From China to Your Door
Your product is designed, manufactured, and inspected, so what happens next? The next big step in the process is getting your product from your overseas manufacturer to the U.S and in the hands of a warehouse or Amazon distribution center.
Even after navigating all of the steps leading up to this, it is still a huge undertaking to get your product from China to the U.S. You want to make sure that your product arrives undamaged, but still meets the needs of your budget and the time frame you are working with.
Shipping & Warehouses
There are a variety of options available for getting manufactured goods from one location to another and they vary in charges and transit times. These options include air and sea shipping, but sea freight containers are the most common for products outsourced from China.
Another factor to take into consideration is whether you want to ship your products to an Amazon FBA warehouse, to a third-party warehouse, or to yourself. If your products are shipped directly to an FBA warehouse you will need to make sure that your manufacturer is willing to prepare your product completely to meet FBA specifications.
The photo above shows products packed by our manufacturing partner prepared to go to an FBA warehouse. We do use a third-party warehouse as well since storage costs at Amazon can be high. These products will first go the port in China, though, then get on a sea vessel headed to the U.S. west coast.
Once it arrives in the U.S., it needs to pass through customs, travel to our third-party partner and be inspected by them to ensure that the shipment that has arrived is what we expected. Only then do our products get shipped to Amazon, and ultimately, to you.
From Amazon to You
Whether you are getting a last-minute gift for someone or stocking up on essentials, it won’t typically take long for Amazon to get your package to you. However, there are still a lot of preparations for making that happen.
When you search online for a product, there are a lot of steps that take place behind the scenes. For example, Outshine has a seller account on Amazon where we manage our products. We list our products including the title, description, and price. It is also here that we set up the shipping options that will be made available to our customers.
Even when selling on Amazon, a seller has the option to ship products on their own, but most sellers have Amazon store, package, and ship to their customers. By having Amazon fulfill shipments, products are also able to be shipped using free shipping and Prime shipping. Returns are also free.
After the shipping options are set up, it’s time to start selling the products. Of course, as a seller you want to attract as many customers as possible, and it helps to have great product listings that include vivid pictures. At Outshine, we have professional photo shoots for our products to ensure that you can see exactly what you will be getting when you purchase from us.
Once you click the Place Your Order button on Amazon, the process to get your order to you begins. The process starts in an Amazon fulfillment center where the products you order are placed on a conveyor belt to start making their way to you. From the belt, it is packaged, labeled, scanned, and sent to a trailer to wait for shipment. Amazon trucks carry over 2,000 packages at a time and take items from the fulfillment center to a sortation center where the packages are then distributed according to location and the shipping speed requested. From there, they are sent to UPS, FedEx, USPS for delivery. Amazon might also deliver to you directly using their own service!
Wrapping It Up
If you’ve read all three blogs in this series, you now know exactly what it takes to design, manufacture, ship, and sell a product. It doesn’t just magically appear at Amazon and then get dropped off in a smiling little box by the UPS man. There’s a lot that goes on behind the scenes. But we can’t thank all of you enough for being part of our process and our story.