Essential Steps: How to Prepare Amazon FBA Shipment

by | Oct 27, 2023 | Amazon FBA Basics & Setup

Ever feel like you’re lost in the Amazon? Not the rainforest, but the e-commerce giant’s vast network of fulfillment centers. You’ve got your products ready to go, but getting them from A to B can be as tricky as navigating a jungle.

However, it doesn’t have to be a complicated process! If there’s one thing I know it’s this: understanding how to prepare an Amazon FBA shipment can turn that tangled web into a clear path forward.

You’ll get to understand how vital elements like creating a solid shipping plan through your Seller Central account, and mastering the art of packaging and labeling can make operations run smoother at fulfillment centers. We’ve also got useful insights on various product types as well as extra services and fees that come with using Amazon FBA – it’s invaluable information every budding Amazon entrepreneur should have under their belt.

Ready to elevate your Amazon FBA inventory game? Don’t miss out— Click here to explore our software and supercharge your inventory management today!

Table Of Contents:

Understanding Amazon FBA Shipment Process

Amazon’s Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) program is a goldmine for sellers looking to scale their businesses. But how does one prepare an Amazon FBA shipment? Let’s peel back the curtain and delve into this process.

The heart of your FBA journey lies in creating a solid shipping plan. This strategy helps you determine which products are going where, ensuring that each product lands at its rightful Amazon fulfillment center. Think of it as the GPS guiding your products through the vast network of more than 175 operating centers across America.

The Role of a Shipping Plan

A well-crafted shipping plan can make or break your success with FBA shipments. It acts like your roadmap, steering clear directions for every step—right from selecting inventory and preparing products to labeling them correctly before dispatching.

Your shipping plan starts taking shape on Seller Central, Amazon’s dedicated portal for sellers. Here you manage inventory and review shipments while sipping coffee at home. And don’t worry about being overwhelmed; it guides you through all steps methodically – select ‘Send/replenish inventory’ under ‘Inventory’, follow prompts and voila – Your very first FBA shipment.

Packaging: The Unsung Hero

While packaging might seem trivial compared to other tasks, underestimate it at your peril. Proper packing not only ensures safe delivery but also saves time-consuming sorting hassles once they reach their destination.

If there were an Oscar for “Best Supporting Role in Product Handling,” proper labeling would win hands down. From EAN barcodes to FBA labels, each sticker tells a story about the product’s journey. Getting your labeling right means Amazon can process tens of thousands of products smoothly and even provide free 2-day shipping to Prime customers.

Let’s dive deeper into the specifics in our upcoming sections. Our aim? To make every Amazon FBA shipment feel like second nature to you.

Key Takeaway: 

Preparing an Amazon FBA shipment starts with crafting a solid shipping plan, acting as your GPS through the inventory and delivery process. The right packaging and labeling are key, ensuring safe delivery and efficient processing at fulfillment centers. Mastering these steps makes every FBA shipment feel like second nature.

Creating a Shipping Plan in Seller Central

The first step to become part of the FBA program is creating a shipping plan in your Seller Central account. This task may seem daunting, but with a dash of enthusiasm and these steps below, you’ll find it’s as easy as pie.

Selecting Inventory for Shipment

Start by heading over to ‘Manage Inventory’ on your dashboard. From here, select the items you want to ship. But remember. Don’t bite off more than you can chew – only choose what you’re ready to pack and send.

After selecting inventory comes an important decision: whether or not replenish existing inventory or send new products altogether. Think carefully before making this choice; like deciding between vanilla or chocolate ice cream at the store, each has its pros and cons. To help alleviate the stress that comes with these decisions, you can use tools like Active Inventory to help guide the replenishment process. 

Filling out Shipment Details

The next page prompts you for details about your shipment – imagine it like being asked where and when do we meet up for coffee? Fill out all necessary information such as packing type (individual items vs case-packed), quantity, & other details. 

In doing so don’t forget that placement option. Choosing either distributed or single fulfillment center will affect how many warehouses receive goods from this specific order. Just think of them as separate tables at our imaginary coffee meetup.

