Managing products

Before you can send products to the Shopify Fulfillment Network (SFN), you need to make sure the products meet certain requirements, and have the necessary details to be accepted. Then you can add the products to the Shopify Fulfillment Network.

Product requirements

Before you send your products to the Shopify Fulfillment Network, complete the following actions:

  1. Make sure that your products are eligible.
  2. Add all the required details to your products.
  3. Send electronic copies of material data sheets for any products that require them to the Fulfillment Success team.

Product eligibility

Most items can be shipped without any issues. However, to comply with local laws and carrier limitations, some items are restricted or prohibited from the Shopify Fulfillment Network. Make sure that your products are eligible before adding them to an inbound transfer.

You're charged handling and return to sender fees for any ineligible products received by Shopify Fulfillment Network fulfilment centers.

Restricted items

The Shopify Fulfillment Network might be able to support the following restricted items with some limitations. Before you add any new restricted items to an inbound transfer, contact the Shopify Fulfillment Network.

The following items are restricted:

  • Products requiring serial, lot, or batch tracking
  • Items requiring a first-in-first-out (FIFO) inventory policy
  • Adhesives, pastes, or sealants
  • Adult items and toys
  • Pressurized canisters, including aerosols
  • Cosmetics, hair products, toiletries, and beauty supplies
  • High-value jewelry (greater than $5,000 USD)
  • Items containing animal products, including exotic animal skins
  • Medical devices
  • Microchips, computer chips, microprocessors, central processing units (CPUs), and mobile telephones
  • Non-prescription medication and supplements
  • Perfume, cologne, or scented items
  • Products packaged with lithium batteries (not loose)
  • Shelf-stable food items
  • Smoking and vaping paraphernalia, including e-cigarettes
  • Works of art, collectible objects, and antiques of high value or considerable age

Prohibited items

Prohibited items are ineligible for fulfillment at SFN fulfillment centers. All orders that contain ineligible products are put on hold, and transfers that include ineligible products can't be completed.

The following products are ineligible and can't be fulfilled by the Shopify Fulfillment Network:

  • Products where the total package weight is over 35 pounds
  • Products can't be longer than 18 inches in any single dimension
  • Products related to illegal activities, or that are prohibited by law in their place of origin, destination, or any location through which such products might travel
  • Regulated products, or any product requiring a license for storage or distribution, such as (without exclusion):

Agricultural products

  • Live, dead, or dried plants or animals
  • Soil, or soil-enhancing products
  • Agricultural products

Perishable products

  • Perishable products
  • Products requiring temperature control or refrigeration
  • Alcoholic beverages

Hazardous products

  • Hazardous or dangerous goods (refer to Material Safety Data Sheet from your manufacturer or supplier)
  • Biohazards or any product that may contain contagions
  • Corrosive or oxidizing products (such as bleach, peroxide, etc.)
  • Explosives (such as ammunition, fireworks, flares, etc.)
  • Fertilizers and pesticides
  • Poison
  • Radioactive materials
  • Raw chemicals
  • Flammable or combustible products
  • Hand sanitizer

Pharmaceutical products

  • Prescription drugs
  • Hemp or cannabidiol (CBD) products, and any derivative products of the marijuana plant

Other prohibited products

  • Counterfeit items
  • Devices used in gambling
  • Drug paraphernalia
  • Engines
  • Hoverboards
  • Ivory or ivory-containing products
  • Lead acid batteries
  • Loose lithium batteries
  • Loose precious stones
  • Precious metals in the form of bullion or reserves
  • Magnetized materials
  • Means of payment (such as stamps, cash, tokens)
  • Military or law enforcement equipment (such as protective gear, restraints, night-vision devices, etc.)
  • Product for which a consumer safety advisory warning or recall has been issued
  • Tobacco or any product that may contain nicotine
  • Weapons (firearms, knives, pepper spray, tasers, aiming accessories, etc.)
  • Firearms and Firearm Parts
  • Ammunition

For more information about activities that are prohibited in connection with your use of the Shopify services, refer to the Shopify Acceptable Use Policy. Items prohibited by the Shopify Acceptable Use Policy won't be accepted into the Shopify Fulfillment Network, and won't be fulfilled.

If you're unsure about a product's eligibility, then contact the Shopify Fulfillment Network.

Prepare your products

Each product variant must have the following product details:

Each product variant must also have the following settings:

  • The variant's Inventory managed by setting must be set to Shopify.
    • If the Inventory managed by field doesn't appear on your variant page, then that means that all of your inventory is managed by Shopify.
  • The product or variant page must have a Shopify Fulfillment Network warehouse listed as a location with available inventory.

SKUs

A SKU (Stock Keeping Unit) is a unique alphanumeric code that's used to identify a product or variant of a product, based on details such as its model, size, or color. SKUs can vary in length and can include letters, numbers, or both. SKUs are used to distinguish product variants, track inventory, and ship the right item to customers.

While it's possible for an SKU and a barcode to seem identical, they're not the same thing. SKUs are used by retailers to identify and track inventory or stock. Barcodes are used to generate scannable patterns to facilitate fulfillment. This lets our fulfillment centers automate the picking, packing, and shipping of your orders as soon as they come in, which means that products get to your customers faster.

