Seller Fulfilled Prime: EVERYTHING Amazon Sellers Need To Know [GUIDE, REQUIREMENTS & INFOGRAPHIC]
Amazon Seller Fulfilled Prime allows Merchants to fulfill orders themselves, giving customers free 1 and 2-day shipping with their product listings having the Prime eligible badge.
Merchants can achieve Seller Fulfilled Prime through successfully completing a 90 day trial period.
This is EVERYTHING Amazon Sellers need to know to determine if you are qualified for Seller Fulfilled Prime and if Seller Fulfilled Prime is a good fit for your business.
What is Amazon Seller Fulfilled Prime?
Seller Fulfilled Prime is the program for Amazon Seller Central Sellers using Merchant Fulfillment to offer free 1 and 2-day shipping and get the Prime badge on their product listings.
To get Amazon Seller Fulfilled Prime, Amazon Seller Central Sellers simply register with Amazon and then enroll in a 90 day Trial Period. Once the trial period is successfully completed, you are in Seller Fulfilled Prime and the Prime badge appears on your listings.
Selling on Amazon Seller Central with Merchant Fulfilled listings competing against Amazon FBA Prime Eligible listings is certainly an uphill battle
As someone who provides top-rated Amazon Consulting services at my eCommerce Consultancy with 10+ years of experience, I’m going to break down everything you need to know about Seller Fulfilled Prime (Amazon SFP) so you can decide if Seller Fulfilled Prime is right for you.
What is Seller Fulfilled Prime?
What is Amazon Seller Fulfilled Prime?
Amazon Seller Fulfilled Prime allows Amazon Seller Central Sellers to offer free 1 and 2 Day Shipping to their customers and get the Prime badge on their listings when using Amazon FBM (Fulfilled By Merchant) instead of Amazon FBA via the SFP program.
Amazon FBA (Fulfillment By Amazon) is the Amazon program offered to Seller Central Sellers where sellers send their inventory into fulfillment centers across the country and when they sell products, depending on where the customer is located, it is sent from the fulfillment center closest to them.
This allows Seller Central Sellers to get the Prime badge on their listings and offer Free 1 and 2 day Shipping.
How Amazon FBA Works:
- You create or have product listings on Amazon
- You send the inventory into Amazon Fulfillment Centers
- A customer places an order
- Amazon picks, packs & fulfills the order to the customer
- Amazon also handles the customer service
- Returns are facilitated through Amazon
How Seller Fulfilled Prime Works:
- Either as a new seller or established Seller Central Seller, you register for Seller Fulfilled Prime
- You complete a 90 day trial period. (more on this later)
- You are eligible for the Prime badge and offering free 1 and 2-day shipping to customers
- Customer places an order
- You fulfill the order from your warehouse
- Amazon handles most of the customer service, you handle some
- Same return process as Amazon FBA
By now, you may be wondering: “Do I qualify for Amazon SFP?”
What Are The Seller Fulfilled Prime Requirements?
Here’s how to qualify for Amazon Seller Fulfilled Prime:
You simply register for the Amazon SFP Program, meet the qualifications during the 90 day trial period and you’re off to the races.
Seller Fulfilled Prime Requirements:
- Sellers register for a 90-day trial period.
- Sellers listings DO NOT have the prime badge during this trial time period.
- Sellers need to complete 200 orders in 90 days.
- Sellers need to use the free Prime shipping template and provide 2-day shipping to Prime members.
- Sellers must use shipping services that offer Saturday or Sunday Pickup & Delivery.
- Sellers need to provide FREE 2-day shipping to ALL customers nationwide (lower 48 states only) for Standard Size Products.
- Sellers need to offer 1-day shipping to at least 30% of page views of potential buyers for Standard Size Products.
- Sellers need to offer 1-day shipping to at least 17% of page views of potential buyers for Oversize Products.
- Sellers need to offer 2-day shipping to at least 74% of page views of potential buyers for Standard Size Products.
- Sellers need to offer 2-day shipping to at least 63% of page views of potential buyers for Oversize Products.
- Sellers need to maintain 99% on-time shipment rate. (1 out of every 100 can be late)
- Seller answers pre-sale and product support-related questions.
- Sellers need to use Amazon’s Shipping Service for 95% of orders.
- Sellers need to purchase shipping using Amazon’s “Buy Shipping Service”
- Sellers CAN link their own UPS account which will allow them to use any previously negotiated rates they already have.
