Amazon Shipping 101: 6 Steps to Ship to Amazon Centers
Learn how to ship to Amazon's Fulfillment Centers and earn income by selling products and earn profits with Amazon FBA!
You've picked your products and added them to your FBA seller account, the last step to selling through Amazon FBA is to ship your products to an Amazon Fulfillment Center! Our step-by-step guide to Amazon Shipping 101 is going to tell you all you need to know before packaging your products and shipping them off to start collecting sales!
Step 1: Amazon Inventory Management
The first step to shipping off your items to Amazon is inputting your shipment into your Amazon Seller Central account. At this point, you should have added your product lists to your account and have a list of items under your inventory page. Next to each item, there should be an 'Edit' button with a drop-down menu, with one option to "Send or replenish inventory." If you're a first-time seller, they will prompt you to create a new shipping plan. This is where you'll confirm your shipping address, where your packages are going to be picked up, and how your inventory is being shipped.
If you are sending one product (or multiple of the same product), you will indicate that it is a 'case-packed product'. If you are sending multiple different products (including different conditions or different quantities), you will select 'individual products.' Shortly after, you will input the exact quantity of each product(s).
Step 2: Prepping Your FBA Products
Every seller and every product will have to package and prepare their products differently depending on the quantity and type of product. Amazon has specific packaging and prepping instructions depending on the product including baby products, jewelry, adult products, and more. If you are shipping fragile materials such as liquids/gels, sharp objects, or potentially hazardous or harmful products, Amazon has special packaging instructions to prevent spillage or injury. For specific packaging instructions, you can visit here for more information.
Some products will require additional support packaging to ensure the items do not break during transit. This may require particular shipping materials such as extra strength boxes, additional bubble wrap or package softeners, and high-strength tape and poly bagging.
If you do not want to package your products or want to avoid the hassle, Amazon also provides packaging and prepping services that charge a small fee per unit. Depending on the product category and size, this fee may be as little as $0.50 to $2.00 or more to package and prep large or oversized products.
Step 3: Amazon Product Label Requirements
After you package every product, you will then need to individually label every product before you ship. You may be wondering why we did not mention this before, and it is because Amazon has very strict labeling instructions to ensure maximum efficiency when storing merchandise in their warehouse. Every product must be visually labeled outside of the packaging for products. If you label a product and package over the label, Amazon will charge you a fee to relabel products that they cannot visibly see the label for. If your labels are covered by packaging or not visible, we recommend relabeling over the packaging so the label is visible to anyone handling the merchandise.
You have three options to label your products. The first is using a label with a general product identifier such as a UPC, EAN, or ISBN depending on what your manufacturer or supplier provided you with. The second option is to use an ASIN number if you have that information at your disposal. And lastly, like prepping, Amazon also provides labeling services through the Amazon FBA Label service. This labeling fee is usually $0.30 per product unit but can vary for special product categories.
If you want to print and apply labels yourself, you can get printing access through the same drop-down menu from your Inventory page. Under "Who Labels," select either "Merchant" if you wish to label the products yourself or "Amazon" if you would prefer to pay the fees and have Amazon label the products for you. We encourage all sellers to take their time labeling, ensuring they mark every product to avoid any service fees from Amazon. Ensure every label is printed clearly and is both scannable and readable.
Step 4: Reviewing Amazon Packaging
By this step, all of your products should be packaged and individually labeled. Now it’s time to put the products in batches or boxes and ship them to Amazon FBA Centers. Please note that in some cases, you'll be asked to separate your products into multiple boxes to ship to various Amazon centers. Amazon will request that you break up your inventory and send it to multiple locations based on demand and supply. The locations chosen by Amazon will allow your stock to be sold quicker. This means your inventory can be dispersed around the country and may not be in a single location. You can request that all your inventory be kept together at one location through the Amazon Inventory Placement tool, but this may impact the number of sales and profitability of your inventory.
Once you finalize the shipping locations, you move forward to review and confirm the shipping details. This includes verifying the locations, types of products, amount of each product, and the shipping ID provided by Amazon. If you approve of all of these details, go ahead and confirm the shipment and get ready for shipment!
Step 5: Shipping to Amazon FBA
Before you celebrate anything, always make sure you review your shipment details and monitor the shipment until it is received by an Amazon Fulfillment Center the shipment has closed. If you’re only sending a couple of boxes, this process can take a few days or a couple of weeks depending on size and quantity. For larger and high-quantity shipments like truckloads or pallets, this process may take even longer. Regardless of duration, make sure to track your packages consistently.
Eventually, your shipment should be confirmed for delivery and you will be notified by Amazon verifying the package. This information will be reflected in your Amazon Seller Central account with updated stock and inventory levels for the products you sent in.
Step 6: Shipping From Supplier To Amazon FBA
Some sellers do not even want to bother handling any inventory, so they will work out a deal with the supplier or manufacturer to directly ship to Amazon FBA centers from the manufacturer. Essentially, these FBA sellers serve as a middle man, coordinating the order from suppliers to the FBA centers and collecting the profits in between.
Do not get too excited though, this process is not as easy as you think. First and foremost, if you are a new seller and do not have an established relationship with your supplier, this may be a bad call. Especially if you do not have full trust in your supplier yet, you want to be extra careful about paying for products you won't ever see. Packages can go missing and new sellers will be stuck with no products and loss of capital. In addition to unestablished relationships, most suppliers do not ship directly to Amazon unless FBA sellers buy enough products. This is usually known as the "minimum order quantity" or MOQs. Some manufacturers will only ship to Amazon if sellers buy truckloads or pallets of the same product, which costs a ton of money. For new sellers, this territory may be too risky this early on.
If you are a bit more experienced with FBA and have a strong relationship with your supplier, you can request that they ship your products directly to Amazon. This includes the supplier following Amazon's shipping guidelines, committing to packaging and labeling all of your inventory, and shipping it to the correct center locations. This will save sellers plenty of time, resources, and energy that they can reinvest into their businesses. But as we mentioned, this is only recommended to more experienced sellers with established and confident relationships with their manufacturers.
Growing Your Business with Amazon Profit Finder
You've finally sent in your inventory and now you can start collecting sales and profit from your Amazon business! Your next goal should be to find more and more potentially profitable products to maintain a strong and diverse inventory to grow your FBA store! We can help you find winning products with our Profit Finder tool! With the Profit Finder, find a ton of high-performing, replenishable products to capture your profit funnel!