Verify that each product variant has a unique SKU. You can’t use the same SKU on different variants. If any of your variants have the same SKU, then change one of the variant's details.

Don't change the SKU of a product after you've submitted it to the Shopify Fulfillment Network.

If you want to learn how to edit SKUs in bulks using a CSV file, then refer to Importing products with a CSV file.

Barcodes

A barcode is a machine-readable pattern used internationally to store and locate product information. Barcodes contain a series of numbers that can vary in length depending on the type of the product. For the Shopify Fulfillment Network to fulfill your orders, the barcodes on your products must be 8-24 digits long.

While it's possible for an SKU and a barcode to seem identical, they're not the same thing. SKUs are used by retailers to identify and track inventory or stock. Barcodes are used to generate scannable patterns to facilitate fulfillment. This lets our fulfillment centers automate the picking, packing, and shipping of your orders as soon as they come in, which means that products get to your customers faster.

Verify that each product variant has a unique barcode. You can’t use the same barcode on different variants.

If your products don’t have barcodes, then you can get a barcode through one of the following options:

Unless you ship and fulfill with retail establishments that require a GTIN, such as a UPC, EAN, or ISBN, your product barcodes for the Shopify Fulfillment Network don't need to be a GTIN. If you need to obtain a GTIN, then you can use one of the following options:

  • Request the GTIN from your manufacturer.
  • Buy the GTIN with GS1 standards.

You need to enter each product's barcode in your Shopify admin. Add a barcode to a product using one of the following methods:

Having correct barcodes is very important for when you ship your products to the Shopify Fulfillment Network. Make sure that the barcode in your admin matches the physical barcode attached to the product. To print barcodes through your Shopify admin, refer to Barcode printers.

If you want to learn how to edit barcodes in bulks using a CSV file, then refer to Importing products with a CSV file.

Product weights

You aren't billed based on the weights that you enter in your Shopify admin. Instead, the Shopify Fulfillment Network fulfillment centers weigh and measure your products that arrive through an inbound transfer. This weighing and measuring is referred to as the First Article Inspection. The weight and measurements from the First Article Inspection are found in the Shopify Fulfillment Network section on your product variant page in your Shopify admin, or in the Shopify Fulfillment Network app.

The weights and measurements found by the First Article Inspection are the values that are used when determining your billing.

Tariff codes

The HS tariff code provides information to customs about tariffs to apply to the order. Look up HS tariff codes and assign them to the products that you ship internationally. To learn how to add HS tariff codes to your products, refer to Change variant details.

Add a product to the Shopify Fulfillment Network

To add a product to the Shopify Fulfillment Network, you must first submit it to the Fulfillment Success team for approval.

Steps:

  1. From your Shopify admin, go to Products > All products.
  2. Click the product.
  3. If the product has variants, then click Edit beside one of them.
  4. In Fulfillment details, click Add fulfillment details.
  5. In Replenish notifications, enter how many days' notice you need to send more inventory. You'll receive a notification this many days before your inventory is predicted to reach zero. For more information, refer to Inventory notifications.
  6. In Special handling, select shipping and handling attributes. For more information, refer to Special handling.
  7. Click Save.
  8. If the product has variants, repeat steps 4-7 for each remaining variant.
  9. Complete any additional steps that the Fulfillment Success team provides you.

Add a product to the Shopify Fulfillment Network using variant induction

Steps:

  1. From the your Shopify admin, go to Apps > Shopify Fulfillment Network.
  2. Click Inbound transfers > Create inbound transfer.
  3. Select the origin of the transfer. This can be from one of your locations, or from a supplier.
  4. Select the destination of the transfer.
  5. Click Add products. Products that haven't already been added to the SFN have a New badge next to them.
  6. Click the checkbox next to each product variant that you want to add to the SFN.
  7. Click Add inbound transfer > Submit inbound transfer.
  8. Confirm that the products that you want to add are eligible for the SFN, and then click Confirm and submit.
    1. If any of your products are ineligible, then you must remove them from your inbound transfer before the process can be completed.
    2. If any of the variants you're adding do not have a unique SKU, then click Fix fulfilment details and update the SKUs causing the error.
  9. Click Submit inbound transfer.

Special handling

Adding special handling attributes lets Shopify know how to handle your products when they arrive at the fulfillment center. When adding fulfillment details, you can select the following special handling attributes:

  • This product is fragile - The product is breakable and needs to be handled with care.
  • This product has shelf life - The product is perishable and needs to be tracked using the barcode and SKU.
  • This product is lot controlled - The product is tracked and must be identified in case of a recall.

Custom packaging and inserts

If you want to include approved custom packaging and marketing inserts (such as coupons, stickers, or brochures) in your shipments to customers, then these items must be added to your store as products with unique SKUs and barcodes. To make sure that these items don't appear in your Shopify store, you can hide these product pages.

After you assign SKUs and barcodes to your custom packing and inserts, then you can pack, label, and send them to a fulfillment center by creating an inbound transfer, just like you would with any other product.

Make sure to label custom packaging with a barcode before it's sent to a fulfillment center. If your packaging is custom-printed, then you can have the barcode printed directly on the packaging.

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