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  • Writer's pictureBrian Cummings

Mastering Amazon FBA Prep Guidelines: A Detailed Guide

Updated: Oct 25, 2023

When it comes to navigating the labyrinth of Amazon's FBA prep guidelines, even seasoned sellers sometimes find themselves at a crossroads. Our objective here is to simplify this journey by providing a comprehensive, easy-to-follow guide for complying with Amazon's guidelines. By ensuring every detail is in place, your products will be primed and ready for smooth sailing through Amazon's Fulfillment Centers.


Did you also know that you can hire a prep center to help you prepare your products for shipping and storage in Amazon Fulfillment Centers? Read our article on Using a Prep Center for your FBA business here.



Understanding Amazon Barcodes and FNSKU Labels


Every product destined for Amazon's shelves must have a unique identifier. This comes in the form of barcodes or Amazon's proprietary FNSKU labels. When sending inventory to Amazon, ensuring each saleable unit is correctly labeled with these identifiers is paramount. This essential step in the Amazon FBA prep process not only guarantees effective tracking but also helps avoid potential penalties.


Selling Products as Sets on Amazon


If you're selling products as sets, maintaining their integrity is crucial. Amazon uses a simple system for this: a sticker that says, "Sold as set, do not separate." Applying this sticker to your bundles or multipacks prevents Amazon from breaking down these sets, ensuring your customers always receive their full order.


Packaging Essentials: Poly Bags and Shrink Wrapping


Quality packaging is a non-negotiable aspect of Amazon FBA whether you opt for traditional six-sided boxes or poly bags depends on your product's nature. For smaller, non-fragile items, poly bags with suffocation warnings are essential. Alternatively, shrink wrapping provides an appealing and professional presentation, boosting the perceived value of your products.


Amazon requires protective packaging such as poly bags or shrink wrapping for apparel products made of cloth, plush products such as stuffed toys, and baby products (younger than three years).


Want to get more details on poly bag requirements? Read our article on Poly Bags here.


Navigating Case-Packed Products for Amazon FBA Prep


When sending case-packed products to Amazon, consistency is key. A steadfast rule is to maintain a uniform count of items per case for a particular SKU. Furthermore, be aware of Amazon's limit of 150 saleable units per case to avoid complications during the Amazon FBA receiving process.


Prioritizing Safety with Bubble Wrapping


When it comes to sharp or fragile items, safety takes precedence. Using bubble wrap not only ensures the protection of Amazon's employees but also safeguards your products against potential damage during transit or storage.


Liquids, Pastes, Gels, and Creams Require Special Handling


Non-fragile containers filled with liquids much be double-sealed or placed in a poly bag. Items in fragile containers such as glass with more than 4.2 oz of liquid must be bubble wrapped.


Fragile Items Must Be Able to Survive a Drop Test


Fragile products must be packaged so they can pass a 3-foot drop test. Bubble wrap can be used to wrap individual products or each one of a set that is packaged together such as a set of glasses. A drop test consists of five drops onto a hard surface from a height of 3 feet: flat on the base, flat on top, flat on the longest side, flat on the shortest side, and on a corner.


Perhaps you need more information on selling and packaging hazmat items on Amazon? Read our article about selling Hazmat on Amazon here.


Marketing Materials and Amazon Rules


Contrary to common practice in traditional retail, Amazon FBA does not allow for marketing materials in your product boxes or packages. As tempting as it may be to slip a promotional flyer or coupon into your packages, Amazon could flag these actions and potentially penalize your seller account.


Importance of Clear Expiration Dates


A significant aspect of prepping for Amazon FBA is the proper labeling of expiration dates for consumable products, topical products, and some cleaning products. Whether on a master case or individual saleable unit, the expiration date must be prominently visible and adhere to Amazon's accepted formats.


Decoding Case Labels and Pallet Labels for Amazon


As the final checkpoint in the Amazon FBA prep journey, case and pallet labels serve as essential identifiers for your inventory. A clear, scannable label on each case or on all four sides of a pallet ensures seamless reception of your products at Amazon's fulfillment centers.


By demystifying Amazon's prep guidelines and providing a step-by-step guide to successful FBA selling, we aim to equip Amazon sellers with the necessary tools for success. Keep up with our content for more tips, strategies, and insights into the world of Amazon FBA.


Have a question that's not answered here? Let us know or give us a call today. With over 10 years of experience, we can handle any of your Amazon FBA Prep needs.


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