Amazon is the most popular marketplace for selling your products, with over 2.4 billion monthly visits. In addition, Amazon ships 1.6 million products per day, but businesses selling on Amazon have a variety of packing, labeling, and fulfillment options, all of which must meet Amazon’s product packaging requirements.
The lengthy packaging policies, requirements, and options can easily put people off or confuse them. If you want to handle this yourself, we’ve compiled a list of the most important things you should know to help you make sense of Amazon’s packaging and labeling rules and options. Furthermore, there is even the option of having Amazon pack your products for you. One of the services available through the FBA (Fulfilled by Amazon) program.
Why Is Proper Packaging for Amazon Important?
It is not enough for sellers to pack their items into any box they have lying around and ship them to Amazon. Amazon has some packaging requirements for their FBA customers.
It may appear restrictive at first, but when you consider the following requirements, it’s really just common sense:
- Poorly labeled items may become lost or mixed up.
- Overpackaging is wasteful and harmful to the environment.
- Badly packaged goods may cause damage during transit.
- Poor packaging can have a negative impact on your company’s reputation.
Amazon takes its packaging requirements seriously, and suppliers who fail to comply face penalties. Amazon, for example, may dispose of your inventory and block future shipments to its fulfillment centers – not the recipe for a successful business model.
Improperly labeled products may be marked as unsellable, and you may be fined for noncompliance. That’s why you must be careful and follow these tips for product packaging for Amazon.
Amazon FBA Packaging Requirements
Amazon has a lot of product packaging requirements. So you should categorize them by product type and shipment; it makes a lot of sense.
Furthermore, the Amazon website has a comprehensive help service within Seller Central that can advise you on packaging and preparation requirements.
There are a lot of youtube videos with links to more detailed technical information, as well as a multitude of resources to help you learn the ropes.
Please Note: You need to stay up to date with the latest news and policies because Amazon can change their requirements at any time.
General Packaging Requirements
Amazon’s guidelines cover general packaging requirements and specific category requirements, such as loose product requirements for items sold as sets, boxed units, and specific packaging materials. Here are the general packaging requirements:
- Manufacturer barcodes (such as GCID, UPC, EAN, or ISBN) or Amazon barcodes ( ASIN or FNSKU) can be used.
- Each unique unit or product type (for example, size or color) must have its own FNSKU.
- Existing barcodes on shipping boxes’ exteriors must be rendered unreadable. This can be accomplished by covering the redundant code with tape or blocking it with a black felt-tip. This prevents the incorrect barcode from being scanned by accident.
- Each unit needs an easily accessible exterior scannable barcode with corresponding readable numbers.
- Units that are not packaged securely must be bagged or taped shut.
- Each unit, including multi-volume book sets, must be housed in a single, secure package.
- Footwear must be packaged in boxes or poly bags with no shoe material exposed.
- Units may not include multiple pieces that require Amazon to assemble.
Your products must have an expiration date. These are the rules:
- Dates of expiration must be in the format MM-DD-YYYY or MM-YYYY.
- Expiring products must include the expiration date on the master carton and individual units in a 36-point or larger font.
- Even if the product is subject to additional packaging requirements, Amazon must have access to the expiration date during the receiving process (e.g., for fragile items).
Amazon FBA General Labeling Requirements
The labels you require for Amazon FBA must meet the following requirements:
- Each word’s first letter should be capitalized, but not in ALL CAPS.
- No promotional titles are permitted.
- Use a maximum of 50 characters.
- Symbols and other special characters are not permitted.
- The same product title must appear on all product labels.
FBA Items That Are Sold in Boxed Units
If you plan on shipping boxed sets to Amazon fulfillment centers, make sure to follow these steps:
- Boxed units must be six-sided and have openings that are difficult to open on their own.
- Adhesives or staples must be used if the box can be opened on its own.
- The box should not come crashing down if medium pressure is applied to any of its sides.
