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ship to Amazon FBA

How to Ship Directly to Amazon FBA

After doing product research, finding a winning product, and working with a supplier to create a private label product, Fulfillment-by-Amazon (FBA) sellers have the option to have their products shipped straight to Amazon’s warehouses from their supplier or to ship them to another location first, before they go to Amazon. 

Why wouldn’t sellers have their suppliers send their inventory straight to Amazon? Some sellers like to inspect the products themselves, only send a limited quantity of stock to Amazon at a time to control FBA storage costs, or any number of other reasons.

And if sellers go this route, they’ll need to know how to get their products to Amazon’s warehouses when they’re ready. So, how do you set up an FBA shipment to get your inventory into an Amazon warehouse?

For a brand new Amazon seller, navigating Seller Central and setting up your first FBA shipment can be a difficult task. I’ll go over every step of how to set your FBA shipment up correctly — using both old and new methods.

Shipping to Amazon’s warehouses: The old way vs. the new way

Recently, Amazon introduced a new “Send to Amazon” beta, which is a three-step shipment creation workflow to set up your FBA shipments. Currently, the Send to Amazon beta only allows you to create shipments for case-packed products. So if you want to send individual products into FBA, you would need to use the old method. 

Let’s go over both methods for creating a shipment. If you sell retail arbitrage, private label, or wholesale, you’ll need to know how to do it. 

 

Step by Step: Sending your FBA inventory to Amazon

Setting up your first shipment can be confusing at first, but once you do it a couple of times, you’ll be a pro. 

This step-by-step guide will cover the original method of setting up a shipment. 

Step 1

In Seller Central, go to “Manage Inventory” and find your listing.

Step 2

On the right-hand side, choose the drop-down menu that reads “Edit” and click “Send/Replenish Inventory.”

Step 3

In this step you will need to enter your “Ship from address” if you haven’t done so already. If you have the inventory at your house or business, enter in that address.

Then you’ll need to choose between “Individual products” or “Case-packed products”. 

Select “Individual products” if your shipment consists of multiple products with different SKUs or different conditions (new, used). 

For example, you’d choose this option if you are selling retail arbitrage and want to ship 10 different products to Amazon at the same time.

Select “Case-packed products” if your shipment consists of one SKU. You will then be able to enter the number of cases and units per case for each SKU in the shipment.

For example, you’d choose this option if you are shipping in multiple units of your private label product.

Click “Continue to shipping plan.”

View an example of the “Case-packed product” option below: 

Step 4

On this screen, you’ll enter how many units of your product are in one case and how many cases you’re shipping. In this example, I’m going to ship 50 units total. I can only fit 25 units in each case, so I’ll choose 2 as the number of cases.

Under “Total Units” below, you can see we’re shipping 50.

After you enter in the number of units per case and number of cases, click Continue.

Step 5

In this step, you’ll need to choose whether or not your products need to be prepped before shipping into Amazon. This could mean it needs to be placed in a poly bag, labeled, or bubble wrapped. 

You will select the type of product from a drop down menu. As an example, I will choose “baby products.”

Amazon will let you know here what type of prep your type of product requires. If your product doesn’t fall under one of the categories shown in the drop-down menu, then you won’t need to prep.

Now, if you don’t have the supplies or materials you need to prep your products, you can have Amazon prep your products for a fee. The fee will range from $1.00 to $2.30 per unit depending on the type of prep your product requires. 

Step 6

Your next step is to choose how your products are labeled. If your products require an Amazon (FNSKU) barcode, then you can choose to apply them yourself or have Amazon apply them for you.

If you choose to label the items yourself, enter in the number of labels to print and click “Print labels for this page.” You can use address label sheets to peel and stick the FNSKU barcodes onto each item. 

In certain circumstances, you may need to use the manufacturer barcode. This may be the case if you are selling retail arbitrage items or wholesale items that already have a barcode on the packaging. 

If your FNSKU begins with “X00,” you will need to label your products using the Amazon barcode, aka the FNSKU. 

