What is FBM?
FBM is an operation model on Amazon. The abbreviation stands for Fulfilled by Merchant. Basically, it’s a model in which sellers receive products from supply chains, prep them on their own, and send them to their clients. It is a commonly used feature on Amazon. But why are we asking is it worth the risk?
Well, for starters, when a seller fulfills the order, all the responsibility is on their shoulders. This means that if anything happens to the product during shipment (e.g. product arriving damaged, or getting lost), the seller will have to answer for it. Usually many sellers do not have warehouses or professional equipment to pack the products and not all supply chains prep the products before sending them out to resellers. What that means is that FBM sellers are usually left to pack the products and are at risk of receiving negative feedback; especially if they neglect to follow Amazon’s strict (actually, VERY strict) prepping and shipping policies.
Do you know what happens when FBM shipments are hindered? Usually, suspensions. And sellers having their selling privileges revoked. Amazon will suspend FBM sellers even if a small, microscopic detail is missing.
But what’s the alternative?
FBA is another model Amazon offers. It stands for Fulfilled by Amazon.
How does is FBA work and why should I use it?
In FBA, the seller orders the products from a supply chain, and the product gets sent to an Amazon fulfillment center where Amazon employees pack it and ship it themselves. This is good, because who better than an Amazon employee when it comes to packing under Amazon’s guidelines? After the product is properly packed and shipped (packing and shipping are a whole other topic of their own!), the item gets sent out to the end customer by Amazon, using Amazon’s service.
Yay for the seller, because if by some coincidence the product arrives damaged or gets lost, the ball will be in Amazon’s court and the seller can rest easy at home because: Wasn’t me!
Now, we’re not saying that FBA sellers are immune to suspensions. They also make mistakes and a lot can go wrong. Plus, Amazon will charge a small fee for packing, shipping, and storing the product in its warehouses. That being said, at least sellers will not have to worry about what happens to products after they reach an Amazon fulfillment center.
While in our opinion FBA is less risky than FBM, each seller chooses their own model based on their specific needs. What is important is being a proficient seller in either model. Amazon’s policies are clear-cut and should be followed if any seller wishes to avoid suspensions. Whether Fulfilled by Amazon or Merchant, just make sure you abide by Amazon’s policies. And if you do get suspended, no worries! We are here to help you get out of the wormhole!