UPDATE TO THIS POST:
Please note that case packing only applies to items case packed by the manufacturer. You cannot declare/create your own case packs.
From the Amazon Help Pages:
“All products in a box will have matching SKU and condition and will have been previously packaged together by the manufacturer.”
I appreciate the correction from Angie. I want to make sure to provide you with accurate information and I appreciate when readers take the time to verify what I am saying is correct. Overall, it makes us all better sellers and makes this blog a better resource to those starting out and selling on Amazon.
Each time you create a shipment through Amazon’s shipping workflow, you are given the option of sending items in as individual items or as case packed items. Since I had no previous knowledge of FBA selling before I started, I had no idea what “case packing” was or how it could save me some time and money on shipments including a large quantity of a given item.
Let me give you an example of how it works and how I was able to save my time and money. This is how I stumbled across case packing and how I now use it with certain shipments.
I purchased a large batch of items that were two different types (2 different SKUs). I purchased 360 of one item (item A) and 280 of the other item (item B). These items came in the packages from the manufacturer and I only need to apply a label to each item in terms of prep work.
Side note: When you purchase a large quantity like this, make sure you take a vehicle large enough to bring all of the products back. An Elantra is not that vehicle and I have now learned my lesson.
For item A, I decided to list the item as normal and allow Amazon to tell me where to ship the items. I typically ship to 3 different warehouses and I didn’t want to pay the Inventory Placement Fee to have them all sent to one location. For two of my locations, I typically pay low shipping rates and they are shipped and processed in 4 days (or so). The other location is typically double the cost for shipping and takes almost 14 days for shipping and processing. I shipped these items as Amazon requested and ended up spending about $150 on shipping for all of the boxes.
For item B, I decided (by random luck) to see what the case packed option was on Amazon. For those who are not aware, Amazon allows you to declare that a box is case packed; meaning that the box only contains one SKU and is being shipped as a case (basically you can’t ship more than one SKU in that box). The benefit is that it will allow you to send all of the items to one location (for me, it was TN) and it does not charge you the inventory placement fee (which is typically $0.30 an item). You simply put the number of cases and the number of items per case and Amazon will create a shipment for you. Then you measure one box, weigh it, put in those dimensions, and copy the box to the number of cases you are sending. It might sound a bit complicated at first, but it actually simplifies the process and allows me to get my products to the warehouse quicker and at a lower cost.
By using case packing on Item B, I was able to save about $200 in shipping costs by using this feature.
The lesson that I learned is that case packing can be used to help you “place” your inventory without paying the placement fees. The big thing to remember is that you can only ship one SKU using case packing and you have to select it before creating your shipment.
If you have any questions, post a comment below and I will try by best to answer it.