Amazon sellers should take precautions to protect themselves from the penalties of overweight boxes
By: Lesley Hensell
The rules are clear. Amazon has several requirements for boxes sent via small parcel delivery:
- Units must be prepped according to Amazon’s packaging and prep requirements
- Boxes must have both an FBA shipment label and carrier label
- FBA boxes must not weigh more than 50 pounds each, unless they contain a single oversize item that weighs more than 50 pounds
- Boxes must not exceed 25 inches on any side
- Boxes must be packed properly, so they arrive at the fulfillment center intact
The sticking point lately revolves around the 50-pound weight limit. In some cases, Amazon is marking inbound shipments for breaking the overweight boxes rule – even if the weight is as low as 44 pounds.
There are a few steps that you can take, to avoid penalties for overweight boxes:
- Take pictures. After you print and apply the stickers to the outside of the box, snap a photo. The picture should include both the number on the scale and the weight on the carrier’s sticker, as well as the tracking number.
- Get a receipt. If you drop off your boxes at a UPS location, they most likely weigh each carton. Get the shipping receipt and keep it on file. It includes the weight of the box, and it can be tied directly to the box via tracking information.
Certainly these precautions may be overkill for the average seller, or for any shipping boxes that weigh less than 40 pounds. However, they become more important if an account already has a warning. In conclusion, cover your behind. Nobody wants inbound shipping privileges suspended as we head into Q4.
Lesley Hensell is Partner at Riverbend Consulting, she offers practical know-how to improve retail performance. Lesley’s experience with Amazon compliance gets accounts back up fast.