Awesome FBA Packaging Design Ideas for Amazon Private Label

Awesome FBA Packaging Design Ideas for Amazon Private Label

FBA packaging ideas

Packaging for your Amazon FBA products is almost as important as the product itself. FBA packaging design is often the biggest way to differentiate, add value, and increase brand professionalism.

There are a dizzying number of packaging options and strategies to consider, that vary in complexity, cost and suitability. This article should help persuade you that you need good packaging, what type to use and what to include on it to comply with Amazon’s TOS. 

Why you need Custom FBA packaging designs for your products

Look at the picture below, out of the 6 listings, is there one that stands out?

Yes there is, because I’ve drawn a box around one. 

Joking aside, the inclusion of a simply designed packaging box makes this listing stand out and look more professional than the others.

This is just one of the reasons why custom packaging is essential! 

Not only can you stand out on Amazon’s results pages, you can increase the perceived value of your product, make your market offering totally unique, plus increase practicality and safety to name but a few advantages.

First, here’s what Amazon require all packaging to adhere to:

Amazon FBA official packaging requirements

The most up to date information on the packaging requirements can be found on their website of course. However, if you really don’t want to read through (go and read it!), here’s a few key take-aways.

A warning from Amazon: 

Important: Failure to comply with FBA product preparation requirements, safety requirements, and product restrictions may result in the refusal of inventory at the Amazon fulfilment centre, disposal or return of inventory, blocking of future deliveries to the fulfilment centre, or charging for preparation or for non-compliance at the fulfilment centre.

Barcodes:

All products must have a single scannable barcode, placed on the outside of each deliverable unit, which is registered accordingly in the Amazon catalogue and uniquely identifies the product. This can be a FNSKU/UPC/EAN (for us Europeans) or an ISBN. 

Source: winwinacademy

If you are struggling to understand barcodes, the process is:

  1. Buy barcodes from GS1.org, or use a cheaper reseller (not recommended).
  2. Create amazon listing and input one of the purchased barcodes.
  3. Create a shipping plan, here you will have the option to generate a .pdf document to print the labels yourself or send to a supplier.
  4. This Amazon-generated ‘barcode’ (FNSKU) but be applied to each item you send in. Either as a sticker or printed directly onto each item’s packaging.
  5. Make sure the barcode is on a flat and easily scannable place to avoid penalties at the fulfillment centre.

Country of origin

Make sure each product clearly states its country of origin. This is as simple as adding ‘Made in China’ or ‘Made in the USA’ for example to your FBA packaging design.

I’ve found the best way to do this is to have it printed on to your packaging as part of the design, this saves the additional process (thus cost) of adding stickers. If you are however using stickers, add the ‘Made in China’ to your barcode to keep it on one sticker!

Suffocation warning

If using poly bags, anything with an opening greater than 5-inches requires a suffocation warning. This warning can be printed onto the bag or added as a sticker. Also note that the bigger the poly bag, the bigger tha warning needs to be.

For example, having a small sticker in the corner of something the size of a bin bag will not suffice. The official requirements are:

Total length plus width of bagMinimum print size
60 inches or more24 point
40 to 59 inches18 point
30 to 39 inches14 point
less than 29 inches10 point

Additionally if it helps, I use the following statement on my poly bagged products:

Warnings

In addition to a suffocation warning, if your products have other safety implications such as choking hazards, age limits, sharp edges etc these should be made visible on the packaging.

Marketing materials

Amazon will not accept marketing materials such as pre-priced labels, pamphlets, price tags, or other non-Amazon labels.

However, you can get away with product inserts and I would advise you to include these where possible. Have a read of my article here for more info and to learn what to include. Remember to stay away from incentivising reviews.

There are more packaging requirements that you must adhere to than these so make sure to give Amazon’s guidelines a proper read

Packaging types to consider

Which type of FBA packaging design to use for your product will depend on what the product is, it’s shape, niche and required user experience. For example, a cheap pencil case will not require the same level of exquisite packaging that a smartphone should.

Poly bag packaging

The simplest form of packaging and great for loose items. I have fond memories of when I first started selling on Amazon, I would take each product, put in a poly bag, put a product insert in, add the barcode and suffocation warning before repacking in a large box to send in. 

This was fun at first but gets tedious quickly and is unsustainable for the majority of items – pay your supplier to do it all!

My top tip with poly bags is to definitely brand them!! Not many people bother, but you can still create a fantastic looking poly bag that adds value in my opinion, plus this doesn’t cost much. 

Sleeve packaging

Another simple option which can just be a fold of cardboard. Have your brand and barcode printed on and you’re good to go. This type of packaging works well for irregular shaped items, they can even work as an additional piece to a box to really build that ‘unboxing’ experience.

My advice if using a sleeve only is to poly bag the whole product too, so that no part of your product is exposed to the elements thus preventing damage and dust.

Bag packaging

Bag packaging can come in many forms from supplement pouches, to drawstring bags to branded type mailers. Either use it as the entire packaging with everything printed on, or use it in addition to another type of packaging to contain everything in an aesthetic way.

