What are the fees when choosing the FBA program?
there are two main categories of fees connected with FBA forwarding process.
# 1. Fulfillment charges
This is the main pick & shipment fee which includes order receiving and packing, shipping cost, packing boxes, as well as inner packaging.
Also, it can cover return policy, though not for goods in categories with free customer returns.
# 2. Storage charges
These charges are connected with storing your goods in a fulfillment center warehouse.
Inventory storage fees are based on the space occupied by your goods, measured in cubic feet.
Can FBA freight forwarder help me to ensure goods?
Yes, as it was said above, you can require insurance option when working with FBA freight forwarder.
How do I pack and label the goods for shipping to Amazon FBA?
If you want to ship from China to Amazon warehouse, your goods have to be labeled with an address heading similar to a domestic heading, but with a few small changes.
Such address has to include the following info:
- the name of a certain Amazon fulfillment center;
- supplier’s legal name stated in the documents for FBA;
- supplier’s physical address;
- certain city, country, and zip code of the cargo’s delivery point.
Also, you’ll need a unique barcode for each product you sent to Amazon fulfillment center (we’ve already discussed it in previous questions).
Every box and pallet which you send to Amazon warehouse must have well-seen shipment labels on them.
Such labels can be created and printed with the help of Amazon’s shipment creation system.
To do so, you have to create and login to Amazon as a seller.
There are certain requirements for labels:
- they have to be 3″ by 4″;
- each label has to be unique;
- they must not be photocopied for any use on a box outside of the one that it was printed for.
You have to place labels on certain spots (not over the opening of the box or on any of the box seams).
Your boxes have to contain both FBA and carrier labels.
They have to be situated on a flat side of the box without any folds.
All labels should be clearly visible so that they can be scanned at every stage of the delivery.
If you use pallets to transport your products, they have to contain four labels in total (one label on each visible side of the pallet).
How long does FBA shipment take?
The whole shipping process and its time depending on the carrier chosen to deliver goods to the Amazon fulfillment center.
When the delivery is done, it usually takes about 1-3 days for your shipment to be received and sold on the Amazon website.
Such a process might take longer if you have oversized shipment or you have to deliver it to far-situated countries.
You can see the following statuses for your goods when delivering them to the Amazon fulfillment center:
- in transit;
- delivered (your goods are dropped at the Amazon yard);
- received (Amazon started the unloading process);
- received in full (your products were unloaded and scanned, so they are available for sale).
There are also cases when some part of your shipment can be transferred to another warehouse.
When it happens, your products might be listed as reserved, but some of such goods are always listed for sale immediately.
Can I use FBA without selling on Amazon?
Please, keep in mind that FBA services are not just for orders placed on Amazon.com.
You can also use the FBA program to process orders from your eCommerce site.
For all your sales channels, Amazon stores your single composite inventory in its fulfillment centers and fulfills orders as they are placed.
Is selling on Amazon FBA worth it?
At this point in the article, you might already have a clear vision of whether or not the FBA program is right for your business.
In fact, there are tons of eCommerce companies which are running profitable deals using FBA, so it works well.
But does it work for anyone in a similar fashion?
Let’s be honest: in the vast majority of cases, the FBA system works better for companies who mainly sell their goods through Amazon.
For example, if 80-90% of your goods are sold on Amazon, FBA’s increased storage fees can be easily beaten by smaller shipping fees.
The situation becomes even better because of customer service and returns management from FBA staff members.
But, if Amazon is just one of the sales platforms for you, the FBA system is a quite expensive way to fulfill orders for your customers.
For non-Amazon sales, FBA storage and shipping charges cost significantly more than you would pay to store and ship your products by yourself.
Remember that Amazon is not the only option to fulfill orders of your eCommerce business.
For instance, you can try to use services like Shipwire which provide a much more loyal fee for their participation.
As an alternative way, you can try to find third-party solutions for specific aspects of your fulfillment process (e.g. order management, drop shipping, and product returns management).
Which shipping method should I choose to ship from China to Amazon FBA?
It depends on the country where you want to send your goods.
Typically, the vast majority of sellers use air or sea transportation.