Sending Your Shipment Off

You’ve made it through selection and planning – congrats. Now let’s get those products moving. Under ‘Review Shipments’, click continue on each shipment listed there just like hitting “send” after writing an email message.

FBA Shipping Plan is like your GPS – guiding you to the final destination. Follow its directions and let it lead the way.

Think of it as double-checking your luggage before a trip. Make sure everything, from the number of items to the type of packaging, perfectly matches what’s listed in your Seller Central account. That way you avoid any unexpected surprises along this journey.

Key Takeaway: 

Jumping into the Amazon FBA program starts with creating a smooth shipping plan in Seller Central. It’s all about smart inventory selection, thoughtful decision-making on replenishment versus new products, meticulous shipment detail filling, and careful final review before sending off your items. Think of it as prepping for an exciting journey – pack wisely and double-check everything to avoid surprises.

Packaging and Labeling Your Products

Alright folks, let’s get down to the nitty-gritty of Amazon FBA shipment: packaging and labeling your products. Think of this as dressing up your products for a big debut on the stage called “Amazon fulfillment centers”. You wouldn’t want them looking shabby now, would you?

Correct Product Labeling

We all know that labels can make or break things. They’re like secret codes; mess them up, and you might end up in a pickle. So here’s what you need to remember about product labeling.

The preparation guidelines provided by Amazon have specific barcode requirements.  Just ensure each product has its own unique FBA label attached properly at an easily visible place (remember no hide-and-seek with labels).

If dealing with these pesky little stickers isn’t really your thing, there is good news. The Amazon brand provides an amazing service known as ‘FBA label service’. It’s pretty much like having someone else dress up your kids for school while you enjoy another cup of coffee.

Importance of Packing Type

Apart from getting those labels right, choosing the correct packing type is equally important. Imagine sending out a fragile glass vase wrapped in thin paper? Yikes. Let’s avoid that catastrophe together.

Your choices include individual bags or boxes depending on how large or small parcel delivery needs are managed. Select something robust enough to keep items safe yet compact enough so they don’t take unnecessary space in storage.

With the right preparation, time-consuming product mix-ups can be avoided. But remember folks – if you get the packing type right along with correct label placement from the start, your products will dance their way through Amazon warehouses without any hiccups.

Concluding, it’s unmistakable that the labeling needed is more than just sticking on a barcode.

Key Takeaway: 

Think of packaging and labeling your Amazon FBA products as getting them ready for their big debut. Labels are crucial, they’re like secret codes; get it wrong and you could land in trouble. If stickers aren’t your thing, consider using the ‘FBA label service’. Also, picking the right packing type is just as important. The goal? To deliver a product that’s perfectly packaged, correctly labeled, and primed to wow customers from the moment they lay eyes on it.

Shipping Options and Requirements

The beauty of Amazon FBA lies in the flexibility it gives sellers when shipping products. You’re not confined to one rigid path, but rather have a few options that can adapt to your business needs.

One popular method is Small Parcel Delivery (SPD). This choice works best for smaller shipments sent in boxes. Each box you send under SPD should contain a mix of items; think of it as a mini sample platter from your inventory.

If you’ve got more substantial quantities, then consider using the LTL or Truckload delivery, also known as Partnered Carrier option. These allow larger volumes which mean fewer trips to fulfillment centers and potentially lower costs on your end.

Fulfillment Centers: Your Inventory’s New Home

Sellers can choose between two main types of shipment settings – either sending all their products straight off to Amazon’s warehouses (a.k.a Fulfillment Centers), or sending them elsewhere first before they make their final journey. It’s like deciding whether you want an express trip or layovers during travel – some prefer direct routes while others may need pit stops along the way.

Amazon Global Logistics help page provides comprehensive insights into these options.

Avoiding Split Shipments with Inventory Placement Option

Moving on, there are ways around having your goods split up among different fulfillment centers if that seems daunting. For example, through choosing the ‘Inventory placement’ setting in Inbound Settings section at Seller Central Account , you could reduce time-consuming product mix-ups by opting for Single Fulfillment Center consignment instead. A pretty nifty trick indeed.

