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Amazon FBM orders fulfilled by FBA

I went ahead and setup Amazon FBA with Shipstation in order to do multi-channel fulfillment.

One of the main reasons is that once in a while, a product sold on Amazon with Prime can be taken out for review by Amazon if the return rates are too high. When that happens, I usually create an FBM offer on the same SKU, so that I in that way can keep selling it as FBM until the review by Amazon is over.

The Shipstation and FBA integration allows me to keep using FBA to send those orders, even though they are bought as FBM. However, in doing so I noticed 2 things.

1. The ORDER ID changed when I send the order to FBA from Shipstation. Amazon created the shipment, but didn't recognize it under the original FBM order ID. Instead a new ORDER ID was created.
2. The orders in Amazon remained unconfirmed though it had been shipped. Now I have to copy paste the tracking ID from Amazon into Amazon. It seems odd that it doesn't submit the tracking number automatically?
3. The orders stay in Pending Fulfillment Status in ShipStation, even when Amazon has shipped the item.

I have a feeling all of this could be fixed if Shipstation fed the correct Order ID into Amazon when creating the shipments, but I am not sure. Maybe there is a simple explanation to all of it.
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Comments

  • aaronlaaronl Administrator, Moderator
    A Keeper of the Keys
    edited January 2016
    Hey Nicklas,

    We have a blog post that reviews ShipStation's relationship with FBA and MFN/AFN orders. http://www.shipstation.com/blog/packing-up-the-extras/shipstation-101-fba-amazon-shipstation/

    However, I can specifically answer the 3 questions you have:

    1. The ORDER ID changed when I send the order to FBA from Shipstation. Amazon created the shipment, but didn't recognize it under the original FBM order ID. Instead a new ORDER ID was created.

    It's true that we do send over FBA a new OrderID for all FBA shipment requests and here is why. Because ShipStation is a multichannel system, we have to guarantee that each order gets a unique identifier in our system. Order numbers (Amazon OrderIDs) are inherently not unique in a multichannel system because the possibility of two different channels (Amazon accounts) having the same value ie two different orders from different marketplaces can have the same order number. We solve this problem by assigning a unique value to the FBA shipment so we can guarantee that a request is processed correctly (this also helps us cover non-Amazon order sources like Shopify). Now we do have a setting that can be enabled on your ShipStation account that will send an alternative value to FBA.

    If enabled we will send: [OrderID]-[OrderNumber]-[StoreID] where OrderID is the unique value assigned to the order by ShipStation, OrderNumber is the Amazon OrderID, and StoreID is the unique value assigned to the Selling Channel in ShipStation. This helps keep orders organized and searchable in FBA. If you want to enable this setting for your ShipStation account please reach out to our support team and we can turn that on for you: https://help.shipstation.com/hc/en-us/requests/new

    2. The orders in Amazon remained unconfirmed though it had been shipped. Now I have to copy paste the tracking ID from Amazon into Amazon. It seems odd that it doesn't submit the tracking number automatically?

    The blog post covers this question pretty well. There seems to be certain limitations in place that affect Amazon orders submitted to FBA through a 3rd party API connection. I can briefly explain how updating tracking on Amazon works:

    1. If the shipment is FBA, ShipStation will poll your FBA account for tracking updates in set intervals.
    2. Once it is Shipped, we pull the tracking information for that order.
    3. We turn around and submit the tracking feedback to Amazon while simultaneously moving the order from Pending Fulfillment to Shipped in ShipStation.
    4. Amazon's API then accepts the tracking information but queues it up for validation and approval.

    The Amazon validation and approval process isn't documented, but this is the stage that we seem to find Amazon FBA orders are not usually approved and the tracking not updated. Because we cannot control the approval process, we really recommend that sellers use the built in tools that Amazon provides to send orders directly to FBA as opposed to importing them into ShipStation and submitting them there.

    3. The orders stay in Pending Fulfillment Status in ShipStation, even when Amazon has shipped the item.

    As mentioned above, we run this process on set intervals that vary based off current server loads. So it's common to see orders in Pending Fulfillment a little after the order has been Shipped in FBA. There is a manual process that you can apply if you want to get the most up to date status information from FBA. Head to the Shipments page in ShipStation. Click on Fulfillments then select one or more of the orders in which you want the updated status and hit "Update Status(es). That's it! ShipStation will query your FBA account for updates on any pending selected shipments. If new information is returned, we will run the events outlined above for those select shipments.

    Hope this helps cover some of the information you were asking. Let me know if I need to clarify anything!
    Aaron Lee
    Associate Software Engineer
    ShipStation
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