Amazon Product Preparation Centres
Time that you can better spend making you more money or used to grow your business faster. For me, outsourcing my product preparation was one of these key realisations.
Now I believe in order to really scale your business and be able to run it from anywhere in the world, you need to be using a product preparation centre.
Prep Centres are also especially important and handy if you are a private label seller who is wanting to start expanding and selling internationally.
Product preparation centres can be the perfect intermediary between Amazon and the supplier when shipping internationally.
What is a Product Preparation Centre?
A product preparation centre or ‘prep centre' is simply a service where you can order your products online (in the case of arbitrage selling) and get your products delivered to the prep centre's address.
The centre then receives the goods, remove any labels or stickers, boxes up and forwards your goods onto Amazon.
Why Use a Prep Centre?
The reason why I believe prep centres are so useful is because it enables you to be able to order as many items as you want.
You don’t have to worry about carrying or transporting products, storage space/cluttering up your home or wasting your time preparing products.
Simply get your items delivered to the product preparation centre and then focus on finding more items.
Perhaps, though, the biggest reason to use a prep centre is because they are the experts, this means that they can do product prep generally quicker and more efficiently than you can.
On top of this, they also tend to have all the right tools and packaging supplies to ensure that your items get to Amazon in an acceptable condition.
If you are an FBA seller, your number one priority should be to make sure your goods arrive at your designated Amazon fulfilment centres in top condition.
Because if they don’t this simply means that the item will be marked as unfulfillable and not be able to be sold.
Even worse, however, is that should your damaged product somehow make it to the customer, this could lead to customers complaining, giving you poor customer feedback and/or a worsening of your account health.
Essential Services of a Prep Centre:
You can see from the image above, courtesy of FBA Prep UK, some of the typical services provided by a prep centre which include:
Prep centres will conduct a basic inspection to ensure your goods have arrived in a saleable condition.
A prep centre can remove all existing store product labels and stickers and then place an FNSKU barcode over any existing product barcode before forwarding the products on to Amazon.
Prep centres will generally complete all necessary product preparation like poly bagging or bubble wrapping your goods to ensure they do not get damaged during shipment to Amazon.
Which Prep Centre Do I Use?
US FBA Prep Services
➤ Consolidation Warehouse – Tax free Oregon (closed as of end April 2015)
➤ FBA Prep and Ship – Tax free Oregon
➤ My FBA Partner
➤ Sell Tec Prep – Tax free Montana
➤ Prep It! Pack It! Ship It! – California
➤ FBA Inspection – California
This prep centre is located on the coast near the Port of Oakland, which helps minimise cost of delivery for sea freight. They are also partnered with Western Overseas which is a US Customs Broker and freight forwarder. This is helpful especially for non-US companies or individuals who need a US EIN for import customs clearance as Western Overseas is authorized to use FBA Inspection's EIN to import their client's shipments.
➤ Fulfillment Butler – Clients are assigned to either their Illinois or Texas prep center
➤ Prep and Ship Plus – Phoenix, Arizona
www.facebook.com/prepandshipplus (Best contacted through their Facebook page)
➤ My Inventory Team – Tennessee
➤ Prime Zero Prep – Tax-free New Hampshire
➤ Central Wisconsin Prep Pack & Ship
UK FBA Prep Services
➤ FBA Prep UK
➤ FBA Ship UK
When to Use A Prep Centre?
In the beginning, I did all my product preparation myself. However, as I started to gain more confidence in my product sourcing abilities and my capital started to build up, this resulted in me placing larger and larger orders.
As I was working full time, it simply was not feasible to get products delivered to my house. On top of this, my girlfriend was really starting to get pissed off at having all these boxes around the house! This was when I started using a product preparation centre!
As a useful takeaway, I would recommend in the early days it is better to do all the prep yourself and keep as much money in your business as possible.
However, as your business starts to grow or you can feel like your life is starting to become all about product preparation, this would be the time I would encourage you to start thinking about using a product preparation centre.
A prep centre is an essential partner for any Amazon seller. Product preparation centres enable you to focus on the important aspects of your Amazon business i.e. Making money and growing your business.
Prep centres are a must for any seller (private label or arbitrage) wanting to scale and operate a business from anywhere in the world.
In the early days, I recommend it is better to do all the prep yourself and keep as much money in your business as possible.
However, as your business starts to grow or you can feel like your life is starting to become product preparation, this would be the time I would encourage you to start thinking about using a product preparation centre.
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