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Polybag Requirements for Amazon Sellers – What You Need to Know to Stay Safe and Legally Compliant

01/09/2017 by Refael Elbaz

Ahhhh..the joys of selling products on Amazon. If you are a small business or retailer selling items on Amazon, then you are all too familiar with the small details involved in getting your goods from the warehouse to the front door of your customer. One of those small, yet very important details, involves the proper use of Polybags and what you, as a seller, need to include on your Polybags to keep your goods moving without issue.

In this article, we will look at what is required by Amazon when it comes to compliant Polybags and how to make sure your bags are created properly. When done right, Amazon will ensure that your products move through the warehouse swiftly and be made available for purchase on the Amazon website. As an added bonus, by giving Amazon what they are looking for in the Polybag department, you will also stay on the right side of the law.

As you may already be aware, Amazon is quite particular when it comes to FBA (Fulfilment by Amazon) product preparation requirements. They can be heavy-handed towards retailers who do not comply with regulations. This can result in refusal of inventory, disposal of inventory and/or future blockage of additional inventory. This can be a real headache for retailers and we want to make sure that doesn’t happen to you because your business is as important to us as it is to you.

Not all Polybags are created equal

A bag, is a bag, is a bag right? Not according to Amazon. Polythene bags (or Polybags) are innovative packing products created in 1960. I design to meet the demand for an environmental-friendly packaging solution that is transparent and easy to use when shipping products. Polybags come in a variety of different shapes and sizes and are a huge part of the domestic and commercial shipping industry. When it comes to Polybags used for shipping, the bags must adhere to certain guidelines and be labeled correctly for health and safety purposes. It is also important to understand that products requiring a Polybag, have specific features that are explained further in this article.

Before you get started, have a look at this helpful guide on what products need to be prepared differently according to the category that the product falls into.

Polybag preparation for FBA product acceptance

So, let’s get into the requirements for Polybag shipping and what to keep in mind before packaging your product for the fulfillment center. For starters, we need to look at the bags themselves to make sure you are off to the best start possible. Base requirements of the Polybags include the following points:

+ Warning Label – Polybags with an opening of 5” or larger must be fixed with a legally compliant suffocation warning. It needs to either be printed on the bag or attached as an adhesive label. This warning label should be worded in the right way to avoid potential confusion and be as clear as possible. An example would look like this:

warning- to avoid danger of suffocation, keep this plastic bag away from babies and children. do not use this bag in cribs, beds, carriages, or play pens. this bag is not a toy.

+ Font Size – The font size on the warning label needs to be a certain size in relation to the size of the bag as outlined in the below table.

Downloadable warning labels: 10 pt, 14 pt, 18 pt, 24 pt.

+ Polybag thickness – When used to protect or ship a product, the Polybag must be at least 1.5 millimeters in thickness and need to be completely transparent.

+ Barcodes – When it comes to labeling the bags for transport, make sure that the bags have UPC or EAN barcodes clearly printed on the bags.

+ Sealed – The bags need to be completely sealed tight for transport. When packing the bag, keep in mind that shrinkwrap or packing materials inside can’t protrude more than 3 inches past the overall dimensions of the product.

Closing Note

Now, I understand that this may seem like a lot of information to process and some of the points above may seem redundant or unnecessary. I want to reassure you that ALL of these points are very important when it comes to mitigating potential liability and keeping you, as an Amazon seller, in the clear when it comes to legality. Amazon adopts a firm “you can drown in a thimbleful of water” policy when it comes to Polybags. This is very important if you want to stay legally compliant and keep selling successfully on Amazon.

When it comes to selling to the public, always err on the side of caution and it is always better to safe than sorry. If you follow these points to the letter, you will be in Amazon selling bliss.

Best of luck and happy selling!!

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