So you finally signed up to become a Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) sales merchant?! If not, read this post for instructions on how to do so. If you are ready to starting shipping in your FBA items, here is an in depth tutorial on how to list and prepare them:
Log in to you Amazon Seller Central page, bring down the Inventory drop menu and choose Add a Product.
Next, you are going to type in the item’s title, ISBN, etc. (whichever works for you) to find it in Amazon’s system and click Search.
If you have typed in a specific enough item you will get an exact match as result (which may also produce a few different listings of that exact item), and you will simply just have to choose Sell Yours.
In the case of there being several options for the same item choose See All Product Details and find the listing which has the lowest Amazon Best Sellers Rank, which generally means this is the listing that sells most often and I will discuss more about Rank in a future post.
When it brings you to the product page, scroll down to the Product Details Section.
If you type in a general product name you may come up with several choices that you will have to weed through.
Once you have decided on the exact listing you would like to sell your product through you can choose Sell Yours to get started. You will have to choose a condition ( and I recommend a condition note if it is a used item) as well as your price, quantity and shipping method (Amazon ships for you with FBA).
Now, you are going to start creating your Shipping Plan. If you already have an existing plan that you would like to add to you can do so but if this is your first time, then you will want to create a new shipping plan. Make sure that you address is listed correctly before you move forward.
If you have more products that you want to add to this shipment, choose the Add Products button and go through the same steps as your first item. Once you have all of the items in your shipment added, enter the correct number of units for each one and Continue.
In the next step Amazon will let you know if any of your products need to be prepared in a special way (bagged, etc.) and then you can quickly Continue on.
It is now time to start labeling your products. You will have to choose who labels the units. It is most likely you (the Merchant) that will label (you can pay Amazon to do it, but it most cases it is not worth it to do so). Your labels are now ready to print and if you are using a standard inkjet or laser printer than I suggest using the address label stickers that come 30 per sheet.
Your labels should look like this and you should be able to peel each individual one off of the sheet and stick it to the product. You want to make sure cover the existing bar code (if there is one) on your product with the new bar code sticker you have just printed.
Once your labels are all affixed you can continue on to the next page. Amazon has several distribution warehouses and they will choose whichever ones they want you to send your inventory to. This could end up turning your shipping plan into many shipments. This seems inconvenient, but Amazon is all about customer satisfaction and doing whatever it takes to get their customers products to them in the timeliest of fashions. If you are shipping lots of lots of products and often, then this will not be that inconvenient for you. However, you can choose to have all of your products shipped out to the same warehouse for a small fee. I will talk more about that in a future post.
You can see that they have split my 4 identical products into 3 shipments at different warehouses. This is to be expected, as explained above. If everything looks ok then you will want to approve shipments and move on.
Now that you have your product labels and shipment warehouses sorted out you can prepare your shipping labels. You will more than likely be using UPS to ship your pacakges. UPS and Amazon have and account together that allows us FBA users to ship at a deeply discounted rate. Simply package your items into a size-appropriate box with some crumbled newspaper, bubblewrap or blister packs to properly pad your items and fill your box (more on this in a future post). tape the box closed and measure and weigh the box. Once you enter the weight and dimensions into the proper fields you can calculate your shipping cost (which I did using a 20lb box for example) and accept charges. You will have 24 hours to instantly void your shipment if you have to make changes (which I love because it has happened to me before). Where else could you ship a 20 lb box for under $8?!
You will now need to print the shipping labels. Again, if you are using a standard printer than you will need labels that come the size of a half-sheet (2 labels per page) which you can find on Amazon or eBay affordably. Print out you box labels and affix them both to the top of the box (not too close to any areas you taped) and you are ready to complete shipment!
Drop off the box at a UPS store and you can even track the shipment online. Once it arrive at the warehouse Amazon will notify you by email.
Congratulations, you have completed your first FBA shipment.
Did you have any trouble along the way?
Was it easier or harder than you had imagined?