Learn how to build a $10,000 Amazon book business step-by-step in 90 days.
On this segment of Book Flipper University, we’re going to walk you through the final steps of preparing your shipments for Amazon FBA. Last time we walked you through how to separate for splits, if any, and box up your books. Now, let’s jump into the last few items to take care of before you’re ready to send your books off to Amazon. Once you get this part done, you are on your way to making some money selling your books.
Before you start taping, make sure you’ve got the correct labels with the correct boxes, especially if the number you wrote on your box flaps will be hidden once taped shut. The shipping labels are labeled “box 1, box 2” and so on, so just keep them with the right boxes and you’ll be good to go. I personally write a number on the inside flap and on the outside of the box. No one really cares what is on the outside of the box, so it makes my life a lot easier.
Then, be sure to use sturdy boxes to ship your books. They won’t go through the mail system gently, so the heartier the box the better. I buy my boxes at Home Depot or Lowes, but some people like to reuse old shipping boxes.
Books tend to have some heft, so you will need to make sure you get a box that is small enough to not weigh a ton once full.
As far as tape goes, we typically just use regular-width shipping tape and run two strips over the center seam to seal the top and bottom. Some people like to tape the side seams as well. It can help strengthen the box a bit and help prevent moisture, but it’s really personal preference. You can also use wide tape if you prefer it for a little added security.
I sometimes will also throw an extra strip or two on there with my label if the box is feeling a little flimsy. I would rather waste my $0.05 on some extra tape than lose an entire shipment of books.
Now that your boxes are all taped up, it’s time to apply your shipping labels. While our shipping labels are peel-back labels, the square Amazon barcode is printed on a standard sheet of paper. So, we’ll have to cover that one with clear tape.
We like to cover the full label to make it water and rip-resistant. If you’re taping down your shipping labels as well, make sure to tape over the barcodes and address information to protect them in transit.
Your labels should go on top of your boxes, but you can also place them on the sides if you run out of room. Amazon also prefers you avoid the seams if you can. Sometimes we run into a little overlap with the seams and have never had an issue, but we always try to make sure key information isn’t on the seam.
If you are reusing boxes, I like to put my labels over the old labels to make life a bit easier.
Whether you’re using a recycled box or a brand new box, odds are there are other barcodes somewhere on the box. Make sure to either scribble over these excess barcodes with a permanent marker or cover them with a blank label. It might seem like overkill, but you don’t want UPS or Amazon to scan the wrong code and misplace your shipment. That is no fun and you will lose out on your possible profit. I keep a Sharpie by my shipping station and have fun marking out the barcodes after I have everything taped up.
If you have followed our steps, you should have no problems with Amazon. But if you decide to cut a corner or not follow the rules, you might find yourself in hot water.
If Amazon does become upset about something with your shipping process, they’ll simply let you know what you did wrong and you can apologize and try to not repeat the issue. Easy as that!
The one exception is their weight requirement. If you go over 50 pounds with your shipment, they’ll suspend your listing abilities until you vow not to send overweight boxes again. Amazon takes box weight seriously to protect their workers.
So just keep it under 50 pounds and you will not have many issues at all.
And that’s it!
From sourcing to these final shipping steps, the process for our sample batch of 57 books took about two and a half hours. One hour of sourcing, one hour of listing, and 30 minutes of shipping prep work. From this batch, we’re looking at a $200 to $300 profit.
Not too bad for a few hours of book flipping!
Now it’s your turn to give it a go.
See you next time on the Book Flipper University!
BOOK FLIPPER RESOURCES
Howdy! My name is Caleb Roth and I have dabbled in selling books on Amazon for the past decade. In late 2014 I decided to approach my business more seriously, switched completely over to FBA (Fulfilled By Amazon), and haven’t regretted it for a second!