- While shipping is discounted, it isn’t as deeply discounted as sellers receive when shipping products to Amazon fulfillment centers in Amazon’s FBA program. Third-party shipping software & apps can still use the Merchant Fulfilled API.
- Orders need to be shipped the same day. Orders need to ship from the seller’s location by 2 pm local seller time.
- The seller can choose which products they want to include in the Seller Fulfilled Prime program.
- Sellers need to have LESS than a 1% cancellation rate. (seller cancels the order — not the customer)
What if My Business Doesn’t Meet ALL of the Qualifications & Requirements During The 90 Day Seller Fulfilled Prime Trial?
- You start over again from day 0.
It’s not a 1 and done scenario, you can try again, over and over.
The biggest one for some folks is:
What if My Business Doesn’t Get 200 ORDERS During The 90 Day Seller Fulfilled Prime Trial?
- You start over again from day 0.
- If you’re struggling here, I recommend focusing on Amazon Listing Optimization, adding A+ Content, Amazon Product Listing Video and an Amazon Storefront to help you hit the 200 sales minimum.
- These are all benefits of being part of the Amazon Brand Registry.
- Recruit an army of Amazon Influencers to drive external traffic to Amazon product listings to increase your Amazon SEO, lower your ACoS in Amazon advertising & more.
That said, what about cutoff times?
What Are The SFP Shipment Cutoff Times?
The cutoff times for Amazon SFP are 2pm local seller time.
That means if a customer orders before 2pm and you have a product at a warehouse that handles that customer’s shipping zone, you need to ship the product to the customer that day.
Order Day and Delivery Day Requirements
|Day Ordered (Before Cutoff)||Delivery Day To Customer|
Carriers That Offer Weekend Pickups
Fair enough? In my experience, one of the biggest questions about Seller Fulfilled Prime is how do returns work?
How Do Seller Fulfilled Prime Returns Work?
As it turns out, they’re the same as the Amazon FBA program returns.
The Seller Fulfilled Prime Return Process:
- Returns are auto-authorized.
SELLER PAYS FOR RETURNS WHEN:
- The box or envelope isn’t damaged, BUT the item is damaged
- Missed delivery date
- Missing parts & pieces
- The box or envelope AND the item are BOTH damaged
- The wrong item is sent
- Item is defective or does not work
- Extra item arrives that was NOT ordered
- Unauthorized purchase
- The product description on Amazon was not accurate
- Item was damaged during shipping
- Item was damaged due to ineffective packaging
BUYER PAYS FOR RETURNS WHEN:
- Accidental order by the customer
- Better price available elsewhere
- No longer needed or wanted by the customer
- The performance or quality not adequate to customers expectations
- Incompatible or not useful for the intended purpose of the customer
- Item or part not compatible with the existing system
- Excessive installation deemed by the customer or the customer did not install
CATEGORIES IN WHICH SELLER PAYS SHIPPING NO MATTER WHAT:
- Loose stones
- Baby items
My experience is that some clients have seen more returns when they use FBA. However, they also see more sales when they use FBA.
That being said, you’re probably crunching numbers as you read this and thinking to yourself: “Is Seller Fulfilled Prime worth it?”
Is Seller Fulfilled Prime Worth It?
Short answer: If the numbers make sense, in my experience as an Amazon Seller Consultant, a resounding YES.
Why is Seller Fulfilled Prime Worth It?
Have a look at this:
These are the top 2 organic listings for the term “survival gear”.
Notice the “Prime” badges?
The Sponsored Listings above them which you can’t see and also the Amazon’s Choice listing for the Life Straw which is cut off also are Prime.
Amazon Prime gets more clicks & more sales.
Most customers search on Amazon and filter for Prime, meaning they filter OUT any Merchant Fulfilled listings.
When talking about how to reduce your ACoS on Amazon I highly recommend using Amazon FBA for Prime. Your Amazon Sales Rank will thank you for it.
The truth is, it’s nigh impossible to compete with Prime listings / FBA listings / Vendor listings with Merchant Fulfilled listings.
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Customers view non-Prime listings almost like EBAY or Facebook Marketplace. 2nd place.
If the numbers make sense for your business and you can meet the requirements, you will see more sales. Period.
The Amazon SFP Program makes even more sense for certain types of products.
For instance, if you have perishable goods that need to ship right away anyways, it makes sense to get the Prime badge and do Seller Fulfilled Prime.
