Ship FBA to Amazon and Pricing

Shipping to Amazon

How frequently should you ship?

Our approach is to ship at least once a week if possible. When new units become active, you'll notice that there is a slight increase in sales. The more often you ship the more likely you will experience a compounding effect of new inventory selling quickly every week.

Over time, books tend to lose value. This is because repricing and competition tend to drive prices lower. The longer you hold onto a book, the more time there is for that book to lose value. This makes it important to get books to Amazon as quickly as possible. 

 

Pricing Books to track Scanning Sessions 

As you list books into inventory, it is helpful to use price indicators. A price indicator is a price assigned to books only for shipping purposes. For instance, if you are attempting to create a one-box shipment, you can intentionally price all those books at a price (for example $500) so you can come back to select only those books in inventory management for the shipment.

  

In our warehouse, we have multiple people working on different shipments at a time. It can potentially be confusing who is listing which book and where each book is in the processing sequence. First of all, keep those books separated so each person knows what to work on; and what not to touch. As we're creating shipments, to make things easier, we assign a price to identify each person’s work. Person A will price all the books they are listing at $500; Person B will use $501. Now as Person A finishes listing and creates a shipment, they know only to add books priced at $500 to their shipment.

Selecting Books for a Shipment 

Once your books are listed and uploaded into Amazon Seller Central, you should be able to search for them in inventory management quickly using the filters option shown below. Once you have entered the price ranges, only those books should appear. You can then click "select all" and use the send/replenish option to create the shipment.

Using price ranges filters to locate Books

 

Creating a Shipment

1. Select the books you wish to ship and in the drop-down menu select Send/Replenish inventory.

 

2. Select “Create new shipping plan” and “Individual products” as the packing type. Click “Continue to Shipping Plan”

3. Enter the correct amount for each unit (It is usually 1) then continue.

 

4. Amazon will then prompt you if the is any special packaging or handling required for a unit. Usually, this is rare but some books will require “Shrink-Wrapping.” After reviewing click continue.

5. Amazon will then give you the option to print labels. Since we have already done this process you can skip this and click continue.

6. Amazon will then analyze your shipment contents and create a shipping plan. It’s at this point you have the option to approve or delete the plan.

 

Techniques for Optimizing Inbound Shipping 

Notice you have an option to Approve or delete a shipping plan. In the shipping plan above,  Amazon has requested for 1 book to be sent to Washington and the other to South Carolina. This is what is known as a Split Shipment. If we approve this shipment the next step is to package and weigh each shipment separately. Split shipments can occur if you're sending in 2 books or 200 books. It happens to everyone.

It will save you time if you can reduce the number of split shipments. There are a few things you can try, although they do not always work.

  • Prep list and ship only enough books to fill one box at a time. This is the one box method as discussed earlier.  
  • If you are shipping larger amounts of books aim for a 2 or 3 box approach. To do this simply store books in your shipping boxes before processing. Fill the boxes as inventory comes in and when a box or two are full, send just those books. We’ve been lucky using this approach in the past but it is not guaranteed to work every time. It’s our theory that Amazon may calculate shipment location based on weight or cubic feet. Their system is aware of the exact size and weight of every book in your shipment. If their algorithm recognizes your inventory meets exactly what can fit into a box there is a higher chance all the units will be sent to the same facility.

When to Approve a Shipment (Calculating Cost Per Unit) 

There was a time not long ago when shipments were usually sent to the closest sorting facility. Now it is becoming more common for shipments to be routed all over the country. The problem here is that the farther you ship the more you pay in inbound shipping fees. This is a significant issue if you are selling low margin or heavy books. The increased inbound shipping costs will eat into your free cash flow and profit margin. As you gain experience sending shipments, you’ll find that they often route to the same warehouses. Try to get a sense of how much it costs to ship to each location on a per unit bases. For example, If a box containing 35 books cost $10 to ship to a nearby warehouse - divide $10 by 35 and you’ll find that it cost .28 cents per book to send to this warehouse. If it cost twice that to send to another warehouse that is further you’ll know that it costs .58 cents per book. Having a rough idea of what it should cost to send to each warehouse will help you to anticipate the total inbound shipping costs for a shipment. Knowing this beforehand will help you determine whether or not to approve a shipment. 

 

 




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This information was last updated, October 2020.

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