What are third party sellers, whos orders are not fulfilled by Amazon?

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More than 300,000 third-party sellers started selling on Amazon in 2017. More than 140,000 third-party sellers surpassed $100,000 in annual sales. Amazon Handmade expanded, offering customers more than one million handcrafted items across all 50 US states and more than 60 countries.

Your return policy is set by Amazon. This is not eBay. Amazon requires 3rd party sellers to meet or exceed Amazon’s return policy which allows a buyer to return – for any reason – if the request is made within 30 days of delivery.

Fulfillment by Amazon is used by a lot of third-party sellers. But, it doesn’t mean it’s right for your business. You have to evaluate its main benefits of faster shipping, easy returns, and potentially reaching more customers versus its service fees.

(source: official Answer From Amazon)

About Ordering from a Third-Party Seller

Third-party sellers are independent sellers who offer a variety of new, used, refurbished, and collectible merchandise.

The steps to place an order with a third-party seller are the same as placing any other order on Amazon.com. You add items to your cart, then complete your order through the Amazon checkout process. Payment for your order may be processed immediately, instead of when the order ships. Amazon will disburse your funds to the third-party seller but never pass along your payment information. 

If a seller asks you to send funds directly to them, bypassing the Amazon checkout process, do not place the order and contact Amazon customer service immediately.

If items from the third-party seller aren’t fulfilled by Amazon, your order is fulfilled directly by the seller who will also handle their customer service, excluding Amazon Prime items. If you encounter a problem with these orders, you may be eligible under the Amazon A-to-z Guarantee. For more information, go to About A-to-z Guarantee.

Note: If the listing is eligible for Amazon Prime, Amazon Customer Service will handle any issues related to the order.

Note: When you place an order with a seller, you can cancel the order yourself from Your Account within 30 minutes. Select the order from Your Orders and select Cancel Items. After 30 minutes, you can request a cancellation from the seller through Your Account by selecting Request cancellation.

Note: Sellers work hard to ensure that stock is on hand for delivery, but occasionally a listed item will no longer be available by the time an order is placed. If a seller is unable to deliver your item, they should refund you promptly so that you can place a new order. While stock-outs can happen, we do require sellers to keep these to a minimum. Please understand that in some cases the out-of-stock item might no longer be available at the listed price.

Note: Sellers can set their own prices for the items they sell on Amazon. Prices for similar or identical items from other sellers can vary.

Contact Third-Party Sellers

Third-party sellers handle customer service for orders shipped directly from them unless the order is eligible for Amazon Prime.

To contact a third-party seller, do one of the following: 

    • Go to the product listing on Amazon.com and click the third-party seller’s name. Click the Ask a question button.
    • Go to Your Orders, find your order in the list, and click Get help with an order. Depending on your issue, we’ll help you contact the seller if necessary.


    • Please give sellers two business days to respond. In most cases, you’ll receive a reply much sooner. Most seller orders are covered by our A-to-z Guarantee. If you don’t hear from the seller within two business days, go to A-to-z Guarantee Protection to see if you qualify. 
    • If the seller’s listing is eligible for Amazon Prime, Amazon Customer Service will handle any issues related to the order.

Amazon bestsellers

    • 18% of the top sellers on Amazon.com have their main category as Electronics.
    • 15% of the top sellers are Clothing, Shoes & Jewellery.
    • 13% of the top sellers are Home & Kitchen.
    • 11%of the top sellers are Health & Household.

Amazon US stats

    • More than 300,000 third-party sellers started selling on Amazon in 2017.
    • More than 140,000 third-party sellers surpassed $100,000 in annual sales.
    • Amazon Handmade expanded, offering customers more than one million handcrafted items across all 50 US states and more than 60 countries.
    • During the Holiday Season, customers ordered more than 1 billion items from third-party sellers on Amazon, with more than 140 million items ordered between Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday.

The Chinese Invasion of Amazon U.S

In 2017, Marketplace Pulse announced that over a million sellers joined Amazon marketplaces. It is estimated that a third of these new sellers are located in China, and it appears that Amazon is doing whatever it takes to get them in the door.

  • Amazon holds regular conferences to lure Chinese sellers into the U.S. market – those who sign up get exclusive perks.
  • China-based sellers enjoy end-to-end freight solutions from Amazon. Unlike U.S. FBA sellers who have to split shipments at Amazon’s discretion, Chinese sellers get to send ALL their shipments to a single U.S. fulfillment center – without inventory placement fees – thanks to an unshared feature called Lock FC.
  • The Chinese government partially funds Amazon industrial parks. Aspiring sellers attend lectures and consultations and take part in co-working programs up to 12 months long. There are more than 10 parks in the city of Shenzhen alone.

Former Amazon Global Senior Vice President, Sebastian Gunningham promised to continue rolling out the red carpet for Chinese sellers.

“Amazon has an edge to help Chinese companies expand out of China. We plan to increase our ability to facilitate Chinese manufacturers in creating their own brands for global consumers.”

Surprisingly, the United States Postal Service is also giving Chinese sellers preferential treatment. They enjoy volume savings, free shipping software, and subsidized shipping by ePacket … it actually costs less to ship something from China to the United States, than it does to ship within China itself! Also, it’s so expensive to send something back that Chinese sellers don’t have to deal with many, if any, returns.

  • It’s almost $6 to ship a one-pound package from South Carolina to New York. The cost from China to New York is nearly half that cost. You’d have to spend around $50 if you wanted to send that package back to China.
  • Sellers also get a raw deal when they ship outside the country. A 9-ounce package from China to Toronto or London costs less than $4. From the U.S. to Toronto, it’s $14.73 and to send it to London, it’s $21.28!

As if this wasn’t enough, China-based sellers also have homegrown advantages. Many factories are based in China – so they can do a deal in a day, while U.S. third-party sellers can spend weeks checking out a supplier. China is also blessed with cheap labor. When they add to this by hiring Western marketers, they’re a formidable threat.

Because of these benefit- and cost-related advantages, Chinese sellers can underprice and outsell U.S. competitors in their own backyard. It should come as no surprise then that 34% of top Amazon sellers are based in China according to Marketplace Pulse.

It’s expected this trend will not only continue but grow. You see, the government in China is making major investments in ecommerce infrastructure using the billions of dollars they’re raking in via international commerce.

It’s the new reality. Overseas competition is only going to get tougher, and in some cases, China-based sellers will have the upper hand. However, all is not lost. There are steps you can take to defend – and expand – your territory on Amazon.

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