Beginner’s Guide to Fulfillment by Amazon: Shipping 201

I refer to Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) a lot, because it is my number one outlet for reselling in the pursuit of points. Chatting with a friend, I realized that I’ve never actually put together anything basic about how to get started with FBA. This is a continuation of my attempt at that.

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Shipping 201

I’ve written about shipping in the past, here and here, but, it really is a pretty big part of working with FBA.

A lot of things factor in to how things go with shipping. One of the costs I try hard to cut down, is shipping.  Amazon will allow you to send multiple products in the same shipment,  this in turn reduces the cost of shipping per item.  This can get complicated, and can also take some workarounds, so despite my previous avoidance of arrows, I’ll walk you through how to do this.

Warning red arrows ahead.

This can get complicated (it took me a few times to get it right), so bare with me on the bullets and such.

  1. Select the items you want to ship together.
  2. Click Main “Actions” tab.
  3. Under the main action tab select send/replenish inventory.

Manange inventory

You’ll be sent to the normal send/replenish area.  You will want to select the individual products. There will be a listing of all the products that you selected from the previous screen.

Set Quantity

Set the number of each that you are sending.  Click continue.

Prepare Products

In order to send everything in the same box you may need to label one or more items yourself (in this case, I had to label one item).  If you want to let amazon do it, it may require multiple boxes to be shipped.

Lable Products

After printing the labels select continue.

Review the shipment.  Amazon might tell you that you need to send in multiple boxes, if that happens, Amazon’ll show multiple shipments and the number of units & msku’s for each one. In some cases, you can avoid multiple boxes by opting to label products on your own.

View shipment

You’ll then be prompted to prepare shipment.

  1. Here you enter the weight, number of boxes and size.
  2. Tell Amazon to calculate the shipping fees and accept the fees.
  3. Once that is done you can print your label.
  4. Next, approve the shipment

Prepare Shipment

 

After you’ve approved the shipment, you see a summary. You can return here to track your shipment.

Summary

I haven’t found a consistent, repeatable way to force a single box shipment. I’m hopeful that you will share your experiences, in the hope that we can compile enough data points to determine whether there is a consistent, repeatable process to consolidating shipments.

Please share your experiences!

Beginner’s guide to Fulfillment by Amazon: Setting up an account

Fulfillment by Amazon

I refer to Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) a lot, because it is my number one outlet for reselling in the pursuit of points. Chatting with a friend, I realized that I’ve never actually put together anything basic about how to get started with FBA. Here is my attempt at that.

Read Also:

Setting up a new Amazon Seller Account

The first place you want to start (and probably bookmark) is Amazon Seller Central.

From there you can register for a new account, but Amazon helpfully offers some considerations, such as identifying what you want to sell, and determining how much you want to sell per month.

The key here is, when it comes to products you want to sell, you’ll want to verify that you can actually sell those products. Here are the categories that you can sell right from the start, without additional approval required:

Amazon Cats no approval req

 

It’s important to note the “Conditions allowed” area. This one has tripped me up a few times, as BigHabitat has noted is the case with Samsung Tablets. Generally speaking, you want to sell as “New,” that gives greater chances of being able to make a profit, or at least, stem the losses.

Now, if that awesome product that you just know there’s a market for, doesn’t happen to be on that list, don’t despair, because Amazon may just give approve you to sell it anyway, here are those categories:

Amazon Cats requiring Approval

 

I’ll have another post on getting that approval– what Amazon calls “ungating” in a couple of days. I will also note that, Amazon has two categories of Selling Plans, Individual, and Professional. In order to gain access to the additional 15 items in the list directly above, you need to be a Professional Seller, which carriers a monthly cost of $39.99. I’ll caveat this with – I’ve always had the Professional Selling Plan.

Ok, now that we’ve cleared the parameters of an Amazon Seller Account, the process for setting one up is fairly simple. From that link I gave you earlier (and here it is again), click “Register Now”, then click “Sell as Professional”, there you’ll have the chance to enter your e-mail address, and you can register a new account. Note – if you use your e-mail address linked to your Amazon Account, sometimes you get better benefits; I haven’t actually verified it, but I tend to get many of the benefits that Amazon Prime gets.

From there you’ll provide some biographical details, then the real fun starts! You get to enter your business’s legal name, or, if you don’t have one, just enter your name.

You’ll run through some more steps, providing more information, such as the Display Name (this is your chance to be creative! Don’t worry, you can change it later), as well as entering your address, and some option stuff, like main product category, number of products you plan to sell, and if you own any brands. Then you’ll enter your credit card information and confirm the billing address — this is so Amazon can charge you the $39.99; after you start selling though, that fee will just come out of your account before they send you the money (twice a month is the automated way).

Then you’ll need to do a phone verification, you can either call, or have it texted to you. This is how Amazon confirms you’re not a robot.

After that is the Tax Interview! Fun stuff! Ok, not so fun but necessary if you plan to do a bunch. My first year, I didn’t get any tax docs, but I was under $20,000, last year, I was well over that and did. Still, its a necessary step. It says you can skip, but, it kept giving me the run around, so you’ll need to do it. This will require either a Social Security Number, Tax Identification Number, or Employer Identification Number.

Once you finish your tax interview, its smooth sailing from there! Celebrate, pop the Krug–or maybe just the Korbel, since you haven’t really sold anything yet.

Balance and Beginners

path-beginning

Ok, so the title isn’t the best, but I couldn’t figure out a better title.

Introduction

I am finding more and more, that I’m encountering folks–good folks–that hear of our great hobby and want to find to learn more. Personally, I’d love to point them right here, but lets be honest, I’m not really writing for the beginner. Thinking about this, I’m not sure if its because (1) I’m not good at writing beginner guides, (2) I don’t want to be just another “beginner” blog, or (3) There are other great options, like KennyFrequentMiler and One Mile at a Time (ironically “Start Here” is common). I’m sure there are more guides out there, but those are just a subset.

The Quandry

So for me the challenge is: do I write rehash what’s already been written by (likely) smarter folks than I?

The Answer

I can’t bring myself to do it. For those of you who are new to the points game that have found Tagging Miles, Welcome! Comment on this post, or e-mail me, and I would be happy to point you to greater minds to help get you started. It may not be the right answer, but I think its the better answer. My goal is to offer new content, with the occasional remarkable findings that have existed since 2009, and really try to offer a different perspective on things.

Your thoughts

I really appreciate your thoughts. What do you think? Should I work on some beginner tutorials? or leave it to the pros?