votrechien - 8:52 pm on Dec 2, 2011 (gmt 0)
The biggest question is, how big of a customer are you to this fulfillment company? If you're shipping only a few items a week you're probably not in much of a position to negotiate a whole lot better, although just asking would normally yield some results. Assuming they at least know who Maximus1000's company is though...
1) The best thing you can do is get competing rates from another fulfillment company (it's best to get a local rate, but Amazon publishes their rates transparently). My fulfillment company tried raising rates last year to what I thought was an unfair level. I got a competing rate from another company and we ultimately negotiated workable rate for everyone.
2)Re-iterating the above, you really need to determine what a fair market rate is. There's a lot beyond the pick and pack rate. Most companies tend to charge per sku, per cubic foot of space, and many a freight receiving charge. If the company isn't charging you a storage fee or a per sku fee and all they want to do is raise your pick rate 10% then I would think you have it fairly decent.
3) I can't imagine how any company cannot charge to receive inventory (if 3 staff are destuffing a 40' container for 3 hours they have to charge for this!). It's possible they've always charged for larger customers in the past but you've now gotten to a size where they have to charge you.
Feel free to PM me if you want to discuss/share experiences.
4) If you haven't already, you might want to consider looking at Fulfillment By Amazon. They have a pretty competitive program and needless to say, a very professional and smooth running program.