Should You Use Amazon’s FBA Labeling Service?

Table of Contents

Quick Introduction to FBA Label Service

Amazon FBA, or Fulfilled by Amazon, is a way for Amazon Marketplace sellers to transfer some of the responsibility of warehousing, picking and sending the products they sell through the Amazon storefront to Amazon themselves.

This can be immensely helpful for smaller-scale sellers, as it means you do not have to warehouse your own stock or take the time to pick and ship individual items when they are purchased.

In order to differentiate your products from the others being stored at the FBA warehouse, Amazon uses specific barcodes, called Fulfillment Network Stock Keeping Unit or FNSKU codes.

When using the FBA system, users need to decide whether to label their products themselves or use Amazon’s FBA Label Service.

In this article, we’ll be looking at the pros and cons of using the FBA Label Service and whether it makes more financial sense to make use of this service or label your inventory personally.

What Is an FNSKU and Why Do I Need One?

As mentioned, an FNSKU barcode identifies a specific individual item as belonging to you, the seller.

The FNSKU barcode is separate to the FBA Box Label, which is scanned when the item reaches the warehouse and allows Amazon to identify which goods belong to specific sellers.

The FNSKU barcode is attached directly to your products, not the box they are sent in.

Amazon will allow you to send products to an FBA warehouse without an FNSKU barcode, identifying the product using the FBA box label and an eligible manufacturer's barcode, such as a GCID, UPC, EAN, JAN or ISBN.

If you do choose only to use the manufacturer barcode, Amazon will fulfill your orders with any inventory that's closest to the customer, regardless of who it belongs to. This is known as "Commingled Inventory.”

Having you products added to commingled inventory means you run the risk of products that are of inferior quality or possibly counterfeit, rather than the ones you individually purchased from your supplier, being sent to your customer, so it's best to attach an FNSKU to your products.

What Is the FBA Label Service?

Printing and putting FNSKU barcodes on potentially thousands of products is time-consuming, so to streamline the process, Amazon's FBA Label Service will attach the barcodes for you, at the cost of $0.20 per barcoded product.

In order to be eligible for the FBA Label Service your products must:

  • Be in new condition only
  • Be classified as non-media
  • Not be prohibited, restricted or high-value
  • Have a single scannable barcode (GCID, UPC, EAN, JAN or ISBN)

What Are the Benefits of Using the FBA Label Service?

The most obvious benefit of using the FBA label service is that it saves you time. You can send your products in bulk directly to Amazon using the FBA system, as long as they have a legible GCID, UPC, EAN, JAN or ISBN, and pay Amazon to attach the individual barcodes for you.

What Are the Downsides of Using the FBA Label Service?

As handy as the FBA Label Service is, it is not without its downsides, and these can be fairly significant for certain sellers.

  • The Cost - $0.20 per label doesn't sound too bad, but it really depends on the scale of your business. The more you sell, the less cost-effective the FBA Label Service. To put it in context, if you sell 2000 products a month, the FBA Label Service will cost you $400 out of your profit.
  • Misplacement Risk - As with any labeling service, there is always the risk that you product could be mislabeled by the FBA Label Service. This can be disastrous for sellers with a shoestring budget or those selling high-value items.

    Having shipments worth significant amounts misplaced because of labeling issues that are out of your hands can be very detrimental to your business.
  • Suspension Risk - If you are shipping directly to Amazon from a supplier, you run the risk of having your account suspended because of potentially inauthentic items or even just Amazon’s worryingly outdated account suspension rules.

What Are My Other Options?

If you choose not to use the FBA Label Service, but still make the wise choice to attach an FNSKU to your products, the only option is to print and attach them yourself.

The reality is that this is a time-consuming process but, in addition to avoiding the downside of using the FBA Label Service listed above, it does have some of its own benefits:

  • Increased profit - If we take the 2000 products example from before, you’ll effectively be saving yourself $400 a month by labeling your own products. That’s $4800 per year!
  • Increased oversight - Because you are labeling your own products, you are in a position to make sure you are sending the right stock and have the option to check inventory sent from a new supplier for authenticity.

How Do I Streamline Labeling Products Myself?

The best way to print the thousands of FNSKU barcodes you’ll need is with a thermal printer. Thermal printers have significant benefits over standard printers, such as:

  • Thermal printers use a combination of heat and specific paper to create images, so you’ll never have to pay out for toner or ink again.
  • Both FedEx and UPS offer free thermal printing supplies and potentially a free thermal printer to their customers.
  • The lack of drying time and high print-speed of a thermal printer is ideal for producing large amounts of FBA labels and FNSKU barcodes when sending large orders.
  • Thermal printers do not have as many moving parts as regular inkjet printers, reducing the need for maintenance and increasing their lifespan.

Unfortunately, Amazon currently does not support printing directly to a thermal printer in the 2 x 1.5-inch format needed for FNSKU barcodes directly from Seller Central.

Thankfully, AZ Labels allows you to print your FNSKU barcodes directly from Seller Central using a convenient browser extension button, saving you both time and money.

How to Print Your FNSKU Barcodes the Easy Way

  1. Sign up for AZLabels and install our browser extension for Chrome or Firefox.
  2. Create your shipment of products from Amazon's Seller Central,, eBay, or wherever else you need to create shipping labels from.
  3. Instead of having to go through the arduous process of snapshotting a PDF, you can now simply click on "Print Thermal Labels" button added by our browser extension. The button looks like this:
  1. AZLabels’ servers will then process the data and generate your labels based on the specific settings you selected from your AZlabels dashboard.
    1. Our servers will generate approximately 100 shipping labels in 8 seconds so that you won't be wasting valuable time.
  2. Your labels will automatically be converted into PDF files which are downloaded onto your computer, correctly sized and ready to print from your free UPS Zebra thermal printer.
    1. If you’ve signed up for one of our Business or Enterprise accounts, our AZLabels Instant service will connect directly to your printer and automatically print your labels for an even more streamlined experience.
  3. Spend the time you would generally have wasted struggling to make labels on something more productive. Alternatively, just sit back and relax!

Try Our Service for Free!

When you sign up for our basic account, you'll be able to print up to 100 products and 10 shipping labels every month for free. We don't even ask you to add a credit card to get an account.

If you find that your business is expanding and you require more label printing support, simply upgrade to one of our three premium accounts. Each premium account comes with a range of services that we have explicitly designed to help you streamline your selling process.

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