Is Retail Arbitrage on Amazon Dead? Part Three: Shipping Products to Amazon FBA

By Cory Checketts | Amazon

Sep 13

Welcome to part three of our ongoing series about whether or not retail arbitrage on Amazon is dead. If you haven’t checked out part one or two, please do so. If you’re just interested in shipping products to Amazon FBA, then you’ve come to the right spot!

Shipping products to Amazon FBA is easy. All you need is a computer, products, a shipping scale, tape, a box, and a printer. Watch our video or follow the steps below for a complete how-to guide on shipping products to Amazon FBA. You need to be logged into Amazon Seller Central to follow this guide effectively.

1. Listing a Product

  1. Inventory. Start from the Seller Central dashboard and go to “Inventory”, then go to “Add a Product”. From here go to “List a new product” and put in your product’s name, UPS, EAN, ISBN, or ASIN.
  2. Sell yours. On the next page, you should see your product. If everything looks right, then click the “Sell yours” button.
  3. Create your SKU. On the next page, you have the option to create your SKU. Be descriptive and but unique. Then select the condition of the product. Let’s move on to the tricky party, setting your price.

fba-1

2. Setting Your Price

  1. Win the Buy Box. This is easier said than done. Typically, products priced lowest win the Buy Box but avoid the race to the bottom. You need to be competitive and time your sales just right.
  2. Pricing research. First, see how many people are selling your product on Amazon. This will give you a solid baseline of who you’re competing against. You can do pricing research with Scope or CamelCamelCamel.com to discover your potential profit. fba-camel
  3. Timing. Competition to stiff? You may want to hold on to your inventory for the optimal time of year, like a holiday or season.
  4. Settle on a price. Once you’ve picked a competitive price, add it to your offer and click “Save and finish”.

fba-pricing

3. Choosing a Barcode Type

  1. Fulfillment by Amazon requires a unique barcode. You can use eligible manufacturer barcodes or Amazon’s own FNSKUs from your seller account. fba-barcode
  2. FNSKUs. This number is used to identify a specific product to a specific seller within an Amazon Fulfillment Center. Learn more about barcodes here.

fba-fnsku

4. Selecting a Shipping Plan

  1. Packing type. On this screen, you can choose your packing type. You have two options: 1. Individual products and 2. Case-packed products. fba-shipping
  2. Individual products. This option is best for most retail arbitrage sellers. In our example, we’re shipping nine unique products. Choose this option if you have a handful of individual products.
  3. Case-packed products. This option is best, for example, if you have a 24-pack case from the manufacturer. This is the option you would use if you were importing products from China into FBA for your private label brand. Click “Continue” to proceed to the quantity section.
  4. Quantity. Add how many products you’re shipping to FBA. Once you’ve added the correct quantity, you can either print or add more products. Print labels at this point only if you do not need to add more products to the shipment. fba-shipping-quantity

5. Adding More Products

  1. Continue. If you don’t have any products to add, then click “Continue.”
  2. Adding products to a shipment. If you have more products to add, go to the top menu and select “Inventory” and then select “Add a product”.
  3. Repeat steps 1-3.
  4. Add to an existing shipping plan. Make sure you select the option to add to another shipping plan instead of creating a new plan. Doing so will eliminate the number of boxes and hassle you have to put into shipping. Once you click the radio button for “Add to an existing shipping plan” go to the drop-down menu on the right and select the shipping plan you created earlier. fba-existing-shipping
  5. Add all of your products. Include all of the products you want to ship in this plan. A list of all of your products will be displayed so you can double check the quantities before you continue. fba-shipping-list

6. Printing Your FNSKU Labels

  1. Sizing. Amazon lets you pick from several different label sizes. The most common choice is the 30 labels per sheet option with the 1″ x 2 5/8″ sticky label size. We recommend the Avery 8160 sheetsavery-8160
  2. Print. Look at the total amount of products you’re shipping to FBA and add the necessary amount of sheets to your printer. Now click “Print labels for this page.” fba-print-labels

7. Applying Labels to Products

  1. Get organized. Always double check your label and your product. The last thing you want to do is send mislabeled products to FBA. The easiest way to do this is by matching the product title on the label that you created earlier with the title on the box. You can also use the FNSKU on the label and cross reference it with your Amazon shipment.
  2. Application. Cover up the product’s UPC barcode completely with your new FNSKU label. Doing so will mitigate scanning errors at Amazon fulfillment centers. Toys without boxes, such as plush animals, need to be inside of a polybag with the FNSKU label on the outside. Learn more about preparing loose products for FBA.

8. Preparing Your Shipment

  1. Review. Now that your products have been labeled, you can review your shipment. If you’re lucky, you’ll just have to send your shipment to one fulfillment center. It’s not uncommon to send multiple boxes to multiple fulfillment centers for one shipment. This depends on the supply and demand of each fulfillment center.
  2. Approve. Approve your shipment if everything looks to be in order.
  3. The box. You can use a new or repurposed box for your shipment. If you decide to use the more cost-effective repurposed box, make sure any labels or barcodes are removed or have been blackened out as to not confuse the shipping scanners. Simply use a black marker to cover up barcodes and labels.
  4. Packing. Make sure your box can fit every product comfortably so the box isn’t bulging or overpacked.
  5. Dimension and weight. You will need to measure the height, width, and depth of your box for shipment. Once you have your dimensions, weigh the box. We recommend a shipping scale that goes up to at least 50 pounds. Round the box’s weight to the nearest tenth (i.e. 14.9 lbs = 15 lbs). fba-dimensions
  6. Shipping service. Now that your box is packed, measured and weighed, you need to select your shipping method and carrier. Select small parcel delivery (SPD) for individual boxes and less than truckload (LTL) for pallets and anything weighing up to 150 pounds. For the shipping service, we recommend UPS because sellers receive a deeply discounted rate. But you can choose the carrier of your choice from the drop-down menu. fba-shipping-service
  7. Shipping packing. From here you can double check your quantities, add your box weight and dimensions.
  8. Shipping charges. Based off of your carrier, the number of boxes and shipment weight, Amazon will give you an estimated shipping cost. Agree to the terms and conditions and accept charges, then you’re good to print your box label.
  9. Box shipping label. Click the “Print box labels” button and a PDF will download, which you can print. Now tape your label onto the box so it covers up any previous labels. But be cognizant as to not put the label over the opening seem.

9. Done – Drop Your Box Off at the Shipping Carrier

  1. All done! You can just drop off your box because you’ve already packed, labeled, paid, and received tracking information for your box.

 

Follow

About the Author

Cory is the content manager at Seller Labs. He has five years of experience doing strategic communications and professional writing. When he’s not typing you can usually find him getting dropped off the back of amateur cycling pelotons on the roads of Georgia.