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More than 150 million people worldwide use Amazon Prime. The advantages for customers are obvious: a lightning-fast, free shippingAmazon Prime Day, exclusive films and series on Prime Now, as well as music on Amazon Music, are all compelling arguments. 

But Prime also offers advantages for sellers. Products marked with the Prime logo generally sell better, as Prime members receive their goods the very next day. However, this is only possible with Amazon FBA, Shipping through Amazon possible, isn't it?

No, because with the program Prime by seller goods can be marked with the Prime logo, even if they are not in Amazon's warehouses. In addition to many advantages, such as increased sales among Prime members, there is also a disadvantage, which I would like to discuss in this guide.

Prime by seller - The wmost important facts 

Prime by seller can be quite useful and is becoming more and more worthwhile for sellers since any transportation service can be selected. However, the Prime by Seller program also comes with a disadvantage that should not be overlooked.

Here is an overview of the most important facts:

  • Sellers can ship their goods directly from the warehouse via Amazon Prime. This must be a domestic warehouse.
  • Delivery via Prime will be made within the promised delivery time executed.
  • Anyone participating in Prime by seller must first complete a Test phase run through. Only after this test phase, which takes place between 5 to 90 days the Prime logo will be displayed. The duration depends on the seller.
  • From Amazon no transportation service (formerly DPD) more given. You are free to decide whether you want to use DPD, DHL or other services such as GLS or UPS.
  • Some customers search specifically for Prime products, which gives participants in the Prime by Seller program a Competitive advantage offers.
  • Prime increases the chance in the Buy Box (shopping cart) to be displayed as the seller of a product that is offered by several sellers.
  • Through a Secure delivery the next day or the promised delivery time increases the likelihood of frequent and repeat purchases.
  • Amazon takes over the Customer service on behalf of the retailer.
  • Prime by seller enables access to Lightning offers.

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Prime by seller Requirements

For your products to be eligible for Prime, they must:

  1. Be available nationwide
  2. Be sent free of charge for customers
  3. Free returns are offered (with exceptions) 

The following criteria must also be met:

Delivery promise: The delivery promise (i.e. the period within which the goods will reach the customer) must be fulfilled. The specifications that apply here depend on the product category, the storage location and the size and weight of the parcel, among other things. 

Rate of punctual delivery: 90% of all deliveries must be made on time, i.e. either before or at the latest on the promised delivery date.

Tracking number: 99% (quasi 100%) of the orders must be provided with a valid tracking number, which Amazon receives from the transportation service.

Stronorate: The stronorate by an Amazon merchant may not exceed 0.5%. Cancellations from the customer that are received within 30 minutes of the order and are subsequently canceled by you will not be included.

Innovation 2023: Only the best 90%s will receive the Prime badge

There has been an innovation since June 2023. Whether or not an Amazon Prime badge is awarded is now more complex and based on hourly basis decided by Amazon. Various key figures are included in the evaluation. In general only 90% of the best sellers the Prime logo, even if they all meet the requirements. The decisive factor is the brevity of the delivery promise.

This specification is Some exceptions linked. 

The lower and upper limits specified for the delivery commitment are decisive. The following applies to Germany, France, Spain, the Netherlands and Belgium: 

  • As long as a Delivery time of 3 days is complied with, the prime badge is displayed independently of the 90%. 
  • Who longer than 7 days for delivery will not receive the badge under any circumstances. (9 days for Poland and Sweden)

The thresholds can vary depending on the product category. After all, bulky products generally take longer to deliver than a small package. This means that you are only competing with like-minded sellers who sell products in the same category, price range, size and weight.

Which delivery promise is actually displayed on the product detail page also depends on whether the sale is domestic or cross-border.

This is why Prime by seller is not recommended for everyone

While Prime by seller undoubted advantages this service from Amazon is not without its drawbacks. One point that is viewed critically by some sellers is that Amazon takes over customer service itself.

Customer service is provided by Amazon

On the one hand, it may well be advantageous to rely on the Customer service from Amazon. One less task for the seller to take on. On the other hand, the seller no longer has any influence on the interaction with the customer.

