Aug 242013

A recent experience as a buyer inspired me to write this review about Fulfillment by Amazon. You see, on Sunday I placed an order for some rain guards to go over the windows in my truck from Amazon. Coincidentally, I also placed an order for a replacement cartridge for my home water filter from Home Depot at the same time.

As expected, the water filter shipped out on Monday and was delivered to me on Wednesday. However, the rain guards were not even shipped until Friday. FIVE DAYS after I ordered. As a person who makes their living selling online (eBay, Etsy, and Amazon) this really irked me. So I looked into it.

 My Review of Fulfillment by Amazon

Turns out the seller is using Amazon Fulfillment Services to handle shipping on the item. I sent them a message complaining. This is what I got in return.

Photo of an Amazon Fulfillment Center.

“I found that you’ve selected shipping instruction for this order as “Group items into as few shipments as possible” and shipping method as “FREE Super Saver Shipping”. The shipping method for your order is “FREE Super Saver Shipping”. With this shipping option, we fulfill your order in a more cost-efficient way. This allows us to pass our savings on to you in the form of free shipping. While it might take some extra time to pack and ship your order, you’ll still receive it within the estimated delivery time frame shown on the order’s summary page at checkout.”

That is total nonsense. I would never get away with that as a seller. My buyers would completely roast my feedback. This is not what I expect from a “professional” shipping service.

Home Depot offered free economy shipping and got it done in one day. I offer free economy shipping on all of my items and I get it done in one day. “FREE Super Saver Shipping” does not give license for crappy customer service. It’s a lame excuse for poor service.

On Amazon’s official page for Fulfillment by Amazon it says: “As soon as the order comes in, highly automated pick-and-pack processes facilitate the safe and timely dispatch of orders on behalf of FBA sellers. The products are then packed on a truck and shipped out to customers on or ahead of schedule.” From my experience I want to tell you that is a total lie.

I will never buy another item from an Amazon seller who is having their orders fulfilled by Amazon if I have an alternative. In today’s Ecommerce world 5 days to ship and item isn’t just unacceptable, it’s a recipe for failure. I don’t know why anybody would trust Amazon to fulfill their orders after reading this. Especially after their recent FBA fee hike. I will certainly never ever use it to sell my items.

Don’t get me wrong, I still like buying and selling on Amazon. I’m just pointing out that they seriously need to re-think this portion of their business if they want to succeed.

  4 Responses to “Fulfillment by Amazon Review | Warning About FBA Services”

  1. Amazon: “With free shipping, your order will be delivered 5-8 business days after all of your items are available to ship, including pre-order items.”

    Five days is within that window. Amazon gave you exactly what you asked for.

  2. My guess is those product were in different fulfillment centers in different states. It would not be cost effective to ship two packages from the same location. They have many centers. To ship from one center to the other in order for you to receive one package instead of two seems silly. You didn’t pay for shipping. You received 100% of the items you ordered within the delivery window….. I can’t figure out the complaint here. Seems like you are just looking for a reason to bitch. I’m guessing Amazon is not terribly upset to lose you, and your unreasonable expectations, as a customer. I wouldn’t be.

  3. Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) is the WORST. I have Amazon Prime membership but just cancelled it (again) a few minutes ago, because within 2 weeks they have f__ed up my order twice. The first the seller tried to pass off a used and defective wine decanter as new, whereas the other order (of a queen-size box spring, placed on 4/22 with one-day Prime shipping) was not even shipped as of 7:30 pm on 4/23, i.e., I wasted a whole day waiting for the non-delivery. When I contacted Amazon about it, they refunded the one-day shipping charge but still could not tell me *when* the order would be shipped. To make a long story short, I never received a shipping confirmation either by email or by text, whereas Fedex left the package on my front porch today when no one was home – while Amazon’s website still shows “shipping now”! I’ve asked Amazon customer service to arrange for a return pickup since I’ve already ordered the same item from eBay (and received shipping confirmation for it at that!), but even Amazon cannot give me an answer for another 2-3 business days. I’ve had it with Amazon and am purchasing elsewhere from now on.

  4. I stopped reading half way in to your post because the whining was getting excessive.
    While 5 days to start shipping is excessive if Amazon owned and sold the product, as a 3rd party it’s the service level they offer. Plus, as a buyer, if I value my money over my time, I’ll choose free shipping and just wait. If I’m re-selling some other seller’s product and drop-shipping from Amazon, it would be an issue.

Leave a Reply to Evelyn Cancel reply