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Amazon Expands Inventory by Using Merchants’ Warehouse Space


Fulfillment centers aren’t built in a day, and even though Amazon is opening them at record rates, the e-commerce company can’t keep up with the level of demand.

That’s why Amazon is using its Seller Fulfilled Prime program to expand its inventory without actually storing any more goods.

As part of the program, Amazon sellers that have gone through rigorous testing, and proven they can ship goods speedily and consistently, can have their goods marked as Prime eligible and ship the orders themselves but at Prime speeds.

Amazon Prime members pay $99 a year for unlimited free two-day or next-day shipping and the Prime badge makes products more appealing to those members.

“Fulfillment by Amazon and Seller Fulfilled Prime have been a big advantage for our business,” Jeff McDonald, chief executive officer and founder of Raw Paws Pet Food, said. “The programs have helped us increase sales this year by more than 30 percent month-over-month.”

Amazon said Thursday that the Seller Fulfilled Prime program added more than 6 million new products for Prime members, offering the one or two-day free shipping in the U.S., U.K., France, Germany and Japan.

The Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) service, which lets sellers attract those same Prime shoppers by having Amazon store and ship their products for them, has also helped the e-commerce giant keep pace with demand.

“We’re dedicated to making the fulfillment technology that Amazon develops available to sellers,” vice president for Amazon Marketplace Peter Faricy said. “The FBA service and Seller Fulfilled Prime program are the greatest opportunities in e-commerce for sellers to easily reach loyal Prime members and expand their businesses.”

More than half of what’s sold on Amazon comes from sellers, small businesses and entrepreneurs, so providing them with expanded services means better business for Amazon, too.

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For the holiday season, sellers on Amazon will also be able to tap into what Amazon is calling its “new and enhanced tools,” which are all designed to meet demand: easy deal scheduling, automated pricing and expanded features on the Amazon seller mobile app.

With easy deal scheduling, sellers will be able to use the Recommended Deals tool to submit Lightning Deals for shoppers with two simple clicks. Automated pricing lets sellers manage and automatically adjust item prices by selecting things like “lowest price” and Amazon will adjust the pricing automatically. With the Amazon seller app, users can make quick pricing changes, use visual search to source and list items and tap the Photo Studio to capture and retouch product photos all from their phone.