The idea to import goods to sell on Amazon sounds like a money-spinning no-brainer. However, even experienced FBA sellers will tell you that the challenge does not only lie in navigating the Amazon jungle, but in complying with international shipping and US import regulations. Before you ditch your dreams of overnight success, there are excellent Amazon FBA sellers’ solutions within reach to make the process seamless!
Importing to the US – what you need to know
You’ve found a product you want to import, great. The next challenge is getting it from the supplier, through the US import process, and delivered to you. Using Fulfillment By Amazon (FBA) relieves some of the burdens; however, all inventory shipped to Amazon fulfillment centers must meet FBA requirements. If you don’t, and your shipment is rejected at Amazon’s doors, repeating the process will significantly impact your profit margins.
Key requirements for Amazon FBA sellers:
Every carton must be correctly labeled – by your supplier or a logistics company with the accurate Amazon labels to ensure safe and quick delivery to the right fulfillment center.
- FBA and incoterms
Incoterms® are eleven internationally recognized rules regarding the responsibilities of buyers and sellers – who pays for and manages shipment, insurance, documentation, customs clearance, and other logistical activities. In order to cut down on costs consider dealing with customs clearance by yourself! It’s easier than you may think.
- Importer of Record (IOR)
An IOR is required when your inventory enters the US from abroad. Amazon and its fulfillment centers will not act as an IOR for any FBA inventory. If the relevant IOR information is lacking on the customs entry form, your shipment may be refused and returned. An IOR is also responsible for following international and local US shipping rules and regulations (e.g., ISF and Entry Summary (CBP Form 7501) filing, customs clearance and export regulations ) and for any risks and costs associated with shipping, including duties, taxes, fees, etc.
Tips for FBA importing to the US
Shipping through Amazon can have some pitfalls, and who likes costly surprises? Here are some tips to avoid them:
- Check rejection laws and trade barriers to make sure that it is possible to import your product. Verify whether you need a special license or permit and whether you are violating any intellectual property rights.
- Consider whether it is in your interest to formalize your business entity (e.g., create an LLC) to protect your assets and keep business dealings separate. Consult an attorney if required.
- Examine your shipping options – how are you getting your products from the supplier to their final destination at an Amazon warehouse, and what is the cost? Usually, Amazon wants them distributed to various warehouses, but you can use their Inventor Placement Program to prevent this, but at a fee.
- Plan around important Amazon dates e.g., high volumes during holiday seasons could mean processing and delivery delays.
- Explore useful applications for Amazon FBA sellers to help you streamline your sales process, connect with buyers, and stay organized. Top apps include Amazon Seller App, Profit Bandit, Evernote, MileIQ, ScanBot, and Super FBA.
Benefits of online customs clearance
Small medium businesses planning on importing goods can insource customs clearance by choosing a DIY online import solution, like eezyimport. eezyimport offers an advanced online solution that helps them navigate the challenging world of importing, save time, effort, and money – especially by avoiding costly services of hiring a customs broker.
eezyimport customers can use the approved DIY Self Entry (7501) customs clearance solution to fill out entry summary documentation and ISF required before goods are released from customs at any US border. Alternatively, they can use eezyimport’s DIY Broker Entry (7501) solution, where a broker will review an entry and make sure importers are aligned with regulation and ready to file.
Both solutions take minutes and offer full visibility and control from any phone, tablet, or desktop. This accomplishes eezyimport’s mission, which is to empower small and medium-sized businesses and ensure their success!