Preparing for Q4: Important Holiday Dates for Amazon FBA Sellers 2017Caitlin Donnelly
Are you thinking about fourth quarter yet? Summer is just upon us, but it is time to start planning ahead. As seasoned Amazon sellers know all too well, the holiday season sneaks up incredibly fast.
If you would like your products stocked at Amazon’s fulfillment centers before Black Friday and Cyber Monday, your shipments will need to leave the port of origin by the following dates:
- September 29, 2017 for sea freight
- October 27, 2017 for air freight
These dates will leave you with enough time for any shipping or customs-related issues. We always file customs ahead of time, but events like unexpected exams or crowded ports do happen from time to time and are magnified before and during the holidays.
Reach Out to Our Consultants
Plan ahead by reaching out to our consultants through our contact page. They can help you figure out what step you are at and what you need to do to have your shipment scheduled by these dates. Our consultants are fully trained in any shipping, customs, or Amazon question you may have – We’ve heard it all (almost!)
Estimate Shipping Costs
Use our shipping estimator to get a rough estimate of your shipping and customs fees. This will help you plan for the shipping method that fits your schedule and budget.
Communicate with Your Supplier About Amazon Regulations
Did you know that Amazon has some very strict rules about how your shipments can arrive to their fulfillment centers? Did you know that they are now tightening up enforcing said rules? Amazon has been known to look the other way if you sent in shipments that were not up to their standards in the past, but they are starting to enforce their rules more strictly. This means that your account could be put in jeopardy if you continue to ignore their regulations. One too many warnings may lead to problems, like account or listing suspension.
To avoid any unnecessary issues, make sure your supplier is aware of these rules before your goods get shipped. It is much cheaper to fix these issues at your manufacturer’s warehouse than our warehouse, and especially Amazon’s warehouses.
The most common issues we see are: Master cartons weighing more than 50 lbs or measuring more than 25” on any side (oversized goods are an exception), any master cartons having more than 150 units, and poly bags with openings larger than 5” not having a suffocation warning. Read more on our Supplier Compliance Guide.
We do not send any products to Amazon that are not compliant. Our warehouse employees are trained in spotting shipments and units with issues. Any of these issues can and will be fixed at our warehouse, upon approval, before shipping to fulfillment centers.
Place an Order and Get a Shipping Quote
By placing an order on our website, our shipping partner can reach out to your suppliers to provide you with the most accurate shipping quote and updated rates possible. Once you approve the shipping quote, we can lock in your rates. Please note that shipping prices increase quickly throughout the fourth quarter as space on ships and planes book up, so potential savings on shipping are high if you place your order early. These prices continue to raise through Chinese New Year, until around March. Even if you aren’t shipping with us, it is good practice to adhere to the dates above.
Once you are ready, these simple steps will help you get started:
Plan Through the New Year
Busy season does not end after Christmas. Sellers and suppliers alike rush to get product manufactured and shipped before Chinese New Year (CNY) strikes. Ports in China and the US get slammed with shipments around this time, so make plans in advance to avoid any issues. Next year, CNY is celebrated from approximately February 15-21, 2018. Ask your supplier when they are closed, as factories can take extra weeks off surrounding the New Year.
Look for Emails from your Account Manager
Throughout the order process, you will receive automated notifications regarding your shipment. If your account manager reaches out to you, it is because we need some important information to keep your order on track. Quick communication means that we can get your order shipped, through customs, and out the door to Amazon’s fulfillment centers as soon as possible.
Ready for Q4?
Contact our consultants for a free 30 minute consultation to confirm that you are on the right track for this 2017 holiday season. Or, place a new order if you are ready to get started. Happy selling!