Amazon sellers should take precautions to protect themselves from the penalties of overweight boxes
Amazon FBA must have its scales out of balance. Over the last few weeks, a growing number of Amazon sellers are receiving warnings for sending allegedly overweight boxes to the FBA fulfillment center.
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.
Therefore, this begs the question – how can sellers protect themselves?
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 is co-founder and co-owner of Riverbend Consulting, where she oversees the firm’s client services team. She has personally helped hundreds of third-party sellers get their accounts and ASINs back up and running. Lesley leverages two decades as a small business consultant to advise clients on profitability and operational performance. She has been an Amazon seller for almost a decade, thanks to her boys (19 and 13) who do most of the heavy lifting.