top of page
  • Writer's pictureBrian Cummings

Amazon FBA Poly Bag Requirements for Sellers: Updated Guide

Updated: Apr 8

If you're an Amazon seller using FBA to ship your products, it's crucial to understand the poly bag requirements. These requirements play a vital role in ensuring that your products are packaged correctly and meet Amazon's standards.


Poly bags are clear plastic bags with a self-sealing adhesive that help keep your products clean and organized. Amazon's policy mandates that poly bags must have a suffocation warning label printed on them.


Additionally, different sizes of poly bags are used based on the product being shipped, with larger sizes for backpacks and larger toys. Beauty products require round, clear wafer seals to prevent opening and indicate newness. In cases where product labels cannot be placed directly on the item, such as clothes and bundles, they should be affixed to the poly bag.


Adhering to these requirements will ensure a smooth FBA shipping experience on Amazon.

Check out the video below for more info on poly bag requirements:




You might also be looking for more details on Amazon FBA size tiers and fees for 2023? Dive into our explainer article here.



What are Poly Bags For?


Amazon requires poly bags for certain types of products because:

  • Poly bags prevent leaks or spills, which will probably damage other items in the shipment

  • The items are also protected from dust or dirt, so they arrive in the customers' hands in good condition

  • Anything with loose items that could get separated during shipment also requires poly bags


Also, the bags need to adhere to certain size guidelines - so don't go buying the largest size and thinking you're good to go, because these bags might get snagged and destroyed on Amazon conveyor belts.


Put it this way - the polybag requirements are there for your own safety, so read up and get the comprehensive lowdown on FBA requirements for polybags and shipping.


Want to know more about Amazon FBA storage policies and capacity limits? This article will tell you everything you need to know.


What are poly bags?

Poly bags are clear plastic bags that have a self-sealing adhesive, making them easy to use.

They come in six different sizes, with larger sizes available for backpacks and larger toys. Poly bags are particularly useful for packaging open clothing, kitchen utensils, plush toys, and any product where a part can become unattached.


What are the requirements for poly bags for Amazon FBA?

To utilize an Amazon FBA size tiers poly bag for safeguarding items, please ensure the following:

  • Poly bags having an opening of 5 inches or larger (measured when flat) should carry a suffocation warning, either imprinted on the bag or added as a label.

  • Amazon stipulates specific criteria for the minimum print size of the suffocation warning label, relative to the sum of the bag's length and width.

  • The poly bag should be a minimum of 1.5mm thick.

  • The poly bag must be fully transparent.

  • The bag should either feature a barcode or XOO-label that's scannable through the bag or an XOO or ASIN label should be affixed on the bag's exterior.

  • The poly bag should be securely sealed.

  • The poly bag or shrink wrap should not extend over 3 inches beyond the product dimensions.

  • If these conditions are met, poly bag alternatives may be used. Environmentally conscious alternatives include biodegradable and plant-based poly bags.

What is a suffocation warning?

A suffocation warning is a crucial label that ensures the safety of your products during packaging and shipping. It's required by Amazon FBA for poly bags used to package certain items. This warning label is printed on the poly bag and alerts customers and handlers to the potential suffocation risk associated with the bag.


Including this warning is important to comply with Amazon's packaging requirements and to ensure the safe handling of your products.


What packaging requirements should Amazon FBA sellers follow?

Here are the general packaging requirements for FBA sellers, regardless of whether you're using polybags or not:


Packaging guidelines:

  • Each unique product or item variant (for example, differentiated by size or color) must possess a distinct FNSKU.

  • All units need to have a barcode on the exterior that can be scanned, featuring corresponding numbers that can be read easily.

    • You may use either manufacturer barcodes (like GCID, UPC, EAN, or ISBN) or barcodes provided by Amazon (like ASIN or FNSKU).

  • Pre-existing barcodes on the exterior of shipping boxes should be made unscannable to avoid accidental scanning.

    • This can be achieved by concealing the unnecessary code with tape or blacking it out with a felt-tip pen.

  • All units, even multi-volume book sets, should be housed within a single, sturdy package.

    • Units should not contain multiple parts requiring Amazon's assembly.

    • Units without secure packaging should be either bagged or secured with tape.

  • All footwear must be packaged such that no shoe material is exposed, either in boxes or poly bags. Poly bags must display a suffocation warning

Why are Amazon FBA poly bag requirements important for Amazon FBA sellers?

