Before Shipping To An FBA Fulfillment Center
To join the Amazon FBA program, you only need to do one thing: get your products into Amazon warehouses around the country.
In the United States, Amazon has over 175 fulfillment facilities, which allow it to handle tens of thousands of products and offer Prime customers free 2-day shipping.
Creating a new shipment plan is simple. What’s difficult is ensuring that you’re properly managing your inventory, appropriately labeling and packing products, and working with a trustworthy shipping business to minimize time-consuming product mix-ups and unexpected service expenses.
Let’s dive into how to send your products to Amazon’s FBA warehouses.
Before Shipping To An FBA Fulfillment Center
Before you try to ship anything into FBA, there’s some prep required: make sure there’s a listing for it in your inventory. That’s because shipping orders are tied directly to a listing, which you use to create your FBA shipping plan.
Create Skeleton Listings
If you’re looking to ship and prepare brand new products for FBA, but don’t have any optimized images or bullets, that’s okay! You can still create what our experts call a “skeleton listing,” which provides all of the essential information to Amazon without it being live.
To create a listing, navigate to Manage Inventory > Add A Product
Step 1: Select Inventory to be Shipped
From your dashboard in Seller Central, navigate to Manage Inventory.
Select the checkbox on the left for all the products that you intend to transition to FBA, then navigate to the Send / Replenish Inventory option within the drop-down menu.
Step 2: Input Pick Up Location
Select Create New Shipping Plan, then choose the Ship From address. This address will tell the courier which location to pick up the shipment from, so it could be your business, your warehouse, or your supplier’s warehouse.
At this point, you’ll also need to select the packing type. Consider if you’ll be sending in individual products (cases containing different products) or case-packed products (cases containing the same item).
After doing this, go ahead and click Continue to Shipping Plan.
Step 3: Identify the Number of Units to be Shipped
Select the All Products tab to review all the items you have selected to enroll in FBA shipping.
Set the number of products by filling in the total number of products you will be sending in the Units column.
In the future, you can duplicate this plan and just make slight changes to the number of units to save time.
Step 4: Prepare Your Products
Navigate to the Who Preps tab to decide whether you would like to prepare your products yourself, or offload the task onto Amazon for a per-item fee.
To make sure your items arrive safely, Amazon tells you how they want you to prepare your products.
If you’re preparing products yourself, select the Prep Required tab. You’ll find preparation guidelines for your product types. Carefully review the requirements to make sure either you or your manufacturer take these precautions, or else you’ll waste
Step 5: Choose Who’s Responsible for Labeling
Click the Labeling required tab to see a list of the products that require Amazon, UPC, or EAN barcodes.
From Who Labels, select FBA Label Service to offload the task onto Amazon for a per-item fee.
If you plan to label your products yourself, select Merchant. You’ll want to check out all of the barcode requirements, which specify label placement, printer type, and even the paper type labels should be.
Step 6: Make Sure Everything is Correct
Navigate to the Review Shipments page to see the fulfillment centers that you have been assigned to. Your shipping plan may need to be broken up into multiple shipments that require you to send products to different fulfillment centers to make them easier to send to customers across the country.
If that’s the case, in your Seller Central account go to Settings > Fulfillment By Amazon > Inbound Settings > Inventory Placement Option > Edit to send your shipment to a single fulfillment center and have Amazon split them for you.
Review your Amazon FBA shipment details because you won’t be able to delete approved shipments, and likely won’t be able to change product quantities. After double-checking your shipment ID, destination Amazon FBA fulfillment center code, their locations are correct, click Approve Shipments.
Step 7: Choose Your Preferred FBA Delivery Methods
Congrats! The Prepare Delivery page is your final step.
Choose your delivery method, which will either be
Small Parcel Delivery (SPD) – items packed in individual boxes
Less Than Truckload (LTL) – cases or boxes stacked or on pallets
Full Truckload (FTL) – inventory that fills an entire truckload and goes straight to an Amazon FBA fulfillment center.
After that, select your carrier, choose the number of boxes you are using, and schedule and pay for the delivery. You’ll have the option of using Amazon-partnered carriers who provide discounted rates.
You’ll then be prompted to print your box labels, which you can secure to your packages for pickup for FBA shipping.
It can be daunting the first time you’re preparing products to be sent to Amazon FBA.
Keeping our guide open as you work through the steps will help you come to grips with the process. As we mentioned before, you can save shipping plans to edit and reuse later. The more shipments you prepare, the easier it becomes to navigate the steps!