Selling on Amazon: HazMat Products
This might seem like a strange concept to tackle, but as Amazon grows and grows, the products you can find there also grow, including HazMat products. Now, we aren’t talking about industrial waste or plutonium or even human waste and blood although those are certainly HazMat products. We are talking about everyday products that are classified as HazMat or cannot be shipped through traditional channels. One that is gaining popularity is canned oxygen – which we will use as an example throughout this post, but you can find Amazon’s list of acceptable and unacceptable products here.
3 Ways to Sell HazMat Products on Amazon
There are three basic ways to sell and ship your HazMat product through Amazon:
You can ship it yourself through FedEx or UPS, but it’s expensive
You can apply for Amazon’s HazMat shipping program, but you might never be accepted
You can work with a 3PL partner
These are all perfectly acceptable and readily available to any seller, but they all come with their own issues – especially if you are trying to earn the Prime badge.
If your company already has the infrastructure and logistics in place to ship your HazMat product, then the only trick to selling on Amazon, winning the Buy Box, and getting the Prime badge is getting your products anywhere in less than 2 days. This comes at no small expense and cannot always be built into the cost of shipping the product and so, if you want to ship your product with 2 day shipping, the customer might have to pay for it. It might be worth it to the customer, or you might be able to sell your product in larger quantities which absorb the shipping fees, but you also might not be able to. It can be tricky to navigate these systems while ensuring a low cost to the customer and a quick shipping time That is why we also suggest looking into Amazon’s HazMat shipping program.
Amazon’s HazMat Shipping Program
Last year, Amazon rolled out an invite-only HazMat shipping program through their distribution centers. This allowed sellers to continue selling through FBA, retain their Prime badges, and avoid charging customers an arm and a leg to ship products to them. That is all well and good if you were invited, but if you weren’t you can put your name on a rather long waitlist with no definite chance to actually gain access to these HazMat DCs. It is rather unfortunate, but it, like most of the things Amazon does, may prove itself as a source of income to the company and be expanded sooner than later. If you’ve applied and not been accepted, you might have a rather long wait on your hands, which is why you might want to look into 3PL warehouses to get your HAzMat product to your customers.
3PL works much like Amazon’s FBA DCs: you ship your products into a warehouse and then the warehouse takes care of logistics. If you want to achieve or retain your Prime status, but you personally lack the network of warehouses to ship anywhere in the US in 2 days or less, then the 3PL option might be your best bet. Chances are very good that a 3PL will already have an established network of warehouses and distribution centers that allows them to ship anywhere in 2 days or less. Plus, at this point, most 3PL companies have worked with Amazon and know how to label, package, and ship products without getting them rejected by Amazon or jeopardizing your Customer Feedback rankings.
If you have any questions about shipping your HazMat products, contact the experts at RunAMZ!