Amazon FBA Shipping: The Ultimate Guide (2023 Updated)

Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) has undoubtedly helped millions of Amazon sellers worldwide. But, if you ever came across FBA, you might have wondered how to ship to the Amazon fulfillment center.

Though FBA makes your work easy, shipping to Amazon FBA can be tricky and complex for new sellers. But don’t worry; this complete guide will take you through the step-by-step process for FBA shipping to Amazon.

FBA Shipping to Amazon

Who opts for FBA Shipping to Amazon?

FBA wholesale sellers

FBA Wholesale Sellers are the sellers who get approval for reselling products from the brand. They acquire bulk stock for the brand’s products and ship them to Amazon for order fulfillment.

Private label sellers

FBA Private Label Sellers are the brand themselves. They get their product manufactured and sell it under t own brand label. Then, they ship their products in bulk to an Amazon warehouse, from where it gets picked, packed, and shipped to customers.

Retail arbitrage sellers

FBA Retail Arbitrage Sellers acquire products from other retailers at discounts and sell them on Amazon for a profit. FBA retail arbitrage sellers ship their products to an Amazon warehouse for order fulfillment.

How to Pack for Shipping to Amazon FBA?

FBA shipping to Amazon requires strict rules and guidelines to be followed by the seller. Amazon might only accept your shipment if you fulfill the packaging requirements. A few vital packing requirements are,

Using appropriate boxes

Amazon requires you to use a rigid, six-sided box with intact flaps. Though blank boxes are preferred, you may reuse old boxes after removing any other labeling that might confuse you. Boxes with dimensions measuring 6 x 4 x 1 inch and at least one lb are required to reduce receiving delays.

Proper labeling

The label on the box must clearly show the delivery and return addresses, respectively. If there are multiple boxes, each must have a label on each side. Amazon has precise FBA label requirements which must meet.

Packaging firmly

Must pack all boxes firmly and securely. The contents must be tight inside the box. There must be at least two inches of cushioning between the items and the inside of the box. It is essential to wrap all things separately and pack them tightly to prevent damage.

Packaging materials

Packing peanuts like foam strips, Styrofoam, shredded paper, or crinkle wrap is not allowed. Amazon recommends using protective packing materials, for example, bubble wrap, air pillows, or polyethylene foam sheets. These ensure the safety of all contents inside the box. It is recommended to use strong shipping tape.

Securing boxes

Sealing boxes ensures the prevention of tempering the contents inside the box. In addition, the packages must withstand pressure if the carrier stacks heavy boxes on top during shipping.

DailyDealsCo FBA Prep

Printing Labels for Shipping to Amazon FBA

Labeling your packages for FBA shipping to Amazon is a crucial step. If done rightly, it saves you time and money. If done incorrectly, it might cause delays or additional fees as well.

There usually are three types of labels for shipping to Amazon FBA.

FNSKU Label means Fulfillment Network SKU, which is assigned to each product by Amazon to identify it as unique to the seller. Therefore, each product requires an FNSKU label to be sold by Amazon.

FBA Carton Labels ensure efficient shipment by labeling at the origin. Amazon will generate these labels by filling out the web form in your Seller account. A shipment with multiple boxes would have a separate FBA ID.

LTL Pallet Labels are for Amazon LTL shipments. Therefore, one needs to create Pallet shipments before shipping to Amazon FBA.

Costs for Shipping to Amazon FBA

US residents have access to all courier drop-off points throughout the country. Therefore, their overall FBA shipping to Amazon costs less than that of Non-US residents.

We can only precisely determine the FBA shipping to Amazon cost once we enter our package dimensions and weight in our shipment plan.

The greater the dimensions and weight, the more costly the shipping becomes. In general, the shipping rates are usually low.

Distance also plays a role in shipping rates. But the option to ship to only one Amazon fulfillment center reduces this impact.

Wondering if Amazon FBA is Worth It?

Where to ship your Amazon FBA shipment?

Amazon currently has 185 active fulfillment centers globally, among which 110 are in the US. These are to spread across the country with more than 150 million square feet of space. See the whole list of Amazon’s fulfillment centers.

Amazon does not allow sellers to directly drop off any inventory at their fulfillment centers. Instead, sellers must ship their merchandise via carriers like UPS or FedEx. The shipping location is generated automatically by Amazon when creating a shipment plan on the seller account. In addition, sellers need not ship to multiple fulfillment centers throughout the country. Instead, Amazon allows shipping the entire inventory to just one nearest fulfillment center. From there, Amazon splits the stock and sends it to its other warehouses. The reason is that orders sometimes come from different regions. Hence, this reduces costs and shipping times.

You can find these settings in the ‘Inbound Settings’ in your Amazon seller account. The default setting is for Distributed Inventory Placement. You need to change this to Inventory Placement Service to send all seller SKUs to a single fulfillment center.

Learn more from our Blogs regarding Amazon

Time required for FBA shipping to Amazon.

FBA shipping to Amazon varies from a few days to weeks. It mainly depends on the shipping method you select. Choosing expedited shipping will reduce the time but, of course, costs more. Also, holidays may cause delays in this processing time.

