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4 Reasons You Shouldn’t Ship From China To Amazon FBA (Mistakes & Secrets)

How Do I Get My Shipments From China to Amazon FBA?

Shipping your products from China to Amazon is a very easy and straight forward process. It can be as easy as asking your supplier to affix a specific label to either your boxes or products. Whether you are already an Amazon Seller or you are researching information on how become one, this article will answer a few important questions.

Here are the Top 4 things to consider BEFORE you ship from China to Amazon FBA

1. Unexpected Duty Fees & Customs

When shipping your products to an Amazon FBA center, you’ll need to understand that Amazon won’t pay or accept your product if there are any additional fee’s.

Amazon expects your entire shipment to arrive to their facilities with all its Delivery Duties Paid (DDP).

Small Shipments (under $800)

  • Some of the most popular and easiest FBA products to sources are both; cheap, light weight, & profitable. Coming in a low price point to purchase means you can import large quantities of products for under $800 (The threshold before paying taxes). Similarly, because they are light weight; shipping via air courier (i.e. UPS/FedEx/etc.) becomes the most effective shipping method. However, when doing this, its important to understand that; by default, duties and other customs charges will be billed to the receiver (Amazon). So, if you are shipping by air you must specify for any and all charges to be billed to the sender (You). This will ensure you product arrives to Amazon free of any charges (DDP).

*** Amazon WILL NOT accept any products that have customs, taxes, or duties fees ** Your product will likely be disposed of, or sent back to the shipper at YOUR expense.

Large Shipments (Over $800 in product)

  • If you are importing over $800 in product, it means you most likely have it palletized and require it to be shipped in a container. Most of your container shipments coming from overseas will require a customs broker to clear your shipment upon arrival. Generally they will unload your skid, charge you the tax, duties, and customs + their premium. Depending on the broker, they sometimes can facilitate your order to also be delivered to the facilities of your choice, or you will have to pickup the product yourself and find a separate currier to deliver your product to the Amazon FBA facility.

2. Quality Assessment

If you are shipping directly from China to Amazon FBA, we have to assume you have already touched, felt, and used the product yourself. If you have not done this yet, it would be in your best interested to perform a Quality Assessment before you go to market or place a large order.

How To Assess The Quality Of Your Chinese FBA Product (8 steps):

  1. Performance: How good is this product overall and how good is it compared to your competitor’s?

  2. Features: What features differentiate you from the competition and how will these features help the customer?

  3. Reliability: How long will this product last and retain its quality/functions?

  4. Compliance: Does your product abide with federal/state and provincial laws?

  5. Durability: How much will the consumer benefit from the product before quality diminishes? Does it break easily?

  6. Service: Will your product require any service if broken or damaged? How fast can you return the good and can you fix it?

  7. Aesthetics: Is the product visually appealing? Will the customer understand how to use the product by just looking at it?

  8. Perceived Value: What is the customer's perception of the overall quality or use of the product. Does it look worth the money?

Another Dirty Trick Overseas Manufacturers Use -

The first batch of samples you receive are 100% the best quality. This is done to impress you to gain your trust. From experience, often times they promise to do everything exactly as negotiated but then when you receive the final product, it is either is Sub Par, Cheaper Quality, Missing Features, and/or overall not as impressive.

Sometimes they do this on the first order, but often times they figure out way's to cut corners once you begin to place larger and larger orders. This is dangerous because at this point, your brand already has a great reputation. By delivering Sub Par products, this will have a huge impact on your reputation.

By receiving your product personally before sending them to the Amazon FBA Centre. You will have the opportunity to perform your own Quality Control and thus deliver the best products every time.

3. Bad Reviews (AMAZON SEO)

If you have not followed the steps above; “How To Assess The Quality Of Your Chinese FBA Product.” This is the time where you need to consider the likelihood of an unhappy customer.

We strongly advise following the steps above before shipping directly from China to Amazon.

Having even one bad Amazon Review can have a huge impact on search visibility through Amazon (SEO). It is in your best interest to ALWAYS receive your product prior to shipping it to Amazon FBA. This will increase your product cost and decrease your margins; however, this is your best safeguard when building a long term Amazon Business.

4. Product Mistakes

If you’re shipping directly from China to FBA, you will have to instruct your suppliers to prepare your products in compliance with all FBA specifications. For most seasoned suppliers, this isn’t a problem however, sometimes it can be challenging.

In some instances manufacturers mix up boxes, products, or miss-print branding/ labels. If you ship directly to FBA, you will not see these issues before it is too late.

You can always put in an Amazon request to destroy the product (at your expense) if the product they received is incorrect. However, if you have any existing inventory, Amazon will not differentiate old inventory from new inventory (Unless it has an expiration date) and thus they might not destroy the correct products. *** Obviously Not Recommended ***

When Should I Ship My FBA Product Directly From China?

When to Ship Directly from China to FBA:

  • You’re shipping a small physical amount of products and it is all valued under ($800).

  • When trying to meet strict deadlines and time is critical for you. (Require a quick restock)

  • You have had many orders and reordered with your supplier. (Trust them)

  • You use a 3rd party contact to vet your facilities and suppliers.

  • Trying to save money: Shipping products directly to Amazon FBA and it’s cheaper than using a middleman.

In my opinion, anyone who is new to the FBA game, spend time researching and learning from other sellers. You should always have your first shipments sent directly to your home/business to ensure quality. Once you are comfortable, you can streamline the process as you grow. This will give you the opportunity to learn the in's and out's of FBA without cutting corners or putting your business at risk.

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