Amazon FBA inventory packaging

Amazon FBA inventory packaging - How to prep packages for storage in Amazon fulfillment centers?

The most tricky part for some Amazon FBA sellers, is knowing the right packaging for their type of product, when it's time to ship their inventory to Amazon fulfillment center.

Some people have difficulty understanding how Amazon FBA inventory packaging works. Some have had their products rejected due to poor packaging. There are certain requirements set by Amazon, that FBA sellers need to comply with, regarding product packaging.

In this article, I am going to explain to you how you can safely package your product when sending inventory to Amazon fulfillment centers, to avoid product damage or rejection by Amazon on arrival.

Types of packaging

There are two major types of packaging involved when dealing with Amazon FBA inventory.

• Retail packaging

• Bulk packaging

Retail packaging is the final packaging of a product after manufacture. It is the package that the product is displayed in, on the shelve in Amazon stores.

Bulk packaging is the process of placing large quantities of a product (retail packaged) into a larger box (carton) or pallet, depending on the volume of the product, for easy transportation to Amazon warehouse, to prevent damage to the retail packaged goods in the large box during shipping.

Shipping process to Amazon fulfillment centers

After your products have been bulk packaged, it is important to know how many cartons there are and how many units are in each carton. This information will be needed to complete your shipping plan on Amazon seller central.

Once your shipping plan is completed, you'll be able to print out the Amazon shipping labels according to the number of cartons you're going to send, i.e. 5 shipping labels for 5 cartons. Each label is to be affixed to each carton to enable Amazon identify the cartons on arrival at Amazon warehouse.

Note: The Amazon shipping label is strictly for Amazon's internal use only. You still need a courier service, like DHL or any other shipping company, which will have their own shipping labels for each carton as well, for customs purposes.

FNSKU - Fulfillment Network Stock Keeping Unit

FNSKU is a barcode label that contains information about the product, like, product description (e.g. color, size,etc.), name, condition (e.g. New or Used) and product origin (e.g. Made in China). It is required to be affixed to every unit's packaging, as well as the shipping carton and must be readable and scannable. It is the way Amazon identifies each product as unique to its seller.

Each FNSKU is unique to a specific product. If your products come in varieties, for example, you have two colors of your products, say green and yellow, the green ones should have a unique FNSKU label placed on all its units (10 labels on 10 green products), to separate them from the yellow ones and so should the yellow ones with its unique FNSKU label. If you only have one type of product, then it should have one unique FNSKU label placed on all units.

Packaging requirements for different product types

As mentioned earlier, Amazon has general prep requirements for sending FBA inventory to Amazon fulfillment centers that sellers need to comply with. These requirements are specific to different product types. The basic supplies required for prepping different products are:

• Poly bag

• Bubble wrap

• Box

• Shrink wrap

• Expiration dates (MM-DD-YYYY format)

• Scannable barcode label

Multi-piece products

If your product comes in multiple pieces to be put together, like accessories, add-ons, etc. you need to ensure that they are packed together in a single package before sending them to Amazon warehouse. Anything that could slid out of the main package must be securely bagged in a poly bag and taped to the main package.

sold-AS-set products

Products sold as set, like book set, multi-packs of food, etc. must be sealed together using either a shrink wrap, poly bag or a box to keep the items from being separated. Affix "Sold As Set", "Ready to Ship" or "This Is A Set, DO NOT SEPARATE" sticker on the package and label it.

boxed product units

If your product is usually packed in a fancy box the box must be six-sided, you must put a tape, glue, or staple to keep the box closed, and the box must not collapse when medium pressure is applied to any of its sides.

perforated package

If your product is in a perforated package, like, case-packed granola bars, etc. it must be able to withstand a 3-foot drop on a hard surface, if not, you have to put it in a poly bag, seal and label it.

poly bagged products

All poly bags with a 5" (inch) opening or wider (when measured flat) must have a visible suffocation warning. The warning should either be printed on the poly bag or affixed as a label and it must be clear and readable.

Print measurements of warning labels for different sized poly bags

To explain the table above, if the length and width of your poly bag is 60 inches or more, you need to use a warning label print size of 24 point font. Same applies to the rest on the table. All poly bags must be transparent and have a thickness of at least 1.5mm. It must be tagged with an FNSKU.

expiration dated products

Products with expiration dates, like vitamins, cake mixes, etc. must have its expiration date displayed in the MM-DD-YYYY format, printed on the master carton, retail display and individual items in 36-point font or larger.

Non-perishable items, like canned food, dried fruit, sugar, etc. must not expire within 90 days. Products within 50 days of expiration date at Amazon fulfillment centers, will be discarded.

To sum up, All products must be prepped and safely packaged according to their individual prep requirement. The master box must have all the necessary tags and labels (FNSKU, Expiration date and/or "Sold As Set") before its shipped, for smooth receival on arrival at the Amazon fulfillment center.