You’ve finally received your first shipment from your factory in China. The product photographs have been taken and you’ve created your listing on Amazon, you’re almost there.
You’ve decided you want to fulfil your orders through Fulfilment by Amazon (FBA) as your products will be stored at Amazon’s warehouse freeing you space at home, they will also deal with dispatching your orders and handle customer service as well as returns.
You now need to send your products to Amazon’s fulfilment centre so you can start selling. How do you do this? Well this article will describe the full process and it was detail what items you may find useful for the process. It assumes you have already created your seller account and you’ve been approved to sell on Amazon.
Sending Your Items into Amazon’s Fulfilment Centre Steps
1. Log into your Seller Central Amazon Account. Once logged in, from the top toolbar select ‘Inventory’ and then from the drop-down menu either select ‘Manage Inventory’ or ‘Manage FBA Invetory’ depending on whether when you created your listing as a FBA or a Merchant-Fulfilled listing.
2. From the Inventory screen, select the product/s you want to send into the Amazon fulfilment centre by clicking on the checkbox to the left of the product/s.
Next click on ‘Action on <total number of products> Selected’ which is located above the listings.
If any of the listings are Merchant-Fulfilled ones, you will first need to convert them to FBA ones by selecting ‘Convert to Fulfilled by Amazon’ from the drop-down menu.
Next select ‘Send/replenish inventory’.
3. On the ‘Manage Inventory’ screen, ensure the products you’ve selected are showing up and then click on ‘Yes, continue’ button.
4. On the ‘Send/Replenish Inventory’ screen, enter the number of units you’ll be sending in for the different products. Once the units have been entered, click on the ‘Continue’
5. You will now need to decide who will place your FNSKU labels on your products. There’s two options, Amazon can barcode your items once they receive your shipment at the fulfilment centre although there is a fee for this service. Otherwise, if you have a printer or even better a thermal printer such as a Dymo LabelWriter 4XL you can do it yourself and it’s a very straightforward process.
If you want Amazon to label your products, you select ‘Amazon’ from the ‘Who prepares’ dropdown menu otherwise you select ‘Seller’.
Note: if your manufacture has already printed the FNSKU labels directly onto your product’s packaging you don’t need to perform this step just select ‘Seller’ from the dropdown menu and move onto the next step.
6. If you have selected ‘Seller’ from the ‘Who prepares’ dropdown menu, you will need to print off the labels by clicking on the ‘Print labels for this page’.
Once the correct number of labels have been printed off, place these on the corresponding products you’re are sending in. Ensure the UPC codes are covered with the FNSKU label. Once this is complete click on the ‘Continue’ button.
7. Next you can provide a name for the shipment or you can go with the default which Amazon comes up with. After that, click on the ‘Approve Shipment’ button and then click on the ‘Work on shipment’ button.
8. You’re nearly there now, you just need to complete the shipping contents section. If you’re not shipping pallets you should click on ‘Small parcel delivery (SPD)’ radiobutton and also select ‘Amazon-Partnered Carrier (UPS)’. UPS and Fedex are Amazon’s preferred carriers, even though you still have to pay for the shipment it is discounted and you will save money going with their option.
9. Next you need to specify how the shipment will be packed. There are 4 options including ‘Everything in one box’, ‘One SKU per box’, ‘More than one SKU per box (total 15 boxes or less)’ and ‘More than one SKU per box (more than 15 boxes)’. Select the most appropriate option.
10. You then need to enter the box dimensions, weight and units per box. Once you’ve completed the details you click on the ‘Continue’.
11. Once you’ve entered the box details, Amazon will calculate the total shipping costs to send your shipment into the fulfilment centre, click on the ‘Calculate button’ and the shipping costs will be displayed.
Click on the ‘I agree to the terms and conditions’ checkbox and then click on the ‘Accept charges’ button.
Note: If you decide against going ahead with the shipment, you have 24 hours in which to cancel it. If it’s not cancelled within the 24 hour timeframe, Amazon will charge your FBA seller account.
12. Next click on ‘Print box labels’ button to download the shipping labels. Print the labels using your printer and attach these to the relevant boxes.
13. Finally click on the ‘Complete shipment button’.
14. You can either drop your shipment off at your nearest UPS outlet (check the UPS website to find your nearest one). Otherwise you can ask UPS to pick your shipment up from your office/home/warehouse. If you require UPS to pick-up your shipment, you will need to load the UPS site and select ‘Shipping’ from the main menu and then select ‘Schedule Pickup’. Enter the relevant details and select the pick-up date.
Recommended Packaging Products for FBA Shipments
You will need heavy duty postal scales to weigh your boxes that you’re shipping into Amazon’s fulfilment centre. Ensure the scales are capable of weighing items up to 50kg at least (see recomended scales).
Thermal printers are perfect for printing FNSKU’s and postage labels as they have fast print speeds. Not only do they not use ink, they have less moving parts so they are less likely to go wrong. The Dymo LabelWritter 4XL is a great one to use.
Bubble wrap is great to protect fragile items. Air packing pillows is also perfect to fill space in boxes and leaving your items cushioned and protected. You don’t want to be finding out once your products have reached the warehouse that they have been damaged in transit and you won’t be compensated as it’s your fault.
If you’re shipping heavy items make sure you use strong packaging tape, you don’t want your boxes to break while in transit.
If your product comes in a poly-bag and if the size is greater than 5 inches you will need to have suffocation warning labels on the bags. These can be printed directly onto the bag or can be placed as labels (see suffocation labels). The print size of these labels depend on the width of the bag (see below).
|Total length plus width of bag||Minimum print size|
|60 inches or more||24 point|
|40 to 59 inches||18 point|
|30 to 39 inches||14 point|
|Less than 29 inches||10 point|
In order to send your shipment into Amazon you need to use carton boxes, you cannot use mailing bags or envelopes. You can re-use boxes but ensure if there any old barcodes visible on the boxes these will need to be covered up. For fragile items, it is advisable to use double-walled boxes.
11 Tips for Sending Your Inventory into Amazon
1. Before sticking any FNSKU labels on your products ensure they are readable.You can download a free barcode reader on your smartphone and you can use this to test if the barcodes are readable.
2. Always place the FNSKU label over the UPC code on your product packaging. Never leave the UPC code uncovered.
3. In order to save time, it’s advisable to ask your manufacture to print the FNSKU labels directly onto your products packaging. This way you don’t need to bother printing separate FNSKU labels which should save you time and effort.
4. Use a thermal printer to print your FNSKU labels as they don’t use ink which means your labels won’t fade at Amazon’s fulfilment centre.
5. Always ensure every product is barcoded. If you miss a product, it could delay the receiving process. Amazon may also charge if they need to add new barcodes or resolve any issues.
6. When weighing your boxes always round up otherwise you may be charged extra if the weight you have quoted is not valid.
7. Poly-bagged units must carry a suffocation warning label if the opening is 5 inches or larger. The suffocation label can be printed directly onto the poly-bag or attached as a label.
8. If you’re selling items as a set, you will need to indicate this clearly i.e. add a label with the following ‘This is a set. Do not separate’.
9. Ensure shipping labels are not placed over the seam of the shipping box, make sure the two shipping labels are placed either side of the seam.
10. If your product requires an expiry date, make sure it’s in the following format: MM-DD-YYYY.
11. Depending on what you’re shipping, Amazon will have different requirements for some products. It’s best to check Amazon’s site to see if you need to do anything special.