Amazon FBA vs FBM: Which is Better?

After the success of our last interview where he revealed tips and advice on how to sell books on Amazon, we invited Amazon bookseller and playwright, James, to contribute another post — and the good news for you is that he agreed. In today’s post, he focuses on a common seller dilemma — what fulfillment option should I use to sell on Amazon, FBA or FBM?


Firstly, if you don’t know what those two Amazon acronyms mean, you’re probably not ready to answer the question yet. If you know exactly what they mean then you’re probably looking for a list of the pros and cons of using FBA v FBM.

Something to help you orient your business into a model that works best for you. And that’s the question you need to ask yourself. One that’s at the heart of whether you want to use FBA (Fulfillment by Amazon) or FBM (Fulfillment by Merchant) to sell and ship your Amazon inventory.

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Get yourself a plain piece of paper and a pen and at the top of the page write, ‘What will work best for me?’ Then have a day off. You’ve earned it. Just kidding. You got a lot more things to do now.

The answers to these questions might not be apparent at first, but as you begin taking your first tentative steps into selling on Amazon, the decisions you make will shape the business you create.

Everything about you, your life and your current situation will play into whether you decide to use FBA or FBM.

Benefits of Using FBA

For a fairly hefty chunk of your profits per sale, Amazon will take the hassle of ‘booking’ (my new verb) out of your hands.

You’re outsourcing almost everything but finding your stock to Amazon. They will store, coordinate, package and deliver your book whilst you sit in your own home and do whatever your little heart desires.

Now before you start printing labels and booking the UPS, it sounds far more relaxing than it is. You’ll still have to manage your inventory, deal with stranded inventory and occasionally Amazon will damage your books.

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Once you start FBA you realise that there’s a whole bunch of additional things that you didn’t necessarily sign up for and these can be a hassle and a little daunting.

Whilst it’s relatively easy to FBA your stock, getting answers about what to do when things go wrong is about as easy as getting a PhD in Astrophysics.