However, sometimes you’ll also need rail and road modes of transport.
Let’s remind you that Panda can help you to organize each above-mentioned type of delivery to Amazon FBA.
How do I ship something from China to Amazon FBA?
You might ship your goods from China to Amazon FBA directly by yourself or with the help of a third party middleman.
After such party receives your products, they can pack them properly and send to Amazon fulfillment centers.
There are a lot of such middlemen who’ll be glad to ship your FBA inventory.
They are popularly known as Pick and Packs, Prep and Ship or the 3PL (third-party logistics company).
Panda is one of such companies.
We can help you in every stage of your business relations with Amazon platform.
What kind of documents do I need for Amazon FBA?
No matter what kind of seller you wish to be (fulfilling your orders by your own or through FBA) the set of documents you need might be the same.
Let’s look at all the information you need to provide to become an Amazon seller:
The documents required for sellers to register under amazon seller central are:
- Proof of verification (driving license or ID).
- Verified banking account.
- Proof of address (like utility bills).
- Details about your business.
- The employee ID number (EIN)
- Your contact details (email and phone number).
- Tax registration details (PAN and GST).
- If you opt for the program of Fulfilment by Amazon, then VAT and a few supporting docs are required.
Does Amazon FBA include shipping?
Yes, when you apply for the FBA program, you actually don’t need to bother about shipping your goods to customers.
Once your product was ordered, Amazon staff will prepare and ship your goods to the buyer.
How can I calculate FBA charges?
There is no single formula for calculating Amazon’s FBA charges.
You can visit this page to see official recommendations on this matter from Amazon.
Or you can contact Panda customers support to get the full pricing which will include delivery charges to take your goods to Amazon fulfillment center, as well as fees connected with FBA process itself.
Why are my FBA orders pending?
You can see all your Amazon orders visiting the “Manage orders” page.
Sometimes you might see the status “Pending” while looking at orders from your clients.
it means that some of the items in the order have not been shipped yet.
Orders might receive pending status because:
- The order is pending while other goods for it are passing through the consolidation process.
- The credit card payment from your customer has not been authorized.
- Some product in the order is not available.
In cases when Amazon splits the orders, the status will remain as “Pending” until the final product has shipped, even if the payment is completed in full.
Which Incoterms can be used by FBA freight forwarder?
If you want to ship to Amazon fulfillment center, you have to choose Incoterms that will not result in any billing to Amazon.
This means that you have to pay for all services including delivery.
To do this your shipping company will suggest that you must accept the DDP (Delivered Duties Paid) set of rules (Incoterms).
This is because the carrier will charge you more for this type of contract.
As the owner of the goods, you must arrange all freight, payment of duties and customs clearance to get your goods to the Amazon fulfillment center.
We recommend that you use EXW (Ex Works) or FOB (Free on Board) Incoterms.
This means you are taking responsibility for paying the transportation; it allows you to find the best price and service.
Please, become familiar with our comprehensive Incoterms 2010 guide.
Can I use FBA for eBay?
If you are an eBay seller or you run your own online store, you can also take advantage of Amazon’s fulfillment program.
To do so, you’ll need an Amazon Seller Central account.
Once you’re registered and logged in, proceed through the following steps:
- Go to the Multi-Channel Fulfillment page in the FBA settings.
- Submit your order fulfillment requirements with either a simple online form, upload a file or integrate Amazon with your website.
- Finally, transfer your products to an Amazon fulfillment center.
There are no minimum requirements and you can send as many goods as you wish.
It is worth to mention that as this is not a product sold through Amazon, customer service should be carried out on your own.
Amazon decides which fulfillment center you use based on factors like size, product type, and storage needs, as well as location.
You can select your carrier or use Amazon’s discounted service.
When your products are received, Amazon scans the FBA barcode sticker.
These stickers are quite cheap and can be purchased without any hassle.
When you get an order and place it with Amazon, the company picks packs and ships the item.
You can monitor its progress with the help of Amazon’s online tracking system.
How do I choose an FBA warehouse?
Amazon assigns your fulfillment center during shipment creation.
