Amazon Shipping Templates Overview

Shipping Templates are the new method provided by Amazon for setting shipping rates in Seller Central. The following applies to ALL sellers of merchant fulfilled items. i.e. Sellers of BMVD (Books, Music, CDs, Videos and DVDs) and non-BMVD (i.e. everything else) products. For sellers of BMVD products, this will be a major change.

Shipping Templates determine what you charge for standard shipping, where you will ship to (e.g. Europe) and what you charge for it, what shipping options (e.g. Expedited) you will offer and for how much and what your handling time is. This will be made mandatory by Amazon some time in June, 2017.

There is a learning curve involved and the process will take some time to complete. However, it is something that it is very important to learn (and not have anyone, including Amazon, do for you).

If the migration is not done correctly and according to your business requirements, it will cause loss of sales or selling items for too little. Either way, you will lose money. If you allow Amazon to migrate your account, this is very likely to happen. Therefore we STRONGLY recommend that you manually migrate to using shipping templates yourself and not let Amazon (either automatically or through Seller Support) do the migration. We have seen instances where asking Amazon Seller Support to do the migration has caused serious issues with Amazon accounts. It is also very important to migrate yourself as you do need to understand how shipping templates work on Amazon.

VERY IMPORTANT: Once you have migrated to using shipping templates on Amazon, you MUST generate and import an open listings report (Amazon Reports->Generate Open Listings Report) on ALL copies of AMan - otherwise you will not be able to list correctly.
 
If you sell Books, DVDs, CDs or Videos you MUST review and follow the instructions at BMVD Items and Shipping Templates - otherwise AMan may not be able to price your inventory correctly.

Other pages related to this topic (also accessible via our Support page):

Amazon is in the process of migrating all sellers to using Shipping Templates. Additionally, BMVD product sellers will be able to set shipping rates using Shipping Templates (US - March 1st, 2017 ; UK - August 1st, 2017). Amazon Shipping Templates information is available at https://sellercentral.amazon.com/gp/shipping/dispatch.html (US) and https://sellercentral.amazon.co.uk/sbr/introduction (UK) - Logon to Seller Central will be required.

Amazon has produced two videos on Shipping Templates (You will have to register for the videos):
   Watch an overview video on the migration process here. - About 8 minutes
   Watch a detailed video for utilizing the new shipping settings here. - About 50 minutes.

We recommend that you first review the information from Amazon and on Seller Central about shipping templates. This will make the following easier to read and understand.

Prior to Shipping Templates, shipping rates were set in one of two ways:

  • For BMVD products, Amazon determined the shipping rate charged and it could not be changed by the sellers. Sellers could specify whether Expedited, International etc. shipping was offered.
  • For non-BMVD products, shipping rates were configured in Seller Central under Settings->Shipping Settings.

Shipping templates allow sellers to configure different shipping rates (and transit times) for different regions (and different shipping options like Expedited). The shipping rate can be configured to be based on per item, weight or cost of the order. Up to 20 shipping templates can be created. SKUs are then assigned to different shipping templates to allow sellers to offer different shipping rates and options for different products.

For non-BMVD products, shipping templates can be considered as an extension to the existing shipping settings configuration.  The main difference is that shipping overrides are no longer available.

For BMVD products:

  • The shipping template assigned to a SKU determines the shipping options offered for that SKU. Instead of specifying Expedited, International etc. explicitly on a per SKU basis,  a shipping template is selected when listing. This template will have the shipping options (for different regions which can have different transit times) configured.
  • From March 1st, 2017 in the US and August 1st, 2017 in the UK, BMVD sellers will be able to configure shipping rates (as well as shipping options and transit times) in the assigned shipping template and assign on a per SKU basis.

Migration to using Shipping Templates

Amazon has begun the process of migrating sellers to using Shipping Templates. Prior to the migration,. Amazon is emailing the seller and providing the option of manually migrating or having Amazon do it. We strongly recommend that sellers manually do the migration to give them control. The reasons for this are:

  • If the migration is not done correctly and according to your business requirements, it will cause loss of sales or selling items for too little. Either way, you will lose money. If you allow Amazon to migrate your account, this is very likely to happen.
  • While Amazon does migrate the shipping settings for non-BMVD items and creates multiple templates for BMVD items (one for each of B,M,V and D), the templates may not fit the seller requirements for shipping options, transit times and rates. 
    This is especially true for the BMVD templates where all (for example) books are assigned one template all having the same shipping options such as Expedited, International etc.).
  • A default template called 'Migrated Template' will be created which will be used if no template is specified when listing new inventory. This may not be suitable for all new inventory for the seller.
  • For BMVD items, the concept of shipping templates may be very new and require getting over a learning curve. Especially if you want to have different BMVD items having different shipping rates, options and/or transit times.
  • We STRONGLY recommend that the account be put on vacation prior to migrating due to the above issues.
  • To allow your Seller Central account to display the shipping rates and shipping templates used with items, click on Inventory->Manage Inventory->Preferences and make sure that 'Display shipping charges in your inventory's Price columns' is selected in the 'Show shipping charges in Price columns' section.

To manually migrate, please visit https://sellercentral.amazon.com/gp/shipping/dispatch.html (US) and https://sellercentral.amazon.co.uk/sbr/introduction (UK) - Logon to Seller Central will be required.

Please review our recommended procedure to use when migrating in Shipping Templates Details .

Very Important: Once you have converted to shipping templates, you should generate and import an open listing report (using Amazon Reports->Generate Open Listings Report) on EVERY copy of AMan. If this is not done, AMan will not know of the templates created on your account.

Important Notes:

  1. If you change your shipping rate in a shipping template, you may need to also change the Min/Max prices used in AMan.
  2. Once you start using shipping templates, it is VERY important that you monitor which shipping templates are assigned to which SKUs. This is especially important after first migrating (or if you have previously migrated). Using the wrong template could cause the wrong shipping rate being charged for items.

 


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