How to Ship Products to Amazon FBA - Step-by-Step Guide

Adam Wilkens


Shipping products directly to Amazon FBA (Fulfillment by Amazon) can streamline your business operations, enabling you to focus on scaling rather than fulfillment. The process involves several key steps, each tailored to ensure efficiency and cost-effectiveness. This guide will walk you through each step, incorporating strategies to minimize expenses, making it accessible even for new sellers. For visual learners, we'll include images illustrating these steps, providing a comprehensive understanding of how to ship to Amazon FBA.

Understanding Amazon's Requirements:

Before shipping your products, familiarize yourself with Amazon's packaging and prep requirements. This step is crucial to prevent any potential rejections or additional fees. Amazon has specific guidelines for packaging, labeling, and the condition of items sent to their fulfillment centers. Failure to comply can result in your shipment being returned, disposed of, or incurring additional charges. The cheapest way to ship to Amazon FBA starts with compliance, ensuring your products move smoothly through the logistics chain without unnecessary penalties.

Creating a Shipping Plan:

The next step involves logging into your Seller Central account and creating a new shipping plan. Select the products you wish to send to Amazon FBA, specifying quantities. This step is where you detail how your items are packaged, choose your shipping method, and identify your shipment's destination. Making informed choices here can significantly affect your costs, especially if you're looking for the cheapest way to ship to Amazon FBA. Strategic planning in terms of packaging and shipment batching can reduce per-unit shipping costs.

Preparing Your Products:

Once your shipping plan is set, it's time to prepare your products according to Amazon's guidelines for Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA). This includes understanding how to send product to Amazon FBA, ensuring your products are clean, properly packaged, and labeled with the necessary barcodes. For some items, additional prep may be required, such as bubble wrapping or placing items in poly bags. Efficient preparation not only complies with Amazon's requirements but can also protect your items during transit, reducing the risk of damage and related fees.

Labeling Your Items:

Proper labeling is key to ensuring your products are correctly processed upon arrival at Amazon's fulfillment centers. Print out the product labels generated during your shipping plan creation and affix them to each item as specified by Amazon. This step is crucial for inventory tracking and management within the FBA ecosystem. Incorrect labeling can lead to misplaced items, delays, or additional fees, impacting your cost-effectiveness. Understanding how to ship products to Amazon FBA is essential. Each carton you ship to Amazon should include both a courier label and the carton contents label. If you are shipping by LTL, you need the UPC/FNSKU + the carton label for each box + pallet labels on all 4 sides per pallet.

Choosing a Carrier:

When it comes to how to send products to Amazon FBA, selecting the right carrier is pivotal. Amazon partners with several carriers and offers discounted shipping rates through its Partnered Carrier program. Comparing rates between Amazon's partnered carriers and other logistics providers can help you find the cheapest way to ship to Amazon FBA. Remember, the lowest upfront cost doesn't always result in the lowest overall cost, considering factors like reliability and delivery speed.

Packing Your Shipment:

Efficiently packing your shipment can save you money by reducing its size and weight, directly impacting shipping costs. Use sturdy boxes that closely fit your items, fill any empty spaces with dunnage to prevent movement, and ensure the box is securely sealed. This not only protects your products but can also reduce the shipping cost, aligning with strategies for the cheapest way to ship to Amazon FBA.

Shipping and Tracking:

After packing your items, weigh and measure your boxes, then enter this information into your shipping plan. Schedule a pickup or drop off your packages with your chosen carrier. Utilize tracking options to monitor your shipment's progress to the Amazon fulfillment center. This visibility allows you to manage your inventory and address any shipping issues promptly.

Monitoring Your Shipment:

Once your shipment arrives at Amazon's fulfillment center, it will be checked in, and your inventory will be updated. Monitoring this process through Seller Central is crucial to quickly identify and resolve any discrepancies. This oversight ensures that your products are available for sale as soon as possible, enhancing your ability to compete on the Amazon marketplace.

Reviewing Shipping Performance:

After your products are received by Amazon, review the process to identify areas for improvement. Analyze costs, shipping times, and any issues encountered to refine your shipping strategy. Continuous improvement in how you ship to Amazon FBA can lead to better efficiency and lower costs over time.

Optimizing for Cost-Effectiveness:

Continually seek ways to optimize your shipping process for cost-effectiveness. This could involve consolidating shipments, adjusting product packaging for efficiency, or negotiating better rates with carriers. Staying proactive in finding the cheapest way to ship to Amazon FBA can significantly impact your bottom line.

Staying Updated on Amazon Policies:

Amazon frequently updates its policies and requirements for FBA sellers. Staying informed on these changes is crucial to avoid compliance issues and capitalize on any new opportunities for cost savings. Subscribe to Amazon Seller Central updates and participate in relevant forums to stay informed.

Leveraging Amazon's Tools and Resources:

Amazon offers a range of tools and resources designed to help sellers optimize their shipping processes. Utilize these tools to streamline preparation, labeling, and shipping, further reducing costs and enhancing efficiency. The shipment creation process is easy and simple, it also provides for several label options which can be printed with a standard printer or thermal printer.

Building Relationships with Carriers:

In the event you want to use a non-partner carrier to ship your goods to Amazon FBA; establishing good relationships with your carriers can offer numerous benefits, including potential discounts, better support, and more flexible pickup and delivery options. These benefits can contribute to reducing your shipping costs over time.

Exploring Third-Party Logistics (3PL) Solutions:

For some sellers, leveraging third-party logistics providers can offer cost-effective alternatives to handling logistics in-house. 3PLs can provide advantages in shipping rates, storage, and fulfillment, potentially offering a more economical solution for shipping to Amazon FBA. The same can be said for using a 3PL to fulfill all of your FBM orders.

Evaluating International Shipping Options:

If you source products internationally, consider the logistics of shipping directly to Amazon FBA from your manufacturer. This can reduce handling times and costs, although it requires careful coordination to ensure compliance with Amazon's requirements. Utilizing the services of an Amazon Consulting Agency can help streamline this process and ensure a smooth transition.