The type of bag will really depend on your product, but the possibilities are endless!

Blister card packaging

Very common in stores and shops for general retail. While cheap, blister packaging certainly doesn’t have a luxury feel about it in my opinion. If it suits your niche then great, go ahead. However, I would gravitate to other forms for showcasing my super products.

Box packaging

Probably the most common FBA packaging design amongst sellers I know of, boxes both protect the product and allow for building perceived value. 

Additionally, they can look great when included in your Amazon listing’s display picture (the first one), allowing it to stand out like the tea strainer example at the start.

The cost of box packaging varies wildly with thickness, finish and complexity. Here’s a few examples of box packaging to get you thinking:

What to include on your packaging

This is of course up to you. However, here’s a few pointers to consider so you don’t miss anything out:

Branding – Include your brand very dominantly on the packaging, once or twice is usually enough. ‘Over branding’ can look as unprofessional as no brand. 

Product – Ideally with a picture (could be an actual picture, 3D render or simple illustration etc). Make sure to include the product name too so it’s very clear what the packaging contains.

Features – A few key selling points or functions enables the box to continue to ‘sell’ the product for you. This is common in retail stores but can still be beneficial for ecommerce. It also helps anyone reading the box to understand the product more, which can retain a customer’s interest. How often have you lost interest in something because you haven’t immediately grasped how exactly it can help you?

Contact information – Perhaps business address, email address, social platforms etc.

Barcodes and warnings – Including pictograms like flammable, choking hazards, toxic etc.

Product certifications – For example CE certification if you have it, suppliers can add stickers if you forget anything.

Source: pack-factory

Perceived value

For me, the most important reason you should spend time and money on good packaging is to increase the product’s perceived value. According to investopedia:

In marketing terminology, perceived value is the customers’ evaluation of the merits of a product or service and its ability to meet their needs and expectations, especially in comparison with its peers.

Basically it’s how impressed the customer is with your offering, how expensive/luxurious they consider it to be, how great of a deal it was for the price tag. 

Note, it’s called perceived value, not actual value.

Importantly, we can increase the value by a large amount with just a small cost by using awesome packaging. It’s an opportunity not to be missed.

Consider an iPhone, perhaps the best packaged product for many years. I can’t wait to get my hands on the box, each piece fits perfectly together and is both beautifully and creatively packed together. 

While I don’t shoot for this level of perfection, this demonstrates what an asset good packaging can be, so use it!

Make your product listing stand out

In addition to perceived value, when considering Amazon specifically, a great box can be included in your display picture to really make your product stand out in the search results.

When doing product research with Helium 10, I always look at my competitors and see if anyone else is touting great FBA packaging design in their display pictures, as this is an immediate win if I do it (at least I think so).

Having the box and your product in your images can also create the perception to the customer of receiving more for their money – when in essence it’s still the same product.

How much does custom Amazon packaging cost?

This is a hard one to answer as it will vary so much. It will also depend whether you are having it done with overseas suppliers or using a design agency based in the US etc.

As a past example, I have bought 10,000 poly bags with my own design, brand, barcode etc on for £100/$123. 

£100 / 10,000 = 1p per bag!! Why would you not pay for this.

For printed box packaging, expect to pay anything from around 15p to £2 per item ($0.2 to $2.4). 

Again, this will be highly variable, so best practice is to get multiple quotes as always and compare.

Outsourcing packaging design

For the majority of my products I have personally designed the packaging on photoshop and illustrator. Both to save costs and because I enjoy it.

However, like when packing my own products at the start of my Amazon career, there comes a point when this isn’t a good use of your time. 

As such, outsourcing fba packaging design and manufacturing becomes important. 

If you are looking to outsource, you have the usual options like:

Fiverr This is a low cost but also low skill unless you get very lucky. If you are looking for a simple design and you have no skills in the graphics department, you could get a reasonable design for under $100. 

Upwork Slightly better-skilled freelancers can be found here however, that’s not guaranteed. Prices range here from about $50 to $500 for a workable design.

If you are looking for a professional service, I can thoroughly recommend outlinematic.com. Fellow readers and friends have shown me their work in the past – it’s great.

I am personally using them for my latest product to free up some of my time. Their prices are reasonable and their designs are creative – if you’re interested, here’s the sort of thing that can be created for you.

Parting thoughts

Don’t ignore the extreme advantages that good amazon fba packaging design can offer you!

Some key reminders:

  • Follow the Amazon prep and packaging requirements accurately.
  • Don’t forget to include the country of origin, failure to do this can cause issues at customs.
  • Use a packaging type that is most suitable to your product and niche  – don’t poly bag a laptop and don’t expensively box a toilet roll.
  • Make your products stand out.
  • Get packaging inspiration from brands like Apple.
  • Outsource your packaging requirements if you lack the skill or time.

Take care,

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Awesome FBA Packaging Design Ideas for Amazon Private Label
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