Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) is a service where Amazon stores your products in their fulfillment centers and they pick, pack and ship your orders to your customers on your behalf. Most times, they will handle your customer refunds too. FBA is made to save you the hassle of warehousing and shipping your products on Amazon.
But first, your FBA products need to be properly packed and labelled before Amazon fulfillment center takes care of the rest. Shipment delays and unwanted service charge from packing errors are mistakes you can avoid. First-time sellers, here’s your checklist:
Assumption: You’re selling your FBA products to USA and Canada.
Step 1: Packing for fulfillment centers
Packing: Do’s & Don’ts
✓ Boxed items: Include stuffing to keep your items secured and free from damages during shipping.
✓ Stuffing materials allowed: Crushed paper, bubble wrap, foam, and air pillows.
× Stuffing materials not allowed: Styrofoam peanuts, shredded paper, crinkle wrap, biodegradable or corn-starch packing peanuts.
× No loose items: Pack multiple pieces (sold as one unit) all into one poly bag. (For example, if wheels and handles are sold as one piece, bagging them into one packaging instead of separately)
Step 2: Barcode Labeling
Every FBA item fulfilled by Amazon requires a barcode label for tracking purpose. The label will include a product name, product condition, FNSKU number and barcode. There are three ways to get your product barcodes.
- Manufacturer barcode
- FBA Label service (usually comes at US$0.20 cost per label)
- Self-printing of FBA barcode using Amazon’s online tools
What’s the difference between manufacture barcode and Amazon barcode?
|Type||Manufacture barcode||FBA barcode/ Amazon barcode|
|Definition||Multiple sellers can have the same manufacture barcode.||A barcode assigned to your SKU (stock keeping unit) by Amazon. FBA barcode is required if there is no manufacture barcode|
|Order fulfilment by Amazon||Non-exclusive inventory
Amazon may pick another seller’s unit of the same product that is closest to the customer for that order fulfilment.
No other sellers can use your inventory to fulfil their orders.
|Examples||UPC/EAN/ISBN or FNSKU code starts with ‘B’ or a number
FNSKU code starts with ‘X’
Image from Amazon
Labelling: Do’s & Don’ts
✓ Make sure barcodes are readable and scan-able
✓ Make sure labels are accessible without unwrapping the package
✓ Cover all original barcodes (eg. UPC/EAN/ISBN) with FBA label, except serial number barcodes
✓ Stick labels on flat and smooth surfaces
× Do not place labels at corners, curves, folded edges, box seal openers
× Avoid using smudge, faded or torn labels
× Avoid using inkjet printers which are prone to ink-smearing
× Don’t photocopy labels because each bar-code is unique
Step 3: Shipping to fulfillment centers
Saving Tip: Start slow, especially if you’re new to FBA. There will inevitably be new things you learn, like what your annual inventory turnover is. You’ll find out that Amazon charges a long-term storage fee for inventory stored for more than 6 months in their fulfillment centers. This long term fee is in addition to the monthly inventory fee (which are more expensive between October and December). So you should prepare less shipment for months with low sales.
AMAZON AND WORLDFIRST
More information about FBA can be found on Amazon’s website.
WorldFirst can open local currency receiving accounts for the countries you’re selling in. These accounts can be added to Amazon Seller Central, which means you’ll be able to receive better exchange rates when repatriating your international Amazon sales revenue and make transfers at times that suit you.