Or, if you have certain products that CANNOT BE STORED IN FBA WAREHOUSES at certain times or at all, like certain vitamins & supplements for example, even if you contact Amazon Seller Support.
If you didn’t know, FBA Warehouses get HOT, over 100 degrees Fahrenheit at times. They are not climate controlled.
If the numbers don’t make sense on your end, but they DO for Amazon FBA. I would give it a strong look.
How Seller Fulfilled Prime Boosts Sales & Clicks:
- Seller Fulfilled Prime or Amazon FBA gives you the Prime badge on your listings.
- The Prime badge gets more clicks and more conversions.
- Prime Eligible listings win the buy box.
- More conversions get you more organic visibility / Amazon SEO
- More organic visibility gets you more sales.
- Rinse & repeat.
Still, the sales volume and brand exposure can be significant.
There are many shoppers out there who won’t buy things UNLESS they are on Amazon and Amazon is the FIRST PLACE people go to make a purchase in some cases.
That being said, let’s make this a little easier.
Seller Fulfilled Prime Pros & Cons
When we’re looking at Pro’s and Cons it’s about Seller Fulfilled Prime vs. the alternatives. The alternatives being, FBA By Amazon or traditional Merchant Fulfillment.
- Prime badge on product listings
- Increased click throughs and conversions
- Amazon Prime products tend to get more Amazon reviews
- Customer perception is increased
- Can help win the Amazon Buy Box
- Brand visibility
- Easier returns for customers which means more conversions
- Many items cannot be stored in Amazon Fulfillment Centers anyways due to temperature control & more, this allows you to still offer Prime 2 day shipping
- Great middle ground between Merchant Fulfillment and Amazon FBA
- You can limit which products are in the Seller Fulfilled Prime program, it does not need to be all of your inventory
- You can limit where you will and won’t ship to via Prime
- May need to raise prices to account for increased COGS
- If you’re selling Amazon B2B you can make Business Only SKU’s that B2C customers won’t see.
- Price increase may push you out of buy box
- Price increase may decrease click-throughs to your listings and also decrease purchases
- Seller needs to adhere to a strict set of guidelines and rules or lose eligibility
- Returns are automatic and strongly in favor of the customer
In my experience, the Prime badge makes all of the difference on listings in terms of getting clicks and getting sales.
There is an inherent trust that comes with having your products on Amazon as the end customer is not familiar with the inner workings of Vendor Central, Seller Central, Amazon FBA, Merchant fulfillment etc.
A customer can easily distinguish if a listing is eligible for free 2-day shipping with Prime or not and that DOES matter to them. The Prime badge is like a badge of honor as well in that Prime-eligible products are viewed as superior to non-Prime.
There are still some other odds and ends though and the story isn’t complete.
Frequently Asked Questions
How To Meet The SFP Requirements
Meeting the requirements for Amazon SFP has never been more demanding, especially for small to mid-sized sellers.
Weekend fulfillment requirements, national coverage for standard-sized products, and new delivery promise pageview requirements have many Amazon sellers wondering if their only option to maintain Prime status is FBA.
Ware2Go’s SFP network can support any product size or transit mode. With a network of 13 nationwide warehouse partners, sellers are able to choose warehouse locations that get their products close to their customers to meet Amazon 1 to 2-day delivery promise requirements without over-reliance on costly next-day air shipments.
By building a fulfillment network that largely relies on 1 or 2-day UPS ground delivery, Amazon sellers can cash in on the advantages of Prime status without eating into their margins. The diverse network of warehouses also includes temperature-controlled facilities suited for supplements and nutraceuticals.
Ware2Go’s team takes a consultative approach to Amazon fulfillment and understands that there is no one-size-fits-all solution for SFP.
A team of Amazon experts helps sellers choose their ideal warehouse locations based on their historical sales data and product storage needs. They will monitor SFP performance, help set up an Amazon Seller Central Template, and consult on marketing strategies to meet pageview requirements.
By the way, Amazon, eCommerce and marketing is complex, with lots of challenges that cost you time & money.
If you want to sell more and spend less, I’m a top-rated Fractional CMO, Amazon Consultant & eCommerce Consultant with 10+ years of Amazon Consultancy & eCommerce Consulting experience and a proven system to drive sales.
Whether it’s consulting Amazon clients at my eCommerce Consultancy, providing Fractional CMO services to brands or Walmart sellers as a Walmart Marketplace Consultant I can get you where you want to go quicker & easier.
Click here for a quick free consultation.