For FNSKUs beginning with “B00,” use existing manufacturer barcodes. 

You will be able to see your FNSKU under “Product Name” in this section.

If you are reselling items via retail arbitrage, you still may need to use the Amazon (FNSKU) barcode instead of the manufacturer barcode, though I suggest you always use the FNSKU.

Note: You can change your FBA Product Barcode Preference to either the Amazon barcode or Manufacturer barcode. In the top right corner of Seller Central go to Settings > Fulfillment by Amazon > FBA Product Barcode Preference. 

If you are selling a private label product and have your supplier print your FNSKU barcode onto your packaging, then choose Merchant for this section. 

Alternatively, if you do not want to label the products yourself, you can also have Amazon label the product for you for $0.30 per unit. 

Step 7

This is where you’ll find out where Amazon wants you to send your inventory. 

Amazon decides where your products are sent based on demand across the country. By default, your inbound shipment settings are on “Distributed Inventory Placement,” which means that Amazon may split your shipment up to be sent to different fulfillment centers. This can be a frustrating situation, especially if your products are already packed and ready to ship. 

In this example, Amazon may want to send 30 units to a warehouse in New Jersey, 15 units to a warehouse in Texas, and the remaining 5 units to a warehouse in California. 

But what if you don’t want to break up your shipment? You can change your FBA shipment settings in Seller Central to send all of your units to one warehouse. 

You can choose “Inventory Placement Service,” which allows quantities of a single seller SKU to be assigned to a single fulfillment center. Note that if you use this option, you’ll be charged a per-unit fee. For products weighing less than 1 pound, it costs $0.30 per unit, and items over 1 pound costs $0.40 per unit. 

To change these settings go to “Settings” > “Fulfillment by Amazon” > “Inbound Settings,” and then edit.

For this example, Amazon is telling me I am sending all 50 units to ABE8 (an Amazon warehouse in New Jersey)—my shipment won’t be broken up. So I’ll choose “Approve & continue,” then “Work on shipment”. 

Step 8

In this last step, you’ll choose your shipping service and how your items will be packed. After you enter in your package dimensions and weight, Amazon will give you a (low) price and you will be ready to ship!

Since this is a small shipment, I’m choosing “Small parcel delivery” and “Amazon-partnered carrier”. You can choose “Less than truckload (LTL)” if you will be shipping pallets into Amazon. 

In the next section you’ll enter the units per box, how many boxes you are shipping, the dimensions, and the weight. 

After you enter in that information, you can click “calculate” and Amazon will give you the shipping cost. You can then choose to accept charges and print your shipping labels. 

Lastly, choose your ship date (the date you plan to ship the boxes) and print your labels! You will see two barcodes on the label. Make sure both of the barcodes are visible on each box. One barcode is for UPS, the other is for Amazon. 

Once you have completed these steps, click “Complete shipment.”

That’s it! Now you can label your boxes and drop off at your nearest UPS location. You can also schedule a UPS pickup from your house if you cannot drop them off.

 

Create an FBA shipment using “Send to Amazon”

Now that we have reviewed the original method of creating your FBA shipment, let’s discuss the new workflow system Amazon has introduced, called “Send to Amazon.”

Step 1

We’ll start off the same way as the previous steps, but instead will choose “Continue to Send to Amazon.” You can also click Send to Amazon above.

(Currently the Send to Amazon beta will only allow you to set up case-packed shipments. If you are shipping multiple SKUs per shipment, then use the original method.)

Step 2

The first thing you need to do in the Send to Amazon beta is to create a new packing template. Packing templates let you save information about how your SKUs are packed, prepped, and labeled. You can reuse them each time you replenish inventory to save you time.

Step 3

Confirm your shipping and accept the charges.

Step 4

Print your labels and ship! Once you print your shipping labels, again, make sure both barcodes are visible on the outside of your box. Then simply drop off your package at UPS or schedule a UPS pickup. 

