Mistakes When Shipping to Amazon FBA

If there is an issue with your product after it leaves the factory, it can get very expensive. It’s better to check everything well before shipping to avoid any unexpected charges. 

In this article we cover the top mistakes Amazon sellers make when shipping from factories. 

Mistake 1 Experienced Factories 

Check with your supplier that they have shipped your product or a very similar product to your country several times. This will prevent most mistakes because the factory will be familiar with the paperwork and certification required for your market.

Also, double check with them whether they are aware of any lab tests or certificates you need for your item before you place the order. 

Mistake 2 DDP 

DDP simply means delivered duty paid. That is the shipper, you, have paid all of the taxes, customs duties and freight costs associated with the product right up to final delivery.

If you try to send goods to Amazon via air or sea freight without covering all of the customs taxes and duties, they will reject the shipment, which can cost you thousands of dollars. 

Clearly indicate to your factory and also to the freight company that you need to use DDP terms and that you will cover the import duties. Ask them upfront when and how to pay for the import duties. 

Mistake 3 Cartons 

Do a drop test and vibration test on the cartons to make sure that your goods will not get damaged in transit.

You need at least two-ply and ideally 3-ply outer cartons when shipping internationally. A drop test is very simple and can be performed at most factories. 

Mistake 4 Labeling 

Make sure you have a “made in China” sticker somewhere on the product and included on your packaging too – or the country of origin your product is from if shipping internationally. 

This is a common requirement for most products. You also need to make sure that your product meets all labeling requirements and testing requirements.

For example, if you are doing a Bluetooth item, there are special markings you need to put on the packaging and product. Ask SGS or Intertek for the requirements if you are unsure. A quick way to find out is to go to a shop that sells your products and check the packaging and labeling of the product.

Just because other Amazon sellers don’t have any special marking, that doesn’t mean you don’t need it. They could’ve simply got lucky passing their goods through customs. 

Mistake 5 Certification 

If you don’t have the right certificates or import documents for your products it can cost thousands of dollars to fix.

The worst-case scenario is that the goods will be sent back at your expense. Ask a US-based freight forwarder before shipping which documents your products will need for customs.

Also check with SGS or Intertek. Get at least 3 opinions as sometimes freight providers aren’t always aware of the specific regulations for your product. 

Mistake 6 Costs 

If you use your factory to send your products there can be lots of extra charges, because sometimes the freight provider gives the factory a commission for referring you.

Always benchmark costs from two or more different freight providers. All of them will say it’s an estimate and any unexpected costs will be passed on to you.

That’s why it’s better to use a small to medium freight forwarder with fewer overheads who cares about your business and is less likely to try to rip you off or overcharge you.

Mistake 7 Slow Replies 

Slow replies to requests from customs or your forwarder can get very expensive.

Often there is a small window of free storage or delivery times from a few hours to a couple of days. After that, you can incur huge fees for storing your goods while you answer or provide the necessary documentation requested by a freight provider. 

You need to check which documents you need in advance of the shipment and get them ready before the products leave the factory.

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