Mufti-Channel Fulfillment for Fulfilling eBay Orders

On the FBA Forum over at Yahoo Groups, someone recently asked about Mufti-Channel Fulfillment for fulfilling eBay orders.

I’ve been fulfilling eBay orders using Amazon Fulfillment for quite a while. Here are some instructions and comments based on my experience with Mufti-Chanel Fulfillment.

  1. List your items on Amazon and ship the items to the FBA Warehouse (if you’re already using FBA then you may have already done this.
  2. List items on eBay, as though you were going to ship them yourself.
  3. When an item is sold on eBay, get the shipping details for the eBay order. I open 2 browser windows so I can copy and paste the eBay customer’s address over to Amazon. Login to Amazon SellerCentral, go to the Manage FBA Inventory page where you view your FBA inventory and locate the item you sold.
  4. After locating your item on the Manage FBA Inventory page, check the box next to the item you want to ship and use the dropdown box at the top or bottom of the inventory page and select “Create Fulfillment Order”.
  5. In the “Create Fulfillment Order” form enter the eBay buyer’s shipping information. For the email address I use my email address so that I will receive an email when the order is shipped. For the “Order ID” I use the eBay buyer’s email address so I can easily locate the order using Advanced order search if I need to refer back to the order. For the Packing Slip Order ID I use the eBay Auction number so that the buyer will see that on their packing slip.
  6. I’ve only used the Standard Shipping option (you’ll see that when you click through to the next screen after entering the order details). The estimated delivery date may seem like it’s a long time to get there but I find the packages usually arrive sooner than the estimated date.
  7. After a few minutes (sometimes it takes a while) you should see the order under your Manage Orders page in Seller Central). After the order is shipped by Amazon when you view the order it will show you a tracking number.

Some things to be aware of:

  1. Amazon Fulfillment can take longer than if you fulfill the order yourself. When the warehouses are busy I’ve seen it take up to 2 days for the order to be shipped. I state clearly in my eBay listings that it could take up to 2 days for the order to be shipped, with up to 7-10 days for the order to be delivered. It never takes quite that long but this way I’ve setup the buyer’s expectations before they bid/buy. I sell low priced items so the Expedited shipping is not really much of an option (although I suppose I could offer it, that shipping would cost my customer much more than the item itself).
  2. As with anything we do as online merchants, customer contact to make sure the have the right expectations is important. I make sure to let the customer know what to expect. I use the options in eBay to mark the order as shipped and adding the tracking number after the order is shipped.
  3. Sometimes the tracking number won’t work to show the in transit status. I think this may occur when Amazon ships via LaserShip, the order will show a USPS tracking number but when you attempt to track it the USPS site will not show the status. You may be able to get status from FedEx when this happens, I don’t recall.
  4. You’ll need to watch your inventory levels on Amazon and if you sell out of an item then you’d need to cancel your eBay listing. You could put a really high price (say $999.00) on your Amazon listing if you only have one and want to sell it only on eBay, but if you want to offer one item on both sites you want to avoid selling the same one item on both sites because that would mean cancelling an order and possibly getting negative feedback. I only use Mufti-Channel for items that I have multiple quantities of.

Hope that helps. Please post a comment if you have anything to add or have any questions.

How To NOT Pack Your FBA Shipments

Happy Thanksgiving Day! I’ve been super uber busy myself, packing and shipping to FBA.

Have you ever received shipments that looked like this? I recently received some really poorly packed deliveries from online merchants. These boxes were not packed properly. I would’ve hoped that their warehouse staff would do a better job. Fortunately the contents were mostly OK with the exception of one toy that had a crushed corner of the box.

 

This next photo shows that one of the boxes was not stuffed full of packing material. This is the box that arrived at my doorstep opened.  You’ll want to always stuff the box full so the edges are less likely to collapse like those shown above.

I’ll be showing how to properly pack shipments in upcoming posts. In the meantime have a great Black Friday and I hope you get some great deals to resell on FBA.

Take care out there!

 

 

 

 

Preparing Textiles for Shipping to FBA

Sometimes I purchase textile items to send to Amazon Fulfillment that require preparation prior to packing in the box. The FBA Shipping Manual (section 5.8.6) states ‘Textile products must be packaged so that the item cannot be damaged or cause unsafe conditions by having the material exposed during the fulfillment process.”

I recently received a canvas cloth product that arrived with each item wrapped in individual Suffocation Warning Bags but the bags were not sealed shut. I used clear packing tape to seal each item shut and then taped the FNSKU label to the outside of the bag (FNSKU labels are the labels we print to attach to each individual item for Amazon Fulfillment).

Here are some photos showing the bag before & after being taped shut, plus I show how I packed the items to prevent the box from getting crushed which can cause boxes to lose their integrity and break open.

