November 11, 2021

Amazon Packaging Requirements: A Helpful Guide on How to Package Goods Accurately

If you are selling on Amazon, you probably ran into difficulties when shipping your items. It doesn't matter which type of packaging and delivery you choose (FBA, FBM, or SFP). Amazon Packaging  Requirements can confuse anyone.

If you are just planning to start a business on Amazon, it will be useful for you to study the specifics of its organization regarding packaging, labeling, sending to the Amazon warehouse, or directly to the buyer. Therefore, you should know how to pack your product for Amazon FBA or Amazon FBM. However, for individuals and companies selling through Amazon, there are several packing and labeling options that should meet Amazon packaging requirements.

Blog image

Why Is It Important to Package Products Correctly for Amazon Shipment?

Packaging products and shipments the right way is vital to ensure that inventory reaches Amazon safely and they are fully optimized for entry to the respective fulfillment centers. Aside from this, the following are more reasons why packing products correctly for amazon shipment is important:

  • Amazon may refuse or may not accept the consignment 

Amazon may refuse or reject cargo if they discover that external packaging doesn’t appear intact. To avoid this, it’s therefore vital to make sure that products are packed correctly before shipment.

  • Amazon might execute repacking for a price

If products are not packed properly, Amazon might do repacking of goods. This could mean paying money for the repacking services. Packing products correctly for Amazon Shipment is important to save yourself from paying extra for this.

  • To ensure products protection

Another important reason to pack products correctly is to ensure their protection. The better products are packaged, the more they will be protected from damages during transportation. Make sure you follow the Amazon Packaging Requirements to help prevent damages while products are in transit.

  • To save money and materials

Keep in mind that if you overpack goods, you’ll end up spending more money and materials. It is for this reason packing products correctly is important. You can save money that you can use for other related expenses.

General Amazon Packaging Requirements

If you plan to use fullfield centers, you should follow Amazon's general guidelines. Moreover, even if you are packaging and shipping the product yourself, you should stick to these highlights to avoid making a bad customer experience. When sending goods to fulfillment centers, the rules are especially created to make sure that Amazon knows what is exactly in the box being sent to them. Keep in mind that Amazon warehouses are mostly automated, so it’s imperative to get things right. It is necessary to ensure the following:

  • Each unit must be marked with a unique barcode (FNSKU).
  • The manufacturer's barcodes can be used (UPC, ISBN, JAN, EAN).
  • Each unit must have a readable, easily recognizable exterior barcode with corresponding numbers which is easily accessible.
  • Each FNSKU must be unique and correspond to one specific product. For example, let's say you sell women's T-shirts in several colors and sizes. Each T-shirt in the corresponding color and size must have its own unique FNSKU.
  • If boxes with units have external additional barcodes, they must be made inaccessible. This can be done by painting over them with a marker or pasting opaque tape.
  • If you are using special Inventory theft protection devices, they must be removed before the products arrive at a fulfillment center.
  • If you are selling an item that falls into multiple categories, it must be prepared and packaged in accordance with all applicable prep standards, rules, and guidelines.

Amazon has specific recommendations depending on the type of product. You should also be aware of packaging requirements, acceptable materials, and other important points. We'll touch on each of them further.

Approved Packaging Materials on Amazon

In addition to general recommendations for product packaging, you must also adhere to the specific requirements. They are regularly updated, so you should periodically read about them in the relevant sections on Amazon Guide. Today it is permissible to use the following materials when packaging goods:

  • Polyethylene foam sheeting;
  • Air pillows;
  • Full sheets of paper;
  • Bubble Wrap.

When you use boxes, remember that they also have certain requirements. Packaging options approved by Amazon:

  • Regular slotted carton(RSC);
  • B flute;
  • ECT-32 (edge crush test);
  • 200 lb./sq.inch (burst strength).

Other points you should keep in mind:

  • Boxes must not exceed 25 inches on either side.
  • Boxes must not exceed the established weight standards (otherwise they will be classified as Oversize) of 50lb. For products in the category Jewelry and Watches, the norm is 40lb.

Amazon prohibits the use of the following materials for packaging items:

  • Biodegradable packing peanuts;
  • Cornstarch packing peanuts;
  • Styrofoam;
  • Foam strips;
  • Crinkle wrap;
  • Shredded paper;
  • Thermocol chips.

But that's not all. Depending on the type of product, packaging requirements may also vary. Let's talk about how the packaging of a Set with several products differs from the packaging of Loose products and not only about that further.

Differences in Packaging Based on the Type of Product

Before you get started with packaging your products, you need to know that different products require different packaging to protect them from damage in transit. In addition to ordinary cardboard boxes, bubble wrap, cardboard corner, and other packaging materials are used to securely fix fragile goods. Some items may require an additional metal wire, bolts, or other fasteners. If you want to ship to the Amazon FBA warehouse, you should handle it to prevent crush during transportation.

The following Amazon FBA Packaging Requirements are based on the type of product that will be shipped:

Loose Products

  • Each item, including sets that consist of several items (for example, a set of books or products combined into one set), must be packed in a secure box.
  • Shoes must be packed using materials that completely cover and protect them. Shoe boxes or poly bags (with a suffocation warning) are acceptable.
  • Items that contain multiple parts must be packed as one set (in one packing box) if they are sold as one piece. For example, a mop where a removable handle is provided. Amazon may refuse to accept an item if the parts are packaged separately and need to be assembled before being shipped to the customer.
  • If the item doesn’t have secure packaging, use removable tape, non-adhesive tape, or special pouches to pack it.

We will consider more detailed recommendations for poly bags later in this article.

