BY jennifer

FBA Prep 101

ShippingPilot Simplifies the Process for You

Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) is best for high-volume, large-margin products for sellers seeking to hand off responsibilities for shipping, handling, and warehousing straight to Amazon, where they offer their products. FBA allows your customers to take advantage of the speed and reliability of Amazon shipping, including Amazon Prime two-day shipping.

But there’s still work to be done on your end to prepare the products and get them to your assigned Amazon warehouse — of which there are 110 in the United States alone. And that can be time-consuming and difficult. It’s necessary to avoid errors to maximize efficiency and keep your customers happy.

How to Prep for FBA

If you’ve decided to use FBA, you’ll need to indicate which items you’ll be sending to Amazon for fulfillment. Do so on the “Manage Inventory” page of Amazon Seller Central. You’ll also need to let the courier know where to pick up your inventory shipment, and select the packing type:

  • Individual products (cases containing different products)
  • Case-packed products (cases containing all the same items)

At this point, you’ll need to indicate the number of units you’re sending to Amazon for FBA.

Your next step is to actually prepare the products for FBA. What you need to do will vary depending on the type of product you sell on Amazon. Alternatively, you can work with a company like Shipping Pilot to handle all FBA prep for you with our Amazon integration services.

DIY vs. Amazon vs. Shipping Pilot

On the “Who Preps” tab, indicate whether you will be preparing the products yourself, or if you’ll be paying per item to have Amazon do it. If you’re preparing products yourself or hiring Shipping Pilot to do it for you, select the “Prep Required” tab where you’ll find instructions to follow.

Certain products will need Amazon, UPC, or EAN barcodes. Like with prepping your products, you can pay a per-item fee to have Amazon complete this task. If you plan to do it yourself or work with Shipping Pilot, select “Merchant” and review barcode requirements, which include label size and type, and placement. New merchants might be surprised to see that Amazon even has requirements on the type of printer you must use.

Check Accuracy of Your Submission Before Confirming

Next, verify that everything you’ve entered into Seller Central is correct. On the “Review Shipments” page, you’ll see the fulfillment centers your items will head to; this may be multiple locations, so you’ll need to divide your products appropriately or request that Amazon accept your entire shipment at a single center and split it for you.

Make sure all the FBA shipment details are correct, because you won’t be able to make changes. Then click “Approve Shipments” when you’re finished.

Choosing  Your Preferred FBA Delivery Method

The final step for you is to choose the delivery method. There are three options that Amazon offers:

  • Small Parcel Delivery (SPD) – items are packed in individual boxes
  • Less Than Truckload (LTL) – you’ll stack cases or boxes on pallets
  • Full Truckload (FTL) – your inventory will fill an entire truckload

You’ll then select your carrier and schedule and pay for the delivery. You may find that Amazon-partnered carriers provide discounted shipping rates. Alternatively, you can hire Shipping Pilot who will help coordinate shipment and delivery to our warehouses to complete the FBA prep process for you.

Shipping Pilot is an Amazon FBA Transfer Service and FBA Alternative

The Amazon FBA transfer service from Shipping Pilot handles all your FBA prepping, packaging, and handling. We’re experts on Amazon’s requirements so you don’t have to be. Letting Amazon fulfill your orders saves you time and can help maximize your profits; Shipping Pilot saves you even more.

And if you prefer to skip Amazon fulfillment altogether, Shipping Pilot will warehouse your products and process all your orders, putting your ecommerce orders on autopilot, so you can dedicate your resources to business development and marketing. Learn more about our process.

With Shipping PIlot, there are no contracts and no minimums. Our four-tiered pricing structure fits any size business, even yours. Hundreds of merchants rely on us to handle their FBA prep and order fulfillment. Join them to put your ecommerce on autopilot. Contact us today!

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