So first off let me get into the issues with prep centers.
Issue number 1 – They cost money.
For example, I have the pricing of a popular prep center:
$1.00 per standard unit, requiring you to send at least 30 units.
If you want to bubble wrap, add 30 cents extra per linear.
Then for boxes: $1.00 for small. $1.50 for medium. $2.00 for large. $2.50 for extra large
Now, this may seem very inexpensive, however, this could mean the difference between your profits and losing money.
Here is why…
For prepping, if I did it myself it would cost about 5 cents per unit with prepping and bubble wrap.
Really high-quality boxes cost 50 cents at retail. Buy at wholesale, you can get it down to 25 cents.
In total, it should never be more than 30 cents per unit, compared to $2.30 on the low end.
Want to make an extra $2,000 a month? If you sell 1,000 units, do not pay for prepping.
Overall, I never even prep. I do not even pay for the 30 cents a unit.
Next topic to discuss is your time.
There are three ways to ship your inventory into Amazon.
- From supplier to yourself
- From supplier to prep center to amazon
- From supplier to amazon
SOME even go from supplier to themself to prep center AND then to amazon
I ALWAYS go from supplier to amazon
Before I get into why let me make one comment.
The only people I have ever seen suggest prep centers are people who are either profiting off that prep center through being affiliated or are referring to their own prep company.
Please reply to this blog on one reason that is cheaper or faster than shipping direct to amazon.
For option 1, some people like to ship to themselves. I get it, you think you will come across bad products. You may be reading this article and think I am being a hypocrite because you have seen me with images of products in my garage and warehouse.
My business sells products via eBay, FBM, Walmart, & our own site. We never ship to our address and then back to amazon.
As long as you have a good supplier that is reputable like how I show in my online retail mastery program, you will be fine with shipping direct to amazon.
For option 2, from supplier to prep center to amazon. Issues with this may take up to a week to ship to a prep center, 1-2 days to prep the products, and then another week or so to ship to Amazon.
Here is an extra 7-10 business days that were not needed.
If you are like me who orders 3-5 times a week, in a year that is at least 156x decrease inefficiency. Before you say “my time is worth more, that is why I use a prep center and not myself.”
To that statement, then hire someone who has a garage to do it for you. I have visited some of these prep centers, some of them are literally garages. Some I have seen them as 300 SQFT offices. SOME the UPS literally makes trips up and down an elevator because they are in a tiny cubicle.
Either way, just try to never use a prep center.
For option 3. I always ship from my supplier’s warehouse to an amazon warehouse, here is why.
It is the fastest and is free.
Sometimes amazon forces you to put tiny SKU labels on your products. Some of my suppliers do that for free, some do it for 10 cents/unit, and amazon will do it for 20cents/unit. You can choose to have Amazon do it for 20 cents or have popular prep centers do it for $1/unit
Here is a bonus tip:
Many people will say that a supplier does not allow them to ship direct to Amazon. If you run into this situation try this.
Tell the supplier you will arrange a UPS pickup from their warehouse.
95% of the time, the supplier will say “Okay! Sounds good”
Then go into your Amazon seller account, finish the shipment, and forward them the UPS shipping labels.
Amazon uses UPS for their shipping (or any carrier you want, UPS is just preferred). There is no difference on your end, your supplier just had no idea what they were trying to communicate with you.
To recap this — Do not use prep centers.
P.S. Some people will still have some reason why they want to use a prep center, usually, for some reason I will disagree with. This is why in some of my training I have a list of prep centers by location (that by no means am I profiting off the list of prep centers.) If you really want to use a prep center, I do help you find one for the cheapest and fastest service.