How to pack board games for Fulfillment By Amazon (FBA)

We sell a lot of board games through our site, www.amazon.com/shops/amusingtreasures.  We also use Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA), which allows us to have Amazon ship out our games, and handle the customer service on the orders.  When you use FBA, you have to pack the items and label them with a unique barcode.  Then you ship them to their warehouses, and Amazon stores them and ships them out from there when the order comes in.  There are a couple of things to keep in mind when preparing board games for FBA.

1)      Condition.  The guidelines for the board game category can be found here. http://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html?nodeId=200143590#everything_else The important thing to note here is that a “Like New” product should show no signs of wear.  Make sure that you do a thorough inspection.  List all damage, and include all pieces.  If the instructions are missing, there is a good chance that you can find them online.

 2)      Preparation.  It does not do any good to find a New or Like New game, and send it in to Amazon only to have it get all beat up or damaged in the warehouse.  Another thing to think about is the labeling requirements.  Many of the games are collectors’ items, and serious collectors do not like having stickers on the packaging.  Here are our recommendations, based on experience.

 a.       Cleaning.  If you source in Goodwills, thrift shops, yard sales, or storage auctions, then the games might not be ready for resale yet.  Give them a wipe down with a cloth or paper towel to remove the dust.  If they have grease pencil marks on them (pricing from Goodwill or Yard sales), use a dry Magic Eraser to take them off easily.  If it has stickers that you do not want to stay, you can use a hair dryer on low to loosen the adhesive.  Then you can use your fingernails, or a Scotty Peeler, to gently remove the sticker.  Bestine, Goo-Gone, or another cleanser may be required to lift all the adhesive off.

b.      Place all of the individual components in their own bags.  I like to rubber band the cards (if any), but if they are flimsy I might not.  If it looks like the rubber band will bend or damage the cards, then I leave them loose in the bag.

c.       If the pieces are rattling around and you believe there is a chance of damage, then you can place a piece of foam or bubble wrap between the pieces and the board.

d.      When sealing the box, I prefer to use plastic wrap.  We bought a big roll of it from the shipping section of Wal-Mart, and just wrap the entire box.  We prefer not to tape the boxes shut, as some tape will rip the pictures/packaging when you try to remove it.

e.      Place your custom label over the UPC on the outside of the plastic wrap.  Make sure that the plastic wrap is taped into place or snugly wrapped so that it does not shift.  For FBA, all existing barcodes besides the one you create must be covered.

f.        Many board games are over-sized.  Make sure when you are generating your shipment to place them in the same shipments, to cut down on postage costs.       

 

3)      Shipping.  Once you have them prepared, place them in a box with adequate padding.  Ensure that if you stack them on top of each other, do not place a board game that is skinnier than the edges on top of another game.  If you have a game that is supporting another smaller game on top, there is a good chance that the box will bow in the center. 

That is it.  When you ensure that your games are packed well, it ensures that your customers are happy with the things that they order.   Make sure you show the same care with your listing, and people will love to buy from you.  If you have any questions, please contact us at amusingtreasures@gmail.com. 

2 thoughts on “How to pack board games for Fulfillment By Amazon (FBA)”

  1. Thanks for this post! A question for you: I just started buying and listing used board games, and I used that shipping plastic from Wal-Mart that you mentioned to wrap them with (and used a heat gun to seal the edges). But when I went to move the boxes later (I had stacked them on top of one another), they were all clinging to each other. I don’t want to cause major hassles for the FBA warehouse workers and so want to avoid this. Do you have this problem? How have you solved it? Thanks!

    1. Hi Denise,
      Saran wrap can be a sticky business. We personally haven’t had a issue or heard of anyone in the warehouses having an issue with our board games or books wrapped this way. Most just pull apart. If taped well, it shouldn’t pull apart from the product itself. However,here’s some things that you can try.
      1) Try doing a “one time wrap round” with the packing tape to make a smooth area so it will not stick fully and is easier to pull apart from the other item packed the same way.
      2) Try sliding a piece of paper between the items. The old backings from the UPS sticker labels can be reused for this purpose too.
      3) Try sliding clean plastic bags such as those you get free from Walmart that they pack your groceries in. They also are great for padding between items.
      We personally now bag our items, like our games and books, with bags from sources like Uline. We also bought a sealer machine from Uline that made bagging and sealing our products so much easier. You can even create bags from scrap pieces of plastic with the sealer.
      Hopefully this gave you some creative ideas to solve that sticky saran wrap problem. -Amusing Treasures

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