Mastering Amazon FBA Labels: FNSKU vs. UPC Stickers

Are you diving into the intricate world of Amazon’s Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) program? Understanding the dos and don’ts, particularly when it comes to labeling your products, can be a game-changer in terms of cost and time efficiency. Today, we’re delving deep into the realm of FBA labels, exploring the critical differences between FNSKU and UPC stickers.

The Significance of Proper Labeling

Proper labeling plays a crucial role in Amazon’s FBA program. It’s not just about aesthetics; it’s a strategic move that impacts various aspects of your business. Let’s uncover why it matters:

Point of Sale

When a potential buyer scans through your product listing, the label is often the first thing they see. It’s your virtual storefront, the face of your product.

Inventory Control

Accurate labeling is your compass for navigating the vast Amazon warehouse. It helps keep track of your products, ensuring they end up in the right place.

Document Tracking

Efficient labeling simplifies record-keeping. It’s a way to document every movement of your products within Amazon’s fulfillment centers.

Storage Cataloging

Labels help in organizing your inventory, making it easier to locate specific products when needed.

Identifying Container Contents

Imagine having a myriad of identical boxes in a warehouse. Labels are your guiding light, helping you distinguish one box from another.

Order Picking and Packing

For smooth order processing, the right label ensures that your product gets picked and packed accurately.

Manage Client Information

Labels can also contain essential customer information, helping you tailor your services to specific clients.

Patient Identification

In the fast-paced world of e-commerce, ensuring your products reach the right customers is vital. Labels help in this regard.

Time Tracking

Knowing when a product entered the fulfillment center and when it left is critical for your business efficiency.

Retail Memberships & Coupons

Some products may be eligible for special promotions or discounts. Proper labeling can help facilitate these incentives.

FNSKU: Amazon’s Product Identifier

Fulfillment Network Stock Keeping Unit (FNSKU) is the label Amazon uses to identify products fulfilled by Amazon. It distinguishes your product from others, and you need it to create FBA Inbound Shipments.

What Sets FNSKU Apart

Each FNSKU label is unique to the seller who sent the product to an Amazon fulfillment center. If you have multiple identical products with different variations, each should have its distinct FNSKU label.

For instance, if you sell fidget spinners, every silver spinner should have one type of FNSKU label, while gold spinners should have their own. These labels are easily generated from Seller Central and applied over other barcodes for scanning.

UPC: The Universal Product Code

The Universal Product Code (UPC) is a barcode that specifically identifies a product. UPCs are common in English-speaking and European countries and are typically provided by manufacturers.

UPCs in Action

Manufacturers often have UPCs for their products, making it unnecessary for you to purchase your own. UPCs are applied to products or their packaging and vary for different sizes or variations of the same product.

Other eligible barcodes include Amazon Standard Identification Number (ASIN), Global Catalog Identifier (GCID), European Article Number (EAN), Japanese Article Number (JAN), or International Standard Book Number (ISBN).

When Should You Use UPCs?

Amazon’s eligibility criteria for using UPCs are specific:

  • Products must be in new condition.
  • Each product should have a single scannable barcode corresponding to a single ASIN in the Amazon catalog.
  • The products should not be expiration-dated.
  • They should not be consumable or topical products like skin creams, shampoos, or cosmetics.

The Conundrum of Commingling/Stickerless Inventory

Imagine a scenario where your products get mixed with those of other sellers sharing the same UPC. This process, known as “commingling,” aims to make order fulfillment faster and cheaper. However, it can lead to issues if the similar products aren’t up to par. Counterfeit or faulty items could tarnish your reputation.

The only time FNSKUs are mandatory is when products are not tracked using manufacturer barcodes, are expiration-dated, or fall into consumable and topical product categories like skin creams, shampoos, and cosmetics.

What’s the Right Choice?

So, the million-dollar question is: Should you go with FNSKU or UPC labels?

FBAforward recommends using FNSKU labels to minimize the risks associated with commingling. While it might be more affordable for your supplier to apply FNSKU labels before shipping, any Amazon prep company can handle this task efficiently.

In the end, the choice is yours, and it depends on the nature of your products and your risk tolerance.

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