Fulfilled by Amazon (FBA) sellers are facing a unique challenge during the COVID-19 outbreak. While Amazon is now accepting more items into its warehouses, sellers can still only send limited quantities. Further, shipping delays have certainly been an issue. If you're an FBA seller whose items are stuck in Amazon warehouses, you may be wondering about FBA alternatives.
Storing and shipping their own items can work for some sellers, but it doesn't make financial (or logistical) sense for everyone. Here, we're looking at third-party logistics companies that can handle Fulfillment by Merchant orders instead with recommendations for different types of Amazon sellers.
9 Amazon FBA Alternatives to Consider
Great for: Sellers with high order volumes
The average annual order volume for an a2b client is 125,000 according to Multichannel Merchant's Top 3PLs 2020 database. If you're a seller who fulfills thousands — or even tens of thousands — of orders each month, a2b should be able to handle that load.
Great for: Sellers who also sell on Walmart or eBay
If you sell on multiple sales channels, Deliverr can help. It fulfills orders for Amazon, of course, but also Walmart, eBay, Shopify, and Wish. Trustpilot reviewers offered positive remarks about Deliverr's ability to handle Walmart orders in particular.
Great for: Price-conscious sellers
eFulfillment Service may be ideal for sellers who don't want high startup costs or a long-term commitment. In fact, the company states that it has no setup costs, minimums, long-term storage fees, or long-term contracts. It offers a 30-day trial period, too. If you don't want to move forward with the company after the trial, it'll refund up to $250 of the costs and fees you've incurred.
Great for: Sellers who want to reach consumers in China
Floship can help out sellers seeking to fulfill international orders — especially orders to and from China. Warehouses are located in Hong Kong, as well as Shenzhen for sellers who want to store items in mainland China. You get a dedicated account manager, too, which can make communication easier. The team also speaks a total of 10 languages, including Mandarin and Cantonese.
Great for: Sellers who ship internationally
Fulfillment.com also has an international focus. Distribution centers are not only located in the U.S., but also in Canada, Mexico, Europe, and Australia. The company ships to over 150 countries annually and offers a host of integrations, too.
Great for: Sellers who want fast U.S. shipping
Fast shipping is a boon to sellers on Amazon and other marketplaces. And if your inventory is in a Rakuten Super Logistics facility, it can "reach 98% of the United States within two days via ground shipping," according to the company. Helping with that are their 15 fulfillment centers spread across the country.
Great for: Sellers with large and/or heavy products
When looking at 3PLs, it's important to consider the types of products they can store and fulfill. Red Stag Fulfillment, for one, specializes in shipping heavy or larger items, such as furniture and big electronics. They offer a 30-day trial, and even guarantee that they'll pay customers $50 every time they don't pack an order correctly.
Great for: Small businesses
Multichannel Merchant puts ShipBob's average client order volume at just over 1,500 per year. (Compare that to a2b Fulfillment's 125,000!) So if you want a 3PL that caters to small businesses, ShipBob could be a good option. Its monthly minimum is 100 orders — easily attainable for many sellers — and it runs seven U.S.-based fulfillment centers.
Great for: Businesses that use Seller Fulfilled Prime
Amazon's Seller Fulfilled Prime program lets sellers display the Prime badge and advertise free 2-day delivery — but sellers must store and ship their own products. If you want a 3PL that can help you maintain your Prime status, ShipMonk is worth considering. They offer pre-built integration with Seller Fulfilled Prime, and flag Prime orders in their system so they're the first ones that go out each day.
What FBA Alternatives Are Best for Overseas Sellers?
Amazon FBA sellers who are based outside of the U.S. face special challenges, as it may be more difficult (and costly) to switch to FBM. But overseas sellers can still benefit from looking into temporary FBM solutions while Amazon adjusts to the coronavirus situation.
For example, if you normally ship by air, you could ship your products by sea instead to save money — although shipping times could be slower. You could also work with a 3PL company you know that's based in the country you produce in. The company may have a fulfillment center in the U.S. or partner with a U.S.-based 3PL, and going through your local 3PL may make communication easier. That may even be the cheaper option.