When you are ready to elevate your business practice as an Amazon third-party seller you will want to switch to becoming an Amazon FBA seller.
Fulfilled By Amazon or FBA, means that instead of you storing your inventory and shipping items as orders come in, your items will be stored in an Amazon warehouse.
Many sellers find that letting Amazon take care of the shipping portion of their business allows them more time to focus on managing items and listings.
As you probably already know keeping your listing optimized and updated with the best possible keywords can be time-consuming.
Once you understand how the Amazon FBA fees you’re on the right track. Not worrying about getting your packages to customers quickly can free up a lot of your time.
Many sellers also appreciate that when you are an FBA account that your items can then be eligible for Prime Shipping.
Since consumers have come to rely on and expect the Prime shipping speeds, you are likely to sell more items if purchasers see the Prime symbol on your listing.
Amazon has many rules and regulations for their sellers. Amazon wants to maintain it’s position and reputation in the industry.
While they are happy to have third-party sellers use their platform for selling their wares, if you don’t follow the established rules you may be subject to penalties. Some repeat offenders even run the risk of having their accounts suspended or canceled.
One of the most important steps to having an Amazon FBA account, however, is getting your items to an Amazon warehouse. If you are wondering how to ship to Amazon read below for some tips and insights to get your business growing.
1. Make Sure FBA Will Be Profitable
While the idea of giving Amazon the control over shipping may seem inticing, you need to first make sure it will be worth your while.
Once you enter into an agreement with Amazon it can be difficult to get your merchandise back to you in a timely manner if you figure out FBA isn’t working. It’s best to make sure FBA will be a good fit for you before you ship items off.
Using the most up-to-date FBA calculators will help you make an educated guess as to what sort of fees Amazon will charge for each item.
Determining whether or not to become an FBA seller can be tricky, as there are always shifts in markets and demand for certain products. But many sellers have found FBA to be a great way to sell on Amazon.
Using an FBA calculator is easy to figure out your profitability, but it is important to remember that they are just an estimate.
With many fees based on weight or even the cost of prepping your items for shipment, you won’t know a precise cost until you enter the agreement.
FBA fees can be confusing when you first start out, so taking time to research and understand as many as possible can help you avoid unexpected surprises.
It is best to use an FBA fee calculator before investing in wholesale products especially.
For instance, Long-term storage fees will be assessed to any merchandise that has been sitting in an Amazon warehouse for more than 365 days.
If you have some items that do not sell frequently, it may not be in your best interest to have those be included as FBA items.
Ultimately you want to make sure that your gross profit is high enough for your liking before you start an FBA arrangement.
Make sure you are using each item ASIN (Amazon Standard Identification Number) for the most accurate calculations.
Many calculators offer a compare feature. With just the click of a button, you will know if FBA is right for you.
Be sure to periodically check the calculators if you decide to become an FBA seller as the fees could change or be affected by sales and promotions.
2. Get Your Items Into the United States
When you are sourcing your item to be sold, one of the common places is to look overseas. Often, you can get excellent, quality items for a cheaper price abroad. But then you have to bring the shipment to the United States.
There are many options to consider, and first-time FBA sellers may find the experience confusing as they begin.
If you are shipping your products from a foreign country, like China perhaps, there will be tariffs and other fees associated with the travel.
There are many ways to get your merchandise from China to the United States. One of the most common ways is to use a freight forwarder which is perfect for all ocean shipments.
If you are shipping by air, then it may benefit you to use a freight forwarder if your items weigh more than 440 pounds. If it weighs less, a freight forwarder will be too expensive to be worth it.
For your first order, to get your business up and running you probably will want to go with air shipping as it is much faster. For subsequent shipments opting for an ocean cargo shipment will save you the most money, meaning you can profit more.
3. Create a Shipment Plan
Once you have entered into an FBA agreement the next step is figuring out how to get your products to Amazon’s warehouses.
You will need to create a shipment plan. A shipment plan in an important piece to the FBA puzzle so you will want to take your time to make sure everything is correct.
When you log into your Seller Central platform, you will be able to set up your shipment plan. This plan will let both you and Amazon keep track of all the important information regarding each shipment.
Accuracy is very important and shipment plans do not expire so you can set them up with plenty of time to make certain there are no errors.
A shipping plan will tell Amazon which products you want to send to them. It will also let them know how many you are sending and the shipping method and carrier details.
Just like you would track a package that is coming to your house, Amazon needs to keep track of items coming into their warehouses.
Your shipping plan helps Amazon make room for your merchandise while also making sure they’re prepared to ship the items out themselves.
One thing to consider is whether or not you will be prepping and labeling your items yourself prior to the arrival at the warehouse or if you want Amazon to do it for you.
Having Amazon take care of the details like labeling can be quite convenient but there is a fee associated with that service.
