Amazon Introduces Inventory Placement Service

When sending FBA inventory to Amazon, your shipments are distributed throughout Amazon’s fulfillment centers. This means that some products may go to Indianapolis, others to Charlotte and still more to Phoenix. For many sellers, even a specific SKU might be split and sent to two or more distribution centers.

Now with the Inventory Placement Service (that’s a Seller Central link, so you’ll need to be logged in with your Amazon selling account), you can send all quantities of a SKU to a single fulfillment center. Now, the catch is that you don’t get to pick the location, so you probably won’t be able to ship just down the road. And of course, there’s no such thing as a free lunch:

  • $.30 for each standard-size unit
  • $1.30 for each over-sized unit

Why Use Inventory Placement Service?

There are a few reasons that I can think of why using Inventory Placement Service would benefit a seller:

  • Quicker receiving – Some Amazon centers are notorious for their slow receiving times. If you can avoid these locations, your items could get checked in faster.
  • Closer locations – If you are given the option to ship to a nearby fulfillment center, you could save money on shipping by not using Amazon’s discounted UPS rates and shipping using another service.
  • Convenience for customers – Do you sell an item that is often purchased in quantity? If you see shipments of this item being split, you might want to consider sending them all to one fulfillment center. This way, when customers buy multiples, they’ll come in a single shipment from a single fulfillment center.
  • Reduce human error – I’m not embarrassed to say that once in a while, in the middle of a busy day, that I put the wrong shipping label on the wrong box and sent a bunch of FBA inventory to Reno when it was supposed to go to Dallas. If all your items are going to the same location, save yourself the hassle caused by (hopefully rare) mistakes like this.

I don’t think Inventory Placement Service is right for every seller, but there are definitely times (especially on high-margin FBA items that can absorb the added cost) where this makes sense!

If you’re using Inventory Placement Service, let me know how it’s working out for you.

+Paul Cole