January 24, 2023

Amazon FBA Packaging Guidelines and Requirements

Ensure you stay compliant when packaging your products for the Amazon FBA program. Our guide provides the information you need to get started!
Amazon FBA Packaging Guidelines and Requirements
Amazon FBA Packaging Guidelines and Requirements

Amazon FBA Packaging Guidelines and Requirements

Amazon FBA or Fulfillment by Amazon is a service used by thousands of merchants all over the world. 

With Amazon FBA, selling on Amazon becomes easier as Amazon takes care of everything from packing, shipping, and customer service. 

As an Amazon seller, all you need to do is send your products to Amazon fulfillment centers and have Amazon take care of the rest. 

But how does this work? Well, sending your FBA inventory isn't as simple as wrapping it in a box. You have to follow some Amazon packaging requirements to have your inventory accepted at the fulfillment centers. 

If you don't adhere to the guidelines and requirements, you may incur some Amazon fees and have your inventory sent back. 

In this article, we will look at some Amazon FBA packaging requirements and guidelines to ensure a seamless process at Amazon fulfillment centers. 

What are the Amazon FBA packaging requirements? 

Proper packaging isn't only good news at Amazon fulfillment centers but is also good news for your customers. Packaging your inventory properly ensures that they are delivered swiftly and in good condition to your customers. 

Also, keep in mind that all prerequisites for shipping must be met before shipping your items. 

You can go through additional resources on your Amazon Seller account to guide you on preparing and packaging your inventory. 

Now let's look at the Amazon packaging requirements and guidelines you must follow: 

  • You must wrap all items individually.
  • Between each item and the interior of the box, there must be two inches of cushioning. 
  • All your products must be packaged in a tightly secured, six-sided box. The box flaps must be intact and functional. 
  • If you are using pallets, you must label each pallet four times. You should place the labels at the center of each side.
  • Every box on a pallet must also be labeled individually. 
  • All boxes should include its own FBA shipment label. You can find the shipment label in the Shipping Queue on your Amazon Seller Central account.
  • If packaging your products with a master carton, you will have to place your unique shipping label on the master carton. 
  • You can reuse shipping boxes. However, they must be free from old shipping labels and should be rigid.
  • You must use a single address label that is clearly marked with the proper delivery and return information. (In a situation when Amazon has to send your product back and to properly manage your inventory, Amazon must have a return address). 
  • To reduce or avoid delays, use shipping boxes that are at least 1 lb in weight and 6” x 4” by 1”. Aim to keep it under 25” on any given side and under 50 lb. 
  • Only use approved packing materials, like polyethylene foam sheeting, air pillows, bubble wraps, and sheets of paper. You are not permitted to use styrofoam, packing peanuts, foam strips, crinkle wrap, or shredded paper.
  • You can only use approved boxes like B-flute, ECT-32, RSC, and 200 lb/sq inch burst strength boxes. 
  • Individual product units must be labeled properly according to the labeling standards.
  • You must package products by the category in which they are sold. 
  • If you are selling a multi-pack, you must clearly label them as such.
  • Products that fail a 3-foot drop test, products that are over 10 pounds, and particularly vulnerable products may require over-boxing to secure the package.
  • When packaging your product in cases, each case must have the same number of identical products with the same SKU. You can add up to 150 items per case maximum. 
  • Expiration dates should be clearly in MM-DD-YYYY format.

Amazon packaging requirements: Product categories

There are different packaging requirements under certain categories. Here are all the packaging requirements you need to take note of under the following categories: 

‘Sold as Set’ products

“Sold as Set” products contain a mixture of similar units wrapped together. For example, it could be a set of kid toys. 

As you prepare these types of products for FBA shipment, it is important to take note of these requirements: 

  • Package or shrink-wrap the set inside a polybag to ensure it is protected during shipping.
  • You must attach a label that includes something like “Do Not Separate,” “Ready to Ship”, etc. 
  • You need to add a new number for the entire set
  • Confirm that units of the required set do not have barcodes so that they are not scanned at the fulfillment center. 

