A Complete Guide for Amazon FBA Beginners
When you send your first shipment to Amazon to be fulfilled, you will need to comply to certain criteria. You need to make clear how many parts make up each item and where you are sending them from. Then you select the shipping method and carrier for the shipment. Amazon has favored partners for carrying services which offer competitive rates. Amazon will inform you about where to send your fulfilled shipment.
Once they arrive, they will then become available to UK Amazon buyers. If you are shipping from other countries, there are corresponding fulfilment services in other countries which you can take advantage of. You can select a Multi Country Inventory if you ship products to different countries. Amazon will send your most popular items to the country where they sell the most, but also send the same items to Fulfilment Centers in the countries where they are to be shipped from.
Amazon may require you to supply the dimensions of your packages if you are new to Amazon Fulfilment, so make sure you have these available.
You will need to tell Amazon exactly how many packages you are sending to the fulfilment center. It will delay processing your order if you enter incorrect amounts on the Send/Replenish Inventory page. You will need to prepare your packages for distribution, and again, in put this information on to your company page on Amazon. You have a list of packaging options to select from a drop-down menu, so highlight the appropriate packaging details. You will then be taken to a page where you can print appropriate labels for each of your boxes or individual items, according to your preferences.
Then, you will have a carrier tracking number, you enter this onto your account, and mark the item as shipped and you are ready to send the items. If there are any inconsistencies in the process, you can select the Reconcile tab and use the Shipment Reconciliation Tool.
(1) Extra Options
Marketplace Web Services
Amazon’s marketplace web services or MWS allows companies to integrate their Amazon FBA transactions within their own management systems. This is achieved through various interfaces which allow you to perform various FBA functions within your own system. These functions include sending shipment inventories to the FBA centers. Even orders generated from non-Amazon sales can be stored on this inventory system. MWS can also store records of your inventory at their fulfilment centers. It costs nothing to take advantage of the MWS system. It is all included in your fees for using the Amazon FBA service.
(2) What actually happens to your goods?
So, once you have shipped your goods to the fulfilment center with a carrier, what actually happens? We can look at the step by step process until your goods are dispatched. Firstly, the items are received and scanned by receiving staff at the FC. You can check the status of your order by looking on your company page within your Amazon account. The fulfilment center aims to process your shipments within three days, and if this is not the case, you can contact the Seller Support Centre.
The items that you have sent to the FC are then put on shelves within the FC until they are picked for distribution to clients.
(3) Pallet Deliveries
If you are sending your goods to Amazon using a pallet, you need to be aware of certain requirements. For instance, the pallet cannot be higher than 1.7m if it is single stacked, or 1.5m high if it is double stacked, and this includes the height of the pallet.
The actual pallet needs to conform to the measurements of 1200mm by 1000mm or it will not be accepted. The pallets also have to be securely wrapped in stretch clear plastic or tape and marked with a “do not break down” sticker. You should also mark any items that are heavier than 15kg as a heavy load.
When the pallets are delivered to the Fulfilment Centre, the staff need to be able to access the goods using their own Power Pallet Truck, so the lorry that delivers the goods needs to be 7.5 tons or heavier. It also needs to be able to reverse to the door of the FC loading bay.
Any carriers have to request a delivery appointment. You should fill out your booking form and give it to the carrier so he can inform the FC by email.
(4) Common problems
You want your goods to be shipped to the fulfilment center safely and quickly. You can help this process to run more smoothly. Delays can occur in shipments being received if you do not follow the procedural instructions carefully.
Make sure your items are packed correctly;
Make sure your labels are attached securely and easy to read;
Make sure you have put the correct item in the correct package.
There are different customs requirement for different countries, so you will have to make sure that the goods you are sending comply with the country you are sending them to and their regulations. You can use a customs broker to help you with this side of the distribution if you find it too daunting. You will then have the reassurance of knowing that these complex issues have been handled by a professional.
(5) Starting a business using Amazon FBA
An established business which is already importing or manufacturing products will find it a logical step to enroll with Amazon FBA. However, if you are starting a business, you can plan to use Amazon’s fulfilment services when you are preparing your business plan.
Once you have sourced your products and arranged for them to be manufactured, they can be sent straight to the Amazon Fulfillment Centre, and cut you out of the equation completely. Obviously, you will still be at the heat of the business, and process your inventory and keep track of orders and sales. But in terms of storing products, and arranging for them to be distributed, Amazon FBA will take care of all those headaches for you. Even with the costs you need to pay to Amazon for distribution, you will still be making a healthy profit on your goods if you have priced them realistically. You will need to set up an Amazon professional account as you will be a business seller rather than an individual seller, and aim to sell items in bulk rather than one at a time.
As an Amazon business customer, you can benefit from other perks as well. When you start selling on Amazon you are an unknown quantity to the buyer. It is beneficial to have reviews and star ratings to give the buyer confidence. Amazon can arrange all this for you using an algorithm. They can rate your selling profile by balancing it with sales and reviews. So, when you start out, get all your friends and family to buy and / or review your products. This gives you a start and a foot up on the ladder of being an Amazon recommended seller. If you want to make your living as an Amazon seller, and wish to take advantage of FBA, you can enroll on a course to learn the basics of how to get started. Courses provide a blueprint of how to use Amazon FBA if you are a new starter or even an existing seller.
It is obvious of the benefits to a business of using the Amazon Fulfilment Service. Your business will run more smoothly and you will save time and cut costs in your own workplace. Your customers will be impressed as they will have the Amazon customer service and delivery options available to them when they buy your products. This means you will generate more sales and improve your customer satisfaction.