Fulfillment by Amazon is an attractive proposition for many sellers. Streamlined, hands-off, and relatively simple, Amazon FBA means the global retailer takes care of orders for you. They’ll pack and ship orders, handle returns and customer inquiries, and make your products eligible for Amazon Prime.
Yet before you can start enjoying these benefits, you need to know how to ship to Amazon FBA fulfillment center. There are over 100 fulfillment centers across the United States, which means there’s no issue in finding a destination for your items. However, there are issues when it comes to sending your products the right way.
This is because there are strict guidelines to follow. Millions of products are sent to Amazon, which means they will only accept those that are properly prepared, shipped, and labeled. Failing to comply with Amazon’s rules can lead to extra Amazon FBA shipping fees and penalties.
Creating a Shipping Plan
To prevent problems from occurring later on in the Amazon FBA process, you need to learn how to create a shipping plan on Amazon FBA. This shipping plan details:
- The products being sent to Amazon
- Product inventory and their quantity
- Shipping method and carrier
- Whether you or Amazon are handling preparation and labeling for products
Are you shipping a Private Label product? In that case, you’ll first need to create a product listing on Amazon if one doesn’t already exist. To do this, first, log in to Seller Central. Now, go to the Manage Inventory page, locate the Add A Product button, and fill out this section with all the relevant information.
Now, you can create a new Amazon FBA shipping plan. Start by visiting the Manage Inventory page, pick each product you intend to ship to Amazon, and then select the Send/Replenish Inventory option on the Actions of the Selected menu. This section presents the option to create your new shipping plan via the Amazon FBA shipping service.
Your ship-from address needs to be verified. This can be your home address, business address, or supplier address. You then need to confirm the packing type. With packing types, there are two options to choose from: Individual Products and Case-Packed Products. If you’re shipping single products which differ in condition, quantity, and type, pick Individual Products. If you’re sending multiple identical products as packaged by the supplier/manufacturer, select Case-Packed Products.
With that done, below are the next key steps to take with your shipping plan.
Set the Quantity
When fulfilling your plan to ship to Amazon FBA, the first step is to set the quantity. When shipping inventory to Amazon, you need to let them know how much of each item will be sent.
A notification may then be received. Possible notifications are:
You cannot continue with the shipping plan until products deemed ineligible by Amazon are removed
You have entered more units than is recommended
Additional information is required for a product
A product is identified as slow-moving and Amazon recommends removing it
Prepare the Products
You need to work on shipment standards when sending items to Amazon. Even if you opt for Amazon to prepare and label your products, it’s essential everything is sent to them in a safe, secure manner.
If you are preparing your products, you need to follow the How to Prep Products guide by Amazon. While this can be done on your own, many sellers decide to have the product manufacturer prepare the items on their behalf, saving money and time in the process.
Label the Products
To keep track of all products they store, a barcode system is used by Amazon. Due to this, every FBA item – including your own – needs to meet Amazon’s standards and be correctly labeled. The only exception is for products that are eligible as stickerless, commingled inventory.
There are three labeling options available with Amazon FBA, and these are:
- Use an existing EAN or UPC barcode for qualifying products
- Have Amazon apply a barcode by paying an FBA Label Service fee for each item
- Add an Amazon-generated barcode directly to the packaging or product
For more information on using barcodes, visit Amazon’s FBA product barcode requirements page.
Review & Prepare Your Shipment
Before you print off a shipping label and prepare to send your products off to Amazon, take the time to review your shipment. One point to remember is to analyze both the destination center location and code. Ultimately, your FBA shipping plan may require numerous shipments to multiple warehouses.
Once the shipment has been approved, your FBA account will display a View Shipments page. It also means your shipment has to be transferred to the specified Amazon fulfillment center(s).
When you visit the Prepare Shipment section, the following needs to be completed:
- Pick your shipping carrier and method
- Determine how many boxes are required for shipping
- Confirm the shipment by scheduling and paying for it
- Print off box labels
There are three shipping methods available: small parcel delivery (SPD), Less Than Truckload (LTL), and Full Truckload (FTL). For many, SPD and LTL are used as sellers tend to not have enough inventory to pack an entire truckload. Each method has set requirements that need to be met.
Next, you’ll be supplied with an estimated shipping charge of your products’ cost to ship to Amazon FBA. Once this charge is accepted, you can move forward and print your shipping labels.
Your products are on their way to Amazon and now it’s time to start selling! However, this is trickier than it may seem and you may still have questions on how to ship products to Amazon FBA. You’re up against many other sellers – including Amazon themselves – so the platform is rife with competition. To stand out and get your products in front of the eyes of potential customers, it makes sense to utilize specializing Amazon marketing services.
As expert Amazon marketing consultants, we can help you to build your business on the platform. Whether you’re a newcomer to Amazon FBA or are struggling to generate sales, our guidance – which incorporates everything from product listing optimization to up-to-date promotional strategies – can put you on the road to success.