When looking at Prep Centers, you might come across establishments that seem to offer crazy-good prices on their services and wonder why they are able to charge so little while other places, like us, charge quite a bit more.
First of all, as a business ourselves, we completely understand that cost is important. The less money you spend on services, manufacturing, shipping, and the like, the more you keep as revenue. However, we believe that sometimes, spending the money up front to get quality work and service is more worth it in the end, due to our transparent pricing, our expert team, and our ability to fix the mistakes we (or your supplier, or even Amazon) makes.
Transparent vs Opaque Pricing:
Periodically we take a look at our competitors to see what they charge for their services, and it’s become clear to us that many of their pricing documents are a bit misleading.
For example, when we give a price for our Online Arbitrage services, that price includes receiving the item, and preparing the item: polybagging (if required by Amazon), labeling with the FNSKU sticker, and preparing the item for shipping (packaging, applying shipping labels, etc). We reuse boxes as much as we can, and reused boxes are at no charge.
However, we’ve seen that many other centers break down their pricing and charge separately for each of the components mentioned above – therefore, if you review their pricing quickly, their per item pricing might look much less expensive. But when you get the bill, you’ll often see it comes out to much more, when you factor in the receiving price, the polybag price, the label price, and the box price (if applicable). Therefore, it is important to do your due diligence when reviewing pricing. You should have a general idea of what type of prep your products might need, so that you can do a little comparison between prep centers and see what you might actually be charged.
Here’s a scenario – you order 50 video games from Target. They are coming from 6 different target centers. Your prep center receives 8 different boxes, and therefore, you are charged eight times for receiving. With us, you aren’t charged for receiving at all. It’s not your fault that’s how Target split up your order!
Have you heard of this concept? It means that you can’t have all three. You can have a service or product that is done quickly and done well, but it won’t be cheap. You can have a product that is done quickly and is cheap, but there are no guarantees it is done well. And finally, you can have something that is cheap and good, but not quick.
What does “good” mean? I prefer “accurate.” When we prep your items, we do it with the utmost care. Not only do we make very few mistakes, but when we do, we own up to them, and we fix them – on our dime.
Let’s say your items were labeled incorrectly, or your bundles were not done accurately. We will have you remove them back to us, and we will fix our mistakes free of charge. For most of our clients, this has never happened once.
But besides being accurate, we are also fairly fast, with most of our jobs leaving within the 24-48 hour turnaround for which we strive. This is because our team is experienced and efficient, and they know how to prioritize a workload so everything gets done in a smooth and timely fashion. However, some prep centers are operating on a shoestring team. They might only have three or four workers, sometimes less, working on the jobs. That means they are all doing so many different tasks, it’s impossible to make sure everything is accurate and done on time. Although our team is cross-trained, everyone has strengths and weaknesses – we’re all human after all. Everyone spends most of their time working at their strengths, so we can keep everything moving, so your items get to Amazon, and your end customer, quicker.
Be wary of those promising they can deliver a good/accurate service at superspeed for a fraction of the normal cost.
We Go Above and Beyond:
Finally, in addition to all of the services we offer, we are always willing to take on special projects, help coordinate shipping to other countries, domestic residences, or non-Amazon businesses. Our clients don’t just sell at Amazon – they sell at Walmart, to TJX companies, and to other small businesses, and we ship to all of the above and more.
When you inquire about a service we don’t provide, we give you tips on who does, whether it’s another business or even another prep center. The bottom line is, we want to help you get what you need, regardless of if you need it from us.