Now, you can have your inventory shipped directly to Fulfillment by Amazon warehouses following a process specified by Amazon. While this is by no means rocket science, the process requires for you to have more than a glancing knowledge of how FBA works. But not to worry, this article will walk you through the steps and how to solve or work around the problems you’ll encounter so you can have your goods shipped from your supplier in another country directly to Amazon.
FBA is one of the most popular fulfillment programs ever devised. And many entrepreneurs all over the world have reaped huge benefits from availing of this network’s services; for a number of reasons:
- With FBA you need not worry about storage space as Amazon takes care of this concern for you
- You can have your inventory sent to FBA warehouses directly from suppliers in other countries (like Turkey for instance)
- Having your orders sent directly to FBA saves you a great deal of time by skipping the middle process of intermediate shipping and so your goods arrive much faster
- This cuts down your overall costs since you no longer have to pay for intermediate shipping
However, like the title says there are a number of issues to hurdle when you want your goods shipped directly from your foreign supplier to Amazon’s FBA warehouses:
- Your inventory will be stored in not one but different warehouses
- You don’t get the chance to inspect your goods upon their arrival
- Amazon has strict rules with regard to packaging and shipping
- You are required to pay all duties and taxes before the shipment’s arrival
So these are the common problems when you want your goods shipped directly from your foreign supplier to FBA. Let’s take a look at them in greater detail.
Your inventory will be stored in not one but different warehouses
This is a big headache connected with having a seller’s shipment sent directly to Amazon’s warehouses. A good example would be if you just ordered a dozen boxes. You have no control over where those boxes will be stored. They can all be placed in a single warehouse or they will be distributed over different warehouses. It’s entirely up to Amazon to decide which warehouses to store your goods.
If six of the boxes are stored in one warehouse while the other six boxes are in another, Amazon will charge you twice for the storage fee – once for each warehouse.
So if direct shipping is so costly, what can you do?
Well you have two options:
- Turn on the Inventory Placement option in the Seller Central
- Have somebody in the foreign country coordinate the shipment with the fulfillment center of your choice
The first solution still costs money, so that leaves you with the second solution as the more viable one.
You don’t get the chance to inspect your goods upon their arrival
The moment your shipment arrives, Amazon is not going to give you the chance to check the condition of your goods. They go straight to the warehouses and then they notify you of that fact.
Not being able to verify the condition of your goods is a serious problem which can ruin your reputation as a seller or earn you and your product some negative feedback.
Since you cannot inspect your goods when they arrive, the solution is to have somebody in the foreign country inspect your goods just before they are packed away for shipping.
Amazon has strict rules with regard to packaging and shipping
Well actually, Amazon’s requirements aren’t really that cumbersome. For example, Amazon has this particular requirement where they want each item to have a barcode that they can simply scan and catalogue.
However, the problem is if you have neglected them or have made a mistake, then anything can happen, including loss of your items.
Another requirement is that every box needs to have a cardboard label for quick and easy identification. While these are simple requirements, a single slip-up can have dire consequences. So the thing to do is to have someone in the foreign country check that everything is in order prior to shipping.
You are required to pay all duties and taxes before the shipment’s arrival
If you are a new to Amazon, there is something really important you ought to know. Amazon is not going to shoulder any expenses or fees for you or go to extra lengths to make you feel cozy and warm. No sir. If there’s any fee to be paid you better be ready to do so or suffer the consequences.
So while your goods are yet in transit, you will be asked to pay the necessary taxes and duties. Otherwise, Amazon will reject the shipment simply because you did to pay the duties.
The solution to this problem is to always ask for a list of fees to be paid, particularly the Delivery Duty Paid quote.
So now that you know what problems can arise when you attempt to have your goods shipped directly to Amazon, your problems as a vendor do not end there. In fact it’s only the beginning.
When you’ve gained considerable experience as an Amazon seller, you’ll discover that sometimes your goods get damaged, misplaced or lost. In these instances Amazon binds itself to pay you for your losses by way of a reimbursement.
All that sounds pretty good on paper. But more often than not, Amazon fails to meet their promise of reimbursement. And if you’ve been having trouble contacting Amazon or convincing them to send you a refund, expert assistance is available for you.
Let Seller Investigators help you save time and resources, and collect the money owed you by Amazon in a fast and expedient manner so you can begin the journey of driving your business towards success.