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FBA vs. FBM: Which is Better for Your Amazon Business?

July 4th, 2024

Selling on Amazon offers two main fulfillment options: Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) and Fulfillment by Merchant (FBM). Each has its pros and cons, and the best choice depends on your business model, goals, and resources. Let’s dive into the differences and advantages of FBA and FBM to help you make an informed decision.

Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA)


  1. Prime Eligibility:
    • Products fulfilled by Amazon are eligible for Amazon Prime, offering free two-day shipping, which can significantly increase your sales and visibility.
  2. Logistics Handled by Amazon:
    • Amazon takes care of storage, packaging, shipping, and customer service, freeing up your time to focus on other aspects of your business.
  3. Scalability:
    • FBA allows you to scale your business quickly without worrying about the logistics of fulfilling a high volume of orders.
  4. Better Buy Box Opportunities:
    • FBA sellers often have a better chance of winning the Buy Box, which is crucial for increasing sales.
  5. Customer Trust:
    • Amazon’s reliable and efficient fulfillment process can enhance customer trust and satisfaction.


  1. Fees:
    • FBA fees can be high, including storage fees, fulfillment fees, and long-term storage fees if your inventory doesn’t move quickly.
  2. Less Control:
    • You have less control over inventory management, packaging, and shipping times.
  3. Complex Returns Process:
    • Handling returns through Amazon can sometimes be more complicated and less favorable for sellers.

Fulfillment by Merchant (FBM)


  1. Lower Costs:
    • You avoid FBA fees, which can make FBM more cost-effective, especially for items with lower profit margins or low turnover rates.
  2. Control:
    • You have complete control over your inventory, packaging, and shipping processes, allowing for more customization and flexibility.
  3. Suitable for Large or Heavy Items:
    • For bulky or heavy items, FBM can be more practical and cost-effective as FBA fees for these items can be quite high.
  4. Direct Customer Interaction:
    • FBM allows you to interact directly with customers, providing a more personalized service and potentially building stronger customer relationships.


  1. Less Prime Eligibility:
    • FBM items are generally not eligible for Amazon Prime, which can limit your reach and attractiveness to Prime members.
  2. Logistics Management:
    • You are responsible for all aspects of fulfillment, including storage, packing, shipping, and customer service, which can be time-consuming and complex.
  3. Buy Box Competition:
    • FBM sellers might have a harder time winning the Buy Box compared to FBA sellers, which can impact sales.
  4. Scalability Challenges:
    • Scaling an FBM business requires significant investment in infrastructure and resources to handle increased order volumes.

Which One Should You Choose?

The decision between FBA and FBM depends on various factors:

  • Budget: If you have a limited budget, FBM might be more cost-effective. However, if you can afford the fees, FBA might boost your sales volume.
  • Product Type: For small, lightweight, and high-turnover items, FBA is often the better choice. For large, heavy, or slow-moving items, FBM might be more practical.
  • Control vs. Convenience: FBA offers convenience but less control, while FBM offers complete control but requires more effort and resources.
  • Business Goals: If your goal is rapid growth and scaling, FBA is typically the way to go. If you prioritize maintaining control over your operations, FBM might be better.

Ultimately, some sellers find success using a hybrid approach, leveraging both FBA and FBM depending on the specific product and market conditions. Evaluate your business needs and test both methods to see what works best for you.