Rare Book Monthly

Articles - March - 2007 Issue

Getting "Fulfilled" by Amazon

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Amazon's automatic fulfillment lets us vacation on Kauai.


by Renée Magriel Roberts

Fulfillment. A wonderful word and quite an old word, from the Old English fullfyllan "fill up, make full," from full + fyllan (see fill, which is ultimately from the root of full). Used early of prophecy and perhaps a translation of L. implere, adimplere.

I was just checking my Amazon account this morning and there brightly highlighted was an invitation and link to "upgrade" my account to "Fulfillment by Amazon". I'm always looking for ways to get fulfilled by the mega-sites on which we list our books, so I thought I'd go check it out. Two of Amazon's senior staff graciously walked me through the program: Drew Hardener, Senior Public Relations Manager, and Joe Walowski, Senior Product Manager/Fulfillment by Amazon.

Amazon is a customer-centric company, and not surprisingly, this new program focuses on satisfying particular customer needs. Amazon's customers have been saying for quite some time that they really like the added selection and variety (as well as the prices) of books for sale by independent sellers on Amazon's site. However, they have been less enthusiastic about the quality of the fulfillment process, as well as the lack of integration with other Amazon programs, such as Amazon Prime, which enables a customer to pay for shipping in advance with a flat rate fee. Books purchased through independent sellers on Amazon do not qualify for Amazon Prime.

This being the case, Amazon has come up with a beta Fufillment by Amazon -- one of three legs of a merchant program, including Pro Merchant and Webstore by Amazon (not yet available). Through Fulfillment by Amazon, Amazon arranges to handle the packing, shipping, and servicing of independent bookseller orders. Participating sellers simply send their inventory to an Amazon fulfillment center and when orders are received, they take care of the rest.

Amazon picks, packs and ships the book. The inventory is physically stored in Amazon's Fulfillment Centers. Book inventories in this way are eligible for "Super Saver Shipping" and "Amazon Prime" shipping programs. Purchases appear on customer self-service accounts in the same way as direct Amazon purchases. There is 24-hour customer service and the capability to gift wrap purchases.

Books are stored for $.45 per cubic foot per month. Additional handling fees apply: books priced less than $25.00 are billed at $.50 each plus $.40 per lb. If the books are more than $25.00 they are billed at $1.00 each plus $.40 per lb. A $3.00 handling fee is applied if the book is more than 18" long x 14" wide x 8" high, or weighs more than 20 lbs. Of course, the Amazon merchant commission applies to each order as well.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Illustration Art:</b> Eric Carle, <i>The Very Hungry Caterpillar,</i> hand-painted collage. Sold for a record $20,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Illustration Art:</b> Charles Addams, <i>Couple passing a giant bird house,</i> watercolor cartoon for <i>The New Yorker,</i> 1948. Sold for $16,250.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Illustration Art:</b> Miriam Troop, <i>Rain on Laundry Day,</i> oil on canvas, cover for <i>The Saturday Evening Post,</i> 1940. Sold for $40,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Illustration Art:</b> Rockwell Kent, <i>To All Fascists,</i> ink broadside for The League of American Writers, circa 1937. Sold for $6,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Illustration Art:</b> Jo Mielziner, <i>Pet Shop Drop,</i> backdrop design for <i>Pal Joey</i> on Broadway, 1940. Sold for a record $55,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Illustration Art:</b> Lee Brown Coye, acrylic cover illustration for the 25th anniversary of <i>Weird Tales,</i> 1944. Sold for $18,750.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Illustration Art:</b> Virgil Finlay, <i>The Outsider & Others,</i> pen & ink dust jacket illustration for H.P. Lovecraft's book, 1939. Sold for $5,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Illustration Art:</b> Al Hirschfeld, <i>Paul Robeson as Othello,</i> illustration for <i>The New York Times,</i> 1942. Sold for $68,750
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Illustration Art:</b> Frederic Remington, pen & ink illustration for <i>A Scout with the Buffalo Soldiers</i> in <i>The Century</i> magazine, 1889. Sold for $17,500.
  • <b>Bonhams, Sep. 17:</b> EARLY AVIATION PHOTOGRAPHY ARCHIVE. Chronicling 20th century aviation from the earliest Wright Brothers images through commercial and military applications. $50,000 to $70,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 17:</b> FIRST TELEPHONE CALL TO THE MOON. Partial transcription signed by Apollo 11 astronauts and President Nixon. $20,000 to $30,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 17:</b> SPUTNIK-1 EMC/EMI LAB MODEL, 1957. Full scale vintage test model of the Sputnik-1 satellite, Moscow, [February, 1957]. $400,000 to $600,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 17:</b> Apollo 11 Beta cloth crew emblem, SIGNED BY THE ENTIRE APOLLO 11 CREW. $8,000 to $10,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 17:</b> GEMINI 1/8 SCALE MODEL. Rarely seen large-scale contractor's model. $3,000 to $5,000
    <b>Bonhams, Oct. 23:</b> SMITH, CHRISTOPHER WEBB. 1793-1871. <i>Indian Ornithology.</i> [Patna, India]: 1828. $50,000 to $80,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Oct. 23:</b> DUPRÉ, LOUIS. 1789-1837. <i>Voyage à Athènes et à Constantinople, ou Collection de portraits, vues et costumes grecs et ottomans.</i> Paris: Dondey-Dupré, 1825. $60,000 to $90,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Oct. 23:</b> ADAMS, JOHN. Autograph Letter Signed ("J Adams"), [to Dr. Perkins?] while recovering from his small pox inoculation, [late-April, 1764]. $30,000 to $50,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Oct. 23:</b> AUSTEN, JANE. Autograph Letter Signed ("J. Austen"), to her sister Cassandra, 4 pp, "Thursday – after dinner," [September 16, 1813,] Henrietta St. $80,000 to $120,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Oct. 23:</b> AUDUBON, JOHN JAMES. 1785-1851. <i>The Birds of America, from Drawings Made in the United States and Their Territories.</i> New York & Philadelphia: J.J. Audubon & J.B. Chevalier, 1840-1844. $20,000 to $30,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Oct. 23:</b> DODWELL, EDWARD. 1767-1832. <i>Views in Greece.</i> London: Rodwell and Martin, 1821. $20,000 to $30,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Oct. 23:</b> JAMES, JESSE. Autograph Letter Signed ("Jesse W. James"), to Mr. Flood demanding Flood retract spurious accusations, 3 pp, June 5, 1875. $200,000 to $300,000.

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