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Amazon Buy Shipping SNAFU on Tuesday

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Starting yesterday afternoon, merchants attempting to ship orders through Amazon started to be greeted by an Amazon Buy Shipping SNAFU with a message stating “No carriers are currently available for your delivery. Wait 15 minutes and try again”.

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Amazon told sellers to purchase labels outside of Amazon Buy Shipping for affected orders until being told otherwise, ensuring that the shipping methods used meet the customer promise. Amazon also said that orders impacted by the Amazon Buy Shipping SNAFU would be excluded from your Buy Shipping Usage and Valid Tracking metrics when monitoring your performance.

“We apologize for the inconvenience this causes. Our engineers are aware of this issue and are diligently working to resolve it.

At this time, we are unable to provide an estimated time of resolution. We appreciate your patience while we correct this issue.

Further, note that it would not impact your performance metrics. However, if it still does please let us know by including a brief description of how this impacted your business when you respond to the relevant performance notification in Seller Central. We will consider this event when we evaluate your account’s recent performance.

Moreover, you may purchase delivery labels directly from Royal Mail, DPD, Hermes, UK Mail, Parcelforce or Yodel or any any other carrier partner of your choice provided that you confirm dispatch and provide order tracking ID in Seller Central.”
– Amazon Seller Support

The Amazon Buy Shipping SNAFU looks like it started to be resolved around 3pm and merchants were once again able to process orders, but this does highlight the need to have back up couriers in place. Many merchants would have alternative arrangements but for those that solely rely on any single carrier are in a precarious position, especially if they are using Amazon to ship orders on other platforms where protections won’t be automatically offered due to an issue on Amazon.

One problem is that you may face additional costs using an alternate carrier if you rely on Amazon for their discounted prices – even though this was only for a few hours, if you don’t have accounts with back up carriers then you might be reliant on buying labels through third party consolidators. With Prime Day coming up in June and then what’s likely to be a busy Q4 at the end of the year, consider your alternatives and make sure you have emergency carriers you can switch on at short notice in a crisis.

Edited to add:

At around 11am today (Wednesday), Amazon emailed merchants to confirm that the glitch has been rectified:

“We notified you yesterday of technical issues with purchasing shipping labels through Buy Shipping. These issues are now resolved. Please revert back to using Buy Shipping to purchase shipping labels for Seller Fulfilled Prime Orders from now on, in order to maintain Buy Shipping Usage metrics.

For all orders where you purchased labels outside of Buy Shipping on 25th May, we will exclude these from your Buy Shipping Usage and Valid Tracking metrics. These will not impact your Prime badge status.”
– Amazon

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