The saying goes that if you fail to plan then you’re planning to fail. That saying applies to an Amazon seller as every aspect of the business needs to be planned and executed for seamless operations. If you’re a seller looking to profit, then you should prep your products for sale and perform the associated functions. Doing them by yourself can create a host of issues, which is why it’s best to reach out to an Amazon prep center. This blog elaborates on the many functions such service providers perform to ensure that your product stock gets stored, packed, labeled, and sent to FCs on time. It also brings forth the benefits you gain from their actions. Read on to find out how outsourcing your prep services can help you realize your Amazon business growth potential.
There are many duties that an Amazon entrepreneur must perform to successfully run their eStore. One of those is getting their products ready to be stored and shipped. While this may seem a simple task, it comes with its share of challenges that, if not overcome, will lead to the loss of customer satisfaction and brand reputation. If you want the customer to have a fulfilling shopping experience, then you should prep your products according to some specifications. Using Amazon Prep Services, you can have your products prepared for storage and shipping for the best results.
But first, you should be aware of the guidelines Amazon has laid out for this purpose, and prep your products accordingly. They then send it to the respective Amazon fulfillment center to be stored and shipped as per your FBA requirements. The many functions they perform give you multiple advantages you need to grow your business against the tough competition on the platform.
What are those functions? And what are the benefits gained you ask? Continue reading to learn about them and how they’ll impact your business.
Functions performed by an Amazon Prep Center
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1. Receiving inventory
So, you’ve placed an order for a lot or a few numbers of your products with the manufacturer and you get the good news that they’ll be delivered on time. But you find that you cannot receive them due to some reason. Fear not, because you can ask your Amazon Prep Center to do it for you. They will receive that order and verify its particulars like quantity, cost, etc.
2. Long-term and short-term storage
You are having a slow season and cannot store your recently received order in your warehouse. Or you’re having issues with Amazon FBA and they aren’t accepting your products. Whatever the reason for your inability to store your products in your preferred destination, your prep center has you covered.
They will retain your orders in their warehouses until they are ready to be sent to that destination of yours, be it your storage facility or Amazon’s fulfillment center. This applies to both short and long-term storage, giving you the freedom to continue working on pushing your sales up in the meantime.
3. FNSKU labeling
Every SKU has its own identity, and its label should reflect that accurately. Otherwise, there will be issues with its storage and shipping tracking. Amazon FBA prep services can prevent that outcome for you by accurately attaching FNSKU labels to your packages. All you have to do is generate those labels and send them over to Amazon, and they’ll handle the rest.
Everybody likes it when they receive their products with adequate packaging. Not only is the presentation value better due to the professionalism it exudes, but it is also necessary to ensure that the product is not damaged during its time in the warehouses and shipping. Not to forget the addition of applicable accessories, documents like tax invoices, and branding help.
Amazon Prep services can wrap your products according to your specifications. They will have a variety of packaging materials like bubble wrap, regular plastic covers, cardboard boxes of various sizes, etc. to manage the packaging needs of all types of products. They can even bundle multiple packages together for easier placement and movement.
5. Forwarding to Amazon
Ready to have your products sent to Amazon to further process its FBA requirements? Just submit a request for the same to your applicable Amazon prep center and they will send it over to the appropriate Amazon FC in a short time, sometimes the same day. You can even choose your preferred shipping/trucking service for the same.
The pricing is set by Amazon for each shipment. There’s also the option to automate this task where the Amazon prep center will replenish your stock in the FCs as soon as they receive a notification for the same from Amazon or your inventory management system.
The benefits of using Amazon FBA Prep Services
1. You save time
As an Amazon entrepreneur, time is of the essence to you. Especially time to market and shipping periods. Any delays there and your business will suffer a loss of money and reputation. And preparing products for shipment is one time-consuming task that can create or add to the delay.
Leverage Amazon’s prep services for the job and you’ll not have to worry about losing time and other resources as a consequence. They’ll handle all related tasks, and be on schedule too, leaving you with plenty of time to focus on your core business activities.
2. You save storage space
Warehouse real estate is a precious resource you cannot afford to lose to unwanted quantities of products. It not only prevents the trending items from being stored but also adds to the cost. Prevent this problem by having Amazon’s prep service store your items for you.
This is particularly helpful when you’re pursuing real arbitrage from the comfort of your home. The number of boxes bought can easily overwhelm your limited space while they wait to be sent to an Amazon FC.
3. You can scale easily
Scaling is a part of being an online seller, and a good sign too as it means you’re selling well. But it can turn into a nightmare if you cannot manage to find the adequate storage space, time, and other resources necessary for it.
With Amazon Prep Services, you won’t have to be concerned about them anymore. You will have access to the resources needed to handle the added responsibilities, leaving you to focus on just conducting your business no matter how big it grows.
4. You save on overhead
If you choose to prep your products yourself, you’ll have to deal with additional costs associated with purchasing the packaging material, hiring help, managing packaging inventory, etc. Get Amazon FBA prep services and you won’t have to spend on such things.
All you have to do is pay them a nominal fee for the services and you’re good to go. The economy of scale they bring is a critical factor in bringing down the costs that you cannot create yourself. You’ll also save on any limited storage space you have as you won’t be using it for keeping packaging material.
5. You improve operational efficiency
It’s easy to mismanage preparing your products for sale, leading to inefficiencies that can hamper your business progress. With the professional help of Amazon’s prep services, you streamline a big chunk of your operations. It helps to make the whole business operation more efficient as the chances of errors are lower.
6. You can save on sales tax
If your Amazon prep center is located in a state that doesn’t have a sales tax, then you get tax savings as well to go with other cost-saving benefits. And not having to pay sales tax means increasing your ROI.
7. You speed up your turnaround time
The sooner you can make your product available for sale online, the greater its chance of getting sold. You need a quick turnaround time to achieve such high rates of product listings. The entire process of receiving the products, packaging, and transferring them to fulfillment centers can delay your turnaround time if done by yourself.
Get Amazon to manage it for you and their established operational methods will save you turnaround time, helping you get to the market before the competition. The typical turnaround time you can expect is between 24-48 hours, though it increases with the size of your product lineup.
8. You guarantee compliance
Amazon takes its rules regarding selling on its marketplace very seriously. If you flout any regulation at any point in your seller operations, you risk getting penalized in some form. This includes your prep practices; all applicable product prep guidelines must be adhered to if you want your products to move swiftly. This can be a daunting task as the rules can get updated quickly and there are many of them.
With Amazon prep services by your side, you needn’t worry as they ensure full compliance at all times. They will update themselves with every rule change and adapt accordingly so that you won’t face problems at any point in your seller journey.
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Moving big boxes of products from the warehouse to the end user should be a sign of business progress and not a troublesome affair that you don’t want to think about. With an Amazon prep center doing the vital prep functions for your products, you won’t have to think about them too, but for opposite reasons. They will have you covered in all matters such that your only job will be to devise and implement better strategies for business growth. And they will be ready to handle the additional workload too once you do grow.
This article is written by Mike Wilson. Mike is a content strategist at SunTec India with a specialization in eCommerce and Amazon Marketing Services. He has 5+ years of experience as a B2B content creator and has written numerous informative pieces to help sellers make sense of the continuously evolving eCommerce landscape.