Let’s face it. If you want to compete with other Amazon sellers, you need to bring your A-game. You need to offer your customers the most affordable and high-quality products and fast shipping service. The best way to do it is to give them the shipping option of free two-day shipping. Yes, free two-day shipping! And we know you can only do it if you use of Amazon FBA Shipping Service. If you want to know about FBA, how to sign up for it, and how much is Amazon shipping, read below.
What is Amazon FBA, and Why Do You Need it?
Fulfillment by Amazon is one of the appealing and popular programs by Amazon. In fact, there are more than 2 million people selling products on Amazon worldwide. In addition to that, out of the top 10,000 sellers, 66 percent of them are Amazon FBA sellers. Pretty inspiring, right?
When you choose the Amazon FBA program, you get access to the largest fulfillment network in the world and removes the burden of fulfilling orders on your shoulders. So, how does it work? Basically, sellers ship the products to Amazon’s fulfillment centers while the employees store, pick, pack, and ship the products to the customers and offer customer service. There are 175 fulfillment centers across the globe, 110 of which are in North America and employ 250,000 full-time employees.
Aside from lessening the work on the seller's part, Amazon offers FBA sellers access to Prime members. Amazon Prime is an annual subscription service. There are more than 100 million American Prime members as of 2018. Many customers sign-up for Amazon Prime because they can use of free two-day shipping, access to TV shows and movies through Amazon Prime Video, and get free books, magazines and audiobooks through Kindle and Audible.
Since more sellers are trying the program, Amazon has enforced strict guidelines.when it comes to shipping inventories to fulfillment centers. All products must be properly shipped, labeled, and prepared for the safety of the item as well as for the employees handling them. If you plan on availing of the program or you’re a current member, you need to stay in compliance with the rules or risk facing fees.
How to Ship to Amazon’s Fulfillment Center
To ship products to Amazon’s warehouse, you need to create a shipping plan. The shipping plan will identify:
- The products you’re sending to Amazon
- Quantities of each product
- Your shipping method and carrier
- Who will handle product preparation and labeling (you or Amazon)
Step 1: Set the Quantity
The first step in fulfilling your shipping to Amazon FBA plan is to set the quantity. Indicate the quantity of all inventory you have in stock and want to send. If you’ve never sent a product to Amazon’s warehouse before, you need to create a new shipping plan.
Click to create a new shipping plan. Next is you will choose the packing type, select “individual products" or "case-packed products,” which applies when you send large quantities of products in boxes called cases.
Click “Continue to shipping plan.” Next, you’ll be asked how many units you want to send. Enter the quantity and change the shipment name. You can try renaming it to the date, the quantity, and the product name.
Step 2: Prepare the Products
We mentioned earlier that Amazon has strict guidelines when it comes to packing and shipping products to the warehouse. Check the packaging and preparation requirements for you to know the guidelines. Also, if you didn’t select Amazon to prepare your products, you must do it yourself.
Many sellers will have their manufacturer or carrier prepare their products to save time and money. If you ask them to prepare your items, make sure that they know FBA’s guidelines and requirements. For the packaging, you may be required to use any of the following:
- Bubble wrap
Step 3: Label the Products
Amazon uses a barcode system to track products. Hence, all products must be carefully labeled. Some of the labeling options you can choose are the following:
- Add an Amazon barcode directly to the product
- Use an existing UPC or EAN barcode
- Have Amazon apply barcodes for you
Make sure to follow all FBA product barcode requirements. This includes using the right printer, paper stock, and proper label placement. If your manufacturer has already printed the labels, then this allows you to save time and money. However, your manufacturer must still abide by Amazon’s guidelines.
To help you know which products need labels, check the “Labeling required” tab. If you’ve chosen Amazon under the Who labels column, you must use the FBA Label Service. Applicable fees will appear in the Label cost column. Once this information is set, it’s time to create your barcodes. Click Print labels for this page and make your selections.
Step 4: Review Your Shipment
After packing the orders and printing the labels, it’s time to check the shipment details. Check your shipment ID and the destination fulfillment center code. Since your package may require multiple shipments to different warehouses, you need to double-check this part.
Remember that Amazon assigns you a shipment name, and you’ll see the quantity of each MSKU (unique product identifiers) in the shipment. You can’t make any changes at this point because it will affect your listing.
Once you approve shipments, the View Shipments page will appear. Your shipment plan is now set, and your shipment needs to be sent to the designated Amazon fulfillment center or centers. To proceed, click Work on shipment.
Step 5: Prepare Your Shipment
On the Prepare Shipment page, you can now:
- Select your shipping method and carrier
- Determine the number of boxes needed for shipping
- Schedule and pay for a shipment
- Print box labels
When shipping to Amazon FBA, it’s important to meet all shipment packing requirements. You can choose different shipping methods such as Small Parcel Delivery, Less than Truckload, and Full Truckload. Small Parcel Delivery (SPD) is for items packed in individual boxes. Less Than Truckload (LTL) refers to boxes that are secured on pallets. Full Truckload (FTL) is the same as LTL, but it goes straight to the fulfillment center. Remember that each shipping method has specific requirements you must follow. Read and understand each requirement.