Case-packed products

Case-packed products are in boxes that contain similar items with the same SKU. For example, it could be a box filled with 15 brown teddy bears. At fulfillment centers, officials only need to scan one of them since all items are identical. Each box must contain items with the same quantity and SKU. It should also not contain more than 150 units. 

Boxed products

Products should be packaged in a cube or rectangular boxes with six sides. The box should also be able to withstand a minimal amount of pressure on any of the sides. Boxes with open lids should be fastened with tape or glue. Amazon recommends that you perform a drop test to check for any perforations. 

Apparel products

When packaging clothing, you can follow the general guidelines and package them in boxes or polybags. However, Amazon prohibits the packaging of clothes that include hangers. However, jackets, blazers, suits, baby hangers, and outfits that cost more than $299 are the exception. 

Loose products

Loose products typically have detachable parts. It is best to package these items in a bag or lose sleeves. Also, you can use removable tape to tie these items around each other if they are not in a bag. 

Products with expiration dates  

If you are shipping products with expiration dates, they must come in MM-DD-YYYY or the MM-YYYY format on the packaging. The expiration date on the outer box should come in 36-font size. The expiration date label should also be attached to each item in the box. Any additional wraps like bubble wraps should also contain the expiration date. 

FBA Packaging options 

Here are the main packaging materials you can use for your goods: 

  • Boxes
  • Polybags
  • Bubble wrapping bag

Boxes 

Boxes are the most common type of packaging. They are sturdy and more convenient for storing and handling goods. However, you can't use just any box. Here are four approved boxes you can use: 

  • Regular Slotted Carton (RSC)
  • 200BH (burst strength box)
  • B-flute
  • ECT-32 Box

The longest side of regular shipping boxes with everyday items should not exceed 25 inches. The median side should be less than 14 inches and the shortest side shouldn't exceed 8 inches. The standard weight for boxes and cartons is 50 lbs. 

Polybags 

Some items like shoes and bags may not fit into structured boxes. You can package these items in polybags. Here are Amazon's specifications for polybags:

  • Polybags should be clear and contain Amazon barcodes or X00-label manufacturers that can be quickly scanned. 
  • Each side of the polybag should be at least 1.5mm thick
  • The polybag must have a perfect closure and should not stretch beyond the assigned product's size. 
  • Polybags should have suffocation warnings labeled or printed on them. They should also have openings that are larger than 5 inches and should have big-sized letters. 

Bubble wrapping bag 

Bubble wrap bags are not major packaging materials. They are usually packed in boxes or polybags. Only specific items are qualified for bubble wrapping. These include delicate items or extremely heavy items that could get damaged during filling or transportation. 

When using a bubble wrapping bag for packaging, you first have to enclose the product in bubble wrap and secure it with tape. On the bubble wrap, you need to provide a machine-readable barcode. Lastly, you need to perform a 3-foot drop test on the wrapped product. 

Where can you buy FBA packaging materials? 

Packaging materials must follow Amazon requirements and guidelines. You can get Amazon-approved packaging supplies including polybags, boxes, and bubble wraps directly from Amazon. If you are shipping to FBA, you can also get free supplies from UPS, FedEx, and USPS. However, you will need to cover the charges as stated by these suppliers. 

What are the Amazon FBA labeling requirements? 

Before sending your inventory to Amazon fulfillment centers, keep in mind that you need to follow some labeling requirements. Your labeling should match the following guidelines before shipment: 

  • Your product labels should match your product titles 
  • Your labeling should not exceed 50 characters in length.
  • Capitalize the first letter of each word. However, you should not use all capital letters.
  • You are not permitted to use symbols or special characters on your product labels.
  • You are prohibited from using promotional titles.

Final thoughts

It is important to follow Amazon's packaging requirements and guidelines to ensure your products arrive at fulfillment centers in good condition. It will also help you avoid poor seller ratings and extra costs for noncompliance. 

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