Courtesy of FBA Mastery readers: A list of tricks to prevent split FBA shipments.
You know FBA Mastery attracts an elite level of FBA seller when reader comments can be assembled to form their own super-informative primer.
Last week I posted my crude-but-effective tactic for avoiding split FBA shipments (i.e. when
As it turns out, the reader-comments below the article were more informative than the article itself. I love a good trick or hack, and I learn tons of them from readers of this site.
So here it is: 7 tricks that may (or may not) work to prevent (or limit) split FBA shipments.
Before that, a few obligatory words…
I have not attempted any of the tricks mentioned here (other than the one I’ve talked about). These are being submitted for experimentation, and in the interest of presenting you with all your options.
(Minor edits have been made to some of the submissions).
1. The legitimate (and obvious) non-trick
This is not a trick or a hack, but
2. Add dummy items to shipment
From David M:
“Add a dummy item to an order, and tinker with the quantity. If I have a shipment of 100 books, and it gets split to 3 warehouses, I will click back and add a book with say 20 quantity. If I click through and the shipment is no longer split, then that book can be deleted from the shipment. This works only some of the time though.
But I have noticed (for me at least) that the
Unfortunately, this usually means the one place is simply the first stop in the journey though, and I will have to wait longer for the items to be in stock, as they get transferred to other FCs.”
3. Creating duplicate shipments to experiment with
“Create a duplicate order early on, then tinker with it. If the result is split, I will delete it, go back, and clone another order to tinker with, always keeping a master order copy available. So, if
The algorithm seems to change day to day, as well. If I create a clone from a master order, and wait to long to finalize it, in a day or two they may change it all around.
If I have duplicates of a particular item, I will usually list one copy, then go in and add extra copies in the final stage to make sure they all get sent to the same place.
Sometimes TRON or whoever is in charge of the logarithm seems adamant that I have to split my shipment. I will delete some copies, try again, and find they now want some different items split off and sent to a different warehouse, as if to punish me for trying to game the system. But most of the time, it works.”
4. Keeping shipment numbers low
“I’ve solved my split shipment problem by keeping the number of books in a box to less than 21. ANY shipment with more than 21 individual items (books,CD’s,DVD’s) triggers a split shipment for me.”
5. Delete, then relist
“I… delete a shipment, then try to list the same books later and see if it would go to a closer warehouse or at least one where I already have several books ready to go. Sometimes this works.”
(Update: Some users are reporting receiving threatening emails form
6. Keeping the same type of media in each shipment
“One thing I noticed is that sending in a mixed media box, such as half books and half CDs, the CDs would often go in one direction (California) and the books another (New Jersey). The solution was to keep each order to the same type of media. I found that slipping one or two CDs didn’t cause an issue, but 5 or 10 did.”
7. Keeping FBA shipments to an odd number of items
“Another thing to help w split shipments is always list an odd number of books (81,83,87) instead of even number and NEVER edit a shipment or change inventory after you start a shipping plan. I’ve shipped at least 9 shipments from Chicago since I started using this information and not once have I had to split shipments… my only challenge these days is trying to make 101 books fit in only 2 boxes.”
8. Playing with the return address.
As covered extensively in my last article, choosing different return addresses impacts the likelihood of having FBA shipments split.
This concludes every trick I’ve heard to avoid having
Look for future reports as I experiment with each of these. Because there’s almost nothing I won’t do to save myself an hour.