The Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) program allows sellers to store their products in Amazon’s warehouses, where the eCommerce giant then handles the packing, shipping, and customer service for those products. This enables sellers to focus on other aspects of their business, like sourcing new products and marketing.
However, FBA requires merchants to prepare and send their items to Amazon’s warehouses according to their strict standards. The process involves several steps for labeling, packaging, quality control checks, and shipment planning. This can quickly become overwhelming for sellers with large volumes or unique products requiring specialized preparation. If prep is done incorrectly, it can produce a massive headache.
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In this article, we’ll go over how to correctly prep and send items into Amazon FBA and why outsourcing to an FBA prep center may benefit your business. By following these guidelines, you’ll ensure your products arrive at Amazon’s warehouses promptly and efficiently, ready to sell to customers across the globe.
Prepping items for Amazon FBA
Before shipping to Amazon FBA warehouses, you have to prep them in accordance with Amazon’s requirements. Here are some fundamental rules to follow:
- Properly label items: Amazon requires all products to be labeled with a unique identifier, such as a barcode or Amazon Standard Identification Number (ASIN). Ensure each item has the correct label and is placed in the product’s proper location.
- Follow packaging requirements: You’ll also find specific packaging requirements for each product category. For example, fragile items may need additional protective materials to prevent damage during shipment. Review Amazon’s packaging guidelines to be sure your products are packaged appropriately.
- Perform quality control checks: Before sending your products to FBA, it’s imperative to run a quality control check, verifying each item meets your and Amazon’s standards and is free of defects. This cuts down on returns and negative customer reviews.
- Embrace other FBA best practices: In addition to the above, there are other best practices to adopt when prepping items for FBA. These include bundling items to create multipacks, using poly bags to protect items, and crafting detailed product descriptions.
Sending items to Amazon FBA
Once you’ve accurately prepped your items, send them to Amazon’s warehouses. To ensure smooth shipments, consider the below recommendations:
- Shipping options: Amazon offers several shipping options for sending items to their warehouses, including Small Parcel Delivery, Less Than Truckload (LTL), and Full Truckload (FTL). Each method has different requirements and costs, so review your options and choose the one that best fits your needs and parameters.
- Set up shipment plans: You must create a shipment plan before sending your items. This involves selecting the items you want to send, creating a shipment plan in Amazon’s Seller Central, and printing shipping labels and packing slips.
- FBA shipment requirements: You’ll also encounter strict regulations on sending items to Amazon’s warehouses. These cover weight and size restrictions and packaging and labeling requirements. It is essential to review these rules to ensure your items comply before sending them to Amazon.
- Tracking and managing shipments: Once your items are en route to Amazon’s warehouses, track their progress and tackle any issues. Monitoring shipment status, addressing delivery issues, and resolving discrepancies in inventory goes a long way toward seamless operations.
FBA prep center benefits
It should be clear by now how time-consuming the process is for shipping to Amazon FBA. The complexity increases for merchants with high stock volumes or unique products with special prep needs. This is where an FBA prep company like MyFBAPrep can be a lifesaver. Outsourcing to an FBA prep center offers several benefits for sellers, including:
- Saved time and money: Prepping and sending items to Amazon’s warehouses can be tedious and costly. By outsourcing these tasks to an FBA prep center, sellers save time and reduce packaging, labeling, and shipping expenses.
- Professional prepping and packaging: Because they specialize in prepping and packaging items for FBA, prep centers have the expertise and equipment necessary to ensure items comply with Amazon’s requirements every time.
- Improved quality control: FBA prep companies perform quality control checks on items before they’re sent to Amazon’s warehouses. This helps sellers provide high-quality products to their customers, which, in turn, minimizes negative (and costly) consumer experiences.
- Customized services: With a prep center, you enjoy benefits tailored to meet your business’s unique needs. These may include bundling products, repackaging items, or creating custom labels and packaging.
- Simplified shipping and tracking: FBA prep centers can handle the entire fulfillment process, from setting up shipment plans to tracking and managing deliveries. This helps sellers streamline their fulfillment process so they can focus on other aspects of their business.
When considering a partnership with an FBA prep center, ask questions about their services, pricing, and processes to find a good fit for your business. Take time to research and compare FBA prep centers, and you’re sure to find one that meets your needs and lightens the load of your fulfillment process.
Wrapping up — Shipping to Amazon FBA with minimal hassle.
Prepping and sending items to FBA can be complicated, but it’s a necessary evil for sellers wanting to take advantage of Amazon’s comprehensive fulfillment services. Follow the program’s requirements so your products are ready to sell and your business runs smoothly.
To reduce (or altogether remove) this burden, consider outsourcing to an FBA prep center. An external partnership gains you access to professional prepping and packaging, customized services, and simplified shipping and tracking. These perks also cut your time commitment and expenses for your logistics and improve quality control. When selecting a partner, consider the services offered, pricing, location, experience and reputation, and customer service.
Follow the guidelines outlined in this article, or choose an FBA prep center that meets your needs to streamline your fulfillment process and redirect your attention to other aspects of your business. With the proper preparation and support, shipping to Amazon FBA can be highly profitable for your business — no headache necessary!