Ecommerce is booming, and it doesn’t look like the online shopping momentum is about to end any time soon. Amazon, in particular, is a pack leader; the online retailer has completely changed how we think about shopping and selling. It’s such a powerhouse that Amazon’s net sales were $178 billion USD in 2017 — that’s nothing to sneeze at.
The good news is that it is relatively easy to get your goods listed on Amazon, which opens you up to a marketplace of millions. The bad news? Actually getting into their warehouses can be a bit harder.
At Clearit, we believe small businesses wanting to get into ecommerce are natural allies of customs brokers. It’s why we’re Approved Amazon service providers — and we’re going to use our expertise to guide you through the Amazon process.
Selling on Amazon
Getting set up to sell on Amazon isn’t overly complicated. You simply need to sign up for an Amazon seller account and select whether you’re selling as an individual or a business. Individuals don’t pay a monthly fee to sell on Amazon, while businesses do — it’s a flat monthly fee with additional selling fees.
Once you’ve got your seller account all set up, the next step is to start importing your inventory. As you add listings, look for UPC or ISSN codes on your goods — being able to input them will make importing your inventory easy. Don’t despair if you can’t find them; Amazon allows you to look up and list goods manually as well.
With your seller account set up and your inventory listed, you’re ready to look into Fulfillment by Amazon!
Fulfillment by Amazon
Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) is a program where, instead of storing and shipping your goods yourself, Amazon takes over. By being part of the FBA program, your goods get:
- Two-day shipping for prime members
- Amazon-trusted returns
- Amazon-trust customer service
- Picking, packaging, and shipping by Amazon
However, while getting in to the program is as simple as adding FBA to your Amazon seller account, staying in it requires you to be as punctual and efficient with your warehouse shipments as possible. Amazon takes being on time very seriously; missing a delivery appointment by even a few minutes can put your position in the FBA program in jeopardy.
There are two key ways you can ensure you stay in the FBA program:
Packing your goods properly
Amazon sells packaging and generates labels for you, so if you don’t have the right packaging available, you can order from them and be sure you have what they prefer to work with.
Each listing you create can either be shipped individually or case-packed; being case-packed means that even if you ship multiple identical items in one shipment, Amazon will track these items separately. Ensuring you’re marking your multiple identical goods as case-packed is key for smooth delivery and processing at the warehouse, so always make sure you’re selecting the right category for your shipping.
It’s important to note that you cannot ship multiple different kinds of inventory in one box, and if you do so, your shipment may be rejected by Amazon.
Shipping with a customs broker
Whether you’re based internationally or in America, you can contact a customs broker to help you get your goods to Amazon. By working with a customs broker, you can have everything taken care of — and because customs brokers are professionals, they’ll ensure you get your goods to Amazon’s warehouses on time, keeping you in their good graces.
One crucial advantage to shipping your FBA goods with a customs broker? Unlike trying to work on your own, an Approved Amazon service provider knows all the ins and outs of what Amazon expects in their shipments, meaning you don’t run into any first-time mistakes as you settle in to the program.
Interested in getting involved in Fulfillment by Amazon? Clearit USA’s FBA delivery program will make your shipments get there on time, every time. Contact us today!