Amazon is strict with its packaging rules and there are consequences for vendors who do not comply. Potential penalties include disposal of your stock and a potential block on future deliveries to Amazon's fulfillment centers, which certainly doesn't spell success for your business.


Products labeled inaccurately risk being classified as unsellable, and non-compliance could result in fees. Clearly, you'll want to meet these requirements to ensure a smooth selling experience.


How can sellers ensure their packaging materials meet the poly bag requirements?

Amazon doesn't mandate a particular type of poly bag, but their policy insists that a suffocation warning label be present on the bag. Options include buying a poly bag that already has the warning printed or adding a suffocation warning label sticker to the bag yourself.


A frequently asked query is whether the product label should go on the item or the poly bag. A good general practice is to place the label on the product to ensure it remains even if the poly bag somehow detaches. However, exceptions are made for clothing and bundles, where it's advisable to place the label on the poly bag.


What are some common mistakes sellers make with their packaging?

One common mistake sellers often make when packaging their products is overlooking the importance of double-checking their labels and barcodes for accuracy. It's crucial to ensure that the labels match the product title exactly and that the barcodes are scannable with readable numbers. Failing to do so can lead to confusion, misplacement, and delays in the fulfillment process. Taking the time to verify the accuracy of labels and barcodes can help avoid unnecessary complications and ensure smooth packaging and shipping.


What are the consequences of not including a suffocation warning label?

Suffocation warnings are mandatory! Failure to include a suffocation warning label can result in potential harm to customers and legal liabilities for sellers. Without the warning label, customers may not be aware of the potential dangers posed by the poly bag. This can lead to accidental suffocation, especially in the case of small children.


Additionally, sellers can face legal consequences if they fail to comply with Amazon's packaging requirements, which include the suffocation warning label. It's crucial to prioritize customer safety and adhere to all packaging guidelines to avoid these negative outcomes.


How can sellers meet the Amazon FBA packaging requirements for the polybag?

Here are the key guidelines to adhere to when considering Amazon's packaging and prep requirements:

  • If any aspect of the product is not encapsulated in packaging, it necessitates a poly bag.

  • If the product can be touched directly, it must be put in a poly bag. For instance, products that are already fully sealed in a box or plastic do not need poly bags per Amazon's requirements. But items like clothing, kitchen utensils, and plush toys that are exposed need to be placed in a poly bag.

  • An important detail of Amazon's poly bag policy is that products like toys or clothes with a small "sample" part exposed need to be placed in a poly bag because a portion of the product can be touched.

  • If any part of a product can detach, it should be put in a poly bag. For example, a product that is wrapped in plastic but has a cardboard label that could potentially slide off should be put in a poly bag. Even though you can't touch the product directly, it's best to secure it in a poly bag to prevent any component separation.

  • Alternately, clear round stickers can be used to secure components and prevent them from detaching.

  • Bundles should always be poly bagged. Each item in a bundle should be placed in a poly bag, and a "this is a set, do not separate" sticker should be attached to the bag. This is crucial, even if every item in the bundle is fully packaged.

  • When in doubt, opt for a poly bag. The safest route when complying with Amazon's poly bag policy is to bag the item if you're uncertain. There's no penalty for using a poly bag unnecessarily, but failing to use one when needed can result in non-compliance. Using poly bags liberally might mean a slight increase in packaging costs, but it ensures customer satisfaction and maintains good standing with Amazon.


What type of poly bags can be used for Amazon FBA?

Amazon isn't specific on the type of polybag that needs to be used, but here are some helpful guidelines:


As previously stated, poly bags with an opening of 5 inches or more (measured when flat) should display a visible suffocation warning. Non-compliance with this rule might necessitate your products to be repackaged. A typical warning could read: "To avoid suffocation hazards, keep this plastic bag out of reach of infants and young children. This bag is not a toy."


The suffocation warning label should be printed in the following sizes:

  • For bags that are 60 inches wide or larger, the print size should be 24 point.

  • For bags between 40 to 59 inches wide, the print size should be 18 point.

  • For bags between 30 to 39 inches wide, the print size should be 14 point.

  • For bags under 29 inches wide, the print size should be 10 point.

Each bag should have a minimum thickness of 1.5 mil (thousandths of an inch). The bag must be transparent and carry a barcode such as a UPC or EAN that can be scanned effortlessly through the bag. The bags need to be entirely sealed and shouldn't extend more than 3 inches beyond the product dimensions.


