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This article applies to selling in: United States

Packaging and prep requirements

Before sending products to fulfillment centers, it's important to know what is suitable for the Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) process and what is not. For more information, visit FBA product restrictions and Shipping and routing requirements.

Note: Inventory that arrives at a fulfillment center without proper preparation or labeling may incur a preparation fee. For more information, visit Unplanned services.

Packaging requirements

Note: A unit that falls under multiple categories must be prepped according to all applicable prep types. For example, if you are selling bottles of shampoo and conditioner as a set, both units must meet the prep requirements for liquid products and be labeled with a "Sold as set" sticker so they are not separated.

Follow these general requirements when shipping units to Amazon fulfillment centers. Certain products have other specific requirements. Amazon may refuse, return, or repackage any product delivered to a fulfillment center with inadequate or non-compliant packaging at your expense.

Note: Inventory that arrives at a fulfillment center must not have theft-prevention devices attached to the product.
  • Any FNSKU you use on a unit must be unique and must correspond to one unique product. For example, each assortment type, such as size or color, must have a different FNSKU.
  • Each unit must have an exterior scannable barcode or label (which includes a scannable barcode and the corresponding human-readable numbers) that is easily accessible. For more information, visit FBA product barcode requirements.
  • Remove, cover, or render unscannable any existing scannable barcodes on the outside of shipping boxes. For example, cover existing barcodes with opaque tape or use a black felt-tip marker to render the barcode unscannable. This prevents the incorrect barcode from being accidentally scanned during the receiving process.

Loose products

Each unit, including multiple-volume book sets, must be contained within a single, secure package.

  • Amazon does not accept units that would require Amazon to assemble multiple pieces (for example, wheelbarrows where the handles and legs are separate, but are sold as one piece).
  • Units that are not contained in secure packaging, such as loose sleeves or pouches, must be bagged or secured with a non-adhesive band or removable tape.
  • Footwear, regardless of material, must be packaged with no shoe material exposed, either in shoe boxes or in poly bags with a suffocation warning.

Watch this brief video for examples of how to prep your products for shipment to and storage in Amazon fulfillment centers.

How to prep loose products (in English)

Sold as set

Units that are sets (for example, a NASCAR set of six unique Hot Wheels cars, sold as one unit) must be marked as sets on their packaging. Add a label to the unit that clearly states that the products are to be received and sold as a single unit. For example, "Sold as set," "Ready to ship," or "This is a set. Do not separate."

Watch this brief video for examples of how to prep your products for shipment to and storage in Amazon fulfillment centers.

How to prep products sold as a set (in English)

Not permitted: Separate units within a set. Permitted: Units clearly labeled as a set and sealed so they cannot be separated.
Not permitted: Separate units within a set. Permitted: Units clearly labeled as a set and sealed so they cannot be separated.

Provide a unique ASIN for the set if the individual units in the set already have an ASIN. For bundled sets, the barcodes on the individual units must not face outward or require covering. This helps ensure that fulfillment center associates scan the barcode for the pack, not the barcode for the individual units inside.

Boxed units

  • Must be six-sided.
  • Must have openings or a lid that will not easily open on its own. If the box can easily open on its own, use tape, glue, or staples to keep it closed.
  • Must not collapse when medium pressure is applied to any of the sides.
  • If the boxed unit has perforated sides or openings, the product must pass a 3-foot drop test, consisting of one drop on each side, and one drop on a corner. If the product does not pass the drop test, it must be placed in a poly bag with a suffocation warning.

Watch this brief video for examples of how to prep your products for shipment to and storage in Amazon fulfillment centers.

How to prep products with perforated packaging (in English)

Poly-bagged units

Poly bags used to protect units must meet the following requirements:

  • Poly bags with a 5-inch opening or larger (measured when flat) must have a suffocation warning, either printed on the bag or attached as a label. Failure to apply a suffocation warning may lead to the items being re-bagged.
    • Example warning:
      Warning: To avoid danger of suffocation, keep this plastic bag away from babies and children. Do not use this bag in cribs, beds, carriages, or playpens. This bag is not a toy.
    • The warning should be printed or placed in a prominent location and in a legible font size for the size of the bag.
    • Print size of this warning should conform to the following table:
      Total length plus width of bag Minimum print size
      60 inches or more 24 point
      40 to 59 inches 18 point
      30 to 39 inches 14 point
      less than 29 inches 10 point
  • The thickness of the bag must be at least 1.5 mil (thousandth of an inch).
  • The poly bag must be transparent.
  • The poly bag must have a barcode (UPC, EAN, etc.) or X00-label that is scannable through the bag or have an X00- or ASIN label on the outside of the bag.
  • Poly bags must be completely sealed.
  • The poly bag or shrink wrap must not protrude more than 3 inches past the dimensions of the product.
  • Adult products must be packaged using black, opaque poly bagging or shrink wrap

Note: Highly scented products (such as candles, incense, or bully sticks for dogs) must be sealed or bagged to prevent the absorption of the scent into other products.