This is the textile product as it arrived to me from the supplier in open bags

Textile Product in Open Bag

open bag

This is the same item with the bag taped shut with clear packing tape (1.88″ x 2.6 Mil). Fortunately my supplier shipped these to me in bags that had the suffocation warning printed on the bag. IMPORTANT: Amazon requires that you use Suffocation Warning Bags. They can be obtained here

Textile Product in Taped Bag

bag taped shut

FBA Packing Slip placed on top of the products

Packing Slip in Box

FBA Packing Slip

Getting ready to tape the box I find it needs more packing material

Getting ready to tape the box

needs packing material

I added Air Pillows to fill the box up to help the box maintain integrity during shipping

Packing Material - Air Pillows

added air pillows

After adding air pillows the box is ready to seal with packing tape

Full Box Ready to Seal with Packing Tape

box ready to seal

After the box is sealed with tape it will be ready for the UPS Shipping Label and then off it goes to the FBA warehouse!

Any questions?
Your comments are welcome!

 

 

 

 

Sealing Shipments – Tape Dispenser & Packing Tape

There is a large variety of packing tapes and dispensers available at most office supply stores and online. Here is what I use on a daily basis for preparing shipments for transit to Amazon’s FBA warehouses. I have used this configuration for many years with good results. These are my personal preferences and you may prefer something different but this is what works well for me, and the cost is reasonable.

Tape Dispenser

There are many different dispensers available. I’ve tried the more expensive ‘gun’ type dispenser but prefer the lightweight plastic dispensers that come with a roll of packing tape, I find it easier to hold and use. You do have to be careful as the cutter blade is exposed, compared with some of the fancier gun type dispensers with retractable blades. Over the years the dispensers carried by my local stores have changed but they’vscotch dispenser 3500e basically been about the same for over 10 years. I usually get at least several years out of one of these dispensers. I’m currently using a Scotch dispenser that is carried by OfficeMax. This dispenser allows you to easily replace the tape roll after it’s used up. It holds most 1.88/1.9 inch wide x 54.5/55 yard tape refills.

Available at Amazon.com: Scotch Sure Start Shipping Packaging Tape with Dispenser, 1.88 Inches x 38.2 Yards, 1 Roll with Dispenser (3450S-RD)

Available at OfficeMax: Item #: 07110093 and at the time of this  writing is available through this link or locally at stores: http://www.officemax.com/office-supplies/shipping-mailing-supplies/packaging-tape-dispensers/product-ARS21503?csRedirectSearchString=07110093&csRedirectSearchResultCount=1&csSearchTag=true&_requestid=6849

Packing Tape

Here again, this is a matter of personal preference and what’s easily available. I find if I use cheap tape I have problems with it coming off the roll properly and it’s a nightmare to get it straigtened out. I have an OfficeMax store nearby so I usually use that in case I need to restock in a hurry. This  tape is 2.6 Mil thickness, which is neither the lightest nor the heaviest, it’s a middle weight tape that I find  works well on my FBA shipments. You will see packing tape sold for lower prices, but I find that’s almost always 1.9 Mil thickness which in my officemax packing tapeopinion is too thin to withstand the rigors of UPS  and other carriers. I use this tape  for both sealing boxes and for taping the shipping label to the outside of the box. The tape comes in both 110 yard and 55 yard (actually 54.6 yard) lengths. If you are using the Scotch dispenser shown above (or similar small dispenser), you’ll want the 55 yard length rolls. The 110 yard length roll might fit the dispenser but it will likely rub on the inside of the dispenser until you’ve used several yards.

Available at Amazon.com: I haven’t tried this Duck brand but looks to be about the same as what I get from OfficeMax Duck Brand HD Packaging Tape, 1.88 inch x 54.6 Yard, Crystal Clear, 6 Rolls (CS-55-6pk)

Available at OfficeMax: Item #: 21086968 and at the time of this  writing is available through this link: http://www.officemax.com/office-supplies/shipping-mailing-supplies/packaging-tape-dispensers/product-ARS24523?csRedirectSearchString=21086968&csRedirectSearchResultCount=1&csSearchTag=true&_requestid=6766

I welcome your comments and suggestions regarding your packing supply preferences.

 

 

FBA Shipping – Packing For Profit, Not Peanuts

Recently I combined several orders that came to me in many boxes. Some retail stores really amaze me when it comes to their lack of good packing. I frequently receive large boxes containing a few small items, surrounded by loads of peanuts.

According to the Amazon FBA Manual, FBA does not allow us to use peanuts when shipping to FBA:

  • “Accepted forms of dunnage/void fill include foam, air pillows and full sheets of paper. Styrofoam peanuts, biodegradable/cornstarch packing peanuts, crinkle wrap, and shredded paper are not acceptable. Boxes must be packaged so that the contents can withstand the rigors of transportation and processing at Amazon fulfillment centers.”

I had to pack the items up more efficiently into well packed shipments for sending to FBA. There were several delicately boxed dolls that I placed in a large box and for packing material around the dolls I used about 2 dozen small plush toys. First, I packed each plush toy in suffocation warning bags. Then I used the plush toys to surround the boxed dolls. It was way more efficient and economical than shipping the dolls and plush toys separately and I didn’t have to use or waste any extra packing materials. Packing this way was not only economical it was environmentally friendly as well.  The dolls will arrive at the FBA warehouse in perfect condition and I didn’t use a bit of packing material.

 

 


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