BMVD Items and Shipping
Shipping Templates are the new method provided by
Amazon for setting shipping rates in Seller Central. The following applies to sellers of merchant fulfilled BMVD (Books, Music, CDs, Videos and DVDs)
items. This only applies to merchant fulfilled items and does not
impact FBA inventory.
Note: US sellers are able to set
their shipping costs for BMVD items now.
UK sellers will be able to do it on August 1st.
While it may seem that there are a lot of
changes happening (both at Amazon and on AMan), once you get familiar with
shipping templates on Seller Central, this will actually become quite simple.
For BMVD sellers this is a big change. The
temptation may be to think in terms of "How much should I charge for shipping
this item, how do I set this rate and how do I set the shipping options".
However, what needs to be done is to first create some shipping templates with
different shipping options like Expedited, International etc. (and
possibly with different shipping rates - but see below). Then the way to think
is "What shipping template should I assign to this item".
Other pages related to this topic (also
accessible via our Support page):
Changes to AMan to support
Shipping Templates with BMVD items:
- AMan Repricing
AMan has always repriced based on the total price of the competition
(i.e. price + shipping). Since the shipping was the same for all sellers, that
was not necessarily obvious for BMVD items. After the Amazon changes on March
1st for US and August 1st for UK BMVD sellers, this will be noticeable as AMan will reprice based on
price + shipping even if the competition do not retain the Amazon shipping
rates or charge zero for shipping. Therefore there is nothing to change in
- Setting of Shipping Options when listing
Once you have migrated to using shipping templates on Amazon, you no
longer specify the shipping options (Expedited, International etc.) in AMan
when listing inventory. Instead, you specify a shipping template which has the
shipping options that you offer to buyers purchasing that SKU. The List an
Item screen has been changed to reflect this. Additionally the Add New
Inventory Wizard has been changed to accept ShipTemplate rather than
individual fields to specify each shipping option.
A shipping template is required when listing through AMan. To change the
default shipping template used when using List on Amazon, please see the
Details on how to set the List an Item defaults.
Note: The shipping template created for each BMVD category will
only contain the shipping options that you have set as your defaults in Seller
Central. Therefore it is VERY important that you review the
shipping templates to make sure they have the shipping options (Expedited
etc.) that you wish to offer and only the shipping options you wish to offer.
- Changing Shipping Options for existing
Once you are using shipping templates, if you wish to change the shipping
options offered on SKUs, you will need to change the options offered in the
shipping template assigned to those SKUs. This must be done through Seller
Central (Settings->Shipping Settings) and not through AMan.
- Shipping Rate assumed when first listing
Since from March 1st US and August 1st UK, Amazon will allow
sellers to set their own shipping rates for BMVD items, AMan can no longer
assume that the previously dictated by Amazon shipping rates are being used.
Instead AMan allows you to configure these values for each category in BMVD.
This configuration is available at Configure->MWS and Pricing
Settings->Default Shipping Costs. Initially these values are set at the rates
previously dictated by Amazon. If you change the shipping rates for your BMVD
products, you will need to reconfigure these values. If you have variable
shipping rates configured (e.g. you charge by weight) then we would recommend
you set these values to zero.
Note: These values are only used when first listing new BMVD
inventory. Once you reprice with AMan, the actual shipping rate you are
charging customers will be obtained from Amazon and used from then onwards.
Setting these values does NOT alter what your shipping rates are
- this is determined by (and only by) the Shipping Template assigned to an
Note: If these values are higher than what you are actually
charging customers, AMan will price the item too low when first listing.
Therefore it is safer to set these to zero if you are unsure or use
variable values. While it may initially overprice the items, the next pricing
session will adjust based on the actual shipping rates. It is safer to
overcharge when first listing and adjust downwards to the correct value rather
than undercharging initially and selling your item at too low a price.
- Conversion to Shipping Templates.
When you first convert to using shipping templates, we would strongly
recommend that you initially not change your shipping rates until you get
familiar with shipping templates on Amazon and in AMan.
If, later on, you decide to change your shipping rates (e.g. offer free
economy), then please make sure that you change the AMan Default Shipping
Costs as per (3) above.
Note about changing Standard Shipping Rates:
From March 1st, 2017 US and August 1st, 2017 UK sellers will be able to
set their shipping rates for BMVD products. Also, Amazon will be charging fees
based on the total price (price + shipping) charged to the customer. Therefore
(for instance) raising the shipping rate and lowering the price (which is what
AMan will do if you change the shipping rate since it always prices against the
total price of the competition and factors in your shipping rate) will not
result in any change of the net amount you will receive from Amazon.
An Example: Your competition is
selling an item for $10 + $1 shipping giving a total of $11 to the buyer.
Assuming that you have AMan configured to price $0.01 below the lowest.
If you retain the standard Amazon shipping rate
of $3.99, AMan will price you at $7.00 + $3.99 (a total of $10.99). Amazon will
take its fees from the total price of $10.99 and give you the rest.
If you change your shipping setting to charge $0.01 shipping. AMan will price
the item at $10.98 + $0.01 shipping giving the same total. And Amazon gets the
same cut from the same $10.99 giving you the same net.
Some reasons we see to change shipping rates are:
- To have variable shipping rates depending on
- To offer "free shipping" for purely
psychological reasons (because buyers tend to gravitate to free shipping).
- Since the MinPrice in AMan only affects the
'price' part of the total price, raising the shipping rate without changing
the MinPrice, effectively changes the minimum total price you will sell the
In these cases AMan will still adjust your price
based on your shipping rate. Therefore, unless you have a specific reason for
changing your shipping rates, we recommend that you leave them as is.
However, since Amazon will be
taking more in fees, you should review your current minimum prices and determine
if you need to raise them to compensate for the fee increases.
Note: The above discussion and
examples only refer to Standard shipping rates. We would recommend that you
review Expedited and International shipping rates and possibly change the amount
charged and/or the method used to calculate (per item vs. weight) to account for
your business costs.
If you do change your shipping rates, then you
also need to configure the Default Shipping Costs in AMan. We recommend the
following (based only on your Standard shipping rates):
- If set to zero or Free Economy is being
offered, set the values to zero.
- If charging per order plus per pound, then set
the values to the per order rate.
- If charging per order plus per item, set the
values to the sum of the order rate and the item rate.
- If using banded shipping rates, use the
shipping rate for the lowest band.
- If in doubt, set the values to zero - It is
better to have too low a value here and cause AMan to charge slightly more
when first listing (which will get adjusted based on the actual shipping rate
when repriced) rather than undercharge when first listing and lose money!