In the dynamic world of eCommerce, there are multiple avenues available to reach your audience. One of the most prominent online marketplaces is Amazon, the go-to platform for many business owners. However, selling on Amazon isn't restricted to using Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA). There are many other options to explore, which offer various advantages for your unique business model. Let's shed some light on how to sell on Amazon without FBA and discuss its potential benefits, providing insights that could revolutionize how you start selling on this platform.

Understanding Amazon's Selling Landscape

When it comes to selling on Amazon, you'll find that it's a vast, bustling marketplace with various opportunities for business owners. However, navigating this landscape can be a bit challenging, especially with the level of competition and myriad of options available to sellers.

There are several ways in which you can approach selling on this platform. For instance, there are different sales methods such as online arbitrage, retail arbitrage, wholesale, or private label selling. Each method comes with its own set of pros and cons, and it's crucial to choose one that aligns with your business model and resources.

One major decision that Amazon sellers have to make is choosing between Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) and Fulfillment by Merchant (FBM). The FBA program involves Amazon taking charge of your products' storage, packing, and shipping, while FBM gives you more control over these operations. The choice between FBA and FBM often depends on factors such as your product type, margin, and business scale.

Another important aspect of the Amazon selling landscape is using technology to manage your business. Integrating your technology stack with Amazon, for instance, allows for easier management of your product listings, orders, and inventory. Tools like AMZScout could be incredibly useful for market research and tracking product performance.

However, selling on Amazon is not without challenges. (And that's before you consider breaking from the guided experience Amazon offers, like if you want to sell on Amazon without inventory.) Standing out among millions of Amazon sellers can be a tough task. Maintaining competitive prices, managing inventory, dealing with potential policy changes by Amazon, and providing excellent customer service are some hurdles you might face. But with research, persistence, and the right strategies, you can certainly make your mark in this vast marketplace.

What Is Fulfillment by Merchant (FBM)?

Fulfillment by Merchant, often abbreviated to FBM, is a selling option provided by Amazon, paving a path different from Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA). FBM primarily allows sellers to assume full control over their storage, packaging, and shipping processes. In other words, instead of relying on Amazon's warehouses (as done in FBA), here it's you who's at the helm, managing your own inventory or choosing to partner with a third-party logistics company (3PL). Quite a change, right? Teaming up with a 3PL can be particularly advantageous, streamlining your operations and freeing up precious time for other areas of your business.

When a customer orders, instead of Amazon handling the fulfillment, it falls on you as the merchant to get the order packed and shipped. This involves everything from processing the order and packaging the product to shipping it out and handling any returns.

This might sound a bit daunting at first, especially if you've grown accustomed to the conveniences of FBA. However, it provides several advantages that can significantly bolster your business. You gain more control, an opportunity to reduce costs, a chance to establish a distinctive brand identity through customized packaging, and the flexibility to adjust to market dynamics swiftly.

Yes, FBM requires more hands-on involvement, but it's this very aspect that can make it incredibly rewarding. Remember, the key lies in effectively leveraging the resources at your disposal, including 3PL partnerships, to ensure efficient running of your retail operations, all while providing the best possible experience to your customers.

Why You Might Reconsider The FBA Approach

Many sellers initially lean towards Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) when embarking on the Amazon selling journey. FBA does have its own set of compelling advantages, including:

● Expedited Shipping: FBA products are eligible for Amazon Prime and other Amazon services, translating into faster shipping and a larger customer base. In some ways, shipping and customer service go hand in hand, so FBA may give you a leg up on customer satisfaction.

● A Hands-off Approach: Amazon handles storage, packing, and shipping, allowing you to focus on sourcing products and scaling your business.

● Customer Service: Amazon also handles returns and customer service for FBA sellers, reducing your administrative workload. It isn't easy to provide excellent customer service. Shifting that weight lets you focus on other aspects of your online business.

While these benefits are persuasive, FBA is not without its drawbacks. Here's why you might want to reconsider and explore other fulfillment options:

● Increased Costs: FBA fees can significantly eat into your profit margins. These include storage fees, pick and pack fees, and long-term storage fees for slow-moving inventory. Unless you know you can sell products quickly, expect additional fees on your Amazon seller account.

● Inventory Control: With FBA, you relinquish control over your inventory, which can be problematic, especially during peak periods.

● Commingling Issues: Amazon may commingle your product with similar products from other sellers. This could potentially lead to negative customer reviews if the product quality varies.

● Restrictions: FBA enforces strict guidelines on product preparation, packaging, and delivery, which can make it tedious for sellers to start selling.

Understanding these pros and cons will help you make a better-informed decision about whether to opt for FBA, or to consider alternatives such as Fulfillment by Merchant (FBM).

How to Sell on Amazon Without FBA

If you're considering venturing into the world of Amazon FBM, you're in the right place. Selling on Amazon without FBA simply requires broadcasting some different strategies and integrating new methods into your buying cannon. To get you started, I'll take you through the step-by-step process of selling via Amazon FBM. Ready? Let's dive in!

Step 1: Make Informed Product Choices

Start with thorough product research. This is the underpinning of your Amazon FBM success. Understand the market demands, identify what's selling, and discover the niches that fit your business model and capital availability. If products like yours aren't moving, it may not make sense to sell on Amazon at this time. You may also choose only a select few products when you start selling, even if you have a diverse product range.

