“Though My Eyes Could See, I Still Was a Blind Man”
The question of how long Amazon FBA shipping labels last is common, not only because it’s a concern for sellers but also because there seems to be no indication in any help files on their system what the answer is. Steven Pope, founder of My Amazon Guy and arguably the world’s pre-eminent thought leader on the e-commerce giant, has helped hundreds of retailers sell thousands of products – and knows through personal testing what the answer is.
“Rest Your Weary Eyes”
If you’ve bought a shipping label through Amazon Seller Central and you’re wondering how long the box will last – in other words – for how long you can send the shipping label out before it expires and Amazon will refuse check-in, the answer is AT LEAST 30 days. Through thorough testing with a personal manufacturer, there has never been a problem with anything up to eight weeks.
“On a Stormy Sea”
A seller may encounter challenges in LTL (Less Than Truckload shipments where individual boxes are combined on pallets for delivery), particularly those coming from China into the United States, as is frequent these days. Even with all the restock limitations in the haphazard supply chain at Amazon, they have deleted shipments if there’s no progress update in 90 days.
That being said, and as mentioned before, you can be assured that a UPS label bought from Seller Central for an FBA shipment will last a minimum of 30 days and very likely up to 60 or 90 days. Pushing past the three-month barrier is when it becomes precarious and is, obviously, therefore not recommended.
“Don’t You Cry No More”
So, if you created a shipment but have an extra box hanging around, you can rest comfortably in the knowledge that you’ll be able to check it in. It may be slightly tricky and not as safe if the shipment is in deleted status but certainly not impossible if urgency outweighs other factors.
“And If I Claim to Be a Wise Man, Well, It Surely Means That I Don’t Know”
Of course, if you’re pondering this question, you’ll likely know the basics, but of course, the first thing to be sure of is that the labels on your boxes meet Amazon requirements. Their guidelines for labeling boxes are as follows:
- Print the full set of labels. Because each label is unique, don’t photocopy, reuse, or modify labels for use on additional boxes.
- Labels support a measurement of 3 1/3 x 4 inches. If you have a thermal printer, you now have the option to print directly on a 4 x 6 inches format
- Don’t place labels on a seam or opening on the box because they will be damaged when the box is opened.
- Place both the FBA box ID label and the carrier label on a flat surface of the box, so the barcodes don’t fold over the edges or corners.
- Both labels must remain uncovered, so they are scannable and readable.
- Each box in the shipment must have its own FBA box ID label printed from your shipment workflow.
- Each pallet you send requires four pallet labels, one on the top center of each side.
- If you’re shipping multiple case packs in a larger box, apply the FBA box ID label to the larger box. You don’t need to apply labels to the individual case packs.