September 27, 2022

Selling on Amazon: Product Packaging Requirements and Guidelines

Amazon packaging requirements are quite intense. However, meeting all the requirements is essential for approval. To ensure you cover all packaging guidelines, we suggest you create a checklist to make sure you don't miss a thing. 
Selling on Amazon: Product Packaging Requirements and Guidelines
Shawn Khorrami
Selling on Amazon: Product Packaging Requirements and Guidelines

Selling on Amazon: Product Packaging Requirements and Guidelines

Are you a new Amazon seller? One of the major things you will need to handle when selling on Amazon is how to package your items in compliance with Amazon’s guidelines

If you don't follow Amazon's packaging requirements and guidelines, you could have your inventory returned from the warehouse and incur extra fees. 

To avoid this, you need to become familiar with all important Amazon packaging requirements. Ultimately, this will ensure you meet customer demands effectively and increase sales on Amazon.  

In this article, we will run through Amazon FBA packaging requirements you need to be mindful of. 

Why is proper Amazon FBA packaging important? 

On the Amazon marketplace, product packaging is more than just putting your products in a box and sending them out to be delivered. Amazon has a set of strict packaging requirements that you must comply with. Doing this shows your commitment to customer satisfaction which is something Amazon takes very seriously. 

Failing to comply with Amazon packaging requirements can attract penalties and affect your business. Amazon could dispose of your inventory and even block future shipments. 

Apart from attracting penalties, packaging your goods properly can prevent damage during transit. Also, properly labeling your goods will avoid mix-ups or losses. 

Amazon FBA packaging requirements 

To increase Amazon sales, it is important to understand and follow all packaging requirements. In addition, complying with packaging requirements will ensure your goods get to the customer in perfect condition ultimately boosting your reputation. 

Understanding all the Amazon packaging requirements may seem cumbersome. This is why we have grouped them into various categories to help you make sense of them. 

General packaging requirements 

  • Each unit must have an external scannable barcode with readable numbers that can easily be accessed.
  • You can use Amazon barcodes (ASIN or FNSKU) or manufacturer barcodes (eg GCID, UPC, EAN, or ISBN) 
  • Every product type or unique unit (e.g. size or color) must have its unique FNSKU.
  • Existing barcodes on your shipping boxes must be made unscannable. You can do this by simply covering the old code with tape or a black felt tip to block it out. This ensures that the old barcode won't be accidentally scanned.
  • Units that you have not packaged in secure packaging should be bagged with tape.
  • Units may not contain multiple pieces requiring assembly by Amazon.
  • You must package each unit, including multiple volume book sets, within a single, secure package.
  • For your footwear, you must package them securely with no shoe material exposed, in boxes or poly bags. Your polybags must have a suffocation warning.

Amazon packaging materials

Amazon provides FBA-approved packing materials which you can get directly from them. From boxes to poly bags, stretch wraps, bubble packs, and other packaging materials. 

Also, if you are an Amazon seller in the US, you can get free packaging supplies from FedEx, UPS, and USPS if you are using their services to send your products to Amazon fulfillment centers. 

Standard boxes

Boxes are the most common packing materials. They are easy to handle and store. Boxes are more secure and decrease the likelihood of replacement. 

However, you can't just use any type of box to ship your items. Here are four types of boxes accepted by Amazon:

  • Regular slotted carton (RSC)
  • B flute
  • ECT-32 (edge crush test)
  • 200BH (burst strength)

Polybags 

Items like a bag or pair of sneakers may not fit properly into a structured box and so can be packaged in polybags. However, polybags must meet certain requirements for FBA shipment: 

  • Amazon-approved poly bags must be clear and contain Amazon barcodes or X00-label manufacturers for a quick scan
  • Poly bags must have a thickness of at least 1.5mm for each side of the bag
  • Poly bags must have a perfect closure and must not stretch beyond the product’s size 
  • Poly bags must contain suffocation warnings which should be printed on the poly bags. The suffocation warnings should have openings bigger than 5 inches in outstanding places 

Bubble wrapping bags 

Bubble wrapping bags are another commonly used type of packaging. This is not a self-contained material in itself and must be used for packing items in a box or poly bag at all times. However, not all items require bubble wrap. 

Specific items like delicate goods and extremely heavy goods are recommended for bubble wrapping. 

When packing items with bubble wraps, you need to tightly package them and secure them with tape. The external portion of the wrapping bag should also provide a scannable barcode. 

Amazon FBA items sold as a set

Products with similar units should be wrapped as “Sold as a set”. 

For example, if you are shipping a set of toys, it should be labeled as “a set of books” 

Keep in mind that you need to wrap the set in a ploy bag to ensure proper protection while shipping. You also need to label the set with something like “Do not Separate”. The set should have a new number and each unit within the set should not contain barcodes. 

Amazon FBA items sold as boxed units 

Boxes shipped to Amazon FBA warehouses should contain the following specifications: 

  • Boxes must either be in a cube or rectangular shape with six sides 
  • Boxes must have an opening lid. The lid should be properly fastened with glues or tapes to ensure they don't open easily. 
  • The boxes used should be able to withstand medium pressure 
  • Boxes that have perforated sides or openings should pass a 3-foot drop test. One drop for each side of the box and one on the corner
  • If it doesn't pass the drop test, it should be packaged in a poly bag that contains a suffocation warning. 

Amazon FBA case-packed products

A box with similar items with the same SKUs is tagged as Case-packed products. To ship these types of products to Amazon fulfillment centers, you need to ensure it meets the following criteria: 

  • Boxes that contain the same product should have equal quantities of the product in the box. Also, the box should contain no more than 150 units 
  • All products contained within the box should have a matching SKU and should be in the same condition. It should have been packaged by the manufacturer. 

Since all products are identical, only one unit of the product is scanned at Amazon fulfillment centers before the box is placed as inventory. 

Amazon FBA products with an expiration date 

Here are guidelines for products with expiration dates: 

  • All products must have the expiration date on the master carton in a 36-point or larger font size. The expiration date should also be on the individual units. 
  • The expiration date format must be MM-DD-YYYY or MM-YYYY
  • The expiration date should also be on additional packagings like bubble wraps or poly bags. 

Special items 

For some special items like baby products, batteries, jewelry, apparel, and many more, there are specific packaging requirements that you can find on Amazon Seller Central. 

Amazon FBA labeling requirements 

Amazon FBA labeling is an essential part of order fulfillment. Labels should meet the following criteria: 

  • Labels must include the same product title
  • Your product titles should not be more than 50 characters
  • Only the first letter of each word should be in capital letters. Do not use all caps
  • Do not use special characters or symbols
  • Do not use promotional titles 

Now It's shipping time

Once you've packaged and labeled your products, you want to do a final checkup. Create a checklist for the packaging and labeling requirements peculiar to your product and ensure all are ticked. 

Next, ensure your box is accurately measured and doesn't exceed a weight of 30kg unless it contains a single oversized item.

If one product reaches a weight of 15 to 30kg, it should be labeled as a Heavy package. Packages with jewelry and timepieces should also not exceed 18.1kg. 

Lastly, double-check to ensure your boxes meet all requirements to prevent having your products returned or damaged. 

Conclusion

Amazon packaging requirements are quite intense. However, meeting all the requirements is essential for approval. To ensure you cover all packaging guidelines, we suggest you create a checklist to make sure you don't miss a thing. 

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