Step 2: Set Up an Amazon Seller Central Account

You can't tap into the Amazon marketplace without an Amazon Seller account. Setting up an Amazon seller account is pretty straightforward---you just need to provide some basic business information, decide on a display name, and fill out the necessary payment and tax information.

Step 3: Select Your Preferred Sales Strategy

As a FBM seller, you have a variety of sales approaches at your disposal. There's online arbitrage and retail arbitrage, where you buy low and sell high, or you could try wholesale or private label methods, which often require larger initial investments but offer larger potential returns. If you're hoping to extend your ecommerce sales channels for an existing brand, you can also just spin up product listings for your tried and true products.

Step 4: Create Detailed Product Listings

High-quality, compelling product listings are essential when using Amazon FBM. Create a compelling title, write a thorough product description, and upload high-quality images. Don't forget to optimize your listings with relevant keywords to catch those all-important organic searches.

Step 5: Configure Your FBM Account

Once you're all set up, you need to configure your Amazon FBM account. This involves setting your shipping rates, deciding on your return policy, and integrating your current technology stack with Amazon's systems. Each of these areas directly affects the buying experience and customer satisfaction, so take the time to get them right.

Step 6: Manage Orders and Deliveries

As an FBM seller, you must diligently manage your orders, ensure timely delivery, handle any returns, and maintain high customer service. Good service and a prompt fulfillment process help you get those phenomenal seller ratings and reviews---exactly what you need for long-term success.

To wrap it up, yes, you can sell on Amazon without FBA. It may involve dedication and a strategic mindset, but using a 3PL for inventory management, fulfillment, and customer service support can significantly improve your profit margins. It's all about understanding your market, delivering quality service, and maintaining efficient order management. With a 3PL like All Points in your corner, success is inevitable.

Choosing Your Path: FBM vs. FBA

Deciding on the right path for your ecommerce business can feel like navigating a maze. Your choice between Fulfillment by Merchant (FBM) and Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) heavily hinges on your business model, product lineup, and customer expectations. FBA and FBM have unique advantages that can be leveraged to achieve your business goals.

For example, FBA is renowned for its scalability and simplicity. Your responsibility ends once your products are shipped off to Amazon fulfillment centers. In contrast, FBM offers greater storage, packing, and shipping control. Even if you choose a 3PL, these companies are often more like partners with inventory management---they keep you in the loop more than FBA. A 3PL like All Points can be a cost-effective option for dealing with complex shipping needs, oversized products, or slow-moving inventory that could rack up excessive fees with FBA.

Pivoting between FBA and FBM based on your product volume, sales data, and specific product needs can make your operations efficient and help reach a broader customer base. For many businesses, it makes sense to use FBA for some items and FBM for others.

But a 3PL is really what makes it easy to sell on Amazon without FBA. A 3PL can give Amazon sellers the best of both worlds by combining FBA's efficiency with FBM's control.

Selling on Amazon with FBA vs. 3PL

So, how exactly does a 3PL differ from using FBA? Both options remove inventory management from your plate so you can focus on attracting your potential customers. With a 3PL, your reliable suppliers send your products to their warehouse rather than Amazon's fulfillment centers. When a customer purchases from your Amazon store, your 3PL partner handles the entire fulfillment process. Using a third-party fulfillment center means you have extra time to create product listings and optimize them, handle customer inquiries, and monitor your sales performance.

When you're selling on Amazon without FBA---but with the help of a 3PL---you also don't need to worry about returns. 3PLs, like FBA, can handle that for you. Reverse logistics is harder than you think, and it's helpful to have an expert in your corner to handle it to help ensure positive reviews while you keep selling products for your e-commerce business.

The Potential Benefits of Choosing a 3PL for Amazon Sales

Choosing a 3PL to help you sell on Amazon without FBA offers a range of potential benefits. A 3PL like All Points can handle time-consuming tasks such as inventory management and the fulfillment process, freeing you up to focus more on other vital aspects of growing your ecommerce business.

3PLs like All Points can also offer personalized service catered to your business needs. They also have extensive experience with efficient inventory management and fulfillment service, keeping your storage and shipping costs as low as possible. Even better, they can handle your order fulfillment even if you have multiple sales channels.

Most importantly, a 3PL can offer the scalability and simplicity of FBA without draining you with high storage fees. Companies like All Points have efficiencies built in to manage inventory, tackle the fulfillment process, and provide a positive customer experience that translate to cost savings for you. This is particularly useful if your business sells a wide variety of products, including those that might be oversized or have complex shipping needs.

In essence, choosing FBM and partnering with a 3PL can provide you with more flexibility, paving the way to strategically grow your Amazon business. It's all about finding the right balance that fits your specific needs and goals.

Selling on Amazon Without FBA FAQs

Can I sell on Amazon without using FBA?

Yes, you can absolutely choose Fulfillment by Merchant (FBM) instead of FBA. When you opt for FBM, you can handle your customer orders yourself and maintain complete control, or you can tap a 3PL like All Points to help with the shipping process if you have physical inventory.


In conclusion, while Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) is a popular choice for selling on Amazon, opting for Fulfillment by Merchant (FBM) and partnering with a third-party logistics company (3PL) like All Points offers unique advantages. By combining the control of FBM with the efficiency of a 3PL, sellers can navigate Amazon's landscape effectively, achieving scalability, flexibility, and cost-efficiency in their operations.

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