In today’s video, I am going to attempt to clear up some of the confusion regarding UPCs and FNSKUs when it comes to selling products via Amazon FBA.
What is a UPC?
Remember, UPC stands for Unique Product Code. It is the number that is on any product that you buy in a store (the part that gets scanned at the register).
An FNSKU is also a number code tied to a product, but it is specific to the Amazon Fulfillment Network. In fact, FNSKU stands for Fulfillment Network Stock Keeping Unit.
I did a video on UPCs vs. FNSKUs earlier this year if you need a refresher on the differences.
Where do I register my UPC?
Well, you don’t. Not at least in the sense you may be thinking.
This is something that confuses a lot of people, so don’t worry if you’re feeling that way.
Surprisingly, there’s no global database of UPCs and what product they are tied to. You are in charge of assigning your UPCs to your products and keeping them straight on your own.
Where do I buy UPCs?
Amazon has gotten much more strict in their messaging around UPCs recently. See the following screen shot:
They are basically saying that if the prefix associated with the product does not match the prefix registered as GS1, you may be in trouble.
This is definitely one of those “buyer beware” situations where what you do is determined by your risk tolerance. You can buy from a third party reseller, but the safest thing to do is buy directly from GS1.
There’s lots more info on this in the video so be sure to watch!
You can watch this video at The Bootstrap Boutique’s YouTube Channel here.
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Are you trying to find time to start a business? I know it can seem impossible, with work, family obligations, and all the day to day stuff that we have to get done.
But I’d be willing to bet that you can use at least one of these tips to find some more time in your day.
Warning: You may not really like these ideas, but I promise they can help. You don’t have to stick with any of them forever! Give it a shot.
5 Ways To Find Time To Start A Business
Tip 1 – Turn Off the TV
We cut cable at our house about a year and a half ago. It’s amazing how much more motivated I am to work at night when there isn’t the prospect of hours of television stretching in front of me.
We still have a digital antenna to get local news and even with that, I feel like I spend too much time watching TV – even though we actively watch it less than an hour a day.
I’m not saying that you should never watch tv, I still have 1 show that I don’t miss (Survivor, if you’re curoius!) but you should be mindful of how you’re spending time at night if you are trying to start a business, and this is a huge time and energy waster if you let it be.
Tip 2 – Wake Up Early
This isn’t as much about waking up early (you might be better off staying up late) as it is about finding time when the house is quiet and you can put dedicated focus on one thing.
For me, I wake up at 5 am each week day and spend time working on blog posts for this blog. I wasn’t making the time for it during my ‘normal’ day so I decided to dedicate time to it in the mornings.
If waking up early seems too daunting, keep in mid that this is a great example of dedicating yourself to something for a set period of time. You could set a goal of finding a product or some other big task in your business and dedicating morning time to it until it’s done. Then you can go back to sleeping in.
Tip 3 – Shut Down Social
I took Facebook off my phone. I found I was spending too much of my day mindlessly scrolling though it and that was not a good use of my time.
If nothing else, commit to stop checking social media during your workday. Be more productive at work so you can leave it there and have time to focus on your new business when you are at home.
And most recently I’ve been experimenting with breaking my calendar out into 30 minute increments and scheduling specific tasks for each of those 30 minutes.
It’s a work in progress and probably always will be. I’m constantly tweaking and refining my time blocking methods trying to find what will work best for me.
Tip 5 – Schedule Everything
Sticking with the 30 minute increments, I use those blocks for all kinds of things. Checking email, returning phone calls, straightening up the house. Whatever needs to get done needs to get on my calendar.
Otherwise its not getting done. It’s that simple for me, it probably is for you too.
How are you currently finding time to start your business and what did you hear today that you’re going to try starting today?
You can watch this video at The Bootstrap Boutique’s YouTube page here.
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There are pros and cons to each, but I think that new sellers should receive production runs, at least the first few, themselves before sending on to Amazon.
Some of the benefits to shipping direct to Amazon include:
lower cost as you aren’t double shipping goods (China to you, you to Amazon)
potentially shorter travel from China to Amazon fulfillment center
less down time before your product is ready to sell
no inventory in your home
But..despite all that, I still think that you as a new Amazon seller should have products sent to your home. It comes down to this:
No one cares about your products as much as you do.
Even if you have an inspection done in China (and if you are sending direct to Amazon, you absolutely should), it’s not the same as putting eyes on your own product.
You’ve seen your supplier’s quality level for a sample, maybe two.
But is the quality maintained over 500 units? Over 1,000 units?
Hopefully the answer is yes, but you may find differences between the first box of product and the last, and that is something that you want to be aware of.
Also, when you are launching a new product, you are never quite sure exactly how quickly your products will sell. 100 units may last you a week or they may last you a month. If you send too much product in and it sits in the warehouse, you are paying extra monthly storage fees and also have the possibility of hitting long term storage fees.
The ability to control how much inventory is being sent to Amazon fulfillment centers is a nice benefit of having product sent to your home, until you have a better idea of your inventory turn.
Do you agree, or do you think it’s always better to send to the Amazon fulfillment center? Tell me in the comments!
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