When you are selling your goods imported from China on Amazon chances are that you will be using an Amazon FBA facility. When you are sending your goods to an Amazon fulfilment centre, you cannot just pack them in a box, label it and send it away, Amazon believes in standardization and therefore it has some set protocols as far as packaging and prepping is concerned. If your goods are not prepped and packaged in a specific way as per the Amazon rules and regulations you should expect your goods to get stuck in the FBA warehouse and getting them released is a hassle you would not want to face.
Most sellers prefer relying on third-party prepping service such as Leelinesourcing order to get their goods prepared for the Amazon FBA facility. This is a wiser route because if you are importing from China, not using a third part prep service would mean that you will have to rely on your supplier to handle the prepping which could be risky. Most Chinese suppliers are not very much aware of the Amazon FBA policies. Moreover, the direct route will not allow you to have your goods inspected for quality.
While it is established that it is always smart to hire a third party prepping service, it must be noted that you cannot just google a company off an online directory and hand everything over to them. A third party service will charge you for the prepping and it is only worth it if it can ensure that all your inventory prepping and handling needs are taken care of smoothly. It is always wise to do your research and consider a few factors before deciding on the third party service that you will be working with.
When you are hiring a prep service, you are actually paying them additionally and incurring the cost of a middleman. While you are doing this to make sure your goods are processed timely and smoothly, you need to consider budget constraints and how will it affect your costs. Take quotations from different prep service providers and compare what facilities each one of them is giving you at that price and if you would be required to pay any extra costs for additional packaging requirements. Consider whether they are charging you monthly or on per item basis. It might be more feasible to go with monthly payments if your order size is large.
China is a huge country with a diverse geography and therefore you need to think strategically about the location of your prepping company. This can have a direct impact on increasing or decreasing your transportation cost. It is wise to find out your port of shipment beforehand and choose a prep service that is located closer to that port.
You are most likely to be storing most of your inventory with your prep service and will only be sending the goods that have been ordered. However, it is important that your goods are processed and dispatched to the FBA facility as soon as the order arrives. Make sure that you have processing time guarantee from your prep service to avoid last minute delays.