It’s rarely even in the same quadrant of the country as you.
And it is fair to say that this situation is quite ridiculous.
Amazon fulfillment center can be situated in the next building of your block and you still can’t choose such center as your main FBA warehouse.
How do I ship from Alibaba to Amazon FBA?
In practice, the process of shipping from Alibaba to Amazon FBA is similar to all other cases.
The only thing about which you have to be sure of is that such goods are labeled following Amazon rules.
After this, you have to use broker service to handle customs and delivery to the needed fulfillment centers (you can do this on your own as well, but we do not recommend it).
However, you can’t just send up hundreds of random unbranded items on Amazon and wait for them to sell.
If such goods do not have a sales history on Amazon it might require a lot of time and money.
Remember that Amazon fulfillment center is not just a storage warehouse.
The company charges huge storage penalties if you have your products stay in there for ages.
Finally, please keep in mind that your Alibaba products have to comply with US trademark/patent laws.
Unfortunately, a lot of Alibaba suppliers have such issues with their goods.
What are the disadvantages of the FBA system?
Let’s look more closely at the main disadvantages of the FBA program.
Unfortunately, Amazon FBA isn’t always a perfect solution.
Let’s begin with a couple of small problems that you may need to work around if you use the FBA system:
# 1. Inventory management
The thing is Amazon fulfillment centers are not storage units.
This means that you can not send them your goods and expect them to sit on it until it sells.
Your goods need valuable inventory space to be stored and if they do not go away for six months, Amazon would increase your storage charges.
This makes using Amazon FBA a bit of cat and mice game.
On the one hand, you have to keep enough inventory in the Amazon center to make sure you can cover your orders.
On the other hand, you can’t let to store more goods than you expect to sell during the next half-year.
Logically, suppliers who have hundreds or thousands of items in stock might have problems figuring out exactly how much inventory they need for each product.
# 2. Preparing items
We’ve already spoken about the labeling and packaging difficulties when shipping to Amazon FBA.
No matter what you are selling, your products have to be packaged according to Amazon standards before you send them to fulfillment center.
Yes, in some cases Amazon can take care of the packaging and labeling process for you.
However, they also will charge you a fee for these services.
That is why certain businesses prefer to deal with their customers directly.
Sometimes packaging and shipping your goods to an Amazon fulfillment center is going to be about as much work as sending them to your customers by yourself.
# 3. Mixed products
it is not easy to complete Amazon’s 2-day delivery promise.
To do so, the company has fulfillment centers all around the world.
All orders are fulfilled by the nearest center that has such goods available, even if these products didn’t originally come from your inventory.
Remember that when you send some kind of product to an Amazon fulfillment center, you don’t actually create unique labels for them.
The only thing you need is to use the barcodes for certain items.
After receiving, your goods will be added to the fulfillment center’s local inventory for such products.
In practice, you can ask not to mix your goods with others.
However, by default, your products might be included in such a mixing process.
Eventually, when your customer receives the product that they ordered from you, what they really receive is the product which might have come directly from you or it might have come from another supplier.
The good thing about all this is the possibility of rapid delivery for your clients.
On the other hand, we can see clear issues with quality assurance.
As a seller, you’re responsible for the quality of the goods which your clients get.
So when Amazon swaps out your product for another seller’s defective item, in your customer’s mind, you still sent them such a messy product.
Yes, Amazon FBA will provide covers and returns in such a case.
But it still can be a huge issue: some sellers have received negative reviews, been forced to close shop or even faced legal action when their customers were sent counterfeit or damaged goods.
# 4. Sales tax compliance
Amazon’s decentralized fulfillment procedure leads to another issue besides the quality assurance.
We are talking about potential difficulties with sales tax compliance.
When Amazon receives your goods, there’s no guarantee that they’ll keep them at the fulfillment center you sent it to.
As a result, you can’t decide where exactly you should register for sales tax compliance.
Amazon doesn’t tell you where your products currently are.
That exposes sellers to several potential tax liability issues.
To date, it hasn’t become a huge problem, but it is something to keep in mind as a potential issue that could arise while using the FBA program.