Amazon FBA Step By Step Guide
Prepare Your Products for Shipping to Amazon’s Fulfillment Center.
Depending on how your items arrived from your wholesaler, you may need to take the additional step of preparing those products for shipment to Amazon’s warehouse, so that they’re available for sale through your FBA account.
- Labeling Your Products – Amazon’s fulfillment process is highly automated, so your product will need to be properly labeled. You may be able to use the existing UPC barcodes on your product (if your product is so labeled), or you might need to label them yourself with Amazon-specific identifying bar codes.
Once you’ve signed up for an FBA account, Amazon can walk you through the process of creating the necessary labels, although you will need to have your own printer and blank labels in order to do so. The detailed list of specific labeling requirements can be found here: https://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html?nodeId=201100970.
Assign Your Inventory to FBA.
After you’ve created your product listings in Amazon and prepared your products for shipment, you’ll need to assign them into your FBA inventory. In order to accomplish this you’ll need to do the following:
- Log in to your Seller Central account.
- Navigate to “Inventory” >> “Manage Inventory.”
- Now select the products you would like to include as part of your FBA listings by checking the box next to those items in the leftmost column.
- In the “Actions” pull-down menu, choose “Change to Fulfilled by Amazon.”
- On the next page that appears, click the “Convert & Send Inventory” button.
Create Your Shipment to Send to the Fulfillment Center.
In addition to the labeling requirements that we discussed above, you’ll also need to make sure that your items are packaged so that Amazon can quickly and efficiently pull them from inventory and ship them to your customers in single unit quantities. Your packaging must meet all applicable safety requirements that relate to both the products themselves as well as anyone who handles those products.
For example, if the product you want to sell is susceptible to dust or other damage either when it’s in Amazon’s fulfillment center, or as it’s being shipped to a customer, then Amazon has specific packaging requirements relating to those items.
So if you intend to package your manual coffee grinder together with a coffee mug, you must be sure that they’re securely packaged as a single item.
The complete list of requirements can be found here: https://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html?nodeId=200243250. Be sure to visit that page if you are going to be selling any liquid, powdered, or granular products as well as jewelry items, and any item that’s particularly small.
Send & Track Your Shipment
Now it’s time to take your boxes to your local shipping center. This might be a UPS office, a PostNet, or other commercial mailing business that accepts UPS shipment drop offs. Be sure to retain a receipt from your shipment, including a tracking number, so that you’ll be able to confirm the timeline for delivery to Amazon.
You’ll need to decide how much insurance to obtain for your shipment. This generally isn’t a significant expense, at least compared to the overall value of your shipment. But you will need to consider this additional expense.
As you’ve learned by now, there are a lot of moving parts that you need to manage and work on when you’re doing business through Amazon FBA. No single step is particularly challenging, or likely to get overwhelming, but if you don’t keep yourself organized then it’s easy to lose your place, potentially make a mistake, and cost yourself time and/or money.
Think about your past business ventures and projects; what techniques did you use to keep yourself organized? Maybe it was an online project management system, which can be a great idea if you’re going to be enlisting some help with some of the steps of the process.
Or maybe you use your own online calendar and to-do list, or perhaps a spreadsheet, to stay organized with each task you have to do in connection with your first batch of products that you want to sell through Amazon FBA.
Even if you’re used to keeping your professional life in order with a notebook and a pen, there’s no reason you can’t keep doing the same thing when it comes to your Amazon FBA activities.
Regardless of the method you use, you may want to consider making sections or divisions within your system. For example, you’re probably going to be engaging in a series of transactions with your supplier or wholesaler for your product. These interactions may very well justify their own notebook or page on your computer spreadsheet.
If it ever feels like something is about to slip through the cracks, or that you’re on the verge of missing an important deadline or milestone with your FBA business, then take a close look at your organizational system and make the necessary changes as soon as possible.
Equipment You Need
So you’ve decided you’re ready to jump in with Amazon FBA. Apart from signing up for your seller account, what else do you need to get started? What equipment do you need to get the ball rolling?
- Printer – At a minimum, you’ll need a printer that you can use to print out the shipping labels to get your product to Amazon’s warehouse (if you’re not having them directly shipped from your wholesaler source). You might also need a printer if you’re going to be printing out the individual scannabel product labels that Amazon may require.
- Scale – You’re going to need to know precisely how much each of your products weighs. In addition, if you’re going to be packaging or combining products into a unique combination, you’ll need to know the weight of that product.
- Boxes and Packaging Tape – In order to get your products to Amazon’s fulfillment center, you’ll need to box them up. Obviously, larger products are going to need larger (or more) boxes.
- Branding, Labeling, and Packaging Materials – Finally, depending on how you want to brand your products, you may need additional materials to accomplish your goals.
Most of these items are straightforward and generic, so you’ll be able to get them at your local office supply store. (You might even choose to buy some or all of the necessary supplies on Amazon.com!)
Note that once you’re an Amazon FBA seller, you’ll be able to use Amazon’s UPS account for discounted shipping rates. Amazon will charge you the cost of shipping, but that price may very well be less than what you’d spend if you took your box) to your local post office or UPS shipping center.
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Make no mistake. Each step of the process of getting up and running with Amazon FBA is easy to understand. But that doesn’t mean it will be easy. You’re going to need to do the legwork and be prepared to do the work.
However, if give it your full effort, there’s a great chance you’ll find success!