Since its rollout, thousands of sellers have signed up for Fulfillment by Amazon or FBA. Dozens more choose to be part of the programmer every day to enjoy the many advantages it offers.
These benefits include:
- Dedicated customer service. Amazon will handle the packaging, shipping, and delivery of all orders. More importantly, they will deal with all questions and complaints from customers. They will process all returns as well. Because of this, sellers won’t have to deal with any of these complicated tasks and stressful issues.
- Time-saving. Amazon will ship all products ordered by customers. Sellers, therefore, are freed from the exhausting job of packing and sending purchased items individually to their buyers.
- Prime badge. Sellers who sign up for Amazon FBA will have their items listed with this exclusive badge. Because of this emblem, the merchant’s products and shop will have a higher ranking in the search results, instant visibility, and quicker delivery options.
- Faster shipping. The Prime badge also means the seller’s products qualify for priority, fast, and free shipping. This will help boost sales, particularly during peak seasons and holidays.
Because of these reasons, Amazon sellers are encouraged to enroll in the programmer.
Optimizing the Advantages Offered by Amazon FBA
Signing up for the FBA, however, means following important rules and steps. Failing to take note of them, especially when shipping your inventory to a fulfillment centre, can lead to a lot of problems. This can further cause you to lose more money and waste valuable time. This also means the loss of potential sales as well.
If you are shipping your inventory from the UK to a fulfillment centre in the USA, make sure you avoid these mistakes that can cause you to waste time and money:
1. Not choosing the right shipping company
Your shipping provider can help you with a lot of things when sending your inventory to an FBA centre. As such, you have to select the best one to partner with.
If you go with the cheapest forwarding company you can find and one that has no experience with shipping to a fulfillment centre, you won’t get any advice or help when you need it. You will have to do further research which means additional work on your part.
In case your research is insufficient, you may end up going through a lot of extra challenges, including having your shipment returned to you.
But if you choose a shipping company that continuously delivers to FBA centers, you can rely on their assistance for various things. Their team can help you with correctly packaging and labeling your inventory, and with the other shipment steps.
More importantly, shipping providers with experience in FBA shipments have accredited customs broker agents who will clear your inventory through customs, and hasten them on their way to the assigned fulfillment centre.
2. Shipping FBA-prohibited products
Although you can sell hundreds of different products on Amazon, it doesn’t mean you can’t sell anything on this platform.
As such, know which items you can and can’t sell on Amazon. Check the list of FBA-prohibited products. Examples of these items include alcoholic beverages, car tires, and electronic devices or toys with loosely-packaged batteries.
If one of your products is on the list, remove it from your inventory. If you still ship it, your package will be returned to you.
3. Poor packaging
Amazon has strict guidelines and requirements for packing and packaging. The company has been known to dispose of the inventory of sellers who do not comply with their established rules. They sometimes block future shipments from the same merchants to their fulfillment centers.
Additionally, if you don’t properly pack and package your products, there is a higher chance they may be damaged while in transit.
If you don’t want all your investment in your products to be wasted, take the time to prepare your shipment properly.
Below are some tips for packing and packaging shipments to an Amazon fulfillment centre:
- Use a good-quality shipping carton. If your products are standard-sized, make sure the container does not exceed 25 inches or .63 meters on any side.
- Use bubble wrap, foam sheets, and air pillows as stuffing materials. Shredded paper, Styrofoam peanuts, and crinkle wrap are not allowed.
- Make sure there are no loose items in each carton. Pack multiple pieces which will be sold as one unit into one polybag.
- Weigh the carton before shipping it. It should not exceed the standard weight limit of 50 pounds or 22.67 kilograms.
4. Improper labeling
When sending packages to an Amazon fulfillment center, remember that labeling them correctly is as important as packing them.
Amazon will give you a label or sticker which you need to attach to your box. This tag contains a barcode and other vital information about your shipment. If you don’t print and place this correctly on your package, delivery to the FBA centre may be delayed. It may even be returned to you.
To avoid these complications, follow these tips for correctly labeling your shipments:
- Do not use inkjet printers when printing labels since they are prone to ink-smearing.
- Double-check each label. It should have your name and address, Amazon reference ID and shipment ID, name and SCAC code of the carrier, the shipping reference number of the carrier, and other pertinent information about the package.
- Make sure you put the right product ID stickers on the corresponding item.
- Place the label on an unobstructed and visible part of the box. Do not place it across the seam where it will be cut.
5. Sending the wrong items to the wrong fulfillment centre
Lastly, if you are shipping several packages to different FBA centers, if a box is delivered to the wrong warehouse, your inventory will be delayed in reaching the right destination. This can get you in trouble with Amazon and the customers who are already expecting their orders.
To avoid such hassles, when shipping to Amazon fulfillment centres, make sure you send the correct boxes to their intended destinations.
Always double-check the printed labels to ensure they have the right addresses and other details. Additionally, make sure you place them on the right boxes.
Once you sign up for the FBA programmer, keep in mind that there is more to sending your inventory to a fulfillment centre than packing them in boxes and preparing the necessary shipping and freight documents. To reap the most benefits as a seller on Amazon, avoid the mistakes listed above.