That’s it! You should now be ready to set up your first FBA shipment like a pro! If you have any other questions regarding FBA shipments or have anything else you want us to write about, let us know in the comments!

 

 

45 comments on “How to Ship Directly to Amazon FBA

  1. I know you need your EAN number printed clearly on the outside of each individual unit, However if you have 100 units in one larger box/carton. Do you need a different barcode for this box. If I am selling goggles and I am selling 100 units/week. How much cover to I send to Amazon’s fulfilment centre? Do I send 1 week or 6 weeks cover of stock? Am I charged different costs?

    1. Hi Lucy,

      You will need your FNSKU, or Amazon barcode, on each individual unit. You will just need your FBA inbound shipping label on the outer carton. That you will create in your FBA shipment plan in Seller Central. If you are selling 100 units/week, you should have at least 6 weeks of cover to account for delays at the FBA warehouses. One week at a time is not enough.

      Check out our posts on Amazon FBA fees to get an understanding of the costs involved.

  2. Hi Brian,
    Is there a way to estimate my shipping to Amazon fees for the FBA calculator? On my 1st order I was hit with an unexpected $120 shipping fee.. kinda throws of the profit a bit.

    Thanks
    Kevin

    1. Hi Kevin,

      Who was the shipping fee from? Your supplier or Amazon? You need to get the shipping costs ahead of time from a supplier so you can be sure you are still profitable.

      1. Thanks for the response Brian, this was an extremely helpful article!

        The shipping fee was from Amazon. I’m almost certainly doing something wrong as this is my 1st order. One problem was I had no idea where it was going until almost the final step in the Amazon shipping process.

          1. Hi Brian,
            I thought i replied, but don’t see it?

            So it was 5 cases each weighing 39.6 lbs containing 4 units, for a total of 20 units. They shipped from CA, and 2 went to FL, 1 went to PA, and 2 went to Ohio . I know it’s heavy..

            Thanks
            Kevin

            1. Hi Kevin,

              Ah, I see. If they went all the way from CA to the east coast, that makes sense for such heavy items.

              You can change your FBA shipment settings to have every unit sent to just one warehouse, called Inventory Placement Service. Though, there is a per-unit fee. Sounds like you may have oversized products so they may not allow that.

              You can change that by going to settings > Fulfillment by Amazon > Inbound Settings. By default, Distributed Inventory Placement will be checked.

              1. Brian,
                Thank you so much for all of the info!
                One last question, is the only way to calculate shipping to Amazon to build an actual shipping plan with proper weights and dimensions and the delete it?

              2. Hi Kevin,

                Yes, if you are using Amazon’s partnered carriers. You can also ship your items via LTL on pallets since they’re oversized and heavy. Your price will be cheaper going that route.

  3. Hi Brian, I followed step by step instructions on shipping to FBA warehouse. However I do not have the “calculate” option for shipment from my home town (Mexico) to Amazon´s designated warehouse in (IL). They gave me the option to print label to send to warehouse without knowing the cost on the shipment. No cost was given and I do not know what to consider in this.

    1. Hi Adrian,

      That is odd. It may be because you are shipping from Mexico to the US. I would suggest contacting seller support to see if they can help you figure out the right way to do it.

  4. Hello- I’m representing my company spicy organic llc. We are getting ready to sell our organic spices , herbs and grains products on amazon under spicy organic brand.

    Couple of questions:

    1. Do I need to buy UPC code from GS1 to out it on a Amazon. we have about 25 products with three different sizes.
    2. Best way to send first shipment considering we don’t have UPC or any other number that can be put on a product packaging label. We have designed our product labels and ready to mass print them which is a huge cost. Do you suggest to print few packaging product label without UPC and once we get the UPC code or amazon assigned number, we can print them at bulk. We are confused with the UPC code that one can get from GS1 and other once from Amazon. Which one do we really to put on product packaging.

    Thank you in advance for your help.

    Best Regards

    Linda Decann

    1. Hi Linda,

      Your products will need a UPC code to be listed on Amazon. If you do not have a UPC, you can apply for what’s called a GTIN exemption. We have a post on that topic!

      That will allow you to create your listing and send in inventory without a UPC code. Though, your products will need to be labeled with your Amazon barcode, aka FNSKU.

      You can print those separately while creating your FBA shipment and label each of them individually. Alternatively, you can have Amazon label them for you at a cost.

      I hope this helps!

    1. Hi,

      You will find that out once you create your shipment in seller central. Amazon will choose a warehouse based on your location and/or product demand in the country.

  5. Can you help me get to my first shipment? I’m still watching all the videos on the Seller University and need a lil guidance.

  6. Hi I just created a listing , it says inactive 0 inventory, also when I click the link it’s not there , I submitted my listing 3 hours ago , not sure what to do so I can send it out to fba?

    1. Hi Nicole,

      If you did not yet send inventory to FBA, your inventory will remain at zero. If you see your listing in your “manage inventory” you can then send inventory into FBA.

  7. I wish to use my own freight company to ship from USA to an Amazon FBA in Germany .

    Can you please confirm the method for this ?

    It will likely be 20’ and 40’ containers .

    1. Hi Andrew,

      I suggest reaching out to the freight company directly as they will know the process of shipping to Amazon.

  8. Hi Brian. Would like to see if I can speak you with you. A consultation would be great. I look forward to hearing back soon.

  9. Hello,

    Thank you very much for the information. I watch all of your youtube videos and even bought the JungleScout tool!

    I am in need of some help with my first shipment, I ordered 1000 units in 5 color variants before I knew of the 200 limit for new ASINS. If I were to ship 200 units by Air directly to FBA from China and the remaining inventory to my home in the US so I can replenish as needed. How would I go about creating a shipping plan(s)?

    Thank you in advance for your help!

    1. Hi Kris,

      Set the shipment up for just the 200 units you will be sending to FBA. Then, have your supplier ship the remaining inventory to your home. As you need to replenish inventory, the ship from address will then be from your home.

  10. Hi – Thank you so much for your content. I’m confused with a couple of things. First – if my product is already selling on Amazon and I use the ASIn will I also be allowed to use the images and product description or should I make my own??? Second, on prep, if there is already a bar code on the item do I cover this up with a new one thats generated after listing??? These two things have really held me back on even attempting to list a product!!

    Many thanks

    1. Hi Sam,

      Is the product you’re trying to sell a private label product or retail arbitrage/wholesale? If it is a private label, do not list it on someone else’s listing. You should create your own listing with your own UPC code. If it is an arbitrage product that you are reselling, you should list it on the listing already on Amazon.

      If the product has a UPC barcode on the product already, Amazon may allow you to use the manufacturer’s barcode but we recommend covering that with your own unique FNSKU and cover the UPC. Youll be prompted to print the FNSKUs barcodes during your shipment creation.

      I hope this helps!

      Brian

  11. Hi

    Good article, thank you.

    How do you ship direct from manufacturer (once you trust them) to Amazon. Is that an option please ?

    Best regards
    John

  12. Thank you for the great article! If the item in the box is “ready to ship” does it require such sticker / label on the outside of the box? The item I am sending is packed in styrofoam. Thank you!

    1. You can pack all of your items into one large box for Amazon. Amazon will place the individual item into a shipping box or envelope when you receive an order.

  13. Hello!

    Thank you for the information. Do you need a freight forwarder if you are shipping air from Alibaba? Also, Do you need a UPC as well as an FNsku? For example, if I am purchasing a non-branded item from Alibaba, do I need to purchase the UPC for the manufacturer to label?

    Thank you in advance!
    Jasmina Menkovic

    1. Hi Jasmina,

      If you are shipping by air, you do not typically need a freight forwarder unless you are doing air fright.

      Amazon requires each product to have a UPC. If you do not have one, you can apply for GTIN exemption with Amazon.

      The most important barcode to have on your packaging would be the FNSKU.

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