Did you know that Amazon will ship your products to non-Amazon customers? Whether you are selling products on eBay, from your own eCommerce site or even just sending your mom a gift from your inventory, Amazon will fulfill those orders for you.
Yea, I know. I said the same thing when I heard about this too. It’s something called Multi Channel Fulfillment or MCF. Again, it’s just another one of the beauties of using Amazon FBA.
Soon you’ll find out how you can easily implement it into your business and what scenarios best cater to you using MCF.
When should you use MCF?
Before we get ahead of ourselves, let’s talk about the most common reasons why we use MCF. And the most important ones are geared to creating another listing on eBay, in addition to your Amazon FBA listing. Bottom line, you’re doing this to drive sales. Let’s elaborate.
-> Used Like New
If you’ve been selling for a while on Amazon, you’ve probably encountered a product that you just aren’t allowed to sell in New condition. Yes, it’s frustrating.You have a Brand New item, but due to some Amazon restriction you just can’t sell it New, which knocks you out of the Buy Box, lowering your sales velocity and profitability. We’ve experienced this issue especially with power tools. Often, Amazon and the manufacturer enter an agreement where only Amazon.com is the authorized seller, as a result they don’t let any other sellers sell in New condition.
With MCF you can work around this issue by listing this product on eBay in the accurate New condition, warranting the full price. So next time you scan something and realize you can’t sell it in New condition, think about using some MCF action!
-> No Buy Box: “Available From These Sellers”
Similar to only being allowed to list your product in Used condition on Amazon, sometimes you’ll find that Amazon just doesn’t give any seller the Buy Box. You’ll notice that these listings only show “Available From These Sellers.” Bummer, because this will slow down your sales velocity. And that’s why you should go ahead and increase your sales opportunities by also listing your product on eBay and using MCF.
Tip: Why does Amazon do this? It’s simply because the sellers offering the product aren’t “Buy Box eligible.” That could be because of anything from the price being higher than what Amazon deems reasonable to the sellers not having “Buy Box eligible” metrics.
-> Moving Stagnant Inventory
It’s pretty evident that eBay customers are quite different than Amazon customers. Sometimes this is good, and other times it’s bad. But if you are faced with stagnant inventory that just isn’t selling on Amazon, it’s probably a good idea to give it a shot on eBay using MCF. You’ll often be surprised that items you can’t sell on Amazon will sell on eBay.
Sad but true, stagnant and unprofitable inventory is part of doing business. It happens to us too. It just comes down to limiting these situations and taking the action to get a portion of your money back that you have tied up in this type of inventory.
-> Ramping Up Sales On Top Sellers
If you’ve got something good, and a lot of it, why not increase your sales by listing on other eCommerce sites? Exactly! Keep that sales growth on the incline by reaching even more customers with your popular product(s).
How To Use MCF
You’re probably scratching at the bit, knowing that some of these scenarios are present in your business and you want to take action.
Look, there’s nothing tricky or fancy about using MCF. It’s pretty basic stuff. But, I’ll walk you through an example just to make sure you are on track.
First, let me tell you that MCF is only available for products that are currently in stock in an FBA warehouse. Once your inventory is in stock, go ahead and create your product listing on another site like eBay. When the sales roll in, here’s what you’ll need to do to have Amazon fulfill your order through MCF.
(Stick around until the end of the article for some major bonus action. I’ll cover a real example of how I used MCF to to make my eBay listing even more attractive and sold that product for WAY more than the Amazon sales price.)
Step 1: From your Amazon Seller’s Dashboard, scroll over the “Inventory” tab and select “Manage Inventory”
Step 2: Using the search bar, search for the item that you want Amazon to ship to your customer.
Step 3: On the right side of the product’s inventory page, click the drop down and select “Create Fulfillment Order.”
Step 4: Enter the name, address and number of units you want to have shipped to your customer. Then click continue.
Step 5: Choose your shipping method. Is it going to be standard, 2-day?
