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