It's important to make sure that the warning is legible and easy to understand. The label should be printed in a visible location on the bag, such as near the opening or on the front. Make sure the adhesive is strong enough to keep the label in place during transit.


By properly printing the suffocation warning label, you can ensure that your products meet Amazon's requirements and avoid any potential issues with your FBA shipments.


What are the dimensions of the poly bag in relation to the product?

Now let's talk about the dimensions of the poly bag in relation to your product. When it comes to Amazon FBA packaging requirements, it's important to choose the right size poly bag for your item.

The poly bag should be large enough to comfortably fit your product, but not so oversized that it adds unnecessary bulk. Finding the right balance will ensure that your product is well-protected and meets Amazon's guidelines for packaging.


Can the poly bag protrude more than 3 inches?

Finding the perfect size poly bag for your product is crucial, but remember, you don't want it to stick out more than 3 inches!


Amazon's FBA packaging requirements state that the poly bag should not protrude more than 3 inches from the product. This is to ensure that the bag doesn't get caught or damaged during shipping and handling.


Make sure to choose a poly bag size that fits your product properly to ensure compliance with Amazon's guidelines.


What are the labeling requirements for poly bags for Amazon FBA?


To meet the labeling requirements for poly bags in Amazon FBA, the outside label should include important information such as the product name, brand, and FNSKU barcode. The barcode must be scannable through the poly bag for easy inventory tracking.


Additionally, there may be additional labeling requirements for poly bags depending on the specific product category. FBA sellers should ensure that their products are properly labeled and packaged before sending them to Amazon's fulfillment centers.


What are the scannable requirements through the poly bag?

Make sure your scannable barcodes or labels are easily readable through the clear plastic of the poly bag. This is an important requirement for Amazon FBA packaging. The barcodes or labels should be placed in a visible and accessible location on the product inside the poly bag.


This ensures that they can be scanned accurately during the inventory tracking process. By meeting this requirement, you can ensure smooth and efficient processing of your FBA shipments.


Are there any additional labeling requirements for poly bags?

Now let's talk about any additional labeling requirements for poly bags. When it comes to labeling poly bags for Amazon FBA, there are a few things to keep in mind.


First, make sure to include the suffocation warning label on the bag.


Additionally, if you're selling clothing or bundles, consider placing the product labels on the poly bag instead of the product itself.


Following these labeling requirements will help ensure that your poly bags meet Amazon's guidelines for FBA shipping.


What if I choose not to use a polybag - what information should be included on the outside label of the box?

Include all necessary information, such as the product title, FBA box ID label, and carrier label, on the outside label of your package to ensure smooth and efficient shipping.


Make sure the product title on the label matches the product title on Amazon.


The FBA box ID label should be placed on a flat surface of the box, and each box must have its own label.


Ensure that the label is visible and easily scannable by the carrier.


How should FBA sellers send their products to Amazon fulfillment centers?

When sending your products to Amazon's fulfillment centers, you need to ensure they're packaged and labeled correctly to avoid any issues or penalties.


Follow Amazon's general packaging requirements, which include using a unique FNSKU for each product. Apply scannable barcodes or labels and remove existing barcodes on shipping boxes.

Additionally, make sure to provide accurate box content information. Use a rigid box with intact flaps and attach unique FBA Box ID labels for proper identification.


By the way, did you know that Amazon FBA's Small and Light program can help you save on packaging costs? Read all about the benefits of this program here.


Other Amazon Packaging Requirements - Check your Amazon barcode!

When it comes to packaging requirements for Amazon FBA, it's crucial to follow the guidelines set by the platform. Failure to adhere to these requirements can result in refusal or return of inventory, extra fees, or even loss of shipping privileges.


To ensure successful shipments, make sure to meet the general packaging requirements, such as using scannable barcodes or labels, removing existing barcodes on shipping boxes, and using adequate packaging materials.


Additionally, be aware of the specific requirements for barcode placement on the packaging, and always remember to keep plastic bags away from babies to prevent suffocation.


What are the general packaging requirements for Amazon FBA?

Meeting the general packaging requirements for Amazon FBA is crucial to ensure the safe and successful shipment of your products, avoiding penalties and protecting your business reputation.

Each unit must be contained within a single, secure package, and if not, it should be bagged or secured with tape.