This is something that you should have already decided on when creating your non-Amazon listing, providing the potential buyer with shipping options. Just make sure that expedited options are available for your product via MCF, because I’ve found certain items are only available with standard shipping.
Step 6: Click “Place Order.”
Once you’ve placed the order, Amazon will generally take 1-2 business days to ship your order. (Unless you’ve chosen an expedited shipping option like 2 Day or Next Day.) You will receive an email notification when your order has shipped, and at that point you will be provided with a tracking number. MCF orders can be tracked by going into the “Manage Orders” section from the top of your Seller’s Dashboard homepage. It will say “Complete” when the order has shipped. Click into that to get information, like the tracking number.
Not too bad, huh? Now, let’s get into that BONUS!!!
BONUS CASE STUDY!
You know you can charge more on eBay than Amazon and still get sales, right???
Scratching your head yet? Yea, I know. Usually it’s the other way around. But believe me, there are many instances when you can get more dinero out of eBay than Amazon.
Let’s take an actual example. How about that product that I used to demonstrate creating a MCF order? (I’m sure some of you already searched for it. 😉 )
Here’s the product.
As you can see, this item is currently being sold on Amazon for $56.79. Super underpriced if you ask me. But hey, what can you do? List it on eBay and leverage MCF!!!
See, the thing is some people still don’t shop on Amazon. There are many loyal eBay customers. Not to mention, some people have eBay credit, gift cards, etc. So when it comes time to buying online, they aren’t even considering other sites.
Let’s take a look at my listing now ->
On my eBay listing I’m charging $74.95 versus the Amazon listing of $56.79. And since my listing has been up I have sold 2 units. I also have 5 people watching this listing, which indicates that they have interest in the product but may just want to see the price go down a bit or are waiting for another reason to buy. (Maybe their next paycheck…)
Why are people showing interest and buying? Well, other than the points I already made about eBay buyers, I’m leveraging MCF. How?
In my listing title, I pretty clearly indicate that I offer Free 2-Day Shipping. If you’ve ever bought anything on eBay before, or any non-Amazon eCommerce site,you know it’s VERY rare that you get such speedy shipping. With this shipping method I’m leveraging one of Amazon’s biggest selling points, FREE 2-DAY SHIPPING!
Honestly, it’s pretty much a no-brainer to provide 2-Day shipping with your eBay MCF listings. Let’s take a look at what I mean.
If you were to offer Amazon’s Standard MCF shipping, here’s the cost breakdown ->
So, it would cost me $8.05 to use Amazon’s Standard shipping, which is basically UPS ground and will take around 6 business days. But, then there’s 2-Day Shipping…
Really?!!! Only $11.45 for 2-Day Shipping. That’s only $3.40 more than Standard shipping. For that small amount, I can just pass the cost off to the customer, while offering a great service and selling point over other eBay listings.
To sum it all up, let’s take a look at what my profit would be if I sold this item on Amazon versus eBay, using the same pricing and assuming my buy cost was $0.
Amazon $74.95 – $14.87 (FBA Fee) = $60.08
eBay $74.95 – $7.49 (eBay commission) – $11.45 (Shipping Cost) – $2.47 (PayPal Fee) = $53.54
OK. You might be thinking that I just lost $6.54.
Let’s keep in mind that the lowest Amazon price is $56.79. And there’s probably a good chance that I’m not selling units at $74.95 on Amazon with this seller asking this price. And if I were to sell at $56.79 on Amazon, my profit would be:
Amazon $56.79 – $12.15 (FBA Fee) = $44.64
Factoring all of those numbers, and yes there are a lot of numbers floating around, I actually made $8.90 more by selling on eBay using MCF than just selling on Amazon.
Bottom line, it comes down to the time you have, your inventory and the circumstances. Regardless, MCF can be an excellent way to expand your sales and take advantage of market inefficiencies by utilizing the great power of Amazon’s shipping logistics.
Now it’s time to ask yourself, what are you going to sell first using MCF? And if you’ve already been using MCF, please share any solid stories in the comments.