You might be asking yourself, should I use Amazon Warehouse and Distribution and skip the 3PL?

As Amazon grows, they add new features and programs all the time – some that enthrall their sellers, some that are doomed from the start in terms of public opinion. Some programs are instantly loved or detested, and some take more time for opinions to form. One limb of the Amazon tree that is recently sparking debate is Amazon Warehouse and Distribution. 

Obviously, as they want it to succeed, Amazon is touting this program as innovative and obvious – cut out the middle man, and send a large batch of product to their AWD warehouses, where they will store the products and drip feed into FBA centers for you. Their newest lure: use this program, and you won’t incur the dreaded inbound placement fees when sending to Amazon Warehouse and Distribution. 

With Inbound Placement Fees upsetting sellers, this is a shiny draw.

In addition to the pros, there are some cons to consider before sending all of your inventory in to avoid such fees:

  • Without yourself or a third party receiving the inventory first to look it over, if anything is wrong, you will not be able to fix it. Amazon will also not fix it for you. They will not open the boxes. Instead, they will send it to an FBA center where you’ll get chastised for the incorrect prep. You need to be incredibly confident in your supplier before having them send straight to AWD. Even amazing, meticulous suppliers make mistakes. 
  • If you have a product that sometimes requires spare parts to be sent to customers, you’ll want to keep that product with yourself or a 3PL who can take a whole item and remove the parts you need to be sent, as well as provide postage. Amazon AWD/FBA will not open a box and do that for you. For example, let’s say you sell a cake decorating kit. If one of your customers complains they did not get a specific frosting tip, you can ask us to open a kit we have at our warehouse, and send them that particular piece. We can save the rest of the kit for similar requests that come up in the future. Amazon Warehouse and Distribution will NOT do this. 
  • It can take a LONG TIME for products to be checked in/available
  • If your product is seasonal, you will still want to keep track of your inventory and request replenishment. Do not just trust Amazon to be on top of it – even algorithms are not correct 100% of the time
  • They won’t prep, or label (although an FBA center will if you set up your shipment to FBA the correct way). Your products will need to be prepped and labeled before going to AWD.
  • Not all products are eligibleHazmat and Grocery for example. Their page says makeup is eligible, however many makeup products require an expiration date to be put into Amazon’s system. AWD currently does not allow for products that can expire. 

Here are some comments and posts we found from sellers like you who have tried the program out. 

Title: “AWD is terrible,” found in the Seller Central Forums. 

More bad experiences on the Seller Central Forums here

And some thoughts from reddit

Oh – and here is a comment from Amazon themselves about a year ago – suggesting that rather than send directly to Amazon, they recommend “that you get the products sent to you before sending into FBA [as this] will allow you to review the product quality and label them yourself.”


Please share your experience with Amazon Warehouse and Distribution in the comments, positive or negative. We want to hear it all, and it could help other sellers who are interested in the program!

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