FBA Fulfillment Center And How It Works
Could your business benefit from a FBA fulfillment center?
Amazon fulfillment center can significantly benefit your ecommerce business. For the right business selling the right things, an Amazon fulfillment center can be the key to scaling your business.
Don’t just sign up for FBA without doing your research. This isn’t a generic recipe for success with every business. It comes down to things like the size of your business, the items you sell, and the amount of product you sell.
That said, FBA can be an extremely helpful tool for most entrepreneurs.
Here’s what an Amazon fulfillment center is and how it can help you.
What is an Amazon Fulfillment Center?
FBA means fulfillment by Amazon. So when you create an FBA account, Amazon will work with you to prepare, store, and ship your packages.
In other words, Amazon takes care of all the hard, boring work for you.
All you have to do is find things to sell and send them to an Amazon center. After that, they take over and finish the rest of the process.
But what does this really mean?
Let’s break down what selling on Amazon looks like without FBA and what selling looks like with FBA’s help.
Selling Without FBA
When you don’t have FBA, you’re working on your own. This means you have to find ways to do everything yourself.
Here’s a list of what some of those things might be:
- Go out and find new products
- List products on Amazon.com
- Store those products somewhere in your house (not an easy task if you have a 1,000 or so products or if you have a busy house)
- Package a product correctly when someone orders it
- Drive the package to the nearest post office or shipping facility
If you have a large inventory, you could sell dozens of products every day. That’s a lot of packaging you have to do at your dining room table. It also means daily drives to the post office so you can get your products sent out on time.
This process is a hassle, and for many people, it’s impractical or impossible.
And that’s where Amazon comes in.
Selling with FBA
Your job is a lot easier when Amazon is helping.
This is all you have to do:
- Find new products
- List your products on Amazon.com
- Ship those products to an Amazon fulfillment center
Now compare that list to what Amazon does once they get your products.
- Unpack and store your products
- Make your Amazon.com listing go “live”
- Feature your item as Prime Eligible
- Handle orders
- Package and ship your products to customers
This leaves you with much less work, a good business, and happy customers.
How Does FBA Work?
Now that you know what an Amazon center will do for you, let’s take a closer look at each of those steps. You should make sure you spend time reading up on FBA so you understand exactly how it works and what kind of fees are involved.
If you already have a business, you won’t have to worry about finding products to sell. You’ll already have them.
If you haven’t started your business yet, finding items to sell should be one of your main focuses.
There are a lot of ways you can find products to sell on Amazon, and none of them are more right or wrong than another.
You can create your own products if you are crafty and creative and have the time to do so. You can also buy items on super sale and resale them on Amazon for more money. This is called retail arbitrage, and it’s one of the quickest and easiest ways to start selling on Amazon as a beginner.
Listing Your Products For FBA
You have to create the listing for your products on Amazon.com while you have them. But these listings won’t go “live” until you send your products to a fulfillment center.
This means customers can’t see your listings yet and won’t be able to buy your products.
Which is actually a good thing.
You don’t want people to buy your products if you aren’t ready to ship them.
Shipping Products to a Fulfillment Center
This does take some preparation work, but it may not be as hard as you think.
If you’re sending 1,000 items off to a fulfillment center, you don’t have to package all those products individually. Depending on the size of your products, you may be able to put them together in one large package.
Storing Products at a Fulfillment Center
When the center gets your products, they will unpack them, inventory them, and store them.
Most business owners don’t have trouble selling all their products in a manner of weeks, so long-term storage isn’t an issue.
However, if your products don’t sell in a certain time frame, you will have to pay extra to keep storing the item or have it returned to you.
Making Products Go “Live”
Once all the products are unpackaged and stored, Amazon will make your product listings active. Now customers can see them and buy them like normal.
This is one of the best parts of selling on Amazon. Your products are eligible for Prime.
A lot of buyers go out of their way to buy Prime products, so that just means more business for you.
Shipping Your Orders
When an order is placed, Amazon will find your product, prepare your product, package your product and ship your product directly to the customer.
If you want specific packaging (like if you want to leave a personalized thank you card or special wrapping), you can individually package your items before you send them to a center.
The Benefits of Fulfillment Centers
These are just some of the benefits of using a fulfillment center. These centers will also handle your customer service for your products, refunds, and any returns. This process makes your job a lot easier, and it helps you scale your business.
Want to learn more about the fulfillment process? Take a look at this order fulfillment guide.