Your Role: The Supplier’s Warehouse

You serve as the initial link in this process. You play a vital role as the supplier’s warehouse. Preparing your products correctly is crucial to make sure they arrive safely at Amazon’s fulfillment centers and eventually, customers’ doorsteps.

Key Takeaway: 

Amazon FBA offers flexibility in shipping options like Small Parcel Delivery for smaller shipments or Partnered Carrier option for larger volumes. You can choose to send your inventory directly to Amazon’s warehouses or make pit stops along the way. Use ‘Inventory placement’ setting to avoid having goods split among different centers and always stay updated with changes.

Tips for Efficient Shipment Preparation

When it comes to FBA shipping, saving time and avoiding product mix-ups is a game changer. The key? Streamlining your shipment preparation process. Let’s dive into some practical tips that can help you replenish inventory efficiently and ensure your products arrive safely at Amazon’s fulfillment centers.

The Art of Mixing Products Correctly

Avoiding time-consuming product mix-ups begins with the correct grouping of items in multiple shipments. Group similar items together as much as possible. This simple trick minimizes confusion during unpacking at the warehouse and speeds up processing times.

If you’re dealing with various types of products, segregating them based on categories like size or fragility can be beneficial too. It not only keeps things organized but also ensures each item gets the right handling care.

Packing That Ensures Safe Arrival

Packaging isn’t just about making sure your goods fit inside a box; it’s about guaranteeing they reach their destination intact too.

Invest in quality packing materials—think bubble wrap for fragile items or sturdy boxes for heavy ones—to reduce chances of damage during transit. Plus, don’t forget to make use of Amazon Global Logistics’ guidelines, which provide comprehensive information on packaging best practices tailored specifically for FBA sellers.

Fees That Pay Off: Per-Item Fee Considerations

Sure, opting out from per-item fees might seem like an easy way to cut costs—but have you considered how this could impact efficiency?

Incurring these small fees often means less prep work on your part since Amazon will take care of details such as labeling individual units within a box. Opting out of per-item fees might be a way to reduce expenses, but taking advantage of them can save you time and energy when managing high amounts of inventory.

While it’s crucial to keep costs low as you scale your Amazon FBA business, remember that strategic investments in efficiency can often lead to more significant savings in the long run.

Key Takeaway: 

Mastering efficient FBA shipping starts with streamlining your prep process. Group similar items to avoid mix-ups and speed up warehouse processing. Pack smartly, using quality materials and following Amazon’s guidelines for safe delivery. Lastly, don’t overlook per-item fees; while they may seem costly, they can save you time and effort in the long run.

Handling Different Product Types

Understanding how to handle different product types is crucial when preparing for an Amazon FBA shipment. This knowledge will help you optimize your operations and avoid common pitfalls.

Case-Packed Products vs Individual Products

In the world of Amazon, there’s a significant difference between case-packed products and individual products. Case-packed refers to multiple identical items in a single box, whereas individual products are just that – singular items which may be completely unique from one another.

Selecting merchant inventory options accordingly can prevent unnecessary headaches down the line. For instance, if you’re sending individual products as opposed to case-packed ones, remember they each need their own label.

Sending Individual Items Efficiently

Sending individual units requires some extra attention compared with bulk shipments of identical goods. Each item must have its barcode clearly visible so it can be properly processed at the fulfillment center.

To streamline this process further and reduce time-consuming errors during packaging or delivery phases, consider using Amazon’s preparation guidelines for various product types. They give detailed advice on how best to pack and label different kinds of goods effectively.

The choices you make in terms of inventory option selection directly impact your overall efficiency. Remember: When considering inventory options, it is important to bear in mind that the most suitable choice for one product may not be applicable to another.

For example, “Inventory Placement Option”, while being more expensive per unit than having Amazon distribute your stock across several warehouses (“Distributed Inventory Placement”), ensures all similar items go to a single fulfillment center. This can save you the hassle of managing multiple shipments and may well be worth the cost, especially for high-value or fragile items.

