Is Amazon FBA worth it? What to consider


Is Amazon FBA worth it for your business? This post walks you through costs and other factors to consider as you weigh ecommerce fulfillment solutions.

For more many sellers, Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) is a pathway to reaching a huge audience, streamlining operations, and scaling with global infrastructure and logistics support.

As Amazon’s fulfillment service, FBA comes with several features, including:

If you want to navigate around supply chain issues and grow your business without the need to purchase or lease warehouse space, keep reading to learn about how FBA can compare to other fulfillment options, and see if it might be the right fit for your business.

Is FBA right for you? 5 factors to consider

Amazon Sales volume

Amazon Sales Volume

As an ecommerce seller, you have several options for handling fulfillment—a term that refers to the processes that go into storing, packing, and shipping products to customers.

Some businesses can handle these tasks on their own. For others, it’s more cost-effective to outsource in order to increase capacity for greater sales volumes.

So, which one is better? When’s the best time to take the leap and outsource fulfillment? Here are some considerations to help you decide.

1. Time and effort

If you have the time and resources to handle fulfillment yourself, then Fulfilled by Merchant might be the best option for you. However, if you’re short on time or don’t want to deal with the hassle of storing and shipping products, consider using FBA so you can focus on other aspects of your business.

For instance, you can outsource some or all the following to FBA:

  • Receiving inventory from suppliers or manufacturers
  • Inventory storage
  • Picking and packaging orders for shipment
  • Shipping orders to customers and collecting tracking numbers
  • Customer service
  • Returns processing
Once we got set up with FBA, business exploded. Rather than getting 30-40 orders per day, we’re now shipping off 10 pallets of product a week to Amazon warehouses and fulfillment centers.
Arsha Jones
Capital City Mambo Sauce

2. Cost

When you fulfill orders directly using Fulfilled by Merchant, you’re responsible for paying costs that can inflate over time, which can eat into your margins. Examples of costs associated with handling fulfillment can include:

  • Buying or leasing storage space
  • Packaging and labeling materials
  • Shipping and delivery fees
  • Inventory management and shipment tracking
  • Responding to customer inquiries and complaints

Whether you’re working with a team or not, taking care of tasks like these can consume valuable time and resources. This leads many businesses to turn to a fulfillment solution like FBA.

The cost of Fulfillment by Amazon starts with the plan you select. You can use an Individual selling plan for a flat rate of $0.99 per item sold, or you can use an Professional selling plan $39.99 per month, respectively. You’ll also pay referral fees and additional FBA cost depending on the scale of your operations and business needs:

  • Fulfillment cost (based on weight and product category)
  • Inventory storage cost (based on factors like how much space you’ll need and how long you’ll want to store products)
  • Returns processing

Add up all your costs to see if FBA can save you money. On average, shipping with FBA costs 70% less per unit on average than premium options offered by major US carriers comparable to FBA, and it costs 30% less per unit on average than their standard shipping options.

You can also use the Amazon Revenue Calculator to estimate costs, calculate fees, and find out how much you can save with FBA.

3. Control

When your business fulfills orders directly, you control the fulfillment process from one end to the other. For example, maybe you like to add a special touch to your brand’s packaging, such as a handwritten note. You can also choose your own packaging materials and shipping carriers, and you’re not limited in terms of what types of products you can sell.

When you use FBA, you have to observe applicable Amazon policies and rules for product categories, as well as inventory restrictions. Consider whether trade-offs like these are worth it to gain peace of mind knowing fulfillment experts can properly handle products throughout the fulfillment process.

Make use of the FBA Dashboard
Visit your FBA dashboard to monitor stock levels, track shipments, and more. Get an overview of fulfillment for your business and make adjustments all in one convenient place.

4. Sales volume

If you’re starting out or have low sales volume, Fulfilled by Merchant may be a better option for your business. On the other hand, if you have high sales volumes, the costs for FBA might worth it.

Take into account the time you’ll save, plus the ability to scale through FBA. Tapping into Amazon’s global fulfillment networks of storage centers and efficient transport options can make a big difference.

5. Shipping speed

Today’s consumers want fast, free shipping. One study found that 64% of customers expect free shipping orders to arrive in less than three business days, while 56% of abandoned carts are related to delivery concerns.

With FBA, you have backup from fulfillment centers and personnel to ensure orders ship within a few days. Joining FBA also makes products eligible for free, two-day shipping through Prime, which can be enticing to customers. In some cases, FBA can even provide next-day or same-day delivery.

How to start Amazon FBA: 3 steps

Seller Fulfilled Prime

Interested in using FBA? Here are the three main steps:

  1. Create an Amazon seller account.
  2. Set up an Amazon FBA account to send inventory to Amazon fulfillment centers.
  3. Manage inventory and process orders for the products you enroll in FBA.

You can enroll as little as one single product in FBA, or your entire catalog. Learn more from our FBA coaching guide for beginners and check out Seller University for helpful tips and guidance.

Send your first FBA shipment
Learn the features and benefits of Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) and how to get started with FBA.

More fulfillment resources to grow your business

No matter how you decide to get products to customers, the following resources can help with a variety of different fulfillment methods:

You can also check out these fulfillment options, features, and tools:

Multi-channel fulfillment (MCF)

You can use Multi-Channel Fulfillment (MCF) to coordinate fulfillment across your ecommerce channels. Benefit from predictable pricing, integrations, up-to-the-minute tracking, and other convenient aspects to support your business.

Buy with Prime

Is it possible to enjoy FBA benefits without having an Amazon storefront? Absolutely. You can sign up for Amazon’s Buy with Prime program to display the Prime seller badge on your own website and provide customers with a familiar shopping experience. Buy with Prime has been shown to increase conversions by an average of 25%.

Our brand awareness grew substantially with Amazon’s search capabilities, and Fulfillment by Amazon ensured that we quickly delivered on our promise of a good night’s sleep to new parents.
Manasi Gangan
Nested Bean

Scale your business with FBA

Revolutionize your potential for scalability and earn customer trust by enrolling products in Amazon FBA. You can also unlock a range of tools and support exclusive to Amazon sellers to help you prosper.

To get started, you can sign up for Amazon FBA, or check out this beginner’s guide and these 11 tips for selling online if you want to earn money from home and build a successful online business.

Frequently Asked Questions: Is FBA worth it?

Is Amazon FBA profitable?
Yes, selling in the Amazon store with FBA can be profitable. FBA can help you attract new customers by offering fast and reliable delivery. It also lets you outsource fulfillment tasks to save time and money as you scale. Check out these seller success stories for inspiration.
How much do FBA sellers make on average?
Revenue and profits vary widely from seller to seller. You can use free sales estimators to calculate your potential margins for different fulfillment scenarios based on various factors. Experiment with the numbers to determine whether FBA could be a cost-effective option for your business.
What does FBA cost?
FBA uses a pay-as-you-go model with storage and fulfillment costs charged per unit and per order. Learn more about FBA costs.

Daisy Quaker
Daisy Quaker
Daisy Quaker is a Sr. Marketing Manager at Amazon who’s driven by helping entrepreneurs and brands discover opportunities to reach more customers through Amazon stores. She also enjoys the outdoors, art museums, and good food.