Amazon FBA Fail

This small tweak saved me $9,135 per year as an Amazon FBA Seller

For over a year, I was throwing away money as an Amazon Seller. I could have purchased a slightly used Hyundai with the associated savings from the small tweak I made once realizing this.

Roughly two years ago, I started an Amazon FBA Private Label business as a side hustle. To get started, I did the bare minimum level of product research. My goal was to learn as I go. What’s the expression… “building the engine as you’re flying the plane” or whatever? Two years into this game (with roughly 10 SKU’s) I’m still building the engine… but we’re starting to gain altitude.

Since I’m now doing some volume, I decided to look to “optimization” to increase my bottom line. The most obvious place to look was my Amazon Seller Fees. This is easier said than done. For anyone that’s attempted to understand Amazon’s fee structure, you’ll know it’s a terrible experience.

But I knew there was potential there. My product is roughly the size of a wallet, but listed as a “large-standard” item in my fee details. There’s no way this thing should be listed as “large” and I was determined to figure it out.

Amazon FBA Shipping Costs FB2

I’ve been told that the “best way to learn something is to teach it to others.” To test this concept, I created a blog post on Amazon FBA Shipping Costs. It took me weeks and I’m confident is the most comprehensive existing post on Amazon Shipping Fees. And, I finally figured out why my product was being classified as “large-standard.”

Why was my Amazon Product “Large-Standard?

My length and width are far less than the required limits. However, Amazon had the height¬†(my minimum side) of the product listed at a fraction¬†over the 0.75 inch-limit set for “small-standard.” Unfortunately, Amazon doesn’t simply trust us when we tell the company our product packaging size. They’ll manually pull a unit and test its dimensions themselves. The specific item of mine that was tested measured 0.92 inches in height.

Amazon FBA Fulfillment Fee Savings

How did I fix my Amazon Product Size Categorization?

My product consists of a fabric that’s folded up and inserted into a poly-bag. It’s height will vary based on how its packaged.¬† The height may range from 0.6 inches to over 1 inch tall.

One way to solve this issue is to simply request that Amazon re-measure your product. You can use the contact us section in your Seller Central account to accomplish this. Once requested, Amazon will take new measurements within a couple days. Hopefully they pull a product that fits within the stated criteria. This is the easiest way and somewhat of a “cheat.” You might get lucky and you might not. When you replenish your inventory, Amazon may re-measure your product and you could fluctuate sizing tiers again.

The way that I solved this problem is by repackaging my item. The poly-bags I used were the cheapest solution, but provided inconsistent measurements. Instead, I found a rigid box to use. It costs an additional $0.05 per unit but accomplished two things. Most importantly, my product height was fixed at 0.7 inches. As “icing on the cake,” my product looked much better.¬†The $0.05 includes a black and white printed logo on the box, which looks great.

Here’s the estimated total savings based on my average sales.

Amazon Shipping Cost Savings

With one little change, I’ll realize huge savings over the year.

Hopefully this encourages you as an Amazon Seller to take a good look at your fees. There may be some “low hanging fruit” options to significantly reduce costs. If you suspect there’s savings to be had with Fulfillment fees, we hope that our comprehensive post on Amazon Shipping Fees helps you realize these. If so, please let us know in the comments below!

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