Box content was developed by Amazon to track the movement of inventory through their distribution network. This gives Amazon insight into the exact location of every product even before it's organized at their fulfillment warehouse. This allows for products to be made available for sale sooner and be delivered to the customer faster.
If you are shipping a small number of books in one box, you do not have to submit box content information. This is not always possible since Amazon occasionally splits shipments. The reason you don’t have to include box content information in a single box shipment is that Amazon knows exactly what is inside the box. Only when shipping multiple boxes, is it necessary to provide box content information.
Often you can influence Amazon’s warehouse selection by preplanning a One-Box shipment. This method requires you to do the following.
Fill a 16x12x12 box with books until it is full or weighs 45-48 pounds.
Next, remove the books from the box and proceed with normal processing (clean, grade, list).
After the listing process has been completed, create a shipment for only those books. Amazon Seller Central and Bulklister instructions below:
Amazon Seller Central - Select these books in Inventory Management. One method to keep track of the books by noting the upload date and time.
Bulklister - You can create a shipping plan specifically for these books, meaning you do not have to find, select and add to the shipment on Amazon. The software keeps track of recently uploaded books and your shipment can be created from the batch.
This strategy allows you to process and ship about 25-40 books at a time in one box. It is thought that Amazon may be organizing the way shipments are routed by weight or cubic feet. Usually, this strategy is successful, but every so often there is a split shipment.
Split Shipments - Amazon may split a shipment, meaning a few books are routed to another warehouse. A simple remedy is to remove the books from the shipment and store them aside to process later. The majority of books should still be in one box and can be approved for shipment without the need to include box content information.
Providing box content adds an extra step to the process. Amazon Seller Central offers an Excel, Webform, or TSV file for you to enter box content information. This approach involves entering every single unit into cells on a spreadsheet. This is a time-consuming and, not surprisingly, intimidating process for new sellers. Some people will completely avoid sending large shipments just to avoid this.
Bulklister can be used to quickly process box content information. Bulklister’s box content utility allows for quick box content scanning and verification. When done correctly, it is possible to process the contents of multiple boxes in a matter of minutes. This has been a significant time-saver for our business. It works by entering the shipment ID into Bulklister, selecting the box number, then scanning the contents of the box. When you scan a barcode, an image of the book will appear on your screen. This will ensure the right book is included and verify there are no mismatch or labeling issues.
This method also assists in identifying if a book ought not to be in the shipment. If you have multiple shipping plans and the books are all together, you can use the box content method to separate the books. Bulklister will confirm your book's inclusion in the current shipment. If we scan a book that does not belong in the shipping plan, it can be put to the side since it most likely belongs in another shipping plan.
After the box content is scanned, you can simply export a TSV file and upload it to Amazon. Now that Amazon knows the location of each book, you can proceed with the shipment.
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This information was last updated, June 2021.
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