Next is picking a shipping carrier. You can choose Stallion Express, FedEx, and UPS. Afterward, Amazon shipping costs will be calculated. Then, ship them to Amazon.
The last step in the shipment creation workflow is the Summary page. It provides an overview of your shipment and the status of your parcel. Once the product has been received by Amazon, it’ll be available for purchase. Your order fulfillment will now be taken care of by Amazon’s FBA team.
Shipping to Amazon’s Fulfillment Center from China
Shipping from China to Amazon FBA is an efficient and common business strategy. You can save time and money when using this strategy. However, it can be a bit more complex than you think. For one, communication and language is a common issue. Although a lot of Chinese suppliers are already adept at Amazon FBA, you’d still want to brief them.
If you do plan to ship your stocks from China straight to Amazon’s warehouses, there are the pros and cons you need to look into before you finally make a decision.
- Quicker delivery time - When it comes to transit time, it is much quicker to pick shipping from China straight to the warehouse. The quicker the product arrives at the warehouse, the quicker you can start selling on Amazon.
- Save money - You can save money since you don’t need to pay for shipping from China to your location then to Amazon’s warehouse. You’ll only pay the shipping cost from China to the warehouse.
- Packaging requirements - The packaging of the products need to meet Amazon’s requirements. You won’t be able to see or double-check it because you don’t have the physical products.
- Shipping to different warehouses - When Amazon requests to ship the products to different warehouses, it can confuse your Chinese manufacturer. The worst-case scenario is that they ship the products to the wrong warehouse.
Things you must need to check before sourcing from China.
Many products on Amazon came from China. Marketplaces, such as Alibaba, have made it possible for these products to be accessible to multiple companies regardless of their size. New sellers would certainly want to know how they can source their products from China and ship to it Amazon. Before you can start picking a product, here are a few tips you need to note of.
Tip #1: Check the products if they comply with the country’s standards
Amazon sellers think that big suppliers in China automatically meet all legal requirements. Some of them do, but it’s still best to check before ordering several products. Suppliers often do not check their articles on intellectual property or on existing patents by law. As long as they sell their products, these matters do not concern them.
If something goes wrong and the products are already in your warehouse, you have no other choice but to destroy the entire inventory. Furthermore, the legal provisions differ according to the type of product and also to the country in which they are to be sold.
China has different country standards. The same with the United States, where they also have their own provisions. What you can do is to check the brands and trademarks that are already registered with the Amazon Brand Registry Search.
Tip #2: Check the suppliers and manufacturers
Before you order from a supplier or a manufacturer, you need to verify first if they are real or not. Flying to China simply isn’t an option because it’s too expensive. What you can do is contact an agent or intermediary. The agent will be useful for the seller because they can contact the supplier and help them with shipping and export concerns.
Tip #3: Verify how the product was made
As an Amazon seller, you must know how the product was made and the team behind it. If the product requires to be assembled, you should know how to assemble it. It’s also best to know the materials used when creating the product because certain components can be banned from a specific country.
Tip #4: Send for prototypes
When it comes to new products, you should ask for product samples or prototypes. This allows you to check the quality and usability of the product you are selling. It can also help you decide if the product meets the expectations of potential customers. You can ask your friends and relatives for their honest opinion on the product.
Tip #5: Never pay for the entire stock in advance
Instead of paying the whole amount, negotiate with your supplier to pay 50/50. Initially, pay 50% of the total amount at the start and pay the balance once the product has been shipped. It is safe to pay small in advance than the whole amount. Besides, 50/50 deals are quite common.
Best Amazon FBA Shipping Service
Whether you are shipping from China or your own location to Amazon’s fulfillment center, choosing the best shipping service that will give you fast and proven results is a must. It’s a good thing that Stallion Express is here to help you out.
Stallion Express is Canada’s #1 Shipping Service. To help you make up your mind in picking us, below are five benefits of partnering with Stallion Express.
- Affordable Shipping Service
At Stallion Express, you can ship your products for only $20.00 CAD. The standard carrier is $155.76 CAD, but here at Stallion Express, you get 80% off. You can also get an estimate using the shipping rate calculator.
Plus, our handling fees for FBA shipments are as follows:
- Less than 10 lbs - $2.99
- 10 - 20 lbs - $4.99
- 21 - 40 lbs - $8.99
- Over 40 lbs - $11.99
2. Easy tracking of customer orders
Here at Stallion Express, you can integrate your eCommerce store into our system. It will help you streamline your shipping process and manage your orders in one place.
3. Handles customs clearance
You don’t have to worry about customs and export declaration because we’ll take care of it for you. Just attach the shipping label and FBA QR code because we’ll handle the rest.
4. Offer Stallion Protection
Stallion Protection is our very own insurance for your packages. Adding this to your packages ensures your packages are protected from damages and theft. The terms of Stallion Express are:
- First $100 CAD costs $0.39.
- Every $100 CAD after costs $0.79.
- A maximum limit of $500 CAD to be protected.
- Claims for damage can be filed right away.
Amazon FBA is a good program that sellers should try. It reduces the burden of fulfilling your orders while giving you the chance to expand your business. It’s a good thing that Stallion Express can help sellers in shipping products from Canada to the US, as well as from Canada to abroad. If you want to know more about our shipping services, contact us now!