Table of Contents
- 1 Pay Attention When Choosing Your Freight Forwarder
- 2 Check the Customs Clearance Requirements for Your Products in Europe
- 3 Register for EORI
- 4 Find Your Pre-Amazon Warehouse
- 5 Check Shipping Address
- 6 Mind That Shipping Product Are Eligible for FBA
- 7 Ensure Proper Inventory Visibility
- 8 Your Products Will Need to Be FBA Prep Ready.
- 9 Avoid Your Shipments Being Refused by Amazon
- 10 Amazon Returns, Removal Orders, and Long-Term Storage Fees.
After months of reading all available articles online, watching hundreds of hours of how-to videos on YouTube, and searching for breakthrough products on Alibaba, you have finally registered your Amazon Sellers account. Your first orders with Chinese suppliers have been placed, and you expect your listings to go live on AMZ very soon. Hold on!
With the help of FLEX. Logistics – an e-commerce 3PL that specializes in processing shipments to Amazon FBA in Europe, pre-Amazon storage, FBA prep, and forwarding to fulfillment centers, we are presenting ten basic requirements for you to consider, which will help you avoid some common e-commerce nightmares, unnecessary costs, and delays.
Pay Attention When Choosing Your Freight Forwarder
Although Chinese freight forwarders have several advantages over their European counterparts, generally lower prices and the knowledge of the local market, they also often overstate their capabilities. It takes more than 1-2 weeks to get your products from your Chinese suppliers to AMZ warehouses in Europe. Unless you ship full containers, your boxes will come in consolidated containers with boxes of tens of other clients.
It may take even a few weeks for your freight forwarder to fill in the container and ship it out to Europe.
Check the Customs Clearance Requirements for Your Products in Europe
Before you even consider placing an order with your Chinese supplier, you need to check if the products comply with European requirements. You can buy almost everything on Alibaba (probably even tanks and long-range missiles – at least those made of plastic). Still, before your goods arrive at Amazon fulfillment centers in Europe, they need to be cleared by customs, which will ask for certificates, declarations, and test results. Work with the customs agent BEFORE you even place your order with a Chinese supplier.
Register for EORI
You need to register your business for EORI to be able to do the customs clearance on your imports into the EU. Did you get one in the UK? Since Brexit is no longer valid in the European Union, you need another one from one of the EU countries. Don’t worry. For example, in Poland, getting one takes only 3-5 business days.
Find Your Pre-Amazon Warehouse
Even if you plan to ship only a single box from China to Amazon FBA, it is strongly advised that you start working with a logistics partner in Europe who can receive your shipments from China (or from the UK – as shipping from the UK to the EU since Brexit is the same thing nowadays), help you with the customs clearance, do the quality inspection and forward the box to Amazon fulfillment centers. If you ship containers – that’s a must. Amazon won’t accept floor-loaded containers with thousands of boxes; anyway, your storage costs with Amazon would go through the ceiling. Imagine your supplier has messed up product labeling – will you ship it back to Asia for relabeling now?
Your 3PL partner can receive your sea containers or pallets, put them into storage and replenish your inventory levels in Amazon fulfillment centers based on your needs and available FBA limits. In addition, they should offer competitive storage rates (and no long-term storage fees!), fast turn-around on processing your cargo to FBA, and hassle-free forwarding to Amazon FBA.
Consider contacting FLEX. Logistics, which offers pre-Amazon storage in A-class warehouses in Poland and Germany (and more locations are coming soon), for a quote.
Check Shipping Address
The platform rejects any shipment that disembarked at another FBA warehouse than initially planned. It also means you will have to find a third-party logistics agency that will help you get your rejected items back.
Before delivering to AMZ FBA, add a couple of validation steps, such as getting your warehouse team to check the shipments and shipping plan and review everything before shipping. If you do not run your warehouse, schedule a call with the sales rep or foreman to discuss the shipping processes and what precautions can be put in place to enhance the process so that such mistakes do not occur.
Mind That Shipping Product Are Eligible for FBA
Certain products can be sold on AMZ retail channel but are not eligible for FBA! Suppose you do not know this policy and keep sending restricted goods to FBA. In that case, the marketplace might penalize you heavily or ban you from selling on the platform.
For instance, Amazon prohibits merchants from selling or sending alcoholic beverages, gift cards, or car tires on Seller Central. Damaged products are also a big no-no. AMZ won’t sell items that arrived broken at the fulfillment centers. In other words, AMZ will send them back to you at your cost.
Ensure Proper Inventory Visibility
Shipping errors can happen when you do not have eyes on your cargo. Imagine not knowing what is in production, what is en route, who has your products, or where they are going. If you do not track your stock, you also risk not knowing how much and when to reorder and which storage needs restocking as soon as possible. You might end up missing out on substantial sales events, which eventually means lost profits!
For this reason, think of investing in an inventory management tool with a built-in inventory tracker to better control your stock levels. This way, you can conveniently monitor the progress of your shipments and see common supply chain issues early.
Your Products Will Need to Be FBA Prep Ready.
Your products will likely need additional FBA prep to meet Amazon FBA requirements. And e-commerce 3PL can receive your products in sea containers, on pallets, or as courier boxes and prep them for FBA. Labeling (FNSKUs), poly bagging, bundling, kitting – let your 3PL do the hustle, and you focus on growing your brand!
Avoid Your Shipments Being Refused by Amazon
Not all logistics companies are equal. Your carrier doesn’t know a thing about Amazon requirements? Do your pallets get refused by Amazon for not-complying with inbound shipment rules? Has your supplier shipped over-weighted or oversized boxes to FBA? When shipping your products to Amazon FBA warehouses, you need to work with a partner who will get you covered.
Amazon Returns, Removal Orders, and Long-Term Storage Fees.
Once you have figured out how to get your goods from China to Amazon warehouses in Europe, you now have to consider how to get those products out… to avoid long-term storage fees, remove your unsellable inventory or relabel the units with new FNSKU labels. E-commerce 3PLs such as FLEX. Logistics can receive your Amazon returns and removal orders, provide test & check, relabeling, re-boxing, and ship them back to FBA, or simply palletize them and send them back to your place anywhere in the world.
Remember successful, selling on Amazon, as with any great journey, is full of potholes, but the destination ahead is worth every moment spent on building it! Good luck!