- Getty/Scott Olson
- Amazon is testing a service that helps more third-party sellers get their merchandise listed with a Prime tag on Amazon.com.
- Called “FBA Onsite,” the service is designed to improve the number of items eligible for Amazon’s Prime shipping guarantee.
Amazon isn’t messing around with third-party selling.
A new program allows more items on Amazon – even those sold by third parties – to be listed with the Prime badge of two-day shipping.
FBA Onsite stands for Fulfillment by Amazon, which is Amazon’s program for third-party sellers that want to send their stock to Amazon to house in its own warehouses and then dispatch them like first-party Amazon merchandise.
With the program, Amazon is using warehouse software to help third-party sellers with the logistics of their own warehouses. It includes different management, like packing and shipping, to enable third parties to act like Amazon s own warehouses and meet the stringent standards that Prime guarantees customers. The service is designed to make an Amazon Prime member’s experience seamless, no matter if they’re buying from a third party or Amazon itself.
That requires third-party sellers to use expedited shipping, just like Amazon does with its Prime shipments.
The service was previously called “seller flex,” as Bloomberg reported in October. Bloomberg reported recently that the service has recently been expanded after a test on the West Coast.
The service is designed to help solve overcrowding at Amazon’s warehouses that use the Fulfillment by Amazon program, the popularity of which has strained Amazon’s logistics, Bloomberg says.
Amazon’s Prime membership is powerful, as its members spend more and more often than other Amazon customers. A Prime member is probably more likely to press the “buy” button on an item marked with a Prime tag, which carries the two-day shipping guarantee.
In a similar move in 2016, Amazon introduced the Seller Fulfilled Prime program, which allowed third-party sellers to sell with the Prime two-day shipping guarantee if they could prove that that time frame was feasible even if the items didn’t ship from Amazon’s warehouses.
Note: A previous version of this story referenced a Bloomberg story that mischaracterized FBA Onsite as a delivery service. It is a warehouse management software.