Many sellers, especially new sellers, are still wondering if they can deliver their inventory to the Amazon warehouse by themselves. When I was at the UPS office trying to deliver my items, one seller approached me and was like “Can I deliver my products by driving to a local Amazon fulfillment center?”. I guess he is still a newbie in the field. Well, that is what almost every seller, including me, is hoping for.
The answer I gave to the young man is a simple “No”. You cannot deliver to Amazon FBA yourself? You can only deliver your inventories to the warehouse through an approved carrier, trucking firms, or logistic companies like FedEx, UPS, etc. It’s against Amazon policy for sellers to deliver items by themselves. If you do so no one will attend to you.
There are many things to learn about Amazon FBA before one can venture into it because if you are not careful you can lose money. There are a lot of issues that many newbies and even old sellers still face. In this article, we analyzed some of these challenges, and the best practices to help you avoid losing money in the business. If you are not confident enough about the business and still wonder if it is still profitable, you need to read this post to understand why selling on Amazon is still profitable.
How do I send my first shipment to Amazon FBA?
Shipping to Amazon FBA takes a process. It’s not something one will wake up one morning and pack his/her inventories to the fulfillment center. You need to understand the process before you can ship your items.
First, you need to go to your Amazon Seller Central dashboard and set up your packaging details with the required information like weight and dimension. Amazon would also like to know whether your items contain batteries or are hazardous. It is also there that you will be able to generate and print barcodes for your items, if they don’t have one already, and shipping details.
Then you will get to know the fulfillment center your product will be shipped to and with the package details you will print and paste on the box. The package details are what will let the carrier know the warehouse to ship your product to.
Note: You are not the one to decide the fulfillment center to ship your products to. Amazon does that by themselves. If you ship to the wrong warehouse or with the wrong packaging details, your product will be rejected. So, be careful with the process and ensure you get everything right.
You can watch this video by Debt To Dollars to understand the process well.
How do I prepare FBA products?
You can let Amazon package your goods for you or you do it yourself. Any option you think is best for you is the best for you. To avoid errors that might lead to missing items, you will like to allow Amazon to do the packaging for you. However, you need to pay a token for the service.
But packaging your item yourself is very easy to do. You don’t really need one to do it for you. It requires a few clicks from your dashboard and small printing to get your product ready for shipping.
As described in the video, you don’t need Amazon to do it for you. Just print the label/barcode and your product is officially ready for shipping. Before you can print the FBA barcode or shipping labels you need to shop for the printing paper and package box from the stores. You can get them on Amazon, Walmart, or other stores. Then go to your seller central dashboard and select the dimension of the barcode you need. We recommend using the 30-up label on US letter if you are in the US.
Once you select the dimension, click print to print the barcodes. You may be asking, “how do I print a shipping label on Amazon FBA?”
You are required to print two different shipping labels for your box. One label is for the shipping company to help them know the fulfillment center to send your product, while the other label is used by Amazon to determine what is inside the box.
To get these shipping labels, simply click the ‘Print box labels’. The labels will be generated as pdf files. Save the labels to your computer and print with your printer. Separate the labels and place them on the package box.
Ensure you don’t cover the labels while taping them because Amazon will need to scan the label. Once it’s ready you can then send the box to your carrier company to ship the goods.
Can you drop off products to Amazon FBA?
I understand the warehouse might be a few steps away from your house, but that doesn’t stop Amazon from working with their policy. In no circumstances are you allowed to drop off your products at the fulfillment center by yourself.
The only place you can drop off your Amazon FBA is at the UPS office or other carrier firms. But you can ship to Amazon by yourself if you are an authorized carrier, or you own an approved trucking firm.
Where do I ship my FBA inventory?
As we stated earlier, you cannot ship your inventory to the fulfillment center. Amazon doesn’t allow that. The only way you can send your items to Amazon is through an authorized carrier or trucking/logistic company.
UPS and FedEx are the most used logistics companies where you can ship your Amazon FBA inventory. You can also ship to authorized trucking firms or carriers.
Once you ship your package box to them with the required details, they will then ship it to the fulfillment center where it will be stored.
How much inventory do you need for Amazon FBA?
The amount of inventory you send to Amazon depends on many factors like; the type of account you are using, your Inventory Performance Index (IPI), the capacity of the fulfillment center, etc.
If you register as an individual seller, you will only have 10 cubic feet to store your inventory. That storage space will now determine the amount of inventory you will send to Amazon FBA.
For a professional seller account, you may not have a storage limit if you maintain a certain threshold of IPI. Also, as a new seller, you may not be subject to a storage limit until enough data is gotten to generate your IPI. But, you have a minimum of 25 cubic feet to store your inventory.
Note: You need to know your storage limits to determine the amount of product to ship to Amazon. If the volume of your inventory is more than the storage limit, your package might be rejected, or you will be charged an overage fee. So, ensure you don’t go beyond your storage limit if your account has one.
Do you have to pay to ship to Amazon FBA?
Since you are not the one shipping to Amazon FBA, you need to pay the shipping company to ship your inventory to the warehouse. These companies are not owned by Amazon or affiliated with it, so they need to charge you for the service they render.
Can I ship directly from Alibaba to Amazon FBA?
Unless the supplier shipping the products uses an Amazon authorized carrier, or trucking firm, or logistic company like UPS, FedEx, etc, the inventory cannot be shipped directly to Amazon FBA. It must be shipped through an authorized carrier or logistic company.
So, yes, you can ship directly from Alibaba to Amazon FBA if the supplier uses an authorized carrier or UPS. But you need to make sure that the package box and items have the required details before they are shipped. If not, you may end up having rejected/lost inventory. The barcode and product details must be correct.
Another thing to take note of is the product quality. Many sellers have had bad experiences with their products because they didn’t test their products before shipping. Make sure the quality of your product is of a good standard before you can ship.
Why are my Amazon FBA fees so high?
Different factors can contribute to the high FBA fees you are experiencing. FBA fees are calculated based on the product weight and volume. Your FBA fees may be high because the items are heavy or they are occupying large storage space.
Another thing that might contribute to the high fee as we discussed above is the overage fee. An overage fee is charged when your inventory takes more space than your storage limit. There are six different storage type with storage limits which are not transferable. These storage types are:
Make sure each inventory in these storage spaces is not taking up space more than the allotted space for them. The spaces are not transferable, so you cannot use the space for a particular inventory to store another type of inventory.
Moreover, ensure that the inventory is not due for long-term storage. Once your inventory stays more than 365 days, Amazon will start charging an extra fee known as a long-term storage fee. So, go through your inventories and make sure that none of them has stayed for more than a year.
How can I lower my Amazon FBA fees? If your inventory is taking more space or is due for long-term storage you can request inventory removal. This will help to reduce the fees. Also, send only the amount of inventory you can handle. Lightweight and small volume inventories cost less.