What is Fulfillment By Amazon (FBA)?
FBA is Amazon’s customer order fulfillment service. Amazon allow’s 3rd party vendors to send your products to Amazon’s warehouse, where Amazon stores them and then fulfills the orders to customers when they sell.
All items fulfilled by Amazon are eligible for Amazon Prime, which includes free 2-day shipping and Amazon’s 30-day money-back guarantee.
Several years ago Amazon was saying they estimated half their customers never buy an item if it isn’t eligible for Amazon Prime.
As of 2017, Amazon has over 80 million Prime customers just in the US alone.
Amazon customers love Amazon Prime because:
- Shipping is free (even non-Prime customers get free 2-day shipping on orders over $25)
- Delivery is guaranteed within 2 days (and increasingly same-day or within 2 hours with Prime Now)
- Returns are easy
- Everything is covered by Amazon’s no-hassle 30-day money-back guarantee
- Access to exclusive sales and deals
- Prime Video
- Prime Music, Amazon’s streaming music service
- They can borrow books for free through the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library
6 Reasons You Should Use FBA:
- You’ll make more sales – Customers prefer Prime-eligible products, and there is strong evidence Amazon gives ranking preference to FBA products.
- You’ll make higher profits – Use the FBA Revenue Calculator to compare net payout on your sales made through FBA vs orders you fulfill yourself.
- You’ll have more satisfied customers – They know exactly what to expect with Amazon, they know when they’ll receive the item, and returns are easy.
- Amazon handles all the basic customer service – This saves you time, money, and most important, focus.
- You can scale more easily – Grow your business, rather than getting bogged down in fulfillment operations.
- You can use FBA to fulfill your non-Amazon orders, such as on your own website or through eBay or Etsy – Software like Sellbrite will automate placing multi-channel fulfillment orders with Amazon, or Shopify supports this natively. (But don’t use Amazon to fulfill your Walmart.com orders – Walmart doesn’t allow it.)
When FBA might not be a good idea for your business:
- You sell very large, heavy, or difficult-to-ship items
- You sell extraordinarily fragile items
- You sell items Amazon doesn’t allow in their fulfillment centers
- Meltable items between May 1st and September 30th each year
- Products requiring refrigeration, significant air conditioning, or freezing
- Certain products that contain hazardous materials (learn more from Amazon here, and if you’re not sure whether your item is hazmat then open a case with Amazon)
- Any other products on Amazon’s FBA prohibited products list (learn more from Amazon here)
Right now there is a Christmas deadline: Amazon will only fully guarantee all your inventory is available for shipping by Christmas if they receive it at their fulfillment center by December 1st. So don’t delay in getting started!
So what should you do?
- Take the ASIN of the first product in your catalog that you want to have fulfilled by Amazon, go to Add a Product in your Seller Central inventory management, and add a new listing for the product in your inventory
- Choose “I want Amazon to ship and provide customer service for my items if they sell.”
- Then go to Manage Inventory, select the product you want to send to Amazon, and choose “Send/replenish inventory” and follow Amazon’s instructions for creating an FBA shipment
Tips for FBA success:
- Pack your items very well – follow Amazon’s FBA packing and prep guidelines
- Allow plenty of lead time – send in inventory shipments at least about 3 weeks before you expect to run out of stock
- Label all your own inventory rather than using the “stickerless, co-mingled” option
Need help with FBA?
If you need help, contact us!