Rachel Go Feb 8, 2023 3:31:36 PM 11 min read

How to Ensure Seamless Shipments into FBA 

Finding ways to be more efficient is an important component of eCommerce selling. For Amazon sellers, using tools and services like Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) can take pressure off their teams so they can refocus their time and energy on scaling their business through revenue-generating activities.

While FBA can significantly boost your business, it takes effort and attention to detail to leverage it correctly. I​f your product shipments into FBA fail to meet the program’s strict regulations, it can cost your business time, money, and sales.

But, with proper planning and a well-honed focus, you can avoid these hiccups. I​n this article, we'll explain how to ensure your shipments reach FBA seamlessly so you can sell more, faster, and avoid headaches along the way.

What is FBA?

When you sell on Amazon, you can either fulfill your own orders (known as Fulfilled By Merchant or FBM) or use Amazon's FBA service. FBA is a business model that enables sellers to send inventory to Amazon warehouses where teams handle the end-to-end logistics for a fee. In short, it's the outsourcing of your Amazon business’s logistics and order fulfillment to the conglomerate.

Benefits of FBA for sellers

When you use FBA, you send your products to Amazon’s fulfillment centers, and they handle storage, order fulfillment, and even customer service and returns on your behalf.

However, FBA’s greatest benefits extend beyond outsourcing fulfillment activities: FBA products are more likely to show up in search results, and the chances of winning the Buy Box increase as well. Products also receive the Prime badge and Prime shipping, gaining access to the company’s growing Prime membership base.

F​urther, FBA provides access to Amazon's enormous network of warehouses, which reduces the need for sellers to maintain their own warehouses to store inventory. It also enables faster delivery times and reduces the likelihood of lost or damaged items in transit. And, since Amazon warehouses are spread around the world, you can expand your store into global markets. 

FBA requirements 

To sell through FBA, sellers must adhere to Amazon’s specific requirements for those products. While any store on the platform can adopt FBA, you can maximize the benefits by strategically selecting products for the program and capitalizing on its service features.

How to ensure seamless shipments into FBA

I​f your shipments into FBA are handled incorrectly, Amazon will refuse to ship items to your customers. The FBA program has strict requirements that sellers must meet to participate in it. We’ve broken down the necessary steps to ensure everything goes smoothly and FBA accepts your shipments.

Ensure your items are packaged properly

It's critical you apply the correct shipping and labeling materials before you send your products to Amazon's fulfillment centers.

P​ackaging your products properly is the first step to ensure a hassle-free shipment into FBA. To abide by Amazon's packaging standards, you must:

  • Make sure your labels are clearly legible and easy to read
  • Package any bundled products together (e.g., shampoo, conditioner, and body wash) and label them as “Sold As Set” or “Do Not Separate”
  • Label perishable items with the expiration date on the packaging
  • Consider adding labels to identify fragile items like glass jars or bottles
  • Verify any boxed items are safely packed and the box is firmly sealed with glue or tape
  • Ensure boxes won't collapse (you can use a heavy-duty corrugated cardboard for this)

Remember, if your items arrive at an Amazon warehouse without the correct packaging, they’ll be rejected.

Maintain adequate inventory across FBA to avoid stockouts

Running out of inventory can force you to prep items in a rush (inviting costly errors) to ship to FBA. Worse, FBA takes an average of two to six days to process shipments, which may result in a major loss of sales if you find yourself facing stockouts.

T​o prevent this eCommerce nightmare, keep a close eye on your FBA inventory and send products to FBA before they're at risk of selling out. You can handle inventory management directly on Amazon with their free Veeqo software. Determine the length of time it takes for you to prep your items, send them into FBA, and have them processed, then create a workback schedule based on those timelines and set a threshold to alert you when it's time to replenish stock.

Leverage Amazon's tools, services, and resources

Amazon excels at making it easy for anyone to become a seller thanks to its extensive suite of tools and resources. No matter where you are in the world, Amazon — specifically, FBA — has several specialized services designed to make it easier for professionals to grow their businesses.

L​everage tools like the inventory performance dashboard to pinpoint when to replenish your products (see previous point) and to understand which ones perform the best. By carefully managing your inventory, you can gradually improve your Inventory Performance Index, which, in turn, increases your storage limits with FBA.

Lean on an FBA expert like MyFBAPrep

Preparing products for FBA can be almost as overwhelming as managing the logistics, which defeats the purpose of participating in the program. The good news is experts like MyFBAPrep can handle prepping your items for FBA to free up time for you and your team.

B​ecause proper preparation is so critical to the program’s success, outsourcing these tasks can be a game changer for businesses looking to scale. MyFBAPrep's team of experts can take care of every element of your FBA prep, from packaging to shipping products into FBA. Consider partnering with an FBA expert so you can focus on your business growth instead of becoming bogged down in the finer details.

Common mistakes

S​ome of the most common mistakes sellers make when sending their products into FBA can be easily avoided with a little attention to detail.

Using incorrect packaging

It’s important to always check packaging standards and adhere to official guidelines. Each product you sell must be packaged as a whole product, which means you need to bundle and package your items yourself before you send them in. Make sure you pay close attention to boxes, bags, and other packaging requirements to avoid any hiccups on this front.

Mislabeling your products 

I​f your products aren’t labeled or clearly visible, FBA won't allow them to be processed into their warehouse inventory. Affix labels clearly on the outside of relevant packaging and attach additional labels as required, such as “Do Not Separate” or “Sold As Set” for multiple items sold together, or those that describe a product as fragile (like glass) or perishable (including the expiration date).

It's also important to ensure the font on your labels is in line within Amazon guidelines too. Be sure not to overlook the fine print (literally) when assembling your shipments.

A​s with other labels, the one with your barcode must be visible and free of any issues that make it unreadable, such as poor placement or typos. A good rule of thumb is to affix barcode labels on the flat side of your product packaging, such as the corner of a clear bag or atop a box. Remember, FBA will scan your products in and out to ensure your inventory is kept up to date, so your barcode is of the utmost importance.

Failing to include required documentation

E​ven perfectly packaged and expertly labeled products run the risk of rejection if you forget to include the required paperwork. Your shipments must include a packing list and relevant invoices so FBA teams can properly handle incoming shipments and process your products appropriately. Check for additional documentation needed, such as Proof of Purchase, Bill of Lading For LTL/FTL shipments, or Proof of Delivery For Small Parcel shipments.

Wrapping up — Master your FBA prep for uninterrupted sales

One of the most important steps when selling through FBA is ensuring your products make it to Amazon's warehouses and are processed without issue. This facilitates smooth operations from start to finish, which reduces wait times and gaps in sales.

Whether you choose to prep products for FBA yourself or partner with a provider to handle these tasks, the care and attention you invest early on will set the stage for greater success in your FBA business. 


About the Author

Rachel Go is the marketing director of MyFBAPrep, the leading eCommerce warehouse network for Amazon aggregators, enterprise-level brands and top Amazon sellers. Operating a global network of more than 50 warehouses and seven-million-square-feet of operating warehouse space, MyFBAPrep offers a full suite of ecommerce 3PL services including Amazon wholesale and private label, direct-to-consumer (DTC) fulfillment, and B2B retail. Powered by its SaaS technology platform Preptopia™, sellers get access to unified billing, analytics, business intelligence reporting tools and real-time inventory views across multiple warehouses in the network. The company provides FBA Prep automation, modern robotics item picking, and a dedicated account management team. Based in Coral Springs, Florida, MyFBAPrep moves over $1 billion in Gross Merchandise Value (GMV) and processes over 10-million units annually. For more information, visit MyFBAPrep.com.