When selling through Amazon FBA, one of the key components is properly labeling your products. This helps identify your items in the vast Amazon inventory and ensures timely and accurate delivery to your customers. There are specific criteria that your labels need to follow, such as including the product name, its condition, and the unique FNSKU assigned to your product. Complying with these requirements will save you time, prevent unnecessary delays, and maintain your account’s health.
Incorrect labeling can lead to issues in the warehousing and shipping process.
FBA Labeling Basics
Amazon FBA labeling is essential for ensuring that your products are accurately identified, tracked, and processed within Fulfillment by Amazon. This section will discuss the key aspects of labeling requirements for FBA shipments, including the various barcode types and Amazon-specific identifiers.
There are four main types of barcodes you’ll come across when dealing with product identification for Amazon FBA:
A UPC (Universal Product Code) is a 12-digit barcode that you’ll typically find on the packaging of products sold in the United States and Canada. This barcode is used for tracking and identifying products during the sales process.
An EAN (European Article Number) is a 13-digit barcode that works similarly to a UPC but is primarily used for products sold in European countries. You must have an EAN for each item if you sell European products.
A JAN (Japanese Article Number) is another type of 13-digit barcode used exclusively for products in Japan. Like the EAN, JANs are country-specific and used for product tracking and identification.
An ISBN (International Standard Book Number) is a unique 10- or 13-digit book identifier. It tracks inventory, facilitates sales, and identifies books in libraries or bookstores. If you sell books through Amazon FBA, you must have an ISBN for each book.
FNSKU and ASIN
When selling on Amazon, your products are assigned specific identifiers within the platform:
- FNSKU (Fulfillment Network Stock Keeping Unit): A unique identifier assigned to each product you sell on Amazon. FNSKUs track and manage your inventory within Amazon’s fulfillment centers. Every product you sell through FBA must have an FNSKU printed as a scannable barcode on its packaging.
- ASIN (Amazon Standard Identification Number): A unique identifier for each product on Amazon’s marketplace. It is used as a search tool for customers and a way to group similar products. ASINs are not required to be printed on the item’s package. However, they are vital for the online listing of your product.
An SKU (Stock Keeping Unit) is a merchant-specific identifier that tracks and manages inventory. While not directly required by Amazon FBA, SKUs can be incredibly helpful for organizing and managing your product inventory. You can simplify and streamline your inventory management process by assigning unique SKUs to each product.
Labeling Requirements and Standards
Regarding Amazon FBA labeling requirements, it’s essential to understand the different guidelines and standards to ensure your products arrive at the Amazon Fulfillment Center properly identified and processed. This section will break down the key requirements for label size, format, and specific label types.
Label Size and Format
Amazon mandates that labels generally be between 1 and 2 inches and 2 by 3 inches for larger items. All labels must be non-reflective and printed using a removable adhesive. Ensuring your labels adhere to these size standards will help avoid unnecessary delays or issues.
Product and Carrier Labels
As an Amazon FBA seller, you must properly identify your products with an FNSKU (Fulfillment Network Stock Keeping Unit). This unique identifier is specific to each product and seller, ensuring proper tracking within Amazon’s FBA network. In addition, you’ll also need to include carrier labels on your shipments. These may include shipping address, tracking number, and carrier information.
If you ship your products to Amazon fulfillment centers on pallets, you must follow specific pallet labeling requirements. Each pallet requires four labels, one for each side or corner of the pallet. The label should include the shipment ID, pallet ID number, destination, and total box count.
FBA Box ID Label
Amazon FBA requires a Box ID label for each shipping box within your shipment, which helps Amazon efficiently process your products. This label should include the FBA shipment ID, number of units in the box, and dimensions and weight.
Proper label placement is critical for efficient processing at the fulfillment center. Ensure that your FNSKU labels are not covering other important information (such as product warnings), and avoid placing them over edges, corners, or seals on the packaging. For carrier labels, place them adjacent to the shipping address and facing up for easy scanning.
Ink and Printer Requirements
Amazon FBA mandates that labels be printed in black and white. A thermal or laser printer is highly recommended since they provide clear, smudge-free labels. Using inkjet printers is generally discouraged, as the ink can smear, leading to potential scanning issues. Whichever printer type you choose, it’s crucial to ensure the labels are legible and easily scannable.
By following these guidelines and adhering to the labeling requirements, you can ensure that your Amazon FBA shipments are processed smoothly and efficiently at the fulfillment center, avoiding unnecessary delays or complications.
Printing and Labeling Options
When labeling your products for Amazon FBA, it’s crucial to understand the various methods available to ensure compliance with Amazon’s requirements. This section will discuss three primary options: DIY labeling and printing, Amazon Label Service, and third-party label services.
DIY Labeling and Printing
You must invest in a reliable printer to handle labeling and printing independently. You can choose between laser and thermal printers depending on your preferences. Laser printers offer sharp, high-quality text output and work well for small to medium-sized businesses. On the other hand, thermal printers print without ink, utilizing heat to transfer the image onto the label. These printers tend to be faster, making them suitable for higher-volume labeling.
Creating compliant Amazon FBA labels must include essential components such as product condition, FNSKU barcode, and other relevant information. The standard label size is 3 1/3 x 4 inches (8.4 x 10.2 cm). However, you can print in 4×6 inch (10.2 cm x 15.2 cm) format using a thermal printer.
Amazon Label Service
If you prefer not to handle labeling and printing yourself, Amazon offers its Label Service for a fee. With this option, experts from the Amazon Label Service will apply the required barcode labels to your items upon arrival at the fulfillment center. Remember that this service has associated fees, and you must submit your products in an acceptable condition for labeling.
