So you want to sell on Amazon FBA, but your supplier is in a different country. The benefits of selling on Amazon FBA are huge, but buying goods from USA suppliers can be pricey. Dropshipping from overseas suppliers is an attractive option to keep costs down. But everyone knows you can make a ton of money by selling on Amazon FBA. Is it possible to ship supplies from China to Amazon FBA? Yes, with some caveats.
Let’s learn how you can cash in by selling on Amazon FBA when your supplier is in another country.
Here’s what to do
Fortunately, there are two ways to do this. The first is having the overseas supplier ship directly to Amazon FBA. The other option is having a middleman handle the logistics for you. There are pros and cons to each.
Shipping Directly From China to Amazon FBA
The concept is pretty straight forward: A company that wants to use Amazon Seller Fulfilled Prime buys cheap goods from China or India and the supplier ships the products directly to Amazon FBA warehouses.
1. Create the shipment in Seller Central.
2. Explain to the overseas supplier how to prep the item for Amazon FBA (barcodes, pallet labels on all four sides, carton labels, etc.)
3. Find a freight forwarder to ship door-to-door from China to the Amazon fulfillment center.
4. Make sure it’s Delivery Duty Paid (DDP) if you are shipping air freight.
It sounds easy enough, but there are some problems that can happen.
Shipping directly to Amazon from overseas sounds great in theory, but the overseas supplier must do Amazon FBA prep correctly. Amazon FBA requirements specify exactly how shipments must be prepared in order to be accepted by Amazon warehouses. Shipments that don’t meet Amazon FBA acceptance criteria can be rejected or incur delays and fees. Can you trust an overseas supplier to prep correctly? Are they reliable? Will language barriers be an issue?
If you’re hesitant, that brings us to option 2.
Using a Middleman
Hiring a middleman, or 3PL company, to prep goods from overseas so that they meet Amazon FBA acceptance criteria can help you breathe a sigh of relief. There are no language barriers to deal with, and no wasted time trying to explain to an overseas supplier how to follow Amazon’s strict FBA receiving criteria. The risk of late shipments or improperly packaged items is nearly zero.
For many sellers, this is the way to go if you can afford it. Professional Amazon FBA prep services will take care of everything for you. Using a middleman means there won’t be any surprises or mistakes. For sellers that want to save time and get peace of mind, this is your best bet. And if you like the idea of drop-shipping because of its hands-off order fulfillment, but you now want to start selling on Amazon Prime, it will certainly appeal to you.
What's Your Decision Going to Be?
When deciding how to ship products from China to Amazon FBA, several options are available. One option is to work with an American prep service company, which can help manage your shipments and provide other logistics services such as packaging and labeling.
Another option is to use a freight forwarder, which specializes in helping businesses ship goods from China to Amazon FBA. This option can be beneficial because it usually involves lower shipping costs, reduced transit times, and access to a wide range of shipping services.
Pros of Shipping Direct to Amazon FBA
One advantage of shipping directly to Amazon FBA is that it is the cheapest option, as there are minimal fees associated with this method.
Faster transit times
Since your products will be sent directly to Amazon FBA warehouses, they will typically have a shorter transit time compared to shipping through other methods. This can help reduce delays in getting your products to customers.
Better for small shipments
Another potential advantage of using a third-party logistics (3PL) company to ship products from China to Amazon FBA is that this method may be better suited for smaller shipments.
Related: How to Get Cheap Shipping on Alibaba
Cons of Shipping Direct to Amazon FBA
Higher upfront costs
One potential downside to shipping directly to Amazon FBA is that you will generally need to pay for and manage all aspects of your shipments, which can include higher upfront costs than other options.
Need for strong logistics and supply chain management skills
To be successful when shipping direct to Amazon FBA, you will also need strong logistics and supply chain management skills. This includes high-quality sourcing products at a competitive price, effectively managing inventory levels, and preparing shipments for delivery.
Increased logistics complexity
When working directly with Amazon, you will manage the supply chain and track product shipments from start to finish. This can sometimes require additional resources and expertise and may increase the risk of errors or delays.
Longer turnaround times
Since you will be dealing directly with Amazon when shipping products to their warehouses, getting your goods delivered and receiving a final shipment confirmation from them can sometimes take longer. This can impact your ability to restock inventory and respond to customer demand quickly.
