Amazon Tightens Delivery Time for Third-Party Booksellers

Amazon is now treating its third-party book suppliers in a manner that resembles how it treats book publishers: at the end of the month, third-party sellers of books, CDs and DVDs in the lower 48 states will have to deliver products within four to eight days, down from four to 14 days, according to notices from Amazon obtained by CNBC.

The change, made because, Amazon wrote, "customers are more likely to purchase products that have a faster estimated delivery time at checkout," will have a major effect on many marketplace merchants, who, CNBC noted, "sell out of their garage or warehouse rather than using Amazon's fulfillment centers, have to build shipping costs into their business model, and they typically operate on very thin margins."

One third-party seller who estimated he's sold more than $1 million in books in 13 years through Amazon said he expects shipping costs to increase 25%-50% because he can no longer use the Postal Service's media mail category for cross-country deliveries.

Media mail is estimated to require two to eight days but usually takes longer cross-country, sellers say. "The risk to missing Amazon's guaranteed delivery window is that a seller gets bad reviews, which means losing visibility on listings and can eventually lead to suspension," CNBC added.

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