Packaging Items For Amazon FBA Sellers FAQ

in FAQ

packaging-faq-webWe often get questions about how to pack various items for shipping to an Amazon FBA warehouse. There are different packaging requirements for different types of items. Here you will find links to many of the great resources Amazon offers to help you in correctly packaging your items along with resources from a few other helpful FBA sellers.
Here you will find info about prepping your items – labeling, protecting and bagging if needed. And also info about packing your items in shipping boxes to send to Amazon FBA.
This FAQ will be added to from time to time so, please bookmark it and check back often.
This FAQ was created to help you – however, please look to Amazon for definitive guidelines on how to package your products. For detailed instructions on how to EASILY find Amazon’s Policies & Guidelines, please read this article HERE.
Besides making sure your items are packaged and labeled correctly according to Amazon’s guidelines, you also should consider how the item will look when it gets to your customer.
Your items will be zooming through Amazon’s warehouse – along conveyer belts, on carts. And before it even gets there it will be tossed around and maybe dropped while it is in the shipping box. If you were buying your product, how would you want it to look when it gets to you?

Packaging Guidelines and Info from Amazon

“The following documents are available for you to print off and use as a quick reference when preparing your products for shipment to Amazon fulfillment centers:

  • Prep Matrix (.PDF, right click, save as)
    • A downloadable document providing a summary of basic prep guidelines, available for you to print off and refer to when prepping your Units for FBA shipments. [Updated each quarter - Check back for a new version after this date]
  • Packaging and Shipping Inventory to Amazon (.PDF, right click, save as)
    • Download and print this manual for Packaging and Shipping Inventory to Amazon, or share with your distributor or supplier when they send directly to Amazon. [Updated each quarter - Check back for a new version after this date] “
  • Selling Expiration Dated Products (.PDF, right click, save as)
    • There are rules/regulations for selling items with expiration dates – AND – they need extra labels. – from July 2012.

Videos About Packaging Items

These are all quick and very helpful videos to show you exactly how to package your FBA items. Most of the following videos come from Amazon.com directly.

How to Label Products for FBA (Dec. 2012)

Note: We are not fans of doing “stickerless co-mingled inventory” (without quotes). We label every item that we send in to Amazon FBA.

How to Prep Small Products (from Dec. 2012)

To learn more, do a google search for “amazon fba small products” (without quotes).

How to Prep Apparel, Fabric, Plush and Textiles for FBA (from Dec. 2012)

This would be anything soft or made of fabric. FYI… apparel (clothing & accessories) is a restricted category that you will need approval to list in.

How to Prep Liquid Products (Dec. 2012)

Some liquid items may be considered HazMat – which means that you will not be able to sell them on Amazon. Do a google search for “amazon fba hazmat” (without quotes) to find out more info.

How to Prep Loose Products for FBA (Dec. 2012)

Do a google search for “amazon fba loose products” (without quotes) to find out more about this.

How to Prep Fragile Products for Amazon FBA (Dec. 2012)

Did you know that there is a 3 foot drop test and a shaking test for fragile items? Watch this video and do a google search for “amazon fba fragile” (without quotes) to learn more.

How to Prep Products with Expiration Dates for FBA (Dec. 2012)

For more information about selling products with expiration dates on Amazon FBA click HERE. Or, do a google search for ” amazon fba expiration” (without quotes).

How to Prep Baby Products with Exposed Surfaces for FBA (Dec. 2012)

Note: The info in this video applies to ANY item that has an exposed surface.

How to Prep Products Sold as a Set for FBA (from Dec. 2012)

How to Prep Products with Perforated Packaging (from Dec. 2012)

This is for items that have perforations – a bulk box of granola bars, a box of trading cards, anything that has that dotted line of perforations that could split open.

How to Prep Sharp Products for FBA (Dec. 2012)

How to Prepare Collectible Games for Amazon FBA

Debra made this video to show how she packages collectible games. You can learn more about selling collectible games on Amazon from our Collectible Games FAQ.

How to Pack Boxes for Shipment to an Amazon Fulfillment Center (Dec. 2012)

What this video really covers is what type of materials (dunnage) you can use to stuff in the empty voids of your box.

How to Pack Books for Shipping to Amazon FBA Warehouses

Great video from Rob Anderson of Dollar Moves.

How to “Telescope” a Box (from Chris Green of ScanPower)

This is especially useful when you are shipping in long items like board games.

How to Re-size a Shipping Box (from Bubblefast)

This shows you how to use a Box Sizing Tool like the one available from BubbleFast.com. Debra and I both have that tool and love it. But you don’t need that tool to size a box. You can accomplish the same thing with a utility knife.

Recommended Packaging Material

  • Bubble Wrap
  • Poly Bags – here are some options:
    • Plastic bags (like ziplocs) that you buy at a grocery store or Walmart. Some of our group members have mentioned finding bags that already have suffocation warnings printed on them. If your bags do not have suffocation warnings, then you can print out “suffocation warning labels”.
    • You can also purchase fancier bags like:
      • comic book bags, magazine bags, DVD/CD bags
    • You can use an impulse sealer with shrink wrap to cover your items.

