Ship FBA to Amazon and Pricing

Shipping to Amazon

Shipping

How frequently should I ship to Amazon?

If possible ship at least once a week. As products have been received by Amazon, there is typically an uptrend in sales. The more often you ship the more likely you are to have a compounding effect of new inventory selling rapidly every week.

Book value over time

Over time, the value of books tends to decline. This is because automated repricing and competition tend to drive the prices down. The more time a book is held, the more likely it is it will lose value. Therefore, it is important to ship books to Amazon as soon as possible.


    

Pricing books to track scanning sessions 

When listing books, consider using price indicators. A price indicator is a price assigned primarily for organizing and preparing products for shipment. For instance, if you are planning a one-box shipment, you can intentionally price all the books at the same price (e.g. $500) so you know which items to select in inventory management for the shipment.

In our warehouse, we have several people working on different shipments at the same time. We separate all the books and assign them to different processing groups so that everyone knows what to expect. By assigning unique prices to each person’s work, we can more easily identify items to include each shipment plan. 

Selecting Books for a Shipment 

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


Using price ranges filters to locate Books

 

Creating a Shipment

1. Choose the books you wish to ship and then select Send/Replenish inventory on the drop-down menu.

 

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

3. Enter the correct amount of 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 

Depending on the outcome you may decide to accept or reject the shipping plan. In the shipping plan above, Amazon has requested that one book be shipped to Washington and the other to South Carolina. This is known as Split Shipment. If the shipment is approved, the next step is to package and weigh each shipment separately. Everyone experiences this at some point. 

It will save you time if you can reduce the number of split shipments. There are a few things you can do to reduce the likelihood of split shipments. 

  • 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 going to ship a larger quantity of books, aim to pre-fill the boxes and make sure the weight does not exceed 50 pounds per box. To do this simply store books in your shipping boxes before processing. Fill the boxes as inventory is received and process each box individually in batches. We have had good results using this approach, and our theory is 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 Amazon can identify that your inventory will fit in one box and weigh less than 50 pounds, it is likely that all of your items will be sent to the same location.

When to Approve a Shipment (Calculation of Cost per Unit) 

Until recently, shipments were usually sent to the closest sorting facility. Now, it is more common for orders to be routed throughout the country. The difficulty with this type of shipment is that the further you ship, the more you are charged for inbound shipping. It is especially problematic if you are selling low margin or heavy books. Inbound shipping costs will reduce your free cash flow and profit margin. 

You will discover that shipments often route to the same warehouses. Get a sense of how much shipping will cost each location on a per-unit basis. 

  • For example, if a box containing 35 books costs $10 to ship to a nearby warehouse - dividing $10 by 35 - you will understand that it costs .28 cents per book to ship to this warehouse. Sending an item to a distant warehouse can cost double. 

Knowing what it will cost to ship to each warehouse in advance will assist you in estimating costs. This helps predict whether it will be profitable to ship low margin or heavy items to specific warehouses.


 

 




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This information was last updated, May 2021.

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