You’re just about to get started with your new online business selling on Amazon, and then you find out that there’s a lot that goes into preparing your products for shipping to Amazon FBA. Securing and packaging your products is one of your top concerns as an Amazon seller, because besides the possibility of your items getting damaged en route to the warehouse, Amazon FBA has been known to slap you with penalties for shipments that don’t meet their shipping standards. This means ponying up for additional cost of shipping, delays in sending your products to customers and so on.
With shipping standards being a top concern for your online business, it’s great to know what tools are essential for this task. This way, you know you’ve got everything you need to get started.
What shipping supplies do you absolutely need?
To save you the time and effort of poring over what kind of supplies that you need when sending your products over to Amazon FBA, we’ve created a list for you of the absolutely essential shipping supplies that you need. These are the things that you simply can’t do without to meet the FBA standards and to make sure that you avoid the dreaded send-backs that any Amazon seller fears.
You’ll need a lot of shipping boxes especially if you’re sending products over to Amazon FBA and not to your customer, so it’s safe to say that you’ll be sending by bulk or at least one large box’s worth. There are appropriately sized shipping boxes available for purchase at Walmart or Home Depot but it’s also perfectly okay to reuse the boxes that you receive when you buy products from online suppliers.
If time is in your hands and you are bootstrapping your Amazon business, you can also ask grocery stores if they have any free boxes they want to let go of, or you can check the free stuff available on Craigslist. Just be sure that you use boxes with toughness that are appropriate for the products you’re selling - don’t use less durable boxes for heavy items like books, for example.
These boxes range from small, medium, and large with prices that also range from as little as $0.75 to $2.00.
When it comes to shipping tape, you’re going to want to go with the heavy duty variety from established brands like Scotch Heavy Duty Shipping tape, or Duck HD Clear Heavy Duty, Uline or Tape King. There are other reliable brands of course, but we just need to emphasize that shipping tape is not something that you want to skimp on.
It’s also a good idea to invest in a tape dispenser which let you easily apply shipping tape onto your boxes to seal them shut. Be sure to buy a tape dispenser that matches your preferred tape brand. Also, be sure to double-tape the seams of your boxes. You want your products to be secure!
The shipping boxes and shipping tape are obviously essential, but a lot of new Amazon sellers are surprised at the need for a sturdy and reliable shipping scale. What most new sellers don’t know is that Amazon FBA will ask you to input the size, shape, and weight of your package when you’re sending it over to their warehouse. These dimensions and weight also need to be printed on the side of the box for good measure.
You will want a shipping scale that’s accurate, sturdy, can weigh as much as 50 lbs and can handle bulky packages. This needs to be accurate because Amazon determines the shipping charge based on the weight, so it’s best to get a digital scale just to be sure you’re getting the right number. There are also penalties for packages that are labeled or listed with the wrong weight or dimensions.
Here’s a pro tip - get a scale that has a display with a cord that extends away from the scale. This will let you get the accurate weight on the display without having to bend over or peek under the package.
Laser Printer / Dymo Printer
As an Amazon seller, you’re going to need to print the barcode labels for your products and inventory, as well as print the labels for the shipping boxes that you’ll be sending over to Amazon FBA.
If you’re wondering if any old printer will do, the answer is no, it has to be a laser printer. If you’re lucky, you might already have one in the house somewhere. But if you’re buying a printer for your business, be sure to get a laser model. Amazon specifies a laser printer so that the ink on the labels won’t get smeared while handling. A lot of people use Dymo printer for barcode labels as well.
Address / Barcode Labels
These generic address sticker labels are available online and are great for printing the individual barcode labels for packages that need to be sent and sorted by Amazon FBA. There are three kinds of barcodes that are used for identifying products - manufacturer barcodes (GCID, ISBN are some examples), Amazon barcodes (FNSKU barcodes), and even transparency barcodes to ensure authenticity.
With these many barcodes to consider, you can see why printing them on address labels are such a lifesaver. These sticker labels usually have 30 stickers per sheet and is a great way to save time and effort when you print them by batch. If you choose to use a Dymo printer instead, don't forget to use the labels that is compatible with your Dymo printer as well, which typically comes in a roll, instead of a sheet of labels.
The address labels are for the barcodes that go onto your individual products while the box labels are the ones that will be posted outside of your box, showing all the necessary information that Amazon FBA needs, including a separate barcode plus the weight and dimensions.
When you’re inputting the details of your shipment for Amazon, you’re going to get a PDF file after that you can print which are actually to separate labels. You can simply cut one large label into two after it prints or you can buy the 2-in1 sheet that will save you a little time and trouble.
Sold as Set Labels
The ‘Sold as Set’ labels are not exactly essential, but whenever you send items that are packaged and listed on the catalog as a bundle, then that product should have a "Sold as a Set" sticker on it. Even though you’re inputting all this information as you place your shipment into the Amazon Seller Central, mistakes can and have happened before. It could be possible that the FBA warehouse guy receiving your items could open and separate those products that are meant to be sold as a multipack or a bundle. Then imagine a customer leaving you a negative feedback because they received an incomplete set. So save yourself the hassle and simply put a “Sold as Set” label on your products that are sold as sets.
There’s no going around shipping standards when you’re an Amazon seller shipping your products to Amazon FBA. The last thing that you want is to have your products sent back, doubling the cost and the effort of sending them back to the fulfillment center. That’s why it’s important to know which shipping supplies are essential to your business.
While there are a lot of gadgets and extras that can make shipping to FBA easy and convenient, you have to make sure that you have the absolute essentials first to get your online business up and running.
Do you want to know which supplies I use for my Amazon business? Then check this out.
Shipping lables: https://amzn.to/2IUqNhm
Dymo printer: https://amzn.to/3lUummu
Weighing scale: https://amzn.to/2IXhgpX
Heat gun: https://amzn.to/2UJcJtK
Dymo labels: https://amzn.to/38Z3X3b
Stickers for Bundles and Multipacks: https://amzn.to/3kSG7s9
3-inch Packing Tape: https://amzn.to/36Tepq9
3-inch Tape Dispenser: https://amzn.to/3kUS5kR
Polybags (Bundle): https://amzn.to/3pYFFfQ
Large Polybags: https://amzn.to/3lQ1YBX