When preparing to sell Amazon products, it’s imperative to create a test shipping plan to ensure that a product isn’t restricted or prohibited and can, in fact, be sold and then distributed. In fact, the test shipping plan should be completed before making a first product order or marketing anything, according to Benjamin Tan, an e-commerce entrepreneur. His new education platform, LeapVista, features a course called AMZ Elite Bootcamp that helps aspiring entrepreneurs begin their first e-commerce businesses on Amazon.
Tan shared the detailed steps behind how to create a test shipping plan, which is the process of adding an Amazon product to your inventory then successfully receiving shipping labels (which indicates that the product is okay and it can be shipped). This process makes sure that the selected product is able to be sold through Amazon.
Getting Started with The Test
Begin on the “Inventory” tab under your Amazon Seller Central account, then drag down to click “Add a product.”
First, list a new product, then do a search. “You’ll see a lot of products that look similar to the one you’re looking to sell. Simply choose the one that looks the most similar,” advised Tan.
For example, if you’re going to sell a red backpack, look through the options of red backpacks until you find the choice with the highest reviews and lowest cost. Choose that one, then move forward in the process.
Press “sell yours.” It will then ask for your Seller SKU, which is an internal identifier (not customer-facing, so up to you and should be organized how you wish). Provide the price you intend to sell the product for, state that the product is new, and choose fulfillment channel “FBA” (fulfillment by Amazon). “The other option is fulfillment by the merchant, which means that you need to have your own warehouse with the product and ship it out on your own,” said Tan.
Once that’s been selected, you’ll then be prompted to choose a barcode type that will tag the product to your account. Click “save” then “continue.”
After answering some questions about product safety, create a new shipping plan, including the ‘ship from’ address. Include “Merchant” under “Who Preps.”
Test Shipping Plan Approved
If the plan is approved, it will populate the “ship from” area with a city that the fulfillment will be sent from. Add in a name (“TEST” is fine), then go ahead and approve the shipment. That button will create the shipment plan.
“Once the shipment plan’s final page comes up with the option to create a shipping plan with a shipping label without any restriction of sending the product into the FBA, you’ll know that it’s approved,” said Tan. “This is a great sign!”
Tan said that these steps need to be followed for any product that you plan on adding to your selection, even before you order a sample. It’s part of doing diligence to make sure that the business operation will work.
Once this is done, a sample can be ordered. A sample ensures that the product is high quality and looks like the photos associated. When you order the sample, take note of details such as the amount of time that shipping took, the condition of the product upon arrival, and anything else that a customer might notice. If anything takes longer than planned or if the product is lacking in any way, try a few new shipping plans and a few new samples. By investing time ahead of selling, you can avoid potential problems with customers, which is easier to handle upfront rather than handle when a customer is unhappy.
These are necessary steps for setting up a successful ecommerce business on Amazon. For more tips if you’re hoping to get your own business up and running, take one of the LeapVista courses.