Understanding FBA Expiration Dates: A Guide for a Successful Ecommerce
FBA stands for “Fulfilled by Amazon”, and it refers to the period that a product can be stored in an Amazon warehouse before it needs to be removed or replaced.
Knowing when this expiration date arrives and what actions must be taken is essential for successful product fulfillment and inventory management.
In this blog post, we will discuss what you need to know about FBA expiration dates so that your business runs smoothly.
What Types of Products Fall Under the Amazon Expiration Date Policy?
Books, Music, and Electronics
The Amazon Expiration Date policy applies to any products sold through the FBA program and stored in Amazon warehouses. This includes books, music, electronics, apparel, home goods, and many other products.
The expiration date is set by Amazon and based on the product type being stored. For example, books expire shorter than products like apparel or electronics.
Products Without Expiration Dates
These include hazardous materials, firearms and ammunition, alcohol, perishable items, live animals and plants, any item regulated by the FDA or DEA (such as pharmaceuticals), medical devices that require special handling, and limited-edition items with a short-term shelf life.
Product Return After Expiration Date
For those items subject to an expiration date, it’s essential to know when that deadline arrives so that you can take action.
If your product has reached its expiration date without being sold or replaced in time, it will be sent back to you without compensation from Amazon.
Therefore, sellers must keep track of their inventory levels and ensure that all products are removed or reordered before their expiration dates.
Why Product Expiration Date Labels?
Keep Products Safe
Product expiration date labels are essential to keeping products safe and ensuring that they’re not consumed after the expiration date. Labels can also help clearly identify when a product was manufactured when it was purchased, and when it should be used.
Prevent Health Risks
This can help reduce the chances of any health risks associated with consuming expired products and give customers peace of mind knowing that their food is safe to eat.
Labels also help retailers keep track of their inventory, including how much stock is available at any given time and how long it will take for them to restock. This helps businesses plan and manage their inventory levels better, avoiding situations where the product has expired before being sold or replaced.
Use Expiration Dates as Marketing Tools
By displaying the expiration date on the label, businesses can incentivize customers to buy products quickly to get the most out of them before they expire. Furthermore, these clear expiration date labels can guarantee that the product is fresh and has been appropriately handled throughout its life cycle.
Steps to Take to Meet the Amazon Expiration Date Policy
1. Stay Up-to-Date
Keep track of when the expiration dates for your FBA products are coming up and take action before they arrive. This includes removing expired stock from Amazon warehouses or replacing it with new inventory.
2. Use Labels
Using product expiration date labels is a great way to keep track of inventory levels and ensure that customers know when a product should be used. Labels also guarantee that the product has been handled properly throughout its life cycle, which can help reduce the risk of any health concerns associated with consuming expired products.
3. Monitor Stock Levels
Keep track of how much stock is available at any given time and how long it will take to restock if needed. This can help you plan and ensure that all products are removed or replaced before their expiration dates to avoid any losses due to expired items being sent back without compensation from Amazon.
Amazon’s Rules for Expiration Dates at FBA Warehouses
Accurate Dates and Labels
Firstly, all products sold through Amazon must have an expiration date on the packaging or label. This helps customers and retailers quickly identify when a product should be used to avoid any health risks associated with consuming expired items.
Secondly, products must be returned to the seller due to failing to meet the expiration date policy to be eligible for reimbursement from Amazon. This means that it is essential for sellers to ensure that their inventory levels are monitored closely so that all products are sold, replaced, or removed before their expiration date to avoid any losses.
No Returns on Expired Items
Finally, Amazon reserves the right to refuse returns on expired items, even if they have been purchased within the return window time frame. This is done to protect customers from consuming potentially unsafe products and is enforced regardless of the item’s condition or type of expiration date (best-by, sell- by, etc.).
Which Items Require Expiration Dates for Amazon FBA?
Any product containing food or perishable goods must have an expiration date clearly marked on its packaging. This includes fresh produce, dairy products, and frozen foods.
Non-food items, such as supplements and vitamins, topical and consumable products, must have expiration dates as these products can become ineffective or unsafe after a certain period.
Personal Care Items
Cosmetics and personal care items may need to include an expiration date to comply with Amazon’s policy.
Shipping Expiration-Dated Items to Amazon
Pack Items Properly
Firstly, it is essential to package items so they are not damaged during transit securely. Use solid and sturdy packaging materials such as bubble wrap or foam padding to reduce any risks of breakage or leakage.
Ship Temperature-Sensitive Items Safely
For example, frozen foods should be packed with enough dry ice or cold gel packs to keep them at a safe temperature throughout shipping.
Similarly, perishable goods such as dairy products should be insulated with foam insulation or plastic sheeting to prevent spoiling during transport.
Prevent Shipping Items During Rough Weather
It is recommended that sellers avoid sending items like nutritional supplements on hot days or during peak seasons when temperatures are higher and shipping times are longer.
Deliver Perishable Items on the Same Day
Finally, sellers can consider using unique services such as one-day delivery for time-sensitive items, human or animal consumption, or priority shipping for faster delivery times. These services guarantee that products arrive on time and still meet their expiration date printed when received by customers.
Labeling Items with Expiration Dates for Amazon FBA
Always Mark the Dates
When using Amazon FBA labels for product expiration dates, sellers must mark the manufacture date on the product packaging.
The expiration date should be easily visible and readable, including the month and year.
It is also important to note that this manufactured date must reflect when the item was manufactured and how long it has been stored in warehouses until it reaches the customer.
Use Accurate Information
Furthermore, sellers should ensure that all information regarding input expiration dates is accurate and up-to-date.
Any changes to production and expiration dates must be updated promptly so that customers receive products before their minimum remaining shelf life or use-by date.
Also, sellers should consider regional or national regulations when determining which expiration date to use (e.g., best-by, sell-by, etc.).
Add Unique Tags
To comply with Amazon’s standards for labeling products with expiration dates for FBA, sellers can consider using unique tags or labels to ensure the accuracy and visibility of this information.
These tags or labels can help keep track of products as they move through the supply chain and enable customers to identify precise expiry dates on their purchases.
How Can the Right Hardware Make FBA Compliance Easier?
- Specialty hardware such as scanners and expiration date label printers are essential for keeping accurate and up-to-date product expiration dates.
- RFID tags automatically update date information on items when they move through the supply chain, ensuring that customers always receive products with accurate expiration dates.
- Finally, automated tracking systems are also available to help manage FBA compliance and expiration dates for larger businesses.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do FBA shipments expire?
Yes, FBA shipments can expire if not stored or shipped correctly. Sellers must mark expiration dates on product packaging and ensure that any changes made to these expiration dates are updated promptly.
Is Amazon FBA good in 2023?
Amazon FBA is expected to remain a favorable option for sellers into 2023. With its warehouse and shipping services, Amazon FBA will continue providing benefits such as fast delivery times, increased product visibility, and access to Amazon Prime customers.
What is the rule of expiration date?
The rule of the expiration date is that it must be visible and readable and include both the month and year. Furthermore, sellers should ensure that all information regarding expiration dates is accurate and up-to-date so that customers receive products on time on their shelf life or use-by dates.
How long is Amazon FBA?
Amazon FBA typically takes around 2-3 days for a shipment to reach its destination, although this can vary depending on the seller’s location and the customer’s shipping address. Additionally, Amazon FBA offers expedited 1-day delivery in certain areas.
With this knowledge, you should now better understand how to stay compliant with Amazon when labeling products with expiration dates.