This also means that Amazon has to comply with the guidelines of the Prime programIn the event of complaints, such as a delay or non-receipt of goods (for whatever reason), the seller will be held liable, especially for delivery on the next working day. This situation cannot be changed, especially as the seller has no influence on delivery and customer service.  

How Prime works for sellers in practice

However, if Prime by Seller is for you, you need to understand the features of the program. Here are all the details on how to proceed as a seller as well as preparations that must be made and finally the returns.

Shipping partners DHL, DPD and others

For a long time, DPD was inevitably the only transport service that came into question for Seller by Prime. Among other things, this caused considerable problems as the transport service is not known to be reliable. In addition, sellers were bound by Amazon's conditions. However, these were not based on the weight but on the size of a parcel, which suited Amazon, as sellers often use their own warehouses for such products. In many cases, this increased the shipping costs. These disadvantages are now a thing of the past.

There has been good news since 2022, as sellers can now also choose DHL and any other transport service as a shipping partner for Prime. DHL is popular throughout Germany and customers trust this parcel service provider. In addition to parcels, goods post items can also be delivered.

The big advantage here is that you can use your own conditions from the DHL business customer contract with Prime through sellers.

To use DHL, you must activate access to the DHL business customer portal via your seller account. 

This is how it works:

  1. Go to "Seller account information" under "Settings" in Amazon Seller Central. In the "Shipping and returns" section, click on "Buy shipping fee settings".
  2. A new page will open. On the right-hand side, click on the "Manage carrier accounts" button.
  3. Now you can link your account. Select "DHL Paket" from the dropdown and confirm your selection.
  4. You can then enter your DHL access data and billing numbers. If you have not already done so, create a system user in the DHL business customer portal. Then confirm your entries.

Next, you will be taken to an overview of all linked accounts. The status for DHL is now "Active".

Procedure for Amazon Prime by seller

In the case of Prime by seller, the Delivery by DPD, DHL or other services and customer service but this does not mean that sellers can run their Amazon business completely passively. Among other things, appropriate shipping labels must be purchased.

All orders can be tracked and processed in Amazon Seller Central.

You can select the correct label under the "Buy shipping fee" button based on the delivery selected by the customer. However, as any transportation service can now be used, this is no longer necessary. In general, it is important that you adhere to the deadlines. In the case of premium shipping, the parcel must arrive by the promised delivery time as long as the order is placed and recorded in the system by 13:00.

Please note the following:

  • If a customer buys two products - one with Prime and one without Prime - there are two options: Buy the Prime shipping label for a package that includes both products, or ship both products individually. The Prime rules only apply to the Prime product.
  • For regional public holidays, it depends on how many Federal states the public holiday applies. If the day is a public holiday in more than 50 % of the federal states, Amazon will extend the delivery deadline by one day. Otherwise, the Prime logo should be deactivated for all Prime products if punctual delivery cannot be guaranteed, as the 1-day deadline still applies.
  • While the delivery as Premium shipping is free for the Prime customer, the seller can increase the price for all other purchases with up to 7,99 € estimate.
  • Sellers can be registered for Amazon shipping and Prime by seller at the same time. The ASIN must be assigned to one of the two programs. Depending on the characteristics of the product, one of the two options is usually relatively clear. For example, fast-selling items are suitable for shipping by Amazon and high-quality products or fragile items are more suitable for Prime by Seller.

After an order has been received, the seller must Pay shipping costs. Three different methods can be selected for this purpose - firstly via Seller Central, secondly via the Amazon API and finally via third-party seller tools. It may occasionally happen that labels cannot be purchased via the methods described here. In this case, it is up to the retailer to purchase them from the transport partner.

It is important that parameters such as packaging size and weight are correctly specified when purchasing the label.

Prime by seller - preparations 

Who in Prime recorded by seller must first create a Prime shipping template and then add products to this template. The template is used to define shipping regions, transportation times and shipping costs. Products can then be cleverly assigned to a shipping template in Seller Central by SKU.

New since June 2023 is that transport times of up to 7 days are now also possible. Among other things, this is due to products that are very bulky and heavy and therefore generally take longer to ship than light and small products.

Shipping must be nationwide. It is not possible, for example, to exclude East Frisia from Prime shipping.