No opportunity to inspect goods yourself
When using a 3PL company to ship your products, you will typically have the chance to check the goods yourself before they are sent to Amazon. This can help provide peace of mind and ensure that any issues with your shipments are identified and resolved promptly.
No partnered carrier shipping discounts (this only works if shipping from the contiguous USA)
While working directly with Amazon can be cheaper in some cases, it is essential to note that this option only sometimes offers partnered carrier shipping discounts. If you are based in the contiguous US and only ship small quantities of goods, using a 3PL company may be a more cost-effective option.
You may be required to ship to multiple Amazon FCs, complicating matters.
Another potential drawback of shipping directly to Amazon FBA is that you may be required to ship your products to various warehouses to ensure efficient delivery. This can add complexity and costs, mainly if you are not based close to an Amazon FC.
Higher risk of fees or delays due to items not being prepped to meet Amazon FBA criteria
Another potential downside of shipping directly to Amazon FBA is that you may encounter additional fees or delays if your products need to be correctly prepped for sale on their marketplace. This can include ensuring that items are packed in the correct size boxes, labeled according to Amazon's requirements, and meet other specifications regarding product condition and packaging. If you are new to selling on Amazon, it may be a good idea to work with a 3PL company that can help manage these aspects and minimize the risk of rejected shipments.
Higher risk of rejected FBA shipments
Finally, when shipping your products directly to Amazon FBA, there is also an increased risk of having shipments rejected or returned due to issues with labeling, packaging, or other factors. This can result in delays and additional costs, mainly if you cannot quickly address any problems that arise.
Pros of Shipping to a Third-Party Logistics (3PL) Company First
Greater control over logistics and shipping processes
Working with a third-party logistics provider can give you more visibility into the entire shipping process, allowing you to better manage your products from start to finish. This can include everything from tracking shipments and updating inventory levels to scheduling pickups and preparing the customs documentation.
Reduced costs and transit times
By partnering with a 3PL company, you can enjoy reduced shipping costs and faster product transit times. This can be especially beneficial if you deal with high inventory volumes or large shipments from China to Amazon FBA.
Peace of mind with professional FBA prep services
A reputable 3PL company will also offer professional preparation services for your products, including packaging, labeling, and other prep work. This can help ensure that your goods are ready to be shipped to Amazon FBA promptly and with minimal risk of damage or loss.
No language barrier
When working with a 3PL company, you can typically avoid the challenges associated with communicating across language barriers, which can be especially important if your business relies on complex shipping processes or importing products from China.
Unlike working directly with Amazon, a 3PL company can provide you with the peace of mind of knowing that your products are being shipped and handled by experienced professionals. This can help reduce the risk of delays, lost shipments, or other issues in getting your items to Amazon FBA.
No-hassle inventory processing
A reputable third-party logistics provider can also help you streamline your inventory management processes with tools and services such as live order tracking, purchase order management, and more. This can make it easier to track orders and shipments in real time, allowing you to respond quickly to changes or new customer demands.
Lower risk of shipments being rejected by Amazon
By choosing a proven 3PL company, you can help reduce the risk of your shipments being rejected by Amazon due to any issues with packaging, labeling, or other prep work. This can help ensure that your products are quickly and efficiently accepted into the Amazon FBA warehouse, so you can rest assured knowing that they will be available for sale on the platform.
Lower risk of processing delays at Amazon FC due to improper shipments
Employing a trusted 3PL company can also help ensure that your products are processed quickly and efficiently at Amazon FC, minimizing any delays or issues due to improper shipments. This can be especially important when dealing with high inventory volumes or large shipments from China to Amazon FBA.
Lower risk of fees & penalties for shipments that don't meet FBA receiving criteria
Choosing a reliable 3PL company can also help reduce the risk of incurring costs or penalties for shipments that do not meet Amazon's FBA receiving criteria. By partnering with a trusted provider, you can rest assured that your products will be accurately and efficiently processed at Amazon FC, minimizing any issues that could impact your bottom line.
Frees your time to focus on other tasks
By teaming up with a 3PL company, you can free up time and resources that you would otherwise spend on managing your products from start to finish. This can allow you to focus on other aspects of your business, such as growing sales or developing new products for Amazon FBA. With the help of a dependable third-party logistics provider, you can ensure that your products are shipped and handled quickly and efficiently, ultimately helping you to reach new heights in the eCommerce industry.
