Amazon) program and really enjoying using one of Chris Green’s tools – FBA Power.FBA Power

Today at 3:30 PM Bob Willey of Bob’s Neat Books and Chris joined us to announce the launch of a training program they both helped create, along with Jim Cockrun, Skip McGrath, Suzanne Wells, and Stephanie Inge, the PAC or Proven Amazon Course.

Bob also launched his own new FBA resource site, FBA Rocks! where you can sign up for his yahoo FBA seller’s group or find out any information you might want about the FBA program!

Switch to our mobile site