Amazon’s ultimate goal is to serve their customers as best they can, which includes good product availability. Once of the ways they do this is by having Merchant inventory stored at fulfillment centers around the country.
Unfortunately, Amazon shifts the burden of distributing this inventory to Merchants and may require you to have your FBA inventory for a product shipped to multiple locations. However, but you do have the options to avoid this (for a fee) by using their Inventory Placement Service.
What Is the Inventory Placement Service?
First, let’s look at how Amazon describes your options:
Distributed Inventory Placement (default setting) - Amazon will determine the distribution of your inventory among one or more fulfillment centers during the shipment creation process. This may include multiple shipments for individual Merchant SKUs.
Inventory Placement Service - All quantities of a single Merchant SKU will be assigned to a single fulfillment center determined by Amazon during the shipment creation process. A per-unit service fee applies.
Keep in mind that this will allocate your inventory to a single warehouse, but you do not get to choose WHICH warehouse that is. So, if you’re located in New York, it’s still possible that Amazon will require all your inventory be shipped to Phoenix.
There are limited exceptions to the Inventory Placement Service. Products in the following categories may be shipped to different fulfillment centers even if you have enabled the service:
- Oversize products
- Products with special prep or handling requirements
Inventory Placement Service Fees
The minimum fee is $0.30 and applies to Standard size units weighing one pound or less. Fees increase for oversized units or units weighing more than one pound. For a complete description of fees, it’s best to refer to the Amazon help page on the subject: http://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html?nodeId=201233560
How To Enable the Inventory Placement Service
This is an account level setting, so you can’t change it during the shipment creation process. To enable the service, follow these steps:
- Go to Fulfillment by Amazon Settings.
- Under Inventory Placement Option, click the “Edit” button.
- Select your preferred option.
- Click the “Update” button.
Even though it’s an account level option, you can change this as often as you’d like. So, you could decide to enable the service, create a shipment, then go back and disable it immediately afterwards.
The placement option is set as soon as you’ve started the shipment creation process, so if you wanted to use the service but forgot to enable it, you’d have to delete the shipment and start over again.
This post is part of the Ultimate Wiki Project