The Detailed Amazon FBA Shipping Guide
If you’re reading this, then you’ve probably been searching for a detailed and comprehensive Amazon FBA guide to help you navigate your way through the shipping industry and help your products get from China to the US Amazon fulfillment center. Or perhaps you’re seeking something different from the overly priced Amazon FBA guides out there that teach virtually nothing but loads of crap, and then you’ve come to the right place.
Forceget has put together this comprehensive guide to help you get your goods and products from China to Amazon FBA.
This guide is very important because it helps you manage your business, set your prices, and manage your profits effectively. Ignoring such useful information can deal a hefty blow of losses to your company and this is something you simply cannot afford.
So here is your ultimate guide to Amazon FBA shipping as presented by Forceget.
What is Amazon FBA?
If you’re going to be shipping with Amazon FBA, then you have to know exactly what Amazon FBA is.
Amazon FBA is short for Fulfillment by Amazon and it means exactly what it says.
Remember in earlier years when you could just easily create a product listing on eBay or some other website and then when a customer orders your product, you could easily pack up the products and ship directly to your customer? Well Amazon FBA makes this whole process a little easier and better. With Amazon FBA, you almost don’t have to handle anything as a seller. You can just get your product shipped directly from the manufacturing company to an Amazon fulfillment center without even touching your product directly and you sometimes do not have to handle the customer service that comes with it.
Of course, you can still use the old ways especially for small-scale sellers but it’s way better and faster to use Amazon FBA if you have a full-scale business that needs a lot of processes including shipping a large volume of products. It makes life easier.
All you have to do after creating your product listing is use the right Amazon FBA forwarder and your products are picked, packed, and shipped to Amazon warehouses where they are stored before they are delivered to the customers that make purchases. It is so convenient and efficient and is probably why it is preferred by many.
So you simply create product listings, ship them using Amazon FBA, where they are stored in warehouses and are delivered once they are ordered. Easy-peasy.
Advantages of Amazon FBA Shipping
There are a lot of advantages to using Amazon FBA shipping
- It is Very Convenient
Convenience is one thing that can be achieved by using Amazon FBA shipping. The idea that you do not have to stress how you’re going to ship your products or where you’re going to store them gives you peace. Also when it comes to delivery, they got you covered.
- It is Fast
Since Amazon makes everything pretty convenient for you by handling most of the logistics, it is a lot easier and faster to get your products from the manufacturer to the customer. There is a reduced shipping time.
- Reduced Shipping Fees
The cost of using Amazon FBA is cheaper when compared to other services. This is because you would be using carriers who are partners with the company so you probably will get huge discounts on shipping utilities, like pallets and boxes.
- It is Easier to Sell on Amazon
Amazon is a well-known marketing brand with a lot of customers, people can find your products easily and you don’t have to do a lot of marketing. Amazon will probably market your products to customers who are ready to buy and save you a lot of money which you would have otherwise spent on adverts and promotions.
Disadvantages of Amazon FBA Shipping
While there are lots of advantages to using Amazon FBA, there are a lot of disadvantages as well.
- It Can Get Expensive
Since Amazon will be helping you manage a lot of the shipping, packing, and delivery, it might involve paying a lot of fees. You have to be careful to calculate these fees into your budget so as not to lose money or lose profits.
- You are Affected by Amazon’s Rules and Policy
This is one of the issues with Amazon FBA. You are subject to their rules which can change at any time depending on the market and the season, and once this happens it might take some time to get used to them and adjust your services.
Not following their rules could lead to a loss of profits. This is why most sellers also move on to other channels after a while to increase their options.
- A lot of FBA Fees
There are a lot of fees to pay and it can get overwhelming and complicated sometimes.
How do you add a product to Amazon Seller?
This is not as complicated as people try to make it seem. You just need to follow some simple steps and you’re good to go.
- Create a Product Listing
For you to begin using Amazon FBA, you must first register your product or create a product listing on Amazon Seller Central.
To begin, you have to do a category search to find the area your product fits in. This makes it easier for people or customers to find and order your product in the Amazon market.
Once you have classified your product you can then enter in the Product Name, the brand name, the manufacturer, and the ID. Then you can set the price of the product and choose the fulfillment channel you’d prefer “FBA or FBM”.
When you are done, you can then save your product and proceed.
- Manage Inventory
Your product listing will be generated in a little while, and you can manage them from the “Manage Inventory” page. On this page, you can edit how your product looks by adding pictures and editing the description. You could also add some more details to the product and select the weight of the product, and shipping requirements. After this is done, you can then send inventory and select the number of units you need and the number of cases you need.
You can then proceed to choose who will prep your goods, you can either do this manually, use a third party company or leave it to Amazon, and we suggest you leave it to Amazon as it may be more costly to do it yourself as you could prep your goods wrongfully.
- Labelling Options
Next, you choose the labeling options. You could use Amazon barcode labels. This could be printed by your supplier or you could do it yourself which would be much cheaper.
To choose this, click on “Merchant” under “Who labels?” and choose the number of labels you need printed and then choose the label template from the list or just use the default. When done, click on print labels for the page and you will be shown the label pages that can be printed, and then you can choose the number labels. Also do not forget to cover up any existing barcodes while fixing your labels to your packaging.
Then go ahead and approve the shipment so that Amazon can know when your goods will come in and make sure to pick a recognizable name. Once your shipment is in progress, it is not advisable to back out as it may get your selling rights suspended.