Run the FBA Fee calculators to make sure you’ve accounted for the service if you intend to use it. Especially if your shipment is coming from overseas in large quantities, it just may not be possible to label items yourself.
In order to start creating a shipment plan, you will need to go to your Manage Inventory page through your Amazon seller account.
Once you are in there you can either create a new shipment plan or you can also add to an existing shipment plan.
4. Have Information Handy
You are able to name a shipment plan anything you want. Definitely ensure that your plan has a name that makes it easy for you to identify and track.
As long as you understand what that shipment contains it doesn’t matter what you call it, but you will want to keep track of your items and be able to run reports later.
You will need to have the address of where the shipment is coming from. While this may be slightly confusing, do not necessarily provide your supplier’s address.
What Amazon is looking for is the location your merchandise will be picked up from with a final destination of their own warehouse. If you need your items picked up from a loading dock: that is the ship-from address.
There will certainly be times when your ship-from address may be your supplier. It may also be your home address if you have your inventory located there already.
Especially as you shift from a traditional third-party selling agreement to an FBA agreement your ship-from addresses may need to be updated and changed.
You will need to inform Amazon how your items will arrive. If your merchandise is a single item, no matter the quantities you are shipping you will select the Individual Product description.
For instance, if you’re selling basketballs and some are pink and some are blue those are going to individual items.
If you have a case containing 150 items made by the manufacturer you will want to select the Case-packed package. A case pack can only have 150 items. If you want to send more than that you will need to ship multiple boxes.
Case boxes must be packaged together by the manufacturer with a matching SKU or it won’t be accepted as a case by Amazon.
Designating what kind of packages they are expecting helps Amazon to know which area in their warehouse your items should be stored and what it will take to unload and prepare the items for shipment after they have been purchased.
Once you have gotten all this pertinent information into your seller account’s system then you are ready to move on to the next steps in the process of shipping your items to Amazon.
5. Follow the Six Steps Of Shipment Creation
Every FBA shipment has been created the same way. Following the six steps of shipment, creation is vital to the success of selling your wares on Amazon. You will need to specify how many of each product you are planning to send to the Amazon warehouse or fulfillment center.
The first step is straight forward. Amazon wants to know the quantity of each item you are sending. If you are new to selling it’s a good idea to not send too many of the same items at first.
Amazon charges a monthly storage fee for items. However, Amazon also can penalize you if your items are consistently out of stock.
You will want to closely monitor your listings and inventory. You will want to find the right balance between sending more inventory to Amazon and having a few fees as possible by having your inventory consistently cycling through the system.
You will learn to spot trends as you gain more experience as a seller.
Amazon’s system is also good at spotting excess inventory and will flag it for you prior to your shipment.
If you are flagged for excess inventory simply send fewer cases of what needs to go to the fulfillment center.
Amazon is an extremely popular shopping site but they don’t want to have a full warehouse or more items than are expected to sell.
The next step is deciding who will prep your inventoried items for shipment. If you want to do the work yourself that is perfectly fine.
Just be sure to follow the recommended rules for preparing items. You may opt to have Amazon prepare your items by signing up for the FBA prep service. Just be aware there are fees associated with their service.
You will need to label your items or have Amazon Label Service. Because Amazon’s system works through barcodes, every item will need to be labeled with one in order to work within their fulfillment process.
Labeling can be time-consuming, but Amazon charges a fee to add them so it is up to you which works best.
Once you’ve made these major decisions you will need to review your shipment, which is a good place to double-check that all of your information is correct.
Then you will prepare your shipment, which is where you specify the carrier, schedule the delivery date and even pay for your shipment.
There are limits to how many boxes you can send at one time depending on the shipping method you use.
Ranging from 200 boxes with a small parcel delivery with one of Amazon’s partnered carriers to 5000 boxes if it is less than a truckload shipment.
The last step of creating a shipment is the summary page. On the summary page, you can track your shipments and it provides an overview of every piece of information related to each shipment.
If there is a discrepancy between what was shipped and what Amazon received you can access the Shipment Reconciliation Tool.
How To Ship To Amazon FBA: Conclusion
If you decide that shifting your business to an FBA account is right for you it may seem overwhelming.
But when you follow this guide you will be able to easily ship your inventory to an Amazon fulfillment warehouse.
Your business will thrive and your only concern will be maintaining your product listings and descriptions so your items can be sold.
Remember that Amazon rewards sellers who sell more and get great feedback so be sure to stay on top of your sales.
If you get negative reviews from a customer, respond to them in a timely manner. By helping correct any problems you can maintain a higher seller rating and you will find more success selling on Amazon.
As long as you follow the rules and regulations that Amazon has set forth, being an Amazon FBA seller is a great way to sell your merchandise and make a profit. Selling on Amazon couldn’t be easier!