You can check the status of your shipments under the ‘Shipping Queue’ section in your seller account. Once your FBA shipment reaches an Amazon fulfillment center, it usually takes 2-6 days to be available for purchase.

Create a shipping plan

Once you’ve listed items on your Amazon seller central dashboard, click the ‘Inventory’ tab and select ‘Manage FBA Inventory.

Click the ‘Edit’ button next to each item, and a drop-down menu will open. Select ‘Send or replenish inventory’ from the options.

If it’s your first time sending FBA inventory, you will be prompted to create a new shipping plan. First, enter the origin address from where the inventory will be shipped.

After this, you would be required to indicate the packaging. Here you have two options; Case-packed Products and Individual Products.

Choose Case-packed Products if you are sending multiple quantities of a single SKU.

Choose Individual Products if you are sending multiple different products.

Select ‘Continue to shipping plan.’

Specify quantity

After you’ve completed step 1, you will be taken to the next page. On this page, you’d be required to indicate the quantity of each product in your shipment. Once you specify the amount for each product, you might receive any one of the following notifications:

Information Required

Amazon requires more information about your product before you can send it to their warehouse.

Removal Required

Your product is ineligible to be sent and needs to be removed.

There is an issue with your product. It might be a slow-moving product. Therefore, Amazon would recommend removing it or liquidating it.

Excess Inventory

The inventory limit allowed by Amazon has been exceeded.

Products preparation

After setting the quantity, you will be redirected to the prepare products page. Here you can confirm product details and additional prep instructions.

You would be asked to indicate whether Amazon would be in charge of product preparation or the merchant (you).

If you choose Amazon to prep the products, certain fragile products might get damaged or spill. In addition, the prep instructions of Amazon vary from category to category.

It would not require preparation if your product doesn’t fall under any drop-down menu options.

Some products might require extra-strength boxes, poly-bagging, high-strength taping, or bubble wrap. Depending on the product category and size, Amazon usually charges anywhere from $0.50 to $2.00 or more for prep.

You must follow all instructions for FBA shipping to Amazon to avoid inconvenience.

In need of a prep service that can fulfill all your conditions? Visit our recommended Amazon service provider.


After packing every product, you need to label each individually before shipping. Amazon has rigorous labeling instructions to ensure efficient storage processes. Each label must be visible and not covered by anything. If so, you would end up paying again for re-labeling the products.

Alike prepping products, you can also have Amazon label your products for $0.30 per unit. But it’s better to label your products yourself. For labeling yourself, select Print Labels from the page.

Print all labels and paste them on each item. You might be required to include the manufacturer’s barcode. Make sure all labels are readable and scannable.

We have already discussed the labels for FBA shipping to Amazon earlier.

Review shipment

Last but most importantly, review your shipment plan. It is where you will see a summary of your shipment plan. You can edit any part by going back. Once satisfied, click ‘Submit Shipment.’

Once you’ve submitted your shipment, you will be able to view your shipment. Then, your shipping plan is ready to be shipped and delivered to an Amazon fulfillment center.

Prepare shipment

You can now,

  • Choose a shipping carrier.
  • Choose a shipping method (Normal or Expedited).
  • Calculate the number of shipping boxes required.
  • Generate labels for all packages.

It’s critical to meet all the shipment packing requirements for shipping to Amazon FBA. So prepare your shipment according to all the instructions in your shipment plan and ship your inventory to Amazon.

Once delivered at the fulfillment center, the inventory would take a few days to get inbound and go live.

Tips for FBA Shipping to Amazon

Ship in bulk

While going for FBA shipping to Amazon, I prefer shipping your inventory in bulk. This way, the shipping costs are reduced, and the inbound prices are also less.

If you are shipping multiple items, send them together instead of shipping them individually. It will cut your costs and also save time.

Avoid under-shipping

Under-shipped inventory at once incurs higher costs. There is always a rollover of the inbound cost and shipping cost. It will ultimately result in going out of stock and FBA shipping to Amazon more often.

Avoid over-shipping

Always ship according to your shipment plan. Over-shipped inventory results in lost inventory and ultimately causes issues. It also affects your seller account IPI metrics and reduces your account performance.

Go for small and lightweight items.

FBA shipping to Amazon can save you money if you choose small and lightweight products. Amazon FBA has a Small and Light (SNL) program. This program offers reduced fulfillment costs on qualified items.

New products that measure 18 x 14 x 8 inches or less, weigh three lb. or less, and are priced at $10 or less are eligible for this program.

Use Amazon’s shipping labels.

Using Amazon-generated labels for FBA shipping to Amazon results in reduced costs. Shipping labels from other companies are usually higher.

Pack tightly

Always pack your products tightly and ensure no loose contents are inside any box. It helps reduce the risk of damaged products. Amazon is stringent regarding packaging for FBA. Not following Amazon’s rules would cause delays and issues.

Sending inventory in plastic packaging is strictly prohibited. Therefore, Amazon only accepts boxed merchandise.

Follow Amazon’s guidelines.

