Labeling should be one of the fastest processes in your operations process. After following the scanning procedure in our last module, you can now sign in to your Amazon seller account, select your shipment plan, and print the associated product labels. Amazon provides a PDF download by default to be printed using 30-up labels.
The most common labels you can use are Avery 5160 labels. These can be found at most office supply or retail stores. There are also many 3rd party manufacturers who sell these labels online often at a lower cost. The common denominator is that the labels are 1" x 2 5/8 mailing labels with 30 per sheet. The advantage of using 30-up labels is that they can be printed using any printer.
Dymo thermal printers are another useful option when printing product labels. These printers do not require you to use ink as they burn the label information into the label paper rather than printing with ink. You will also be able to print only the amount of labels needed (as opposed to 30 at a time). Over time this can help to reduce the cost of labels and paper waste. To print these kinds of labels you will need to use specialized software that converts label information to fit the Dymo form factor. We recommend the Dymo 400 or 450 label printer.
We recommend using software like Bookseller Academy ‘Bulklister’ to print Dymo labels. Using such software allows you to print single labels or many at a time. Specialized software such as Bulklister also allows you to list items and print labels in the exact sequence they were scanned. This cuts down the time to search for items as you are able to anticipate the exact next item to label without searching for the title. Integrating this process into your workflow will save time and reduce the amount of guesswork involved when labeling.
Amazon has a labeling service and charges by the unit to label your items. This can be beneficial if your business has room to pay extra for labeling. In general, as a book or media seller, we recommend learning the labeling process first as it will help you to save costs and understand many of the concepts of bookselling. There are cases where having Amazon do this work on your behalf can be beneficial for your business but this service is more of a luxury than a necessity.
Every step in the operations workflow helps to verify that the previous step has been done correctly. If labels don’t print out as expected, this can alert you to the chance there may have been a listing error or oversight. If this happens you can simply put these items aside and investigate the issue later.
There are times when Amazon may restrict a particular item from being sold online. This can occur if the manufacturer has requested Amazon to require sellers to develop a wholesale relationship before selling an item.
If this is the case the Amazon simply excludes the label from your printout. This is good because you want to know when you are not able to sell specific items. You should not send items that cannot be sold on Amazon. This creates more work for you to do than is necessary and you may need to have the item returned or disposed of. In an effort to save time and resources, the best approach is to avoid any and all forms of shipment errors.
Once the labels are printed, find the first item, place the appropriate label over the barcode, and from that point, every additional label should be in the exact order that they were scanned.
You will occasionally find books with multiple barcodes on the back cover. Amazon requests that you also cover those additional barcodes with a blank label (this prevents Amazon warehouse workers from accidentally scanning the wrong barcode). It is helpful to save any excess blank labels for this purpose. Once all labels are in the right place and all barcodes are covered, you are ready to move onto the final steps in the preparation phase. Now it’s time to ship.