The process of shipping goods directly to fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) is easy, but it entails many complex steps.
The process itself, however, is not so complicated as people describe it but requires adequate understanding.
Amazon has been able to create one of the most advanced fulfillment networks all over the world, and many businesses have come to benefit from this network.
With Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA)
you can keep your products in Amazon’s fulfillment centers.
These products can be shipped directly from countries like China to the fulfillment centers.
The process of shipping goods directly to FBA has various advantages like every other venture.
The major advantage is the delivery speed. This quicker time is achieved because of the absence of a middle person.
Another added advantage is that you do not need to pay an agent any fee and this reduces the overall cost for you.
It’s true that there are many advantages of shipping directly to FBA, but there are also various problems associated with this venture.
These problems will be listed out and elaborated individually. These problems include:
- The products are supplied to various warehouses
- All the duties must be paid before the goods arrive.
- There is no opportunity to inspect your goods once they arrive
- The requirements of Amazon on shipping and packaging are challenging
Those are the four major challenges you can face when you are shipping goods directly from China to an FBA.
The next thing is to elaborate on these issues to get a complete understanding of the extent of these problems and how they directly affect your business.
1) The Products are Supplied to Various Warehouses
This constitutes one of the major problems associated with directly shipping goods to FBA.
Let’s take for instance you have plans of ordering four boxes from China.
All of the boxes cannot be placed in the same warehouse. This is not obtainable, but there is a solution to this which will be discussed later.
If the forum boxes for not arrive in the same warehouse, this means that you would pay four times the amount you would have paid if they arrived in the same warehouse.
This is because each warehouse charges it’s own fee per package not minding the number of boxes contained in the package.
This is one of the major problems that affect people who attempt direct shipping for the first time.
But the solution is called Inventory Placement.
This can be turned on in the settings sections of the FBA. When this is turned on, all your boxes will be taken to one fulfillment center.
However, this also costs money, and it is also a problem on its own because of the extra cost.
Solution: Use a local agent in China to consolidate the goods before shipping to the chosen fulfillment center, usually an affordable solution.
2) All Duties Must be Paid Before the Goods Arrive
This is another problem associated with direct shipping from China to FBA.
You will be required to pay all the duties before the goods arrive because Amazon will not pay any duty fee for you.
This means that all payments must be made even before they arrive at fulfillment centers.
Just imagine a situation where you order a product from China, and the product arrives only for Amazon to reject it because you did not pay the duties?
The worst part is that the money you paid for the duties is a stipend.
Hence, it going be frustrating to have your goods rejected because you did not know about the duties you were supposed to pay.
These problems normally affect newbies especially those who do not know everything that is expected of them.
Solution: Always ask for DDP shipping quote /door to door.
3) There is no Opportunity to Inspect your Goods When They Arrive
This is another big problem of this process.
Since you do not have the chance of inspecting your goods before they leave China, anything is possible.
Most people tend to hire third-party inspection teams to do what is necessary, but this does not eliminate the problem.
Not being able to inspect your goods can be disastrous.
It can lead to unsatisfied clients and negative product review.
For instance, imagine that a customer asked for a red book and the book is sent.
However, when the package is opened, they notice from the outer packaging that the product is blue, not red.
How do you think the buyer will feel? Angry!
That’s the word. If you do not properly inspect your packages, they can get to the end user and lead to bad product reviews which are bad for your business.
Solution: Always inspect the goods before shipping.
4) The Rigid Requirements of Amazon on Shipping and Packaging
The requirements of Amazon is not complex.
It is quite straightforward.
The most important requirement is to ensure that each item has a FNSKU or barcode that is scannable.
Each box must have a carton label attached to the outer part.
This sounds simple. But when you are dealing with suppliers, anything is possible.
There is a huge possibility that they may forget to put scannable barcodes on every item.
There is also a huge possibility that the label attached to the carton is incorrect.
These can lead to misplacement and other associated problems which would further complicate the process.
Solution: Use a local agent to prep the goods before shipping to the fulfillment center.
These are the four major problems of direct shipping from China.
But one alarming problem is the fact that, sometimes, products directly shipped from China to FBA do not meet product requirements.
A situation like this can be detrimental to the seller.
Your goods can also be highjacked if care is not taken.
You can learn more about How To Prevent Getting Your Listing Hijacked By Your Supplier.
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