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Is Amazon’s FBA Labeling Service for You?

If you are launching a product as an Amazon Seller, product labeling might be last on your long list of priorities. If this is the case, you might want to revisit that priority list. Product labeling might not sound important, but trust me when I say it is something you should take seriously, especially with Amazon, where more than 4,000 products are being sold every minute. This busy e-commerce platform requires a rigorous logistic process and product labeling is on the top of that list. 

Amazon FBA labels have unique requirements and guidelines that most Amazon Sellers cannot figure out or implement independently. We at Sellers Launch can help you with Amazon FBA Labeling Service. If you need help, reach out to Sellers Launch, and we will be more than happy to schedule a meeting with you.  

What is Amazon’s FBA Label Service

The Fulfilled by Amazon service, or FBA, is a means by which Amazon Sellers transfer some of the logistic functions they sell in Amazon to Amazon itself. These functions include warehousing, picking, and sending the products  

The Fulfilled by Amazon (FBA) service is very helpful, especially to small-scale sellers. With FBA, Amazon Sellers will no longer need to buy or lease their warehouse, stock them, or pick and ship every single item when purchased. This also eliminates the need to maintain the warehouse or hire people to manage it. 

Nevertheless, the fact remains that your product is housed in the same place as other products, even those of your competitors. To differentiate your product from your competitors or other products being store in the same FBA warehouse, Amazon utilizes a specific barcode called Fulfilment Network Stock Keeping Unit, or FNSKU codes. 

Amazon Sellers using the FBA system will need to decide whether to label their products themselves or use Amazon’s FBA Label Service. What do you need to consider before you make that critical decision? In this article, we’ll try to look at the advantages and disadvantages of using the FBA Label Service or whether it makes more financial sense to utilize Amazon’s FBA Label Service or label your inventory.

What Is on an Amazon FBA Label?

Image courtesy of Amazon 

Amazon FBA labels have three necessary components:

  1. FNSKU, or Fulfillment Network Stock Keeping Unit
  2. Product Name
  3. Product Condition (“New,” “Used,” etc.)

Of the three requirements (all of which are important), the label's essential part is the FNSKU. It might seem redundant to reprint your product label when there is already an SKU printed on the item. So why a new label? Amazon’s reason makes sense. Since there is a big possibility (and there is) that other merchants will be selling the exact product you are selling, chances are that you and your competitor will be using the same UPC.  

Using the product manufacturer’s barcode means using your GTIN (UPC or EAN) to label and identify the products you sent to the Amazon warehouse. Tempting as it may seem, using the manufacturer's barcode does not require additional labeling. It keeps things very simple, primarily if you sell to another e-commerce platform or have one of your own. However, there is a big chance your inventory can get mixed up with other sellers’. This mixing of stocks is called Commingling. 

Commingling your inventory in Amazon means that all items using the same UPC need to be stored together. Commingling will create tons of issues, especially with unauthorized sellers and, worse, counterfeits. If similar products are experiencing quality issues and inconsistencies, whether they are yours or other sellers’, it will be impossible to nail down the source of these quality issues.

To make the long story short, Amazon may fulfill another order using your competitor’s stock if your inventory is commingled. And the list of issues goes on and on. 

It may seem like unnecessary work to use another label when you already have a manufacturer’s label on them, but using Amazon’s labeling service solves many problems in the long run. 

FBA Label Service Simplified

Reprinting labels, especially if you are using a manufacturer’s barcode, and printing FNSKU barcodes on a warehouse full of products can be time-consuming. To simplify the process, Amazon’s FBA Label Service will stick the barcodes on for you at the cost of $0.30 per barcoded product.

But to be eligible for the FBA Label Service, your products must:

  • Be in new condition only
  • Be classified as non-media
  • Not be prohibited, restricted, or of high-value
  • Have a single scannable barcode (GCID, UPC, EAN, JAN, or ISBN)

Simple enough, right?

Benefits of Using the FBA Label Service

The main advantage of using the Amazon FBA Label Service is time. The whole process is designed to help Amazon Sellers save time. With the FBA Label Service, qualified Amazon Sellers can send their products in bulk directly to Amazon, provided they have a legible GCID, UPC, EAN, JAN, or ISBN. They pay Amazon’s labeling service fee for attaching the individual barcodes.

Downsides of Using the FBA Label Service

Helpful as it may seem, the FBA Label Service also has a few downsides. These disadvantages can be pretty significant for certain sellers but only negligible for others. 

  1. Operating cost — $0.30 per label may sound cheap, but it depends on a seller’s volume. The more you sell, the higher the cost of the FBA Label Service becomes. To put it in perspective, if you sell 1000 products a month, the FBA Label Service will cost you $300. This cost needs to be factored into your operational expenses. 
  2. Inventory Misplacement — Like any other labeling service, there is a possible risk that the FBA Label Service could mislabel your product. These mistakes can cause tremendous problems for sellers with a tiny budget or for those who are selling high-priced items.
  3. Account Suspension — Shipping directly to Amazon from a supplier or manufacturer may pose the risk of having your account suspended because of possible inauthentic items.

Your Other Option

 choose not to avail of the FBA Label Service but still want to use the FNSKU for your products, your only option is to have labels printed and attached on your own. It may be a time-consuming process, but it also has some advantages like increased profit, since you are saving the money that you would be paying for the FBA  service. 

Another advantage is better inventory control. Since you are labeling your inventory yourself, you are better positioned to make sure you are sending the right products to the right customers. You’ll also be able to ensure better quality by the deliveries coming from your suppliers before shipping them out for delivery.  

Some will say this is just good logistics management, and others would say it is micro-managing and you have more important tasks to deal with. Whatever your perspective might be, your decision will also be impacted by what type of operation you are managing and what kind of business model you are using. 

How Can We Help? 

This article may have helped you understand how Amazon’s FBA Label service may be able to help your business. Whether you decide to avail of Amazon’s FBA Label service or not, you might need some extra help to get things running. 

We at Sellers Launch can help you with your logistical concerns. Just reach out to Sellers Launch, and we will be more than happy to schedule a meeting with you.  

We hope to hear from you soon!

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