The minimum viable packaging for FBA is shrink wrap or a polybag because it encloses your item at the cheapest cost. Therefore if you are just testing to see if there is a viable market, you might decide to go with this option.
However, having custom packaging greatly helps develop your brand and is often an easy win when considering product modifications on an item. Ensuring your item arrives preserved and well presented is a way to differentiate your product from others.
Things to Consider About Packaging
These are the things you need to consider about packaging:
Is it easy to pick and pack your product?
- Think about Amazon’s fulfillment centers.
- Can a person in the fulfillment center quickly grab your item for shipping?
- Are there moving parts that would become separated? One missing part can result in bad reviews, which will have a negative effect on on your sales ranking.
Is packaging important to your buyers?
- Check reviews of your competitors.
- Do customers complain that the item just comes in a zip lock bag?
- Are your buyers eco-friendly? Would shrink wrap be okay or make them cringe?
- Not sure? Ask them! There are plenty of Facebook groups or Reddit feeds you could tap into.
What are the FBA requirements?
- Read more about them here: Packaging and Prep Requirements, Amazon covers this very well.
- Failure to comply may result in the refusal of inventory at the Amazon fulfillment center so get it right!
Be sure your packaging is sturdy
- Cheap packaging could arrive at your customer banged up or missing a piece.
- Alterations of the packaging could be an easy win to ensure the product arrives safely and without damage.
- Having less refunds means less FBA fees. So think ahead and reduce lost inventory to damage.
Discuss Packaging With Your Supplier
When you call your supplier regarding the labels (see above), also take that opportunity to inquire about packaging:
- How does it currently come packaged?
- Are there other options for packaging?
- If you wanted to add a flyer or insert as your label into the packaging, can they do this?
- Do they offer custom packaging?
- Do they have any tips or advice?
Take all of these considerations into your planning and gather together your ideal packaging. Run the packaging past your supplier to get their final input. This information is also likely to be used for putting the final price on your order.
Let Your Supplier Do The Packaging
Where possible we would always recommend using the packaging capabilities of your supplier. The less time your product spends changing hands the better, because there is less chance of something getting lost or going wrong, not to mention the increased time and cost of multiple shipments.
In the case where your supplier can’t package your product, a few additional options might be:
- Ship it to yourself to complete the packaging (not recommended as we want you working ON the business, not IN the business); or
- Ship it to a third party provider to finalize the process.
As we mentioned at the beginning of the module, labeling and packaging differ greatly based on the product you’ve chosen. Therefore we suggest that you read all of this information and modify it as you see fit. Some parts may simply not apply to you.