People are selling on Amazon from everywhere. And many of them source products from China. No one wants to bother to take the shipments home and resend to the Amazon FBA warehouse. It’s a waste of time and money. So, how to manage Amazon FBA Shipping?
What is Amazon FBA?
The word FBA stands for Fulfillment By Amazon. The Amazon FBA works in a straightforward way i.e.
- You can send your products to Amazon
- Your products are stored in Amazon warehouses
- When a customer shows interest and orders one of your products, the Amazon takes it from the warehouse, packs it, ships it & also tracks it for you.
- They are also involved in the handling of returns and funds.
The working mechanism of Amazon FBA
Amazon FBA follows an effortless and easily understandable working mechanism.
- When you are sending your products to Amazon, you inform them which products you are sending, and they guide and instruct you in which warehouse you have to ship your products to. Amazon has around 100 warehouses in which a few are over a million square feet.
- After Amazon receives your products, they will carefully sort your products and add those into your inventory. From there, they are taken and stored safely in the warehouses.
- When your customer chooses and buys your product, your entire transaction is being taken care of by Amazon. They accept this payment from the customer, keep you well informed about the transaction, and your inventory is updated automatically.
- In the next step, your product gets shipped to the customer. The product is grabbed from the store by one of Amazon’s workers or robots; they pack it into a box and then ship it to the address of the customer who has ordered to buy the product.
- Amazon itself handles a lot of customer service. Once the product is received by the customer, to make sure about the customer satisfaction Amazon follows up with the shipment. Regarding the feedback about the product, it’s up to you to respond to it and take action.
- Amazon totals up your sales. They deduct their seller fees and deposits the profits directly into your account. This way, all the process up to the payment reception is made quite smooth by Amazon so that you and your customer are satisfied with it.
How to Manage Amazon FBA Shipping?
There are three ways you can ship your products from China to the Amazon FBA warehouse. If you are an Amazon seller who imports products from China, the first things you need to determine is the way of shipping your goods to Amazon and choose the most suitable way.
The first way is the direct shipping way which means that the product is directly sent from the supplier to the Amazon FBA. This is the most comfortable and most convenient way to use it as an importer. Other than that, if you compare it with the different two ways, this is the cheapest amongst all.
The other way or method is to ship your product first to your home because if you ship your product direct from the supplier to Amazon FBA, you will never be able to see it. This obviously gives you the advantage to check and make sure that you received the same quantity and quality.
If there are any defects or you are not satisfied with the quality, you will be able to fix this problem first before your customer purchases them. This way, you can be sure of not getting bad reviews from the customer, though this comes with a price and high transportation cost as well.
The third way is to ship via a prep service company. It is a 3rd party company that can help to handle customs clearance, transport the product to Amazon warehouse from supplier, conduct inspection, packaging & label the goods according to Amazon specifications.
There are American & Chinese prep service companies. The American prep service companies can help you in inspection & check damaged goods as well. In China, usually, the sourcing agent handles the role of prep service, and obviously, their price is quite reasonable in comparison.
Choosing the shipping mode to Amazon FBA
To transport the goods from China to Amazon FBA in the USA, usually, there are four ways or modes of shipping that are available to you.
- Express Shipping
Express shipping is the most convenient and most comfortable way for the recipient. A person gets worry-free regarding import customs clearance; the chosen express service will handle all procedures. UPS, FedEx & DHL are a few examples.
- Sea Freight
It is no doubt one of the cheapest ways to send the products. But it also is one of the most complicated regarding the transportation of materials. It takes a lot of time for the product to reach its destination, but the advantage is that you can deliver products in volume.
- Air Freight to Amazon FBA
The Airfreight delivery costs less than the express shipping way as it’s airport to airport. And one needs a professional freight forwarder to handle all the shipping and import procedures. It takes a little longer time than the express freight but is still much cheaper.
- Air or Sea freight Ups Combined
This is not a widely used way, and neither it’s a traditional shipping method. But it’s getting popular as it’s combined air shipping/sea shipping with local UPS delivery. This will save you some cost if you are not requiring fast delivery.
Packaging and labeling of goods for Amazon FBA
The products that are to be sent to Amazon need to be packed according to Amazon FBA requirements. You have to ensure that your supplier understands those requirements. The undamaged arrival of the goods and ready for intake to Amazon fulfillment centers needs to be taken care of.
There are certain restrictions regarding the size, weight, and material of the packaging box or carton. Let’s put it simply. Single carton weight should not be over 50 lb which is around 22.6kg. And the maximum length of the carton should be within 25in which is around 63.5cm. For oversized products, there are different requirements. Other than outer packaging, the product’s inner packaging is also essential in which the content, wrapping, and protection of the material are very important.
- Amazon labeling requirements
The right labeling of the product would allow Amazon to move your product rapidly, which will be available to sell faster and reach the customer quickly. Amazon requires an FBA shipping label, a scan-able barcode, and sometimes a warning sticker on the product.
After completing packaging and labeling requirements, one has to label the products. Your Chinese supplier can do the labeling. Normally, sellers get help from a professional organization or get help from a 3rd party label prep service company.