So, preparing an Amazon FBA shipment isn’t just about boxing up items. It’s about knowing your products and their place within the Amazon ecosystem. By honing in on these specifics, you are well-positioned to maximize your shipping operation.

Key Takeaway: 

Getting a handle on the different kinds of items you’re shipping can help avoid any snags down the line. It’s all about learning your products, choosing inventory options wisely, and making sure each unique item has its own label. Stick to Amazon’s prep guidelines for packing and labeling – they’ll be a big help. When you’ve got this knowledge in your back pocket, trust me, your shipping process will roll along much smoother.

Additional Services and Fees

Realizing the various extra services provided by Amazon’s FBA service can assist you in optimizing your business procedures if you are a third-party seller. But remember, these extras come with their own set of fees.

Let’s start by looking at FBA fulfillment. This is Amazon’s bread and butter when it comes to logistics – they handle storage, packaging, shipping out orders, and even customer service for returned items. The cost? It varies based on product size and weight but keep in mind that there are both handling fees per unit as well as storage costs calculated per cubic foot.

Label Service

The Amazon label service, an optional feature where Amazon labels your products for you to meet its stringent barcode requirements – this saves time but incurs a small fee per item.

FBA Inventory Placement Option

You may be familiar with the inventory placement option under FBA services. If not here’s what happens: typically sellers have to send products across multiple warehouses (Fulfillment centers). To simplify things, Amazon offers the ‘Inventory Placement Service’ where all units of a single SKU could be sent to one warehouse saving precious prep time. Though it sounds convenient let me drop this surprise – it isn’t free. Each item shipped will incur an extra charge so weigh your options carefully before choosing this path.

Prepping Your Products

Last but definitely not least is prepping those lovely items for shipment. In some cases like fragile or sharp objects might require special preparation called “prep required”. Now, you can do this yourself or let Amazon handle it for an extra fee. Either way, ensure to mark these items in the ‘Prep Required Tab’ during shipment creation.

Indeed, FBA offers immense convenience and the potential for increased sales via Prime eligibility and greater exposure on Amazon’s platform. But remember, nothing comes without a cost. A clear understanding of these extra services will prevent unexpected shocks and allow for more effective financial planning. It’s crucial that sellers meticulously review all related costs to determine which service is the perfect fit for their business.

Key Takeaway: 

While these options offer convenience and can boost sales through Prime eligibility, they demand careful planning. This is because of the additional costs for storage, packaging, shipping orders, handling returns and labeling products to meet barcode requirements. It’s also essential to remember that all units of a single SKU need to be sent to one warehouse while items must be prepared properly for shipment.

FAQs in Relation to How to Prepare Amazon FBA Shipment

How do I create an Amazon FBA shipment plan?

To whip up an Amazon FBA shipping plan, head to your Seller Central account. Choose the inventory you want to ship and follow the steps given.

Does Amazon do FBA prep?

Yes, but it’s a paid service. If you don’t fancy prepping your products yourself, let Amazon handle it for a fee.

Does Amazon provide packing material for FBA?

Nope, sellers need to pack their goods before sending them off. Make sure they meet Amazon’s packaging requirements.

How long does it take Amazon to process FBA shipment?

The timeline varies based on factors like volume and time of year. But typically expect around 1-2 weeks from arrival at the fulfillment center.


So, you’ve embarked on the journey of understanding how to prepare an Amazon FBA shipment. It’s a trek, but every step is crucial.

First off, we learned that having a solid shipping plan in place is like your North Star – guiding you through your Seller Central account and ensuring your inventory sails smoothly.

Packaging and labeling correctly? That’s not just important, it’s essential. Your products need to arrive safely at fulfillment centers with clear labels for smooth processing.

Remember this: there are different paths when it comes to shipping options – some might lead straight from suppliers to Amazon warehouses while others may have pit stops along the way. Understand these routes well!

Your product type matters too; handling case-packed items differs from individual ones. Knowledge about extra services and fees? Consider them valuable insights into making informed decisions for success.

Looking to optimize your Amazon FBA inventory management? Take the next step— Click here to discover how our software can transform your inventory strategy today!