Every product category on Amazon has specific guidelines and packaging requirements. In contrast, FBA shipping to Amazon must adhere to these guidelines. For example, Amazon has clear guidelines for expiration dates in the grocery category.

The expiration date format must be MM-DD-YYYY or MM-YYYY. In addition, Amazon will reject any inventory with marketing materials such as pre-priced labels, price tags, pamphlets, or other non-Amazon labels.

Mistakes to Avoid While Shipping to Amazon FBA

Miscalculation of costs

Many FBA sellers miscalculate their shipping costs and miss a few overhead costs, eventually decreasing the overall profit.

Make sure you take into consideration all possible costs before finalizing your calculations.

If you do not opt for an inventory placement service, you would need to ship your inventory to multiple fulfillment centers throughout the country. Therefore, it would incur higher shipping costs. However, sellers might not consider this and calculate wrong.

Shipping costs increase during peak seasons. It reduces profitability or might even kill your margin completely. Make sure you have enough cushion to adjust these shipping cost hikes.

Not considering these hidden higher shipping costs can impact your overall profit margin during the audit.

There might be hidden expenses if you hold inventory at your facility before FBA shipping to Amazon. However, the costs of the facility, such as electricity expenses, rent, security, insurance, water expense, and waste expense, are usually ignored.

These all sum up to a hefty amount annually and impact your profit.

Consider the packaging supplies’ cost, such as boxes, tape, bubble wraps, air-packing pillows, etc. Other miscellaneous prices include the one-time weighing scale and printer costs for labels.

The shipment Plan is Not Compliant.

If you do not send your FBA shipment according to your shipment plan, you might face penalties or restrictions in the long run. For example, you sent 103 units but your shipment plan stated 100.

In this case, you might get the three extra units shipped free, and Amazon might also accept those additional units. But, every FBA shipment has a score, and that score level gets impacted negatively.

If the behavior is repetitive, Amazon eventually takes down the seller’s privileges to send FBA shipments.

Incorrect packaging may also lead to inventory being damaged in transit or rejected by Amazon.

Stock out

Avoid going out of stock on your FBA inventory, or you might lose sales. In addition, your costs will increase if you go out of stock repetitively and keep resending inventory. Similarly, do not over-order; otherwise, you’d be paying additional FBA storage fees.

Try automating your operations using software to forecast the required inventory.

Shipping ineligible items for FBA

You cannot sell certain products on Amazon through FBA. If you ship ineligible products to Amazon FBA, you might get penalized or even restricted from the marketplace.

Amazon strictly prohibits sellers from sending certain products to FBA. These include alcoholic beverages, car tires, gift cards, etc.

Similarly, damaged products are also not allowed. If your inventory arrives in a damaged condition, Amazon will return it to your return address at your cost.

Wrong shipping address

Amazon will reject your inventory if it gets delivered to a fulfillment center different from the shipment plan. Amazon regulates all FBA shipments according to the FBA shipment plan.

It will only be accepted if your inventory reflects the designated shipment plan.

If Amazon rejects your FBA inventory, you would need to get your products back through a third-party logistics company. Again, this would cause inconvenience and increase your expenses.

Before FBA shipping to Amazon, double-check the final FBA shipment and cross-match it with your shipment plan.

Incorrect labeling

There are strict labeling instructions and guidelines for FBA shipping to Amazon. Incorrectly labeled packages might lead to delays, rejection, or even worse. In addition, customer returns, claims, negative feedback, and incorrect labeling may lead to listing suspension. 

Amazon requires all units to have an FNSKU label generated after listing creation in your seller central account. Therefore, each variation has a unique FNSKU. It is, therefore, imperative that each product is labeled correctly.

Amazon also requires each carton box to be labeled separately as well. After you approve your shipment plan, Amazon will generate your FBA carton labels. Also, ensure that your labels have readable barcodes. Failure to scan the barcodes would result in the rejection of inventory.

Ensure all your labels are according to the requirements before FBA shipping to Amazon. The FBA label service fee will be $0.55 per item if you specify Amazon to label your items.

Incorrect weight or dimensions

Make sure you weigh your shipments correctly. Amazon calculates shipping costs according to the unit weight and the dimensional weight. Consider both and remember to enter the correct values for each product.

Some sellers misclassify products to cut shipping costs. But if Amazon or your carrier rejects the shipment, you would be responsible for paying return fees. So it would ultimately cost more than the actual legit shipping cost.

Unit weight is the weight of a single item. Shipping weight is the item’s weight when appropriately packed in a box.

The dimensional weight is calculated by multiplying all product dimensions in inches and dividing by 139.

The minimum dimension can be 2 inches.


FBA shipping to Amazon is tricky with some complexities but still worth it. You must meet specific requirements to undergo a smooth inventory inbound process.

The process becomes quite efficient if you adhere to all guidelines and criteria. If your FBA shipment has errors, it may hinder the shipping to Amazon

process. By now, you can ship your inventory to an Amazon fulfillment center. If you still have questions or concerns regarding FBA shipping to Amazon, let us know in the comments section below.

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