Amazon Japan raised their standard shipping rates from April 6th.

This is related to the topic of yesterdays post about the increase in Prime subscriptions to cover the increasing domestic shipping costs in Japan.

Actually, that isn’t quite right. Amazon promised gold, riches and unicorns to the shipping companies who partnered with them,  in return for them offering entirely unrealistic conditions.

Needless to say, the guys from the shipping companies who signed these contracts, were NOT the guys running around carrying all the damn Amazon boxes.

Japanese people are busy. Workers are overworked, and come back late; and even the kids are busy going to their school sports clubs 8 days/week, plus cram schools. Ipso facto, they aren’t at home much. Ergo the drivers have to keep on going back to the same delivery address repeatedly. So the drivers collapse from exhaustion and say “no more”, and shipping companies have to repent, and Amazon has to raise their fees. Q.E.D.

BTW, the fees have gone up quite substantially. Over 25% for some destinations. For non-Prime members it used to cost 350 yen for products under 2,000 yen to be sent to any location in Japan. But this has now gone up to 400 yen for products shipped to Japan’s Honshu and Shikoku main islands, and to 440 yen for Hokkaido, Kyushu, Okinawa and all other islands.

This is obviously bad for consumers, but is also going to affect sellers, such as myself, who use multi-channel fulfillment to fulfill their orders from other platforms. We do quite a decent volume of daily sales from our website, as well as a host of other online platforms in Japan. Even though I have been grandfathered in to some amazing domestic shipping rates, Hokkaido and Okinawa in particular always posed a problem. There is just no way to ship Cash On Delivery orders (very common in Japan) to these regions cheaply. Hence our reliance on multi-channel to fulfill orders from these regions.

But as long as it keeps the drivers alive, it’s a financial sacrifice I’m willing to make 🙂

The Japan Guy

The Japan Guy

The Japan Guy, Nick Katz, is a full time Amazon seller, consultant and speaker.

Leave a Reply