You can find the template for configuration under "Automation of shipping settings".

Click on Manage stock -> Change shipping template (on the right in the drop-down menu of the selected product) -> Change shipping template - > Select shipping template Prime -> Yes, continue.

If several products are to be assigned to the shipping template at the same time, several SKUs can be selected under "Manage stock".

Alternatively, it is possible to do this via the stock file. However, the inventory wizard must first be downloaded and edited. Under "Form Inventory Loader", the column for SKUs is located on the far left in the first column, while the exact name of the Prime template must be entered in the N column. A list of current products including SKU can be found in Seller Central and Inventory.

The completed Stock wizards The file is then uploaded to Seller Central under "Stock" -> "Upload multiple items". Only files in .txt format are accepted.

Deadline and order volume

While the acceptance deadline is specified by Amazon, the seller can determine the time of collection of their goods by the transport service themselves and define the maximum volume for Prime shipments.

Here are all the important facts:

  • The Deadline is 1 p.m. - the goods are then handed over to the contracted carrier at an agreed time, e.g. from 14:30 on the day of the order in the case of DHL. Your products should be ready for dispatch by then at the latest.
  • If it is a public holiday or a weekend, this time is moved to the next working day.
  • Public holidays and weekends are not working days - so orders can be placed on Friday after 13:00 and dispatched on Monday.
  • Closing times can be defined separately in Amazon Seller Central for orders with 2-day delivery and next-day delivery.
  • The order volume can also be shown in the Seller Central be limited. The Prime logo will therefore be deactivated once the limit has been reached.
  • In addition, the Prime Logo acan also be deactivated regardless of the order volume.

Returns

Customers can return goods free of charge if the weight of the goods 22.6 kg is not exceeded. Anyone wishing to return their goods will automatically receive a Prepaid return label. In the few cases where such a label is not available, customers can contact the seller. For this purpose, the seller should have their own Pre-franked labels have ready.

As a seller, you have to bear the costs for the label when the parcel is collected by the deliverer. Some exceptions are listed in the documentation for Prime by sellers. In some cases, Amazon may reimburse the seller's costs. This is possible by phone, chat or contact form under Selling on Amazon, Prime by seller, Reimbursement request.

How does the Prime by Seller test phase work?

During the test phase, Amazon checks whether you meet all the requirements for Prime shipping and can handle the number of shipments. The Prime logo will not be displayed to your customers during this time.

As mentioned, you can get the Prime logo for the selected SKUs, after the test phase has been successfully completed. The logo will then be automatically added to the corresponding ASINs. However, your test orders must arrive on time. The cancellation rate must not exceed 0.5%.

After passing the test phase, SKUs can be registered for the Prime by Seller program or removed.

Shipping costs for Prime by seller

  • The Amazon sales fee remains unchanged
  • There are no additional fees
  • Up to €7.99 can be charged for non-Prime customers

Conclusion: Prime is increasingly worthwhile for sellers

When you consider that Prime members in Germany pay over 70% of Amazon sales, the logo is definitely worthwhile. In most cases, sellers are doing themselves a favor by participating in the program. By changing the guidelines and allowing sellers to choose any carrier, such as DHL, Amazon is lowering the threshold to participate in the Prime by Seller program. At the same time, it increases the pressure, because if more and more offers are labeled with the Prime logo, other offers become less attractive. After all, Prime customers want to take advantage of their membership and free shipping. Therefore, think carefully about whether you want to participate in the Prime by Seller program.

Do you want to get started on Amazon? As Amazon Agency we bring you among the TOP brands in your category.

Requirements for Prime by seller?

There are many requirements that must be met. Free shipping, keeping the delivery promise and free product returns are particularly important.

Why is Prime not always recommended by sellers?

Since you can now use any transportation service, the only disadvantage is that Amazon takes over your customer service and you lose direct customer contact to a certain extent.

When is the deadline for Prime acceptance by sellers?

The deadline for acceptance is 1 p.m. - the goods must then be ready for dispatch and handed over to the contracted carrier at the agreed time.

Tobias Dziuba

My name is Tobias and I am the founder and managing director of the Amazon agency Adsmasters GmbH based in Düsseldorf.

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