Amazon FBA is the name of the Amazon warehouse network where business owners can store their inventory. It is most well known as an easy way to manage the logistics of selling on Amazon. Amazon stores your products and then ships it to customers when they place an order. But did you know you can also sell on your own website or on eBay using Amazon FBA?
This is a slightly more advanced guide. If you are new to Amazon FBA start here.
Multi-channel fulfilment is the name of the service of that allows you to sell via FBA on websites than Amazon. I really like it for a few reasons:
- It would be silly to ignore the extra sales you could get from eBay and other marketplaces that have a different customer base to Amazon. Provided it’s easy you might as well cross-list, and multi-channel fulfilment is easy.
- Amazon is getting harder and harder to deal with. Having an off-Amazon presence is an important backup that spreads your risk.
There is one thing to be aware of. Amazon charges slightly more for multi-channel fulfilment than it does for fulfilling Amazon orders. But I have found it is still cheaper than other fulfilment companies, and it is certainly easier managing all your inventory when it is in one place. You can