An FBA Prep Guide for Amazon Sellers
In this FBA Prep Guide you will learn basic and advanced production preparation for an Amazon store. Product prep requirements vary based on your Amazon store model. Online Arbitrage & Retail Arbitrage requires a high level of FBA prep. Note, wholesale sellers require the same product preparation as OA & RA. Lastly, private label products need the least prep. This guide explores different prep services in depth for all sellers.
Retail Arbitrage Prep demands a high level of attention and accuracy. The same prep requirements apply to Amazon wholesale sellers, as well.
FNSKU Label – An FBA Prep Guide…Must Know!
First, when re-selling products you need to re-label the product’s original UPC barcode with a new FNSKU. The original factory UPC barcode identifies the product for the factory. It does not link to your Seller Central Account. Amazon cannot use this UPC barcode to connect to your Seller Central Account. They need to scan an FNSKU that links to your store. Therefore, you must remove or cover the old UPC code. Additionally, you must apply a new FNSKU code, built in your Seller Central account. This links the product to your account with an Amazon picker scans your product for fulfillment.
Amazon’s pickers need to know when your products are ‘sold as a set’. Otherwise, they might unpack your products into individual units. Apply a ‘Sold As Set’ label to product packaging for pairs of units. In fact, place the label on the package’s sealed area. This serves as a physical and visual que to keep the products together.
Sets of products require a polybag for packaging. In other words, Amazon requires a polybag for items paired together. You cannot tape, tie or tether items together. Products must be packaged in a polybag. Also, Amazon requires a 1.5mm thick polybag. Apply a ‘Sold as Set’ label over the seal of the polybag to reinforce the bag’s seal.
Amazon considers any product with a shelf life, or that loses effectiveness with time, to be subject to expiration, even if an expiration date is not indicated on the product packaging. Here’s a list of products which need Amazon qualified expiration date labels:
- Any product using expiration date on the product or its packaging
- Consumable products such as potato chips, tea leaves, and nutritional supplements for human or animals
- Topical products such as skin creams, soaps, shampoos, hair sprays, and cosmetics for human or animals
- Cleaning products such as disinfectant wipes, cleaning sprays, solutions and detergents
- Products that include components that can expire, such as a coffee machine sold with coffee
When prepping products for Retail Arbitrage, Amazon can request extra packaging on products. Specifically, they want products bubble wrapped. This post examines what products require bubble wrap. Additionally, we examine which bubble packaging to use. Lastly, we review how to package RA products for FBA.
Private Label product preparation differs from Retail Arbitrage Prep. Most private label sellers complete their product prep with the factory. A factory can FNSKU, bundle, and label products before they arrive to America. In fact, we recommend this for sellers! The more work a factory can do equals less work we need to do. However, private label sellers focus brand building. Brand building requires its own product prep. What’s more , brand building requires extra quality control. Let’s look at FBA prep for private label products.
Marketing inserts are a tricky but important part of this FBA prep guide. Inserts connect your client to your brand. They communicate a message to your client. What message? Whatever message your sales strategy is based around! Marketing insert content depends on your goals. Here is a quick list of recommendations for marketing inserts:
- Customer Review
- Customer Referral
- Promotional Offer
- Discount Offer
- B1G1 Free Offer
- Direct Clients to Your Website for Future Purchases
In any case, an insert is a powerful brand ambassador for your business. That being said, it can be difficult to connect your marketing inserts with the factory who manufacturers your product. Private Label sellers want high quality inserts. After all, these are the face of your brand! Therefore, Sellers prefer to print them in America. And thereafter, a seller can connect their inserts and products together. Sellers can do this themselves. However, they usually partner with a 3PL prep center to complete the work.
This FBA Prep guide acknowledges the power of kitting. It builds added value for your clients. A bundled product typically come from products with two different factories. Together, as one unit, they provide extra value to a sellers brand and the client. Bundling products can be complicated. However, with the help of a trusted prep center, it can be easy. First, sellers need to identify what items couple well together. Second, they need to consolidate the items in China. Third, they need to pick product packaging that can house both items together. If they can complete this between their factory’s – even better. However, it’s usually best to let American prep experts complete the final bundling process. Why? This ensures a high level of product care is delivered to your final product. After all, quality is king in the kingdom of private label sellers.
Private Label products travel an international road to reach your client’s doorstep. In fact, they change hands nearly 10 times in your supply chain. In light of this, one wonders, does everyone handle your products with care? Or, do truckers, dock workers, warehouse staff handle your products haphazardly? Your products need extra quality control before delivery to Amazon. Moreover, they may even need to be pulled from packaging and tested. Brands are built on quality. Quality control comes from 3PL product inspections & testing. These services come from a dedicated staff at a 3PL prep center. To be safe, request that 10% of your total products are inspected before delivery to Amazon. Alternatively, if you blindly ship goods into an Amazon and they are damaged; Amazon can suspend your listing. To repeat, Amazon will suspend a listing if there are too many returns.
Oftentimes, Private Label sellers risk shipping to Amazon without product inspections. Consequently, they start getting return orders. Next thing they know – their products need repackaging due to damage. No one wants to repackage themselves. As a result, they contact a 3PL prep center to help. Repackaging is a messy business. Here are what the steps look like:
- Shop for new packaging
- Purchase Materials
- Deliver to their house or a 3PL Prep Center
- Submit a return order for all units at Amazon
- Receive returns at home or a 3PL Prep Center
- Begin repackaging or pay 3PL Prep Center
- Build & prep a shipment back to Amazon’s fulfilment center
- Hope for the best
For this reason, get your products inspected. Moreover, do not send them all to Amazon at once! Shipping back and forth is expensive when it comes to repacking products.