3 Things to Know Before Starting Your FBA Business

What to know before starting your FBA business, girl holding boxes to send to Amazon

3 Things to Know Before Starting Your FBA Business

What does “FBA” mean?

Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) might as well mean “send your product to Amazon.” When using Amazon’s FBA services, you send your products to an Amazon fulfillment center and once received, they will add it to their inventory. Once a customer places an order, Amazon will package it, send it to the customer, and send you the revenue once every two weeks. If the customer has any questions, or concerns during almost any part of the process, Amazon will handle them directly.

With FBA, Amazon takes care of managing your inventories in their warehouse, customer relations, deliveries, and even returns. As any FBA forum will state, it makes your life much easier so that, as a business owner, you can focus on what really matters – the product.

With this being said, there are three important details about FBA that are important if you are thinking about selling using Fulfillment by Amazon.

1. Be aware of the fees

When you sign up on Amazon as a seller, you can be one of two types: An individual or professional seller. As an individual seller you get a free subscription, but must pay referral and closing fees and an additional $0.99 fee for every product you sell. As a professional seller you will have more access to Amazon resources and will pay a subscription fee of $39.99 a month no matter how many products you sell, plus additional referral and closing fees.

If you chose to have your products fulfilled by Amazon, in addition to these fees, you will also pay a series of fees related to shipping and handling of the products. Depending on the product, you are likely to be charged for order handling, picking & packing, weight handling, and storage.

For a realistic estimate of how much it will cost to use FBA per product, it’s beneficial to use the Fulfillment by Amazon Revenue Calculator.

2. Don’t send your products to Amazon blindly

Before sending products to FBA, they must abide by certain rules and guidelines. Amazon has one of the best logistics systems in the world and they seek to maximize efficiency. Since the customer-relations aspect of the transaction is carried out by Amazon, they want to make sure that everything is carried out perfectly.

  • If a product has an opening greater than one inch by one inch, it must be placed in a sealed bag
  • Small items less than 2 and 1/8 inches must be placed in a sealed bag. For small items the bag size cannot go 3 inches past the dimensions of the product
  • Products must be prepared and packaged to sell as a single unit
  • If you are selling items as a set, there must be a label stating “Sold as Set”, or “This is a Set – Do Not Separate”
  • When filling up extra space in a box – Foam, air pillows, and full sheets of paper are accepted
  • Filling the extra space with box peanuts and shredded paper is prohibited
  • Fragile objects must be able to withstand at least a minute of shaking within the box
  • There must be a double seal for liquid products. If there is only one seal, the item must be placed in a sealed bag
  • Each item must have a scan-able barcode (that can be read from outside the bag)
  • All products barcodes for a particular product must be the exact type. So if a product is the exact same make or model, but a different color it will need its own distinct barcode. This goes for size as well
  • If the barcode is not unique to that specific product a UPC, EAN, or FNSKU must be applied

You can either prepare your products yourself by learning the rules and regulations, or you can hire a 3rd party company to professionally do it.

3. Don’t forget about your other sales channels

By using FBA, you are not limited to selling exclusively through your Amazon page. You can also fulfill orders from your own site, or different sales channels using Amazon’s Multi-Channel Fulfillment.

This means your Amazon page is not the only sales outlet to sell your Amazon warehouse inventory.

Buyers who place orders on your company website can receive the products directly from your Amazon inventory. If you create a “Multi-Channel Fulfillment” order, Amazon will package and ship the merchandise to the specific address you specify.

For an additional charge, if you didn’t want your customer to say, “I got this from Amazon” and instead mention they got it from your site, you can even have it delivered as a plain box, without any Amazon logos or packaging. This can give more power to your brand name while delivering the product efficiently and quickly to the consumer.


Setting up your Amazon business may sound daunting, but you’re not alone. Thousands of successful business owners were in your shoes at one point!

For assistance with your eCommerce logistics, such as shipping, importing, customs, inspection, and other FBA prep, contact us at support@fbaforward.com.

Comments (5)

  • Alexander Ansu Reply

    Hey, this is awesome. I happened to see a video on you tube about your company and was very delighted about your services. I am a startup on Amazon FBA and currently going trough the supplier sourcing process. I have always be very wary of shipping from China and was glad I had information about your company. I will contact you when I am ready to make my shipment from China.

    Regards,

    Alex

    August 30, 2016 at 9:10 am
    • Caitlin Donnelly Reply

      Alex,

      That’s great to hear! We hope the sourcing process goes smoothly. We understand your hesitation with shipping, but not to worry! We have plenty of trusted partners to get your products into our warehouse and, ultimately, Amazon’s hands safe and sound.

      Let us know when you are ready or if you have any questions about our services. We’ll be happy to help.

      Best,
      FBAforward
      support@fbaforward.com
      866.526.3951

      August 30, 2016 at 9:25 am
  • Abby Shung Reply

    My dear,
    Sadly, I read this article after having chosen shipping directly to Amazon, and already to departed.
    Please tell me how can I do?

    October 18, 2017 at 12:28 am
  • Abby Shung Reply

    Dear,
    I tried to calculate my shipping estimate from your site, and see that:
    Sea Freight: $658.74
    Air Freight: $1,201.25
    Air Express: $511.12
    Why does ship by express so cheaper than Air Freight? And besides these costs, I have to pay extra cost for?

    October 18, 2017 at 1:03 am
    • Caitlin Donnelly Reply

      Hi Abby,

      Due to limitations of our shipping estimator and the way air freight/express companies calculate rates, sometimes our estimator will not accurately portray the cost of heavy shipments like yours. I can have one of our consultants reach out to you in order to provide you with a more accurate quote from our shipping partner.

      Thanks!

      October 18, 2017 at 10:47 am

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