By Ben Miles
Creating an FBA Shipment
If you decide to fulfil your orders through Amazon’s FBA service you have to create a shipping plan to let Amazon know exactly what items you’re sending to their fulfilment centre as well as how many units you’re sending. The “Send/Replenish Inventory” page is where you can initially create or add to your shipping plan (see below).
In the “Send/Replenish Inventory” page you’ll have to decide whether you want to create a new shipping plan or add your product to an existing shipping plan as well as deciding the item packaging type.
If you are sending shipments with mixed products in them you need to select “Individual products”. This will require you to apply individual stickers to each of your products. If you pack all the individual products in your shipment separately then you can select the “Case-packed items” option.
With case packed items you can decide if you want your stock to be commingled or whether you will apply individual stickers to your products. Once you have selected your item packaging type press the “Continue to shipping plan” button to move onto the next page.
For more information on stickered vs case-packed items see here. We highly recommend all our users apply stickers to the products within their FBA shipment. Commingling leaves you with no control over the product your customer receives. See the link above for more information.
Adding Stock and Other Products to Your Shipment
After choosing the way in which you will package your shipment (‘individual’ or ‘case-packed’), the next step will be to add how many stock units you will be sending. If Amazon require extra information about the product, most commonly this will be the product dimensions, the area to input this will appear under the “Action required” column.
Once you have completed adding your stock units and met all the “Action required” requests you can select ‘continue’.
Alternatively if you have other products to add to your shipping plan you can use the “Add Products” button for items which are already in your inventory.
If you press the “Add Products” button a pop up will appear with a list of your current inventory (see below).
You can search for the product you would like to add by title, SKU or ASIN, or you can search through the pages to find the product you want. Press the yellow “Add product” button for as many products as you like and close the pop up when you are finished. The page will refresh to add the new products to the shipping queue.
Adding New Listings to Your Shipment
If you wish to add new items, which are not yet in your inventory, to your shipment plans you can return to the “Inventory” page to add them. Any information you have added to the shipment plan so far will automatically save so you can return to it later.
If you have added a new listing to your inventory you can add it to your existing shipment plan through the “Send/Replenish Inventory” page (see below).
For your new listing, within the “Offer” tab like with other inventory you want Amazon to ship, select the “I want Amazon to dispatch and provide customer service for my items if they sell” then press “Save and finish”. You’ll be brought back to the following page.
You can add your newly listed product to an existing shipping plan by selecting the “Add to shipping plan” and choosing a shipment plan from the drop down box. These are named by the date and time they were last edited.
Preparing Your Shipment Ready for Collection
Once you have added all the products to your shipment and input the number of units you’re sending you can move on to the next stage of the shipment process (see below).
On this page you will see three tabs:
- ‘Prep required’
- ‘Preparation may be required’
- ‘All products’
If your products appear in the “Prep required” tab this means that Amazon have identified that your items will need some additional packaging preparation before being received at the warehouse. The exact steps you need to take will be shown in the “Prep guidance” column.
Most commonly you will find your products under the “Preparation may be required” tab. If you click on the “Choose category” link under the “Prep guidance column” the following pop up will appear (see below).
The pop up which appears will include a drop down box with a number of product categories for you to choose from. Select which one your product fits into or if none apply select “No Prep Needed” and press the yellow “Choose” button. If your product fits into one of the categories which require preparation Amazon will advise what steps should be taken to package the product suitably within the popup box.
Upon returning to the page you should select whether you will need to prepare your products, or if you would prefer, you can request Amazon carry out the preparation for you at the warehouse. There are fees associated with this service which can be found on Amazon’s website within the FBA optional fees area.
If you do choose to have Amazon prepare the products you still need to make sure the items are sufficiently packaged to survive the trip to the warehouse.
The Labelling Page
After completing the preparation page, press “continue” to move on to the labelling page (see below).
Here there are two tabs: “Labelling required” and “All products”. If you selected “Case-packed items” at the beginning of the shipping plan and your products can be commingled they do not require stickers (if you choose not to label them). Amazon allow you to decide whether you want to commingle or sticker your “Case-packed items” on the ‘Label Products’ page. As previously mentioned we recommend that you label all of your stock.
If, however, you chose “Individual products” or your items are not able to be commingled you will need to sticker your items. Again you can choose to have Amazon sticker your products for a fee but this will increase the time between your products arriving at the warehouse and going online for sale. If you choose to sticker your stock yourself you can input the number of stickers you need for each item and press the “Print labels for this page” button. This will open your stickers in a new tab as a PDF document. You can save this or print it straight away.
For more information on how to apply stickers and package your shipments correctly, see here.
Once you are finished stickering your products, click ‘continue’ to review your shipment (see below).
In the “Ship to” column you will see which fulfilment centre your stock has been allocated to, you cannot change this. If you are happy that everything is correct you can press the yellow “Approve shipment button”.
Finalising Your Shipment Ready for Collection
Once you have approved the shipment this button will change to “Work on shipment”. Pack up your stock into the boxes you will be sending them in and click to complete the final steps.
Here you have an opportunity to check the stock you have included and download a pack list which can be useful in making sure you have input the correct quantities you are shipping. You are able to change quantities and remove products but you cannot add new products at this stage.
Next you will be asked to select whether you are shipping boxes or whole pallets. If you are shipping pallets you will need to contact Amazon for further advice on booking delivery for your stock. If you are shipping boxes (Small parcel delivery SPD) you can select who will be shipping your boxes.
If you choose the “Amazon- partnered Carrier (UPS)” you can pay for the delivery through your Amazon account and you receive a discounted rate which can save you a lot of money. UPS are familiar with Amazon’s strict delivery schedule which minimises the risk of your stock being refused on arrival at the warehouse.
Below this you should input the weight and dimensions of every box you will be sending. You can add a maximum of 200 boxes to an individual shipment. These boxes cannot be more than 15 kg each. If you have chosen a carrier other than UPS for shipping your boxes you simply need to input the number of boxes you will be shipping and print stickers for them to be scanned by Amazon on receipt.
Once you have input all the measurements if you are using UPS you can press the yellow “Calculate” button to find out how much will be charged to your Amazon account assuming you have selected UPS.
If you are happy tick to confirm you agree with the terms and conditions and press the yellow “Accept charges” button.
You can now print labels for your boxes and when you are done press the yellow “Complete shipment” button at the bottom of the page. To arrange for UPS to collect your parcel you can visit their website and use the “Schedule a collection” link. You will need to input a 5 hour window for UPS to collect and you will need to be around during that time. If you book the collection before 12pm they will collect that day otherwise you can request a collection for the next day at the earliest. For further information you can click on the blue “contact the carrier” link in the Delivery charges section of the shipment page as seen above.