7 Questions to Ask Yourself Before You Choose an FBA Prep Service
So you’ve decided to upgrade you’re Fulfilled by Amazon (FBA) prep to a third-party vendor. You’ve calculated that by letting an expert meet Amazon’s requirements, you’ll operate more efficiently and deal with a lot less hassle in the long run.
But now you’ve arrived at the critical decision: Who are you going to work with?
This is not simple question, because every FBA prep service is different. Here are 7 questions that you need to ask yourself before you make your decision:
1. What would be the best location for the prep service’s facilities?
Do you need the facility nearby for easy drop-off? Or a facility near a major port or airport?
Some FBA prep services can even offer more bang for your buck by operating out of states with no sales taxes. You want to choose a partner that has ample coverage and ideally redundancy in case you have issues with a particular warehouse or they become overworked.
2. What pricing system would work best for you?
Many services offer flat rates based on weight and shipping destination. Some may price according to what’s being shipped. Shoes, for example, might carry a higher price than other forms of clothing. Seek a company that is fair and transparent in their pricing and that allows you to accurately forecast the potential impact on your business.
3. Do you need any specific services?
While every FBA prep service is going to provide the same essential services, some provide additional services that may be just what you need.
Before you pick an FBA prep service, determine whether you need services like the following: freight forwarding, customs negotiation, detailed shipment data, supplier pick-up, import inspection or inventory processing. Do you have products that need to be bundled? To you have containers or pallets that need unloading? Consider each of these as you evaluate your options.
4. What turnaround time do you need?
Some FBA prep centers will guarantee turnaround within 24 to 48 hours. Is that something you need? Or would you be OK with a slower turnaround time? Getting your products to Amazon is the most critical step of the supply chain and the faster you can move the faster your products will start selling.
5. Do you need specific conditions inside the prep service’s warehouse?
Many FBA prep services do their work in climate-controlled spaces. But some do not. If you suspect that extreme temperatures may damage your products in any way, you want to make sure that your products are in a climate-controlled environment—or that they’re in a warehouse in a mild climate.
6. What size facility do you need?
If you’re dealing in wholesale goods that get shipped on pallets, you’re going to need a facility that can store pallets and that comes equipped with a loading dock. You also need to determine the volume that you’ll be shipping. Every facility comes with its own minimum requirements and maximum capacity.
7. Will you need the prep service to store your products?
In the future you may find yourself needing a facility to hold onto your products for a while. You don’t want to get caught needing to store your products when they’re already at a facility that can’t store them. Determine ahead of time whether an FBA prep service can store your products and how much storage will cost.
You haven’t gotten this far without planning ahead. Doing your homework now before selecting an FBA prep service will save you time and improve your bottom line.
Visit MyFBAPrep.com, the only nationwide network of FBA prep warehouses, to learn more about how we can exceed your e-commerce needs.