Bubble wrap

Products with bubble wrap must meet the following criteria:

  • Tightly wrapped and taped shut so the product cannot fall out
  • Labeled with a scannable barcode on the outside
  • Able to pass a 3-foot drop test on a hard surface without the contents breaking. A drop test consists of five drops:
    • Flat on base
    • Flat on top
    • Flat on longest side
    • Flat on shortest side
    • On a corner

Bubble wrap may be required because the item is:

  • Fragile and could be easily damaged during transit
  • Heavy or dense and could damage other items during transit

For more information, visit Packaging glass, ceramic, breakable, and fragile units.

Note: Expiration-dated products that require additional preparation, such as poly-bagging or bubble wrap, must have labels with expiration dates applied to the outside of the product prep or packaging to ensure that the expiration date is accessible for Amazon associates during the check-in process. For more information, visit Expiration dates on FBA products.

Over-boxing

We may require over-boxing when there are safety concerns about shipping and handling. Over-boxing involves placing a prepared or packaged product in a box for added protection, even if the product is already boxed. For products over 10 lb, use double-wall corrugated boxes for over-boxing.

Over-boxing is required for the following types of products:

  • Sharp items that could puncture packaging materials
  • Fragile items that failed a 3-foot drop test after bubble wrap was applied or that could be damaged during shipping and handling
  • Hazardous liquids in glass containers over 4.2 oz
  • Vinyl records

Hanger removal

Normal-size hangers usually must be removed. Mini-hangers for baby clothes are allowed. The following items cannot be shipped on any kind of hanger: accessories, bras, hats, shorts, socks, hosiery, sweaters, swimwear, and underwear.

The following garments are exceptions that must remain on a hanger:

  • Blazers or suit jackets and suits
  • Dresses that have a list price of more than $299.99 per item, are formal or evening wear, or contain material that would be damaged if stored flat (for example, full pleating, beading, sequins, or other embellishments such as a floral bow)
  • Outerwear with a list price of more than $299.99 per item or where the primary material type is real leather, real fur, or wool
  • Pants, shirts, skirts, and sleepwear with a list price of more than $299.99 per item

Tape

Products with this requirement need additional taping beyond what might normally be used to seal a box or poly bag or secure bubble wrap around an item.

Extra taping may be required if the item:

  • Might fall out of its packaging if the container is not taped shut
  • Might leak if the lid is not taped in place
  • Is not fully sealed within the container

Mattress packaging guidelines

By following FBA guidance on mattress packaging, you can help ensure that mattresses are not rejected at the fulfillment center.

Mattresses must be:

  • Packaged in corrugated boxes
  • Classified as mattresses when you set up new ASINs

When creating a mattress ASIN, make sure that it’s properly categorized: Home & Kitchen > Furniture > Bedroom Furniture > Mattresses & Box Springs > Mattresses.

Case-packed products

  • All products in a box must have matching SKU and condition and must have been packaged together by the manufacturer.
  • All boxes with the same product must contain equal quantities of that product in each box. For example, a case pack of 24 units must always contain 24 units.
  • The case pack limit is 150 units per case.
  • While receiving this type of shipment, the fulfillment center scans one unit from the box and the box is placed in inventory. There is no need to scan every unit because they are all the same.
  • In some cases, a manufacturer or distributor may package more than one case pack into a larger box. These larger boxes do not qualify as a case pack and must be separated at the appropriate case-pack level.

Watch this brief video for examples of how to prep your products for shipment to and storage in Amazon fulfillment centers.

How to ship case-packed products (in English)

Note: For case-packed items, you must remove or cover any scannable barcode from the case. Only the units within the case can have scannable barcodes.

Individual items: Each box may contain one or more products of varying quantities and conditions. Case-packed products: All products in a box must have matching SKU and condition. All boxes with the same product must contain equal quantities of that product in each box and must have been packed by the manufacturer.

Expiration dates

Expiration dates must be displayed in the format MM-DD-YYYY or MM-YYYY. If the expiration date is printed in a different format, a sticker with the correct format must be applied, covering the original expiration date.

  • Expiration-dated products must include the expiration date on the outer box in 36-point or larger font and on the individual units. Lot numbers alone are insufficient.
  • Expiration-dated products that require additional preparation, such as poly-bagging or bubble wrap, must have labels with expiration dates applied to the outside of the product prep or packaging to ensure that the expiration date is accessible for Amazon associates during the check-in process.
  • Perishable items are not allowed.

For more information, visit Expiration dates on FBA products.

Watch this brief video for examples of how to prep your products for shipment to and storage in Amazon fulfillment centers.

How to label products with expiration dates (in English)

Marketing materials

Amazon will not accept marketing materials such as pre-priced labels, pamphlets, price tags, or other non-Amazon labels.

Safety

To prevent injury resulting from sharp objects being accidentally left in boxes, use safety knives with covered blades when packing products.

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