Using Amazon’s Label Service can save time and effort, allowing you to focus on other aspects of your business. However, it’s essential to carefully review Amazon’s guidelines and requirements before sending your products to ensure proper labeling, prevent delays, or avoid additional costs.
Third-party Label Services
There are several third-party companies specializing in labeling services for Amazon FBA sellers. These services can be beneficial if you want to streamline your labeling process and work with professionals who have experience with Amazon’s requirements.
While these services typically come at a cost, many sellers find the investment worthwhile for their convenience and expertise. When considering third-party label services, research your options and choose a reputable company with positive reviews to ensure a smooth labeling experience.
By understanding the various printing and labeling options available for your Amazon FBA products, you can choose the best method to suit your needs and ensure compliance with Amazon’s guidelines.
When shipping products to Amazon FBA, adhering to their packaging requirements is crucial, ensuring a smooth process for sellers and customers. Following these guidelines is essential to prevent delays or potential issues.
Polybags play a vital role in protecting your products during transportation and storage. For items within polybags, ensure the bags have a suffocation warning label and a minimum thickness of 1.5 mils. Seal the bags properly and leave no openings larger than 0.25 inches.
For products labeled “sold as set,” always pack items together and indicate this on the packaging. Customers should understand that the items are part of a bundle and not to be separated.
Expiration dates are critical for items with a limited shelf life, such as food products or supplements. You must include the expiration date on the packaging in a clear, easily readable format (MM/DD/YYYY or MM-YYYY).
Amazon’s packaging requirements are designed to protect both sellers and customers. They ensure products are well-protected, correctly labeled, and easily identifiable. Key requirements include:
- The use of sturdy boxes with appropriate dimensions and weight capacity for the product
- Secure and non-damaging packaging materials like bubble wrap, air pillows, or foam peanuts
- Proper placement of Amazon barcodes and other product labels
It’s also important to follow these packaging guidelines:
- Use double-walled boxes for heavy or breakable items.
- Avoid using packing peanuts as they can shift during transportation, causing your items to move or suffer damage.
- Ensure the items don’t protrude out of the box or bag, and there’s no space for the products to move or shake inside.
- Package fragile items individually with sufficient cushioning material.
In summary, adhere to Amazon’s packaging requirements, use appropriate polybags, clearly label “sold as set” items, and include expiration dates on applicable products. Doing so will ensure a streamlined FBA experience and happy customers.
Shipping and Delivery Considerations
When preparing your Amazon FBA shipments, it’s important to consider the shipping and delivery options. You’ll encounter small parcel delivery (SPD), less than truckload (LTL), and full truckload (FTL). Each has specific guidelines, so let’s briefly examine the main aspects.
For small parcel deliveries, typically used for individual boxes, you’ll need to create Amazon FBA shipping labels for each package. To ensure prompt and accurate labeling, every item must have a scannable barcode covering the original manufacturer’s barcode (UPC, EAN, ISBN). Be meticulous to avoid labeling mistakes that may cost you time and money.
Less than truckload (LTL) shipments are for larger quantities that don’t require a full truck. When using LTL, compliance with Amazon shipping label requirements is crucial. Palletizing your products and adhering to Amazon’s packaging and labeling standards will save you from potential issues during delivery.
On the other hand, full truckload (FTL) shipping comprises one shipment that occupies an entire truck. Like LTL, you must follow packaging, labeling, and delivery regulations to ensure your products reach Amazon fulfillment centers safely and efficiently.
In summary, shipping via Amazon FBA involves different delivery options, each with unique requirements. Pay close attention to Amazon’s guidelines on shipping labels, packaging, and delivery regulations before sending your shipment to avoid complications and ensure a smooth experience.
- Small parcel delivery: individual boxes requiring Amazon FBA shipping labels.
- Less than truckload: larger shipments not filling an entire truck, adhering to packaging and labeling guidelines.
- Full truckload: one shipment occupying a full truck, following all Amazon requirements for packaging, labeling, and delivery.
Common Mistakes to Avoid
As an Amazon FBA seller, it’s essential to understand and meet the labeling requirements to ensure a smooth and efficient process. Let’s discuss some common mistakes you should avoid to prevent any issues in your journey.
First and foremost, using the incorrect manufacturer barcode can cause your items to be misidentified or even rejected. Make sure you are using the correct barcode for your specific product. Some sellers try to skip purchasing legitimate barcodes, which can result in suspended listings or extra fees. Trustworthy sources for barcodes include GS1, and it’s always better to invest in these from the start.
Another aspect of handling with care is the white space around labels. Ample white space facilitates smooth scanning processes for Amazon warehouses. A common mistake is using inadequate margins around the barcode, causing scanning difficulties. Most printer templates, such as those designed by Avery, usually have proper white space, so consider relying on these when creating your labels.
Incorrect warning labels might also pose problems. Double-check that you have the right warning labels according to your product type. For example, toys for children require different safety warnings than electronics. Not adhering to Amazon’s standards with these labels could cause your listing to be rejected or put your account at risk.
Here are some more factors to keep in mind when creating your labels:
- Ensure adequate contrast between the barcode and the label’s background for efficient scanning.
- Stick to clear, legible fonts while printing, as improper fonts might lead to scanning problems.
- Avoid attaching labels to shiny or reflective surfaces, as glare can interfere with scanning.
To sum it up, be mindful of the manufacturer’s barcodes and the white space around labels, and use the correct warning labels for your products. These tips will help you avoid mistakes and improve your Amazon FBA process. Remember, clarity and accuracy are crucial when it comes to labeling requirements.
Denes, with 20 years experience in logistics, holds a Logistics Manager degree from Budapest’s Logistics Association and has penned a thesis on mobile devices. Venturing into e-commerce, Denes specializes in Fulfilled By Amazon and passionately educates others about Amazon selling techniques.