Packaging Using Bubble Wrap

Bubble wrap is often used as a packaging material. It protects goods reasonably well. It is easy to use and readily available. Bubble wrap is required if the products or items are fragile, dense, and heavy. Amazon products that are bubble-wrapped need to meet the following criteria:

  • Item must be carefully packed to ensure no damage.
  • The bubble wrap of the unit must be carefully fixed and taped to avoid falling out during transportation.
  • Item must be labeled with a barcode on the outside, which is easy to find and scan.

Remember that glass, ceramic, and products that can break easily must be packed with extra requirements. Learn about it using the appropriate help section on Amazon so you don't get in trouble.

Packaging for Units Sold as a Set

The main requirement for packaging of these types of goods (no matter what kind of packaging material you use) is the presence of the marking "Sold as a set" or "This is a set. Do not separate". It should be clear that this product should be sent to the buyer as a whole. Take care of this in advance.

Another important point is the presence of a barcode or label on the outside of the package. They must be clearly visible without opening the package. If the item belongs to commingled inventory, this requirement must also be met. If this is difficult to achieve and the barcode is not clearly visible due to the outside packaging material, apply the Amazon item label over the pack.

Packaging for Units Sold as Boxed

If the packaging of the goods involves the use of a box, follow the recommendations of Amazon for the goods to be accepted to the storage center.

  • The box must be 6-sided.
  • The box must have a hole or a lid to open it. If they open on their own, you need to fix them. Use tape, glue, or staples for a secure fit.
  • The box must withstand medium pressure and remain intact when externally applied to either side.
  • Boxes that have perforations may require additional packaging if they fail a 3-foot drop test. In this case, use a poly bag to provide additional protection for the item. Don’t forget to put a warning about possible suffocation on such packaging (read more about it in the article further).

Case-packed products

Requirements for such type of packaging:

  • Goods must have the same SKU and the same condition.
  • Items in each box must be in equal quantity and must not exceed 150 inits.
  • You cannot apply barcodes to the case; only goods in a case can be labeled.
  • In the warehouse, they will not scan every item of goods, they will scan only one item; therefore, each of them must be marked with a barcode.

In some cases, the supplier may use a larger box for packing multiple case-packed boxes. However, such a package cannot be considered case-packed and must be split into appropriate case-packed boxes.

Packaging for Poly-Bagged Units

Amazon has its own guidelines for using Poly-bags Packaging. Do not neglect them if you don’t want your goods not to be accepted into the warehouse.

  • If the poly bag has an opening of 5 inches or more (you need to measure this when it’s flat), a suffocation warning should be printed on it. The font size of the warning message depends on the overall size of the package (see full information about this on Amazon).
  • The warning should be printed in a conspicuous place so that it can be easily read.
  • The thickness of the poly bag used for packaging must be at least 1.5 mil.
  • Use transparent bags for packaging.
  • Use a black opaque poly bag for Adult Products packaging.
  • Poly packaging must be carefully sealed.
  • The use of poly bags for packing products with strong odors (eg candles) is imperative to prevent other products from absorbing the odor.

Packaging for Expiration Dates Products

If your products are in the limited shelf life category, you must pay particular attention to packaging and labeling. This will prevent the expired item from being shipped to the buyer and save you from receiving claims.

  • The expiration date format must be MM-DD-YYYY or MM-YYYY. If the original date is in a different format, the new sticker must be pasted over with the date in the required format.
  • The expiration date must be indicated on the outer box in at least 36-point font and on each item in a human-readable font.
  • The goods will be accepted into the warehouse if the final date of use is more than 90 days from the date they were received.
  • If the item needs to be additionally packed in a bubble wrap or poly bag, and it is difficult or impossible to view the expiration date, you need to attach both an additional date label in the recommended format and a scannable barcode.

This is a concise guide to FBA packaging that will help you to avoid the hassle of taking your goods to the warehouse.

Amazon FBA General Labeling Requirements

To help ensure that your products reach the Amazon fulfillment center quickly and safely, there are important shipment labels requirements that you must comply with. Amazon allows the acceptance of goods with the following types of barcodes:

  • Manufacturer barcodes (ISBN, EAN, UPC, JAN);
  • Amazon barcodes;
  • Amazon Transparency Program barcodes for Brand owners.

Amazon uses manufacturer’s barcodes by default to track inventory and organize the packaging, storage, and delivery of goods. However, you can change this if you want to use Amazon barcodes or special codes for members of the Transparency Program.

If several sellers use the same manufacturer's barcodes, Amazon can send the goods to the buyer from the fulfillment center closest to him.

If you are a member of the Amazon Brand Registry Program, you may get an exception to use manufacturer barcodes.

Amazon barcodes are used if it is impossible to track the product by the manufacturer's barcode (for example, if the product is not new, if there are no easily scannable EAN, UPC, and other barcodes, products have a limited shelf life and in other cases). You can mark the goods yourself or entrust them to Amazon and pay a fee for this.

Transparency codes help to prevent the sale of counterfeits to customers. Special codes with the “T” logo are available only to sellers who participate in the Amazon Transparency Program. Such codes should be posted in a conspicuous place. No other kind of barcodes should cover them.

All Amazon barcodes should be printed on non-reflective and white labels and in black and white ink.

You can label yourself, or you can use paid Amazon services wherein you will let Amazon label products for you. But you must note that the cost for labeling can be high and not really recommended if you’re selling low-margin items. You can just choose to label the units yourself when creating a shipment.

These are the important Amazon Packaging Requirements that you need to keep in mind. If you are still confused and want to learn more about these Amazon packaging requirements, there are write-ups and video tutorials you can access online and can help you to understand the Amazon packaging rules and requirements that should be complied with strictly.