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 Mar 10:</b> Francis Scott Key, <i>Star Spangled Banner,</i> first printing, c. 1814-16. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 10:</b> William Sydney Porter, a.k.a. “O. Henry,” archive of drawings made to illustrate a lost mining memoir, c. 1883-84. $30,000 to $40,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 10:</b> [Bay Psalm Book], printed for Hezekiah Usher of Boston, Cambridge, c. 1648-65. $50,000 to $75,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 10:</b> Book of Mormon, first edition, Palmyra, 1830. $40,000 to $60,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 10:</b> <i>Noticia estraordinario,</i> probable first announcement in Mexico City of the fall of the Alamo, 1836. $40,000 to $60,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 10:</b> Patrick Gass, first edition of earliest first-hand account of the Lewis and Clarke expedition, Pittsburgh, 1807. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 10:</b> Diploma from the Princeton Class of 1783, commencement attended by Washington & Continental Congress. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 10:</b> <i>Sprague Light Cavalry!</i> color-printed broadside, NY, 1863. $5,000 to $7,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 10:</b> <i>The Lincoln & Johnson Union Campaign Songster,</i> Philadelphia, 1864. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 10:</b> Lucy Parsons, labor organizer, albumen cabinet card, New York, 1886. $800 to $1,200.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 10:</b> Daniel L.F. Swift, journal as third mate on a Pacific Whaling voyage, 1848-1850. $3,000 to $4,0000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 10:</b> Two photos of Thomas Moran, Grand Canyon, silver prints, 1901. $1,500 to $2,500.
  • <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> Helvelius. Two Autograph Letters Signed to Francis Aston, Royal Society Secretary, noting his feud with Robert Hooke, 5 pp total, 1685. $70,000 to $100,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> Newton, Isaac. Autograph manuscript on God, 4 pp, c.1710, "In the beginning was the Word...."?$100,000 to $150,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> Beethoven's Ninth Symphony. First edition, first issue. Untrimmed copy in contemporary boards. $30,000 to $50,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> Lincoln, Abraham. Signed photograph, beardless portrait with Civil War provenance. $80,000 to $120,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> IMPEACHMENT. Original engrossed copy of the first Andrew Johnson impeachment resolution vote. $120,000 to $180,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> Mucha, Alphonse. 11 original pencil drawings for?<i>Andelicek z Baroku,</i> "Litte Baroque Angel," Prague, 1929. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> Einstein, Albert. Annotated Galley Proofs for <i>The Meaning of Relativity.</i> 1921. $25,000 to $35,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> Silverstein, Shel. Original maquette for <i>The Giving Tree,</i> 34 original drawings. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> Roth, Philip. Typed Manuscript with substantial autograph corrections for an unpublished sequel to <i>The Breast.</i> $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> Taupin, Bernie. Autograph Manuscript, the original draft of lyrics for Elton John's "Candle in the Wind," 2 pp, 1973. $100,000 to $150,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> HARVEY, WILLIAM. <i>De Motu Cordis et Sanguinis in Animalibus Anatomica Exercitatio.</i> Padua: 1643. $12,000 to $18,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> CESALPINO, ANDREA. <i>Peripateticarum Quaestionum Libri Quinque.</i> Venice: 1571. $30,000 to $40,000.

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