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When sending items to FBA or other fulfillment centers, there are strict packaging requirements. These regulations are made to keep employees and handlers safe while protecting your products from damage.

 

Fulfillment By Amazon reserves the right to refuse any item that does not meet their packaging requirements. They can even dispose of your inventory, block future orders, or fine you for noncompliance. One incorrect packaging can shut down your Amazon business.

 

So how do you properly prep your packaged products for FBA?

 

Note: These packaging warnings only apply to FBA. However, even if you ship direct to your customer, we recommend following these packaging guidelines to keep your transport company and your customers safe and satisfied.

 

Below you’ll find everything you need to know about unique product packaging.

 

Small Products

 

What: Small products are less than 2-1/8” (width of a credit card).

 

Why: Small products are bagged to help prevent being lost, misplaced, or damaged.

 

The Regulations:

  • Packaged in transparent, poly bag
  • Polybag should be clearly marked with suffocation warning
  • Bag should not exceed the size of the product by more than 3 inches when folded around the unit
  • Barcode for the unit should be on the outside of the bag so it can be scanned without opening or unwrapping the unit
  • Product description should appear on the outside of the bag

 

Baby Products

 

What: Products for kids ages 3 and younger with exposed surface area of greater than 1×1” (if the product is not completely packaged)

 

Why: Many baby toys are not completely boxed to allow children and parents to feel and test the toy. These goods need to be properly packaged in order to protect the exposed toy during the fulfillment and shipping process. This is true for commingled baby products as well.

 

The Regulations:

  • Seal entire unit in shrink wrap or poly bag (with suffocation warning)
  • Ensure packaging is fully sealed with self-adhesive or tape
  • Barcode on unit should be scannable without opening the bag
  • If barcode is not scannable, use ASIN sticker

 

Liquid Products

 

What: These regulations apply to products containing any liquid. This includes viscous products, like honey and moisturizers. It also applies to bundles or sets that have even one liquid product.

 

Why: Liquid products can leak or spill, causing damage to other products and health concerns for employees and customers.

 

The Regulations:

  • Products need to be double-sealed: a tightened lid that is not easily opened + safety seal (inside) or manufacturer seal (outside)
  • If the product doesn’t have a double seal, it needs to be in a sealed, transparent poly bag (with suffocation warning) or shrink wrap
  • Barcode must be scannable through the bag
  • Products must not break or leak during a 3-foot drop test; test consists of five parts: dropped on bottom, top, longest side, shortest side, and corner
  • Any expiration dates need to be visible on outside of packaging
  • The product needs to adhere to the volume restrictions

 

Liquid Volume Restrictions:

  • Glass – Standard Size (below 34 oz): Needs double seal and corrugated box
  • Glass – Oversized (over 34 oz): Not eligible for FBA
  • Non-Glass – Single – Standard (less than 5 gallons): Needs double seal
  • Non-Glass – Single – Oversize (more than 5 gallons): Needs double seal and corrugated box
  • Non-Glass – Bundled – Any Size: Needs double seal and corrugated box

 

Note: Keep in mind that if you have a liquid product in a glass container, you’ll also need to follow the glass/fragile packaging guidelines as well.

 

Fragile Products

 

What: Anything made of glass or ceramic that is breakable is considered a fragile product.

 

Why: Any items that can break or crack can be highly dangerous to workers and customers.

 

The Regulations:

  • Product must be securely wrapped in bubble wrap or snug in a six-sided, solid box
  • Pad the inside of the box to ensure the item doesn’t move around
  • Product cannot be exposed in any way
  • Each unit should be wrapped individually, even if it comes in a set
  • Barcodes must be scannable without opening package; if not, apply another label
  • Fragile units need to pass a three-foot drop test to make sure they doesn’t break

 

Sharp Products

 

What: Any product with a sharp or pointed edge.

 

Why: If a pointed edge is exposed, it poses a safety hazard to associates and customers. Proper packaging ensures the pointed edge isn’t exposed during fulfillment.

 

The Regulations:

  • Use blister packs whenever possible
  • Blister packs should cover the sharp edge and be securely fastened, so item cannot move inside the pack
  • If not using a blister pack, secure the unit to a backboard with a restraint (like a plastic fastener)
  • Wrap all packages in plastic wrap
  • Do not pack in cardboard or plastic sheaths unless completely covered
  • Ensure the pointed edge can’t cut through the packaging

 

Powder Products

 

What: These are pourable, dry goods like pellets, powders, or granular. A common example is makeup foundation.

 

Why: Even if the powder is organic and safe to use, a spill could damage other products or packing materials. Any sets of powder products require complete packaging to avoid damage.

