There are a number of everyday items we have at home that are considered safe when they are stored properly. These items include disinfectant liquids, bleaches, and the like. However, these same types of items can get quite dangerous when shipped and stored incorrectly.
It is imperative for all Amazon sellers to know what counts as a hazmat good. This is because hazmat items are shipped and stored differently, compared to normal goods. It is also worth noting that Amazon has their own set of processes and rules to help you handle and sell hazmat goods.
Lastly, it goes without saying that just like getting ungated with certain categories, you have to request to join Amazon’s Dangerous Goods program first before you can sell them. Then, you have to wait for Amazon’s response whether you are accepted or otherwise.
What Is Hazmat?
Hazmat, according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary is a material (such as flammable or poisonous material) that would be a danger to life or to the environment if released without precautions. As mentioned above, if these items are handled incorrectly, they could pose as hazardous materials - hence the word “hazmat”.
What Are Considered As Hazmat Goods?
When you hear the word “hazardous”, the initial thought you have are weapons or explosives. Naturally, sellers do not sell these kinds of items. Having said that, a lot of these hazmat items are not really hazardous on the surface.
Flammable liquid, cleaning products can be toxic if mishandled, as well as electronics that have batteries are considered hazmat goods.
Here are more common examples of hazmat items:
Airbags and auto oils
Aquarium glass cleaners and water treatment products
Foods in pressurized containers (like whipped cream)
Kids’ building kits and chemistry sets
Markers and highlighters
Pet flea and tick control products
Tape, adhesives, and glue
Whew! That was a long list, and it does not cover all hazmat goods yet. It is an Amazon seller’s responsibility to know how to identify hazmat items and follow Amazon’s process in handling them.
How To Know If A Product Is Hazmat?
For most hazmat items, it is pretty easy and straightforward to know if an item is considered as hazmat. This can be done by looking up the item’s ASIN or Amazon Standard Identification Number.
Apart from that, you should also get the Safety Data Sheet from the product’s manufacturer which includes the product’s hazard classification. The SDS can usually be found from the manufacturer’s website.
How Do You Sell Hazmat Goods Through Amazon FBA?
Now here’s the good part, once you’ve learned that the item you are trying to sell is hazmat, it is still sellable through FBA. You just have to ensure that you follow the required procedures.
First, you have to confirm that you can sell the item within the Amazon marketplace. This is because there are hazmat items that are not allowed to be sold within the Amazon platform. Items such as those that contain toxic gas, radioactive material, or explosive substances. Again, check the ASIN to know if you can sell the item through FBA.
Next, for each hazmat product that you will sell, you have to provide the correct documentation. Most items will require you to submit an SDS. Then, for some batteries or battery-operated products, an exemption sheet is what you may need to provide instead.
If you are not able to provide the correct documents, then, it could lead to your products getting rejected. You have 14 days to submit the necessary documents once the items are already within the fulfilment centre, and Amazon classifies them to be potentially dangerous. Amazon will dispose of your items if you fail to submit the documents within 14 days. Naturally, Amazon will not fulfill hazmat product orders if the documentation isn’t submitted. This in turn could lead to delays and unhappy customers. The best thing you can do is to identify if your items are hazmat so you can prepare all the necessary documents even before you get to that point.
Additionally, shipping of hazmat items without proper packaging and labels can cause safety risks and delivery delays.
Amazon will review all hazmat products. So long as you have provided all the necessary documents and information, then it will just usually take 2 business days for the review to be completed. Once done, your products will then be stored within the Amazon Fulfilment Centre, and safely shipped to customers.
Since hazmat items are to be stored within specific conditions, the FBA storage limits and fees differ from non-hazmat items. There are two main categories which FBA facilities classify hazmat items: flammable and aerosol. You have to account for the storage fees depending on which category your items may fall into. You also have to be constantly aware of the storage limits allotted to your items.
Selling hazmat items can be trickier than selling from other categories. However, there are a lot of sellers who find great profit in selling these items. The reason why Amazon is stricter in selling hazmat items is because it involves health and environmental risks.
Just to recap, in order to sell hazmat items, you first need to request to join Amazon’s Dangerous Goods program. Once accepted you can then source, prep and ship these goods inline with Amazon’s policy to the Fulfilment centres. Don’t forget, if you wish to get ungated within all categories, our top tips will be helpful with your ungating journey.
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