Beginning the week of July 2nd, Amazon will pilot notification-only vendor chargebacks for costs related to product prep in our fulfillment centers. This will provide you with visibility into the prep costs associated with Amazon prepping non-ecommerce-ready products to ensure that they reach the end customer safely and intact.
The fulfillment model for ecommerce differs markedly from the traditional retail model. In a traditional shopping experience, the customer takes products off the shelf and drives their package home. The customer also takes responsibility for damage that occurs past checkout. The ecommerce channel, on the other hand, must get the package safely to the customer's doorstep.
Many products sold on the Amazon platform are not packaged adequately for ecommerce fulfillment, so it has been necessary to perform prep work on these products to convert the packaging so that the product safely reaches the customer. Prep activities include repackaging to protect fragile products (e.g., bubble wrap for glass items), to contain potential spillage (e.g., bagging bottles of liquids), to shield from dust (e.g., bagging plush toys), and to safeguard customers and associates (e.g., bubble wrapping and/or boxing sharp products like knives). For full details, please reference the Amazon Product Prep Matrix in the Operations section of the Vendor Central Resource Center.
Product suppliers need to address the specific needs of the ecommerce fulfillment channel and package products accordingly. Providing ecommerce-ready products is a competitive advantage in the high-growth ecommerce market segment.
We would like to help you make your products ecommerce ready. Here are the options:
1. Frustration Free Packaging - This program assists you in developing ecommerce-ready packaging that is right-sized, transit-ready, and enables you to maintain brand integrity. Information about Frustration Free Packaging (FFP) is located in Vendor Central. To access, log into your account, click on the Items tab, select Frustration Free Packaging and then click 'Learn more' to read about the FFP program. Amazon's FFP team offers resources for packaging design and provides design feedback. We will also perform transit testing, merchandise certified products in the FFP store, and if a packaging change is made, the product qualifies for a VINE review, all FREE of charge. You may leverage this packaging for all e-commerce sales as the best in class packaging standard. We believe that this is the best option.
2. Do It Yourself Prep - Follow the prep guidelines in the Amazon North America Special Packaging Instructions to prep your own products. This option allows you to control the quality and cost of prepping your product. Vendor prepped items will not be certified as ecommerce-ready (i.e., FFP-certified) and will be placed inside another Amazon box for shipping to customers. This option is less green and reduces the brand visibility on packaging during delivery to the customer. A web search on keywords such as industrial supply bubble wrap will return a list of materials suppliers across North America.
3. Amazon Prep Chargeback Service - Currently we are not charging for this service, but in the future will begin charging those who have not addressed their product packaging via the options listed above. Amazon will perform the prep work to make your products ecommerce ready, then issue prep chargebacks that are viewable in Vendor Central. The chargeback fees will be in accordance with our prep rate card.