Can take advantage of partnered carrier discounts since it's shipped to Amazon from within the USA (lower 48 states only)
Choosing a reputable third-party logistics provider can also help you take advantage of partnered carrier discounts, saving you money on your shipping costs. This is often only available to businesses that ship from the US mainland (lower 48 states), so partnering with a 3PL company in this region can be incredibly practical to leverage these savings for your business.
Cons of Shipping to a Third-Party Logistics (3PL) Company First
Increased complexity and logistical challenges
While working with a third-party logistics provider can help simplify some aspects of shipping from China to Amazon FBA, it also comes with challenges. This may include coordination with different partners, creating and managing shipments, and ensuring that all customs requirements are met.
Longer turnaround times
Sometimes, working with a third-party logistics provider can result in longer shipment turnaround times. This is especially true if you are dealing with peak seasons or high inventory volumes that need to be delivered quickly to Amazon FBA warehouses.
Shipping Methods to Ship from China to Amazon FBA
There are several different shipping methods that you can use when shipping products from China to Amazon FBA. The most common options include air freight, ocean freight, LTL shipments, and more.
Air freight is one of the fastest and most cost-effective shipping options for transporting goods from China to Amazon FBA warehouses. This option typically involves flying your products directly to an airport near the Amazon fulfillment center and can often be arranged with a day or two of notice.
Ocean freight is another popular shipping method for transporting goods from China to Amazon FBA warehouses. This generally involves loading your products into a shipping container and sailing them across the ocean to a designated port, where they will be unloaded and delivered directly to the Amazon fulfillment center.
For smaller or lighter shipments, it is possible to use less-than-truckload (LTL) shipping methods when transporting products from China to Amazon FBA. This involves consolidating multiple shipments into a single truck, which can help save on costs and reduce transit times for your goods.
No matter which shipping method you choose, it is essential to carefully consider all the factors involved to ensure that your products are delivered quickly and reliably from China to Amazon FBA.
How Do I Package and Label the Goods for Shipping to Amazon FBA?
When packaging your goods for shipping to Amazon FBA, there are several key factors to keep in mind. These may include preparing your products according to Amazon's specific requirements, ensuring that your shipments are properly labeled and tracked, and selecting a sturdy container or shipment method that can withstand the journey from China to Amazon FBA warehouses.
Some tips for packaging your goods for shipping to Amazon FBA may include:
Check Amazon's product requirements and packaging guidelines before you begin: It is essential to familiarize yourself with Amazon's requirements for packaging and labeling products, as well as any special considerations or regulations that may apply to your items.
Choose a sturdy shipping container: Whether you are using air freight, ocean freight, LTL shipments, or another method of transporting your goods from China to Amazon FBA, it is critical to choose a sturdy and reliable shipping container that can withstand the journey.
Ensure accurate and clear labeling: For your shipments to be successfully delivered from China to Amazon FBA warehouses, it is essential to use clear and precise product labels that include all relevant information about your products. This may include your company name and address, product descriptions, dimensions and weights, shipping instructions, etc.
Following these tips and working with a trusted third-party logistics provider, you can effectively package and ship your products from China to Amazon FBA warehouses. With careful planning and preparation, you can help ensure that your shipments arrive on time and in good condition, minimizing potential damage or delays along the way.
There is no right or wrong choice
Whether you ship directly to Amazon FBA or work with a 3PL company, it is essential to carefully consider the pros and cons of each approach to make the best decision for your business. Ultimately, the choice that is right for you will depend on your individual needs, goals, and budget. However,
Hopefully, you have a better idea of which option appeals to you more. It all depends on your personal preferences, business goals, and how easy it is to work with the overseas supplier. If you want to learn more about Amazon prep services and pricing before making the leap, check out this page.
Why Partner with Simpl Fulfillment?
At Simpl Fulfillment, we understand the complexities involved in shipping products from China to Amazon FBA warehouses. Our experienced team of logistics experts can help you navigate this process with ease, providing reliable and affordable freight forwarding services that meet all of your needs. With our extensive network of global partners and customized transportation solutions, we can help ensure that your products are delivered quickly, safely, and cost-effectively.
Whether you need assistance with packaging and labeling your goods, securing reliable shipping methods, or optimizing your inventory management processes, Simpl Fulfillment can help. With our customized solutions to streamline the fulfillment process from China to Amazon FBA warehouses, we can help you achieve your shipping goals and grow your business with confidence. To learn more about our services and how we can help you, contact us today.
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