Those of us who were around for the early days of the internet remember when Amazon was just a bookseller, or “Earth’s biggest bookstore,” as the company fondly described itself.
Amazon has since expanded to just about every market imaginable, becoming one of Earth’s biggest companies altogether. But books — even the physical kind — remain a popular category, and Amazon is a big platform for large and independent booksellers to distribute their titles.
Starting Aug. 31, those third-party merchants have to adapt to a significant and costly change. According to an email that Amazon sent to sellers of books, CDs and DVDs, distributors to the lower 48 states will have to deliver items within a window of four to eight days, down from four to 14 days.
“We are launching new capabilities to help you set faster delivery times for your Seller fulfilled products. Customers are more likely to purchase products that have a faster estimated delivery time at checkout,” the company said in an email to sellers that was obtained by CNBC.
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The company is putting in place a number of policies that force sellers to provide the same speed and quality of service that customers have come to expect from Amazon. Last week, CNBC reported on a new measure that makes it easier for buyers to get refunds at the seller’s expense.
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An East Coast seller, who asked that we not use his name for fear of retribution from Amazon, said he’s been selling books on the site for 13 years, generating over $1 million in gross revenue, and this is the first time he’s been forced to alter his delivery time. He expects his shipping costs to increase by 25 percent to 50 percent because he will no longer be able to rely on the U.S. Postal Service for cross-country deliveries and will instead have to use a more expensive express option.
The USPS has a special rate for media items and says on its website that delivery times range from two to eight days. But sellers told CNBC that coast-to-coast shipments often take a few days longer than that. The risk to missing Amazon’s guaranteed delivery window is that a seller gets bad reviews, which means losing visibility on listings and can eventually lead to suspension.
Link to the rest at CNBC
PG says Amazon really understands the value of a customer and is not going to permit third-party sellers to disappoint that customer. Would that all retailers were committed to customer satisfaction to same degree as Amazon is.