The exterior of each unit must have a scannable barcode with readable numbers, and any existing barcodes on shipping boxes must be rendered unscannable.


It's important to follow these guidelines to ensure a smooth and efficient fulfillment process.


What are some tips for effective product packaging for Amazon FBA?

To ensure your products are well-protected and ready for a seamless fulfillment process, here are some handy tips for creating effective packaging that will impress your customers and keep your inventory safe.


Wrap each item separately and use adequate packaging material, such as bubble wrap or inflatable air pillows. Use strong tape designed for shipping and provide at least 2 inches of cushioning between items and the inside of the box.


Shake the box gently to ensure contents don't move.


Are there any specific requirements for barcode placement on the packaging?

Ensure that the barcode is placed on a flat surface of the packaging to ensure easy scanning and accurate tracking. It's important to position the barcode away from any seams or openings of the box. Each box must have its own FBA box ID label, and larger boxes should have the FBA box ID label applied if shipping multiple case packs. Make sure that the barcode is visible and properly affixed to the packaging to meet Amazon's requirements.


Is it necessary to keep the plastic bag away from babies?

Parents must prioritize the safety of their little ones by keeping plastic bags out of reach to prevent any potential harm. Plastic bags, including poly bags used for packaging, can pose a suffocation risk to babies and young children. These bags should not be left within their reach or near their cribs, play areas, or anywhere they can easily access them.


It's important to store plastic bags properly and dispose of them safely to ensure the safety of your child.


Conclusion

In conclusion, meeting Amazon FBA's poly bag requirements is crucial for sellers. Use poly bags with suffocation warning labels and that are the right size when you're in the fulfillment by Amazon program, so you can ensure that your products are packaged securely and meet Amazon's standards.


Additionally, labeling poly bags correctly, especially for clothes and bundles, is important to comply with Amazon's guidelines. It's also advisable for sellers to familiarize themselves with other packaging requirements to avoid any potential issues.


There you have it - everything you need to know about Amazon packaging requirements for FBA - not just poly bag packaging requirements, but general requirements too for boxes and such.


Corresponding with the guidelines will ease your Amazon selling experience - in short, Amazon isn't too particular on the type of bag you use, but they're very particular about the guidelines for the polybag. So as long as you adhere to their guidelines, you're free to pack your FBA items in the poly bag of your choice.


Lots of luck!


Need assistance with your fulfillment process? Contact us now for customized eCommerce fulfillment support. 


Frequently Asked Questions:


Are there any specific dimensions or sizes that poly bags must meet for Amazon FBA?

Yes, there are specific dimensions and sizes that poly bags must meet for Amazon FBA. Make sure you check the restrictions first, and get Amazon-preferred poly bags that comply with Amazon's rules.


Can sellers use their own poly bags or are there specific ones recommended by Amazon?

Yes, you can use your own poly bags for Amazon FBA shipping. Just be sure they meet Amazon's requirements with a secure seal and suffocation warning printed on them.


Do all products require a suffocation warning label on the poly bag?

Yes, all products that are poly bagged for Amazon FBA shipping require a suffocation warning label on the poly bag. This is to ensure the safety of customers and to meet Amazon's packaging requirements.


Are there any exceptions to the poly bag requirement for certain types of products?

If you choose to ship items on Amazon without poly bags, make sure you check the terms and conditions on Seller Central first if your product can be shipped in boxes or in poly bags. If it's the former, here's a helpful guide:


Amazon FBA-approved standard boxes

You can’t just use any box to ship to Amazon FBA, you need to stick to the following:

  • Regular slotted carton

  • B flute

  • ECT-32 (edge crush test)

  • 200BH (burst strength)

Amazon FBA-approved packaging materials

The types of packaging that Amazon uses include:

  • Foam sheets or cushioning

  • Air pillows

  • Bubble wrap

  • Full sheets of paper

How should poly bags be labeled with the FNSKU or other necessary information?

Poly bags should be labeled with the FNSKU or other necessary information by placing the label on a flat surface of the bag. Make sure the label is visible and securely attached.



2,061 views0 comments

Comments


Do You Need FBA Prep, Storage, or Returns Management?

With over 10 years of experience in FBA Prep and Logistics, warehouses all over the west coast, and our own custom software solutions. We're confident we can help accelerate your FBA Success. We'd love to talk with you, just give us a call at +1-844-644-0088 or click the link to our contact form. 

bottom of page