 

The Regulations:

  • Unit must withstand a 3-foot drop test on all 5 sides without leaking or spilling
  • If it withstands, it can ship as is
  • If it cannot withstand test, these units need to be packaged in poly bags
  • It’s recommended to double seal and/or shrink wrap powder products in case of accidental opening in transit

 

Batteries

 

What: These include packaged or repackaged batteries aside from lithium batteries; lithium batteries have unique requirements.

 

The Regulations:

  • Batteries in package must be able to withstand 4-foot drop test
  • If in original manufacturer packaging, don’t need additional boxing or sealing
  • If repackaged, batteries need to be in clamshell plastic and shrink wrapped closed
  • If not in clamshell, it can be in a box with a secure lid that is taped or shrink-wrapped closed
  • The terminals (positive and negatives sides) should never meet while packaged
  • Put barcode or label on outside of packaging

 

Plush Products

 

What: Stuffed toys, puppets, or any products with exposed fabric (like nylon or cotton) are considered a plush product. Any products exposed for an opening greater than 1×1” must follow the packaging requirements.

 

Why: Plush products are subject to dust, humidity, crushing, ripping, and tears.

 

The Regulations:

  • Products should be placed in a sealed, transparent polybag (with suffocation warning) or shrink-wrapped
  • The polybag should not protrude more than 3 inches past dimensions of product
  • Make sure the entire unit is sealed with no areas exposed
  • The barcode must be scannable, or you must attach an ASIN label

 

Apparel and Fabric Products

 

What: Similar to plush products, apparel and fabric are made of cloth or textiles that can be damaged by dust, humidity or tearing. This can also include footwear.

The Regulations:

  • Place units with cardboard backing in transparent, sealed poly bags (with suffocation warning) or shrink-wrapped
  • Package individual units of apparel separately
  • Use snug boxes for textiles that can be damaged by bags or shrink wrap, like leather
  • Don’t include hangers
  • Footwear should not be exposed; either in shoe boxes or bagged in poly bag with suffocation warning
  • Shoe boxes should have secure lids with non-adhesive band or removable tape
  • Label has to be scannable and visible after bagging
  • Bags and boxes should not protrude more than 3 inches past dimension of product

 

Jewelry

 

What: All jewelry should be either in pouches or boxes. The packaging rules vary for each type.

 

Why: Jewelry should not be exposed at any point during the fulfillment process as it could tarnish, rust, and break.

 

Pouch Regulations:

  • Each pouch should be packed individually in a transparent poly bag with suffocation warning
  • Use a bag of appropriate size
  • Barcode and product description label must be on outside of bag, on the side with the largest surface area

 

Box Regulations:

  • Don’t need to bag boxes made of material that is easily cleaned (like plastic)
  • Sleeves are considered sufficient protection from dust
  • If box is made of fabric material, it’s more susceptible to dust; needs to be bagged or boxed with barcode displayed
  • Sleeve or bag should be only slightly larger than the unit; keep it snug

 

Note: High-value jewelry may not sell quickly. In the meantime, you want to keep it safe and away from damage in the fulfillment center. Package all fine jewelry in pouches/boxes and protective, sealed bags.

 

Final Packaging Tips

 

  • Any and all poly bags should be marked with a suffocation warning. A typical example is: “Plastic bags are dangerous. To avoid suffocation, keep bag away from babies and children. Bag is not a toy.”
  • All barcodes and product descriptions should be seen and scannable outside of the packaging.
  • Poly bags should not protrude more than 3 inches past dimension or product.
  • If a unit falls under multiple categories (like liquid + glass), it should be prepped in accordance with both.
  • Sets must be marked as such with “Sold as set” or “This is a set. Do not separate.”
  • If you sell dangerous goods, make sure you are compliant with the globally harmonized system for hazard communication. Learn more about packaging and shipping dangerous or hazmat goods for Amazon here.
  • If you sell adult products, you should use black, opaque poly bags to obscure profanity and suggestive models.
  • If there is Plexiglas in your product, you need a 2”x3” label stating that it has Plexiglas.
  • You can find Amazon’s printable prepping checklist here.
  • Find more information about general packaging and prep requirements for FBA here.

 

The Bottom Line

 

The proper packaging keeps workers and customers safe. Improper packaging could end in lawsuits, fines, penalties, and a complete shut down of your business. Following the packaging requirements will ensure safety and reduced risk for everyone involved.

 

Now get packing, so your customers can receive their undamaged products.

 

If you aren’t packaging your products … that means you aren’t selling enough. Contact Ask Idea Sourcing to get selling, packing, and profiting!

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