China today has become one of the largest manufacturers of a wide variety of products ranging from clothes to electronic goods, household products, toys, cosmetics, etc. Amazon on the other hand is one of the largest online sales platforms for products of varied nature. Ecommerce is also one of the most popular ways to shop in this connected world. Products manufactured in China have found a market across the planet courtesy of global e-commerce sites like Amazon, Alibaba, Snapdeal, etc.

If you wish to sell goods from China on Amazon and you are new to the business, there are a few points you have to keep in mind.

  • You have to first identify the items that you would like to sell and check out whether there is a demand for them in your market
  • You must identify reliable manufacturers and suppliers of the said products
  • You should preferably appoint a Chinese purchasing agent to inspect the quality of the goods before packing and dispatching.
  • You have to calculate the best logistics option such as shipping via air freight or sea freight, the speed at which you wish to deliver the goods.
  • You must build into your cost any delays that can be caused by customs and other government agencies.
  • Paperwork is of prime importance and since you are the importer the responsibility too is wholly yours.
  • Delivery to the Amazon warehouse is the final step. It is from here that the goods are enlisted online and made available to customers across the world. 

Once you have identified the products you would like to purchase from China and sell using the Amazon platform, here are a few things you have to keep in mind regarding shipping to Amazon FBA (Fulfillment by Amazon).

There are two ways to ship to Amazon FBA

  1. Ship direct to FBA, in which case you will have to ensure that the Chinese supplier prepares the goods to suit all FBA specifications.
  2. Ship to yourself or a 3PL (Third Party Logistics) company and then ship to Amazon. This can be a consolidated shipment from China, but thereafter the packages will have to be sorted, inspected, and prepared following FBA specifications before despatch.
  • Ship direct to FBA, in which case you will have to ensure that the Chinese supplier prepares the goods to suit all FBA specifications.
  • Ship to yourself or a 3PL (Third Party Logistics) company and then ship to Amazon. This can be a consolidated shipment from China, but thereafter the packages will have to be sorted, inspected, and prepared following FBA specifications before despatch.

Both options have their pros and cons

Direct Shipping:

Pros:      

  • Cheaper
  • Faster
  • Products are handled less

Cons:     

  • Amazon normally requires delivery at multiple locations
  • Products cannot be checked before despatch unless you appoint a  third-party inspection company in China like QIMA.
  • Partnered carriers cannot be used
  • Your FPA label informs the supplier of the details of the deal, and there is a chance of him bypassing you and supplying directly to Amazon.

Shipping to yourself or 3PL:

Pros:      

  • You can inspect the order domestically before it reaches Amazon
  • You can use partnered carriers
  • Dividing shipments to multiple Amazon FCs is easier

Cons:     

  • This is a more expensive option
  • Your products are handled by more people
  • This method is slower and will add one or two weeks to the time of delivery to Amazon FBA.

The best way to ship directly to Amazon is to turn on Inventory Placement in settings and go to FBA. This will ensure all your goods go to one distribution center. If you use Amazon Global logistics for your shipment, Amazon will automatically give you “FC Lock” whereby your shipment will go to only one Amazon warehouse. But all your items must be properly labeled, and the Delivery Duty has to be paid before despatch.     

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