You could also pick how want your products delivered, either as Less Than Truckload (LTL) or Small Parcel Delivery (SPD). Most small-scale sellers use Small Parcel Delivery (SPD) as it is best for small shipments that are not heavy or would not fill up boxes. You could also choose to use SPD and then Amazon Partnered carrier which will get you good discounts. You can choose to use other carrier services if you’d prefer them.
You can also use Less Than Truckload (LTL) delivery but that is mostly for advanced sellers.
Using Freight Forwarder from China to the USA
When using a freight forwarding company to ship your products from China to the U.S you have to take into consideration your shipping destination as it can affect the cost of freight and how long it will take to get to its destination especially in a pandemic.
If you ship your products to the FBA Fulfilment Centre close to your destination port, you can easily avoid huge costs and reduce shipping time. Amazon doesn’t allow choice when it comes to warehouse selection but you can beat this by choosing a ‘Ship From’ address that’s close to the fulfillment center. This method doesn’t work every time, but it can help.
How to Ship to Amazon FBA Effectively
At this time we are pretty sure you have your shipment ready on Seller Central but you must be careful as any little mistake could be costly for you in terms of profits. That is why when preparing your shipment; you must keep these three things in mind.
- Shipping Individual Pallets vs. Full Containers
- Packaging and Labelling Your Products
- Finding an Amazon-Friendly Freight Forwarder
Shipping Less than Container Loads (LCL) vs. Full Container Load (FCL)
These are the two options you have to consider when shipping. While it might be good to use Less than Container Loads (LCL), it might be preferable to use Full Container Load (FCL) because if you do choose to use Less than Container Loads (LCL), there is a tipping point where it can become more expensive to send less than the container load. If you want to manage the tipping you can do this by calculating the number of cartons you wish to send. If the cartons can fill up around 50-65% of a 20-foot shipping container (11-14 cartons) you may pare the same price as a full container or more which would have been cheaper if you had used Full Container Load (FCL).
Another disadvantage of using LCL is that these goods are mixed and yours can be open up many times for checks by customs or shipping carriers which may lead to damages or sometimes your shipment gets delayed and it could also lead to loss of money if the product is not sold due to storage fees and cost of the product.
How to Package Your FBA Products Correctly
Shipping charges can be a problem especially when it comes to FBA shipping especially when you do not package your products properly. It is way easier to sell products that are light and easier to shop online. They are much cheaper to ship too, so if you have products that are too large or heavy there are things you can do so you don’t pay high shipping fees and storage charges.
The first thing to do is to take note of your product and packaging dimensions and account for them.
These are the different dimensional categories on Amazon:
Maximum weights and dimensions for packaged items
|Product size tier||Unit weight*||Longest side||Median side||Shortest side||Length + girth|
|Small standard-size||16 oz||15 inches||12 inches||0.75 inch||n/a|
|Large standard-size||20 lb||18 inches||14 inches||8 inches||n/a|
|Small oversize||70 lb||60 inches||30 inches||n/a||130 inches|
|Medium oversize||150 lb||108 inches||n/a||n/a||130 inches|
|Large oversize||150 lb||108 inches||n/a||n/a||165 inches|
|Special oversize||Over 150 lb||Over 108 inches||n/a||n/a||Over 165 inches|
Then you have to avoid products that are way too big or oversize as much as you can. They are very expensive to store in warehouses and ship. Amazon takes note of your dimensions and measurement so you must be careful to take note of them.
Finding an International Freight Forwarding Company that is Amazon Friendly
Freight forwarders are also an important part of the shipping process. They help to make sure that your shipment is properly taken care of. The freight forwarder you choose goes a long way to affect how much you spend on the shipment, how long it takes to arrive, and well-protected your product is. Great freight forwarders know everything there is to know about shipping, for both land and sea. They make sure to take care of the nitty-gritty while you sit back and relax. They help you track your goods; they provide the right documents to keep off trouble from customs so that your shipment can arrive at its destination without a hitch.
It is always best to pick a freight forwarder that is familiar with Amazon’s rules and requirements, a forwarder that has some experience working with Amazon. You can find such freight forwarders through rigorous research through the internet but you don’t have to. Forceget is the best freight forwarding company there is and can handle your FBA shipment properly and carefully. They have the best pricing and responsive customer service.
Storage and Warehousing
Another thing to take into consideration when shipping on Amazon FBA is the warehousing and storage costs. Yes, you still have to pay to store your goods. Amazon fulfillment centers do not have free spaces just waiting for your shipment to fill them up. Sometimes warehousing costs can be very expensive so it’s best to understand how these fees are billed to sellers.
Below is a list of how much Amazon per cubic foot. It is subject to change over time.
|January – September||$0.69 per cubic foot||$0.48 per cubic foot|
|October – December||$2.40 per cubic foot||$1.20 per cubic foot|
Also if your goods are stored for a long period without making sales, you are still charged for space. It is best to keep up to date with storage prices so as not to be taken by surprise. If you cannot afford to store up your goods in an Amazon warehouse you could use a third-party warehouse that is much cheaper and has stable prices.
You can then move them to Amazon warehouses when you need them.
So there you have it. The complete guide to Amazon FBA shipping as promised. Now you might be second-guessing yourself as to whether shipping with Amazon FBA is worth it. We say it is as it can be less stressful than the other options and if it gets too complicated for you, Forceget is here to see you through.