I’ve seen many times that people are stressing out about sending in their first shipment to Amazon for FBA in our Facebook group. To me, this is just a case of analysis paralysis. In the interest of easing the process and calming fears, here is a step-by-step guide to sending in your fist product to FBA.
If you used your Amazon Seller app to scan, you can press “list” from the product info page on your phone. That will take you to a page so that you can enter in price. From what I can tell, it really doesn’t matter what you choose through the rest of this process, as it won’t be on the webpage when you get home.
When you get home, log in to Seller Central. Hover your mouse over “Inventory” at the top of the page toward the left. Then click “Manage Inventory.” You will find the inventory you told your phone to list earlier. It will be listed as you see in the picture below. As you see, the price you entered earlier is showing up, but nothing else you entered carried over. As of now, this is just a listing in your inventory. The quantity is zero, and it is not for sale.
Now, click the drop down menu on the edit button at the red arrow. Click “Send/Replenish Inventory.” Once you click that, you will be taken to a page that looks like the one below.
If this is the first product you have added to this shipment, you’ll choose “Create New Shipping Plan” at the red arrow. The next column is your ship from address. The default here is your normal shipping address. If you are on the road, you’ll want to change this to the address to your RV park or your local UPS Store just so your shipping costs are calculated correctly. I’d hate to go through all this trouble and then not be able to ship because my postage was calculated wrong!
At the green arrow, you’ll be choosing individual products. The only time you’ll be choosing case-packed products is if you were buying by the case and sending in whole, intact cases of product. You may go ahead a click “Continue with Shipping Plan.”
Now your product is in your shipping plan. Here, you’ll have to enter the quantity you plan on sending in. (A note for List Label Ship users: you will have to enter your quantity, then click away from the qty box to a random part of the screen before clicking on the UPC logo in your upper right corner to print your labels.)
Once you have entered quantity, from here, you can simply click on “Add Product” that you see in the upper right of this picture to add more products to your shipping plan. To use this button, the empty listing of the product must already be in your inventory as we discussed before. If it is not there, you’ll have to hover over “Inventory”, then click on “Add Product” to go through the process of manually entering in the product. After you enter in that new product, be sure to choose “Add to Existing Shipping Plan” instead of “Create a New Shipping Plan” and select the shipping plan you just created to add it.
Once all products and quantities are entered, click “Continue.”
On the next page, you’ll be choosing who preps your merchandise. Will you be doing the bagging and labeling yourself, or will you be paying Amazon a fee for doing it for you? Once you have your preferred settings, click continue.
Here is where you print your product labels if you aren’t paying for an external labeling service like List Label Ship or Inventory Lab. To do this, you will need the Avery 30-up labels. I use these off-brand labels, as they are cheaper and just as good quality. To print your labels, click “Print Labels for this Page.” A .pdf file will be downloaded. This is the file you will need to print on your label sheets, preferably with a laser printer. Label your products and click continue.
On the next page, you’ll see the different shipments into which Amazon has split up your inventory. Amazon does this for continuity of inventory. They know what items they need where according to customer demand. You’ll see that I only have one warehouse to ship to. This is because I only added one product to this shipping plan for demonstration purposes only. Go ahead and click the “Approve Shipment” button.
On the next page is where you’ll separate your different shipments and pack your boxes. First, chose one of your shipments and click “Work on Shipment.” On this page, you’ll also have the option to print product labels if you didn’t do it before. Load your box, measure, and weigh your box. If you want the best rates, you will choose “Amazon Partnered Carrier (UPS)” as your carrier. This is how you get Amazon’s deeply discounted shipping rates. However, you may choose any shipping method you wish, but you will have to provide tracking information. If you have to use multiple boxes per shipment, Amazon will want you to separate them on the page so they know what to expect in each box.
Once all that is done, you click on “Calculate” under the heading “shipping charges.” After you are pleasantly surprised at the low cost shipping, click “Accept Shipping Charges.” Now you can print box labels by downloading them in .pdf just as you did for your product labels. There will be two labels per box. One shipping label for UPS and another FBA label to identify your box to Amazon once it shows up at the warehouse. Both of these labels will print on a letter-size sheet of paper that you can tape directly to your box, but I prefer to use these shipping labels. In any case, ensure that the ink is not smudged, there is no tape or wrinkles on the bar codes, etc. They must be clear to ensure proper delivery and entry into your inventory.
Now you drop them off at the UPS Store or any other UPS drop off (they have a convenient phone app that helps find the nearest one). After they’re gone, you can track them in Seller Central by hovering over “Inventory” up top, and clicking “Manage FBA Shipments”
See, now? That wasn’t that painful, was it?
Once you master this retail arbitrage game, you’ll want to expand into sourcing inventory wholesale.