Previously, I wrote about how to choose the right business bank account for new Amazon sellers based on the experiences of FastTrack FBA members. This time around, I’ll talk about 6 Prep Centres that our members have signed up for and their reasons why. Then I’ll round up top considerations to think about when choosing your very own prep centre.
A Prep Centre is a facility that handles the receiving inventory, inspection, consolidation, labelling, and packaging of your items before finally shipping them to Amazon FBA for storage and delivery to customers. Literally, prep centres prepare and inspect your products before they reach Amazon.
Many Amazon sellers use a third-party prep centre instead of the Amazon FBA service. The main reason for this is simple. Amazon requires very specific labelling and packaging requirements before an item or package can be shipped to their warehouse. Most of the time, you cannot simply ship directly from your supplier to Amazon, hence the need for prep beforehand.
For this reason, people utilize prep centres or logistic service providers that can do an efficient and neat job before the stock gets sent to Amazon. This allows a seller to free up their time, scale-up, and work remotely.
In other words, prep centres are heaven-sent! These facilities free up so much of sellers’ workload and allow them to divert time to sourcing, sourcing, and more sourcing!
Now, I asked FastTrack FBA members which prep centres they use and can recommend. The list below includes the Top 6 Prep Centres that our members use, but they are not ranked in a particular order.
First on the list is Direct2EU that offers a cloud-based management system that allows sellers to place orders 24 hours a day for their picking team to collect, pick, and pack within 24 hours. Whenever they receive new products, they take photos of them so that sellers could see if the products they ordered are correct and without damage. Barcodes are also displayed on their system for easy monitoring on Amazon.
Aside from that, Direct2EU takes care of inbound stock sheets which not all retailers provide for. Inbound sheets are shared with sellers so they can track all delivered items. Lastly, Direct2EU gives sellers the option to choose what to ship and when. They don’t wait to fill up outbound boxes because in some cases, Amazon splits the items to be delivered to two fulfilment centres. The result, boxes end up half empty. What a waste, right? Instead, when a seller has enough items, Direct2EU spreads them out across multiple boxes so that it’s more practical (cheaper too).
Direct2EU provides 5 flexible monthly packages that range from £0 to £120. Note, however, that per-item costs are excluded to all their monthly packages.
Next is We Prep FBA, which provides different packages for private labels, wholesale, arbitrage, book prep, and customized fulfilment. They even have product development services that are especially important for newbies.
We Prep FBA’s arbitrage deal is very simple. They offer a one-time account set up fee for £19.95. No monthly fees after this and costs are per tier basis. We Prep FBA has 5 tiers to choose from starting at 0-500 (items) up to 3001 and above. Sellers can also avail free storage fee for 30 days!
But if you’d like to go all out, you can choose We Prep FBA’ VIP Shipment Management. This means that all you have to do is upload your items at Amazon Seller Central and We Prep FBA will do the rest. Just wait for your sales, count your money, and grow your business. This VIP package costs £95.00 a month.
The third is EasyPrepUK, which has 2 pricing plans to choose from — Easy Standard and Easy Ultimate. Easy Standard costs £57 per month with 50 units prepped for free. After that, they cost £0.50 per item. Bundles, polybags, taping, bubble wrap, and product inspection are all included in the monthly fees. They also offer free storage for 30 days.
The difference between Standard and Ultimate is that the latter partly manages your FBA Prep Sheet which unburdens you with logistical concerns but at the same time allows you to monitor how they handle your items. Consider though that EasyPrepUK has a one-time joining fee of £197 and all prices are VAT exclusive.
We’re down to the last three! The fourth recommended prep centre is FBA Prep Centre UK. They offer 4 types of tiered pricing plans starting at 0-500 (items) up to 2000 and above. All their plans include £29 management fee per month and their base cost is £0.55 per item (for the 0-500 tier). This already includes inspection, sticker removal, and FNSKU label.
FBA Prep Centre UK offers a 24-hour turnaround and real-time communication. Once you’ve signed up, they invite you to their Slack channel for real-time, 24/7 communication. Literally, they don’t want you to miss a thing!
The fifth prep centre on our list is FA Prep UK. They have 4 tiered pricing plans in which sellers get free trial for 100 items. All tiers include 1-to-1 support and a prep sheet so that sellers can oversee the shipments on their Amazon Seller Central. No need to do anything and just let them handle your deliveries.
Note that FA Prep UK charges £19.95 one-time signup fee and all per-item prices are VAT exclusive.
To end this blog, we like to introduce EasiLogic – the prep centre we in FastTrack FBA use. We've been with them since the beginning of our Amazon selling career. EasiLogic is able to accept stocks no matter the size. They have enough racks so we're sure that our items are stored properly. They also make sure to scan all the items before packing to prevent any additional cost from the client and additional work for them.
Moreover, EasiLogic's software can link different channels and marketplaces so that they get automatic and direct access to the clients’ orders. They also provide fleixble and customized delivery options from which their clients can choose from. Lastly, they have a seamless return service to support both their clients and their clients' customers. For inquiries on their prices and packages, head over to their website.
The information I laid out here can be found on each of the prep centre’s websites. Please be reminded that all prices and services indicated on this list are based on August 2019 information.
Do a little bit more investigation by inquiring and asking for quotations. You still have to weigh which options are favourable to you, and not just because they’re popular or great-sounding. On top of the services and costs above, here are some considerations you have to check when inquiring to prep centres and making your final decision:
Good luck finding that one prep centre that will make your life so much easier, just like a match made in heaven!