Packaging The ODD Ball Item

If you sell Odd Ball products on Amazon FBA you are going to package these ready to send to the customer.

This is a “thrifted” coffee mug that could be sold on Amazon FBA – but needs to be protected:

box coffee mug

This mug fits perfectly into a 6x6x6 box found at Walmart.

wrap coffee mug

Bubble wrap like crazy… to make sure it’s protected inside and out.

coffee mug in box

Continue to add packing until the mug is packed in tight!

image on outside of box

I like to add an image of the product to the outside of the box. In the past I’ve had problems with Amazon warehouse employees opening the box OR shipping the box as is without inserting into another box. Now that I add a picture to the box (just a bit more effort) I haven’t had any more issues.

label box

Along side the FBA label – put a Do Not Open or Take Apart Label similar to the one above.

Here is another article about labeling and packaging cake pans.

Now your “Odd Ball” product is ready to go.

Happy Packaging!

beth

Do you have a question about Packaging Items not covered here?

  • Ask your question on our Free Facebook Group (once there, click the “Join” button) or leave us a comment below this post.  We will get back to you ASAP!

 

{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Deb July 11, 2013 at 8:53 am

Hi Beth,
Thank you for all the videos and info. Do you know of corrugated material companies that make boxes that will pass Amazon’s drop test? We will be shipping to amazon’s warehouse as a vendor central account and not a marketplace account.

We have products in 8 oz glass jars that we are bundling into a case of 3 and then putting 18 of those sets in a master case. The drop test will be performed on the set of 3 x 8oz jars.
Please advice.
Deb

Reply

DebnBeth July 30, 2013 at 9:22 am

Check out U-line. They have just about any box size you might need.

Reply

Maureen Faney July 21, 2013 at 8:41 am

New Seller
How do I prepare 20″ samsonite rolling suitcase to send to FBA. On closeout and came with no box. Is Big Poly Bag the appropriate method? I am confused and have found no answers anywhere.

Thanks

Reply

DebnBeth July 30, 2013 at 9:16 am

If the bag is fabric – you must protect it according to Amazon policy. If you use a bag – remember it must be at least 1.5mm thick. You could bubble wrap the entire thing. 8-) Debra

Reply

Jordan Malik July 22, 2013 at 8:26 am

Debra and Beth – thank you for posting this. I get questions from folks all the time on ‘how do I package….’ and I am always referring them to this page.
-Jordan

Reply

Tony October 13, 2013 at 8:50 pm

Hi,
Could you please clarify the following for me if you can as I searched and searched and still confused and not clear.
I just can not understand why do I need a UPC and Amazon label for the same item.
If I have a new product, do I need to have a UPC? and if yes do I also need to print Amazon Label? and if the answer is still yes, do I need to cover the UPC of the product with the Amazon label I just created?.
If I have to cover the product’s UPC with the Amazon label, then what is the point of having the UPC In the first place?. Why di I have to buy something and then cover it?. If the UPC is used so I can search for my product, can I search by name and not UPC? and my last question is if I have 100 items of the same product and if I have to purchase the UPC, can I buy just one UPC and apply that one UPC to all of the products?. I would really appreciate if you could clarify the above questions for me. Many thanks in advance.
Tony

Reply

David October 19, 2013 at 11:38 pm

Hi,

I have a question about lipstick and lipbalm tubes. I would like to send them to FBA but wanted to know if heat shrink bands are best or does it need to be in a box?

Thanks

David

Reply

Susan October 21, 2013 at 12:41 pm

great videos and wonderful information – thank you so much!!

I have a few questions.

- If you don’t have a barcode for a unique item that you’ve made and there would be none to piggy back on already on Amazon, will it work to purchase your own upc barcode?

- If I am using poly bags without a suffocation warning, am I allowed to place a suffocation warning sticker on it instead?

- Do I have to use double walled shipping boxes to send items to FBA or can I used extra bubble wrap or packaging to protect items?

Thank you, in advance!!

Reply

Al February 23, 2014 at 3:47 pm

I sell over 300 plus patch style mostly military related. I pay on average .40 and make almost 3 bucks on them after shipping. These come to me in packs of 100. Is there any easy way to ship these to fba. Do I have to label each patch individually? I would love to do fba and be able to offer prime to increase exposure. Any suggestions? Currently selling over 150 of these patches a day.

Reply

Arlen Miller March 5, 2014 at 1:11 pm

Ms. Debra,

Thanks for all your helpful info.

This week I was introduced to FBA by Jessica Larrew on a podcast show with Pat Flynn. Then Dollar Moves and then here.

I’m impressed with your video on shrink wrapping collectible games. I was able to find a few games this week. The one didn’t have the instructions inside. It’s the Scruples Second Edition 1987. I was able to find a 1986 set of instructions that I printed out and corner stapled. Might that be acceptable for Amazon… or should I spend the $4.00 and get a correct set from ebay?

Thanks again!
Arlen Miller

Reply

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