What is fulfillment by Amazon (FBA)

Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA), is an easy way to get your products delivered to your customers.

You just have to send the products you are selling to an Amazon warehouse, and they take it from there.

You don’t have to deal with the trouble of packaging and shipping, and you get Amazon’s name backing your product.

Amazon has various Amazon Fulfillment Centers set up at many places in the country, and all you have to do is send your inventory to these centers. You have to pay for the storage and handling of products. Whenever you receive an order, Amazon will take care of the packaging and shipping for you.

When it’s delivered to the customer, you’ll get a notification from Amazon. Even most of the customer service is handled by Amazon if any issue arises. This helps you take your business to higher levels without putting in too much effort.

Benefits of FBA

For growing sellers, FBA is really beneficial. Here are some of the main benefits of FBA.

1)    Items can be shipped to customers at any time with FBA. You don’t have to worry about anything related to handling, shipping, and returns. Amazon does it for you, working 24-7 to make sure your products reach the customers on time and that your customers have the best experience. You don’t even have to print shipping labels for your packages. All you have to do is monitor you inventory levels so you can send in more stock when it’s needed.

2)    You can make use of Amazon’s world-class shipping centers if you opt for FBA. Your customers get to enjoy options like low cost shipping, free shipping, and one day shipping without any additional headache to you, thanks to Amazon.

3)    Your losses and damages are greatly reduced. This is because you’re working with the most trusted ecommerce platform. Amazon’s customer satisfaction rates are the highest, and they take pride in it. When you use FBA, your goods become more than your goods. They become Amazon’s property for the time being, and Amazon treats them as such. Their process of order processing and inventory tracking is very automated, so you don’t need to worry about your merchandise getting lost or damaged. Amazon is very efficient.

4)    Your customers are more satisfied because they get quick deliveries with great packaging.

5)    You attract more buyers with FBA. This is because Amazon is a huge platform and knows well how to appeal to the customers. Amazon FBA merchants enjoy greater visibility because their products are advertised to the top buyers and the Prime buyers. The latter group gets a lot of offers from Amazon, and they have a much smoother buying experience, so they choose to spend much more than your average buyer.

6)    Many online shoppers choose to search for relevant products directly through Amazon instead of using a search engine. This gives Amazon sellers a huge advantage over the others.

7)    Once you decide on FBA, you will no longer be held by limitations of small scale. You won’t be crippled by poor logistics. Amazon will provide you the best logistics there can be, and it will level the playing field for you. This will help you grow your business rapidly and spend more time on marketing and promotional activities.

8)    FBA products are the ones that are mostly advertised to the Amazon Prime members. They get exclusive discounts on these products, which boosts the sales. This is very beneficial for you and your business.

How to start using FBA?

1)    Open the following URL on your web browser: www.amazon.com/fba.

2)    Click on “Get Started”.

3)    I am assuming that you are already an Amazon seller, hence, you don’t have to register again for a Seller Central account; just have to select “Add FBA to your account”.

4)    Then log into your Seller Central account and check the Inventory tab.

5)    Click on the “Manage Inventory” option and choose which products you would like to list for FBA. There’s a checkbox next to each product and you can mark it to list it for FBA.

6)    Once you’ve selected all products you want to list, click on the Actions drop-down menu, and select “Change to Fulfilled by Amazon”.

7)    On the next page, click on “Convert”.

After this, you have to ready your stock and send it to an Amazon Fulfillment Center. Here are the instructions for doing that:

1)    Go to your account’s Inventory tab.
2)    Click on “Manage Inventory” and once again, mark the checkboxes against the items you want to go for FBA.
3)    Then click on the Actions drop-down menu, and select “Send/Replenish Inventory”.
4)    Then you’ll be asked to give a ship address. Provide the necessary details.
5)    You will be asked how you’re going to ship the products: case-packed or individual items.

Labeling requirements

Amazon’s receiving systems are dependent on barcodes; so all units you send to them must be tagged with a scannable barcode. There are three ways to do this:

1)    Manually print and apply labels to each unit.
2)    Use the Label Service from FBA itself. Everything will be handled by Amazon.
3)    If your products are eligible, sign up for the Stickerless Commingled Inventory.

Here are Amazon’s recommendations for when you are preparing to print labels for your products:

  • Use a laser or a thermal printer and avoid inkjet printers. This will decrease chances of fading and smearing.
  • Your printer should be able to handle resolutions above 300DPI.
  • Make sure you’re using the right print media.
  • Regularly clean and replace your printer heads.
  • Test your labels periodically by scanning them yourself. See if they’re legible.

You will receive a PDF file once you have entered the number of units you’ll be shipping for each product. You can print these labels later.

These are the general guidelines:

  • Make sure you use white label stock with removable adhesive to print these labels. This makes them easily scannable and removable.
  • Make sure only your Amazon provided product label is visible. If there are other barcodes on your product/package, hide them all properly.
  • Some products require some prepping before they are shipped, which can slow down the shipping process. To avoid this, you can use FBA Prep Services. You can also send them fully prepped to the fulfillment centers.
  • Each box sent to Amazon should have a unique shipping label. It’s the only way to identify it at the fulfillment center.

Here are your guidelines for printing the labels:

  • Don’t place the labels on a place they’ll be cut. Try and place them in the middle of the box if possible. Never place them on the seams or corners.
  • There must be a unique shipping label on each box.
  • If there are pallets, they need to have five labels on each one. One goes on the top and the others go on each side.

Shipping your inventory to FBA warehouse

After all the labeling is done, schedule a time for the pickup of your inventory.

Mark all the items you are shipping as “Shipped” in the Shipment Summary. From there on, you can track the status of your shipment in the Shipping Queue.

Allow a period of at least 24 hours before checking whether the status is updated to “Delivered”.

After that you can contact your carrier to confirm delivery.

“Checked-In” means that some part of your shipment has reached, and they’re waiting for the rest. One the barcode scanning starts; the status again changes to “Receiving”. The whole process usually takes about six days, so don’t grow impatient.

After this, the dimensions of all your products are recorded. Once they’re stored, they can be shipped anytime.

Amazon’s web-to-warehouse picking system is very advanced.

It can sort through inventories in the warehouse really fast and when a customer purchases something, it will pick the right method of shipping them the product according to their preference.

The order can be accurately tracked by the customer throughout the shipping process just like those sold directly by Amazon. This makes for a very pleasant experience for the customer.

Getting paid through FBA

Getting paid with FBA is super simple.

You can check the status of your orders at any time by going to the “Manage Orders” page in your Amazon Seller Central account.

It will show either of these two: “Payment Complete” or “Pending”.

If you go to the “Reports” tab, you can check whether you have actually received the payment for the order.

There will be a transaction for every order.