- A 3-foot drop test is required if the boxed unit has perforated sides or openings. This is made up of one drop on each side and one drop in the corner.
- If the product fails this test, it must be placed in a poly bag that contains a suffocation warning.
- Boxes containing multiple standard-size items must not have a side length of more than 25 inches. The limit may be exceeded if the box contains oversized units that are longer than 25 inches.
- The standard weight limit of 50 pounds applies to all boxes unless they contain an oversized item weighing more than 50 pounds.
- Boxes containing jewelry or watches must not weigh more than 40 pounds.
In addition to the above requirements, there are specific wrapping and preparation specifications for specific products. Among these items are:
- Liquid-containing products
- Pellets, powders, and granular products are all available.
- Units made of glass, ceramic, or other breakable or fragile materials
- Batteries and plush toys
- Sharp products
- Textiles, clothing, and fabrics
- Jewelry / Plexiglass
- Baby supplies
FBA Items Sold as Sets
Units sold in sets must be labeled and marked accordingly on their packaging. “Sold as a set,” for example, or “Part of a set, do not separate.” Sets must not be separated if units are sealed.
Approved Packaging Materials
Amazon can provide you with packing materials that meet their standards. Amazon-preferred poly bags, boxes, stretch wraps, bubble packs, and other materials are available directly from Amazon.
Sellers in the United States can also get free supplies from UPS, FedEx, and USPS if they use those services to send products to Amazon fulfillment centers.
Poly bag requirements
To use an Amazon FBA poly bag for item protection, follow these steps:
- Amazon specifies a minimum suffocation warning label print size corresponding to the bag’s length and width.
- Suffocation warnings must be printed on or attached to poly bags with a 5-inch opening or larger (measured when flat).
- The poly bag must have a scannable barcode or XOO label or an XOO or ASIN label on the outside.
- The poly bag or shrink-wrap must not exceed the product’s dimensions by over 3 inches.
- The poly bag must be clear.
- The poly bag should be completely closed.
- The bag’s thickness must be at least 1.5mm.
Poly bag substitutes are acceptable as long as they meet these specifications. However, plant-based poly bags and biodegradable poly bags are more environmentally friendly options.
Case-packed products from FBA
To send case-packed products to Amazon FBA, make sure they meet the following tips for product packaging for Amazon:
- In some cases, multiple case packs may be packed into a larger box called a master carton. The requirements listed above apply at the case pack level.
- Boxes containing the same product must contain equal quantities of that product and no more than 150 units per case.
- All products in a box must have the same SKU and condition and be packaged by the manufacturer.
- When this type of shipment arrives, one unit from the box is scanned by the fulfillment center, and it is added to the inventory. Inventory management is a really important process for Amazon Sellers because it allows them to keep track of inventory levels, orders, and sales.
What Exactly Are Third-Party Packaging and Preparation Services?
A type of contract packaging service is third-party logistics. Contract packaging firms provide these services (also known as co-packers). Outsourcing logistics processes is known as 3PL (or third-party logistics). This is very common for eCommerce businesses. Outsourcing inventory control, storage, and fulfillment services is an example of third-party logistics. 3PL providers enable businesses to focus on their core competencies.
3PL providers keep their clients from becoming bogged down by warehousing, labor management, inventory management, and other third-party logistics-related responsibilities.
Amazon Preferred Packaging
If you prefer to control your own packaging or can package items at a lower cost than Amazon FBA Prep, Amazon Preferred Packaging is still worth considering. However, because Amazon’s packaging guidelines are specific, it makes sense to purchase packaging supplies that comply with Amazon’s FBA requirements.
Amazon-preferred poly bags, boxes, stretch wraps, bubble packs, and other items are now available to sellers directly from Amazon. Also, sellers can get free supplies from UPS, FedEx, and USPS for sending products to Amazon FBA. They must send the goods to Amazon fulfillment centers using the specific rates from each vendor. You can obtain quotes directly from the courier companies.