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9/19/2006
03:49 PM
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Amazon Launches Order-Fulfillment Service For SMBs

Amazon will store, pack, and ship merchandise, handle returns and refunds, and offer merchants the same shipping promotions that Amazon makes available to its own customers.

Amazon.com on Tuesday launched in beta an order-fulfillment service for small and medium-sized businesses that also includes the handling of returns and refunds.

Fulfillment By Amazon includes storage, packing and shipping of products, and offers the same shipping promotions Amazon offers to its own customers.

Customers of the service pay a handling fee of at least 50 cents per item, plus 40 cents per pound, and a storage fee of 45 cents per cubic foot. Fees are paid on a monthly basis. Amazon would also manage post-order customer service, such as returns and refunds.

Besides the fulfillment service, Amazon also offers businesses tools for creating their own privately branded e-commerce Web site. WebStore retailers pay a commission of 7 percent, which includes credit card processing fees and fraud protection, for each product purchased through their site, and a monthly fee of $59.95.

WebStore and Fulfillment By Amazon services can be bought separately or as a package.

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