Amazon preparation for Handmade items through FBA?


#1

I started selling wooden Christmas tree ornaments via Amazon Handmade in 2020, and now in 2021 would like to supply some items through FBA but am finding it all a bit overwhelming. I’ve watched/read all of the relevant Seller University tutorials that I can find, but they don’t seem to cover a lot of my questions, so it would be great if someone could give me some clues, please!

In summary my question is: Is it possible to send (labelled, bagged) items to the Fulfilment Centre, and get Amazon to put the items in boxes for the customers?

…or is the answer just that theoretically it’s possible, but Amazon have discontinued this service because they’re too busy?

Basically I’d like to be able to send my products to the Fulfilment Centre with each individual ornament in its own bag and correctly labelled with the SKU barcode like this (although obviously packed safely and protected in a box for transporting them to the FC)…

…and then to pay the prep fees for Amazon to put the items in appropriate individual boxes to actually send out to customers.

From what I’ve read on the Seller Central info, it looks like Amazon should be able to prepare the packaging side of things, and that sellers pay something like 35p per item for this preparation service, but have I misunderstood this?

I can’t find any way to get Amazon to do the preparation bit. In the “Send/Replenish Inventory > Prepare Products” page, if I select any of the categories from this dropdown list…

…then the “Who prepares?” option is automatically filled in as “Seller”, even if I try to select “Amazon” in the dropdown box:

I note from the help info on the top right of the screenshot that “We may discontinue the FBA prep service at any time”, so is the problem just that they’ve discontinued this prepping service and so it’s not me being thick and unable to follow the instructions for “Enable FBA Prep Service”?

Thanks!


#3

would it not just be cheaper to box them yourself in PIP boxes ?


#4

would it not just be cheaper to box them yourself in PIP boxes ?

Thanks @The_Little_Shop - that’s what I did for sending in my first shipment (and of course for the FBM side of things, too) but I was hoping to at least try the Amazon prepping service, to compare the costs and times of FBA-prep vs the DIY version.

Just in case this is of use to anyone else who is in the same stage as me (i.e. pretty much a newbie in both FBA and Amazon Handmade), here are some of the things I’ve been trying to consider:

  • Cost of packing materials: DIY prepping version is certainly cheaper in terms of packaging materials than using Amazon prepping service (probably by at least 10p per unit)
  • Inbound shipping costs: Sending just the bagged versions to FC takes up about a quarter of the volume of pre-boxed versions.
  • Amazon storage costs: OK, at the moment I’m not actually being charged for storage because I’ve just signed up with FBA on one of Amazon’s promotion deals, but as above, if the bagged units take up a quarter of the space of pre-boxed units then in the long run I might be better off with Amz doing the prepping/packing
  • Time spent prepping/packing items in boxes: This is the main reason I’d like to try the Amz prepping service. At the moment I’m the sole worker in my business, and so if I’m taking extra steps of assembling PIP boxes and putting products into those individual PIP boxes (plus appropriate protective packing materials) then that is time that I can’t spend on making more products, or doing admin for sending them off.

Overall I’ve got a suspicion that it would save me a lot of time (and therefore money) if I could just bung everything in a box and let Amazon deal with the individual packaging for customers - but at the moment I’m having to do all of the prepping myself anyway, so it looks like I might not get the chance to compare the two different workflows :slight_smile:


#5

Hi, I’m at the same stage also with my handmade buisness. It seems to take longer packaging the items rather than making them. when i try to select package by amazon it is greyed out and says that:
" Amazon cannot provide prep and labelling services for items that do not have a single scannable barcode (GCID, UPC, EAN, JAN or ISBN) that corresponds to an ASIN in Amazon’s catalogue. For more information, go to FBA Label Service."

Still doesn’t offer any additional advice.
Did you manage to get this sorted and was it worth it if you did?
Thanks


#6

No, I still couldn’t get an option which allowed me to select the Amazon prepping service. Originally I thought that maybe it was because it was Christmas and therefore one of the absolute peak times for Amazon, and that they had just switched off the service because they were too busy to faff around offering extra services. So I was going to try again at a quieter time of year to see if the option appeared for me (but haven’t tried yet).

But looking at the feedback you received about GCID, UPC, etc, maybe it’s to do with us selling in the Handmade category, and therefore only having our own self-generated catalogue items, and not the standard barcode types that are listed?

Does anyone else have a solution or theory, please? Cheers!


#7

Thanks for your reply, I did contact the amazon helpdesk and got a reply that had nothing to do with label prepping (was a big email about shipping with handmade :frowning:).

I’ll keep on at them to see what. I also contacted a couple of company’s that do it and then send direct to amazon, so I’ll see what they say, I’m guessing prices may be to expensive as they probably want the private label customers, but i’ll let you know if i get anything interesting.


#8

If your items do not have a manufacturer barcode, they’ll need an fnsku label

From fba prep help page

Minimum qualifications

  • Condition: Any (new, used, collectible, refurbished)
  • Product type: Any (media and non-media)
  • ASIN: Each unit must have a scannable barcode (ISBN, UPC, EAN or JAN). The unit’s barcode must not be punched out, marked over, covered or obstructed.

#9

If it were me I would package them in a board-backed envelope which would take up less room than a box and would take no more time packaging than putting each individual one into a plastic bag.


closed #10

This topic was automatically closed 180 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.