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Twenty Tips for Selling on Amazon – Tip # 16

January 1st, 2014 by Skip McGrath

16. Pack your shipments to Amazon correctly to avoid damage, delays and penalty fees – Amazon has some fairly strict requirements when you send items to their FBA warehouses.  Here are some of their rules:

Choose the correct size box for your units. If you choose too large a container, you will need to fill it will sufficient packaging material so that the box will not collapse under the weight of heavier boxes during the shipping and receiving process. For best results, use a new, single-wall, corrugated shipping container with a high-burst or crush-strength stamp

  • Use a rigid box with flaps intact
  • If you are reusing boxes from previous shipments, be sure to remove any previous shipping labels or markings to avoid confusion by the carrier.
  • Wrap all items separately
  • Use adequate packaging material
  • Use strong tape designed for shipping
  • Do not use string or paper over-wrap
  • Do not use loose Styrofoam pellets for void filler. (Note – We fill poly bags with Styrofoam peanuts and use them to fill voids.  That is OK with Amazon –just not loose peanuts)
  • Use a single address label that has clear, complete delivery and return information
  • Use two inches of cushioning between each of your units and the inside of the box.
  • Neither point-of-sale containers nor pallet-sized boxes, also known as “Gaylord’s,” may be used.
  • Boxes cannot be bundled together using bagging, taping, elastic, or extra straps.
  • If you are reusing a retail box to ship different products (for example, a large printer box to ship smaller media products), be sure to cover or remove any scannable barcodes on the outside of the box to avoid confusion during the receive process.

There are other rules, as well that you need to know about.

  • Suffocation labels – Any poly bag with an opening of 5 inches or larger requires a suffocation label on the bag.
  • Poly bag your bundled items.  We used to ship bundled items in shrink-wrap but Amazon now requires all bundled items to be poly bagged.
  • You may not ship any glass container containing liquids or gels in glass jars larger than 4 ounces.
  • Expiration Dates – If you are sending any food items (including pet foods and treats) that have expiration dates, Amazon requires an expiration date label on both the outside shipping carton and on the product.  The date must be at least 6 months out when you send it to Amazon.  As the product nears its date if it has not sold Amazon will destroy it.
  • All of the packaged items you send to Amazon must pass a 5-foot drop test (This does not apply to products sent in the manufacturer’s retail box)
  • If an item arrives at Amazon without a product label, or suffocation label or requires Amazon to do any special handling prior to storing, you will be assessed a handling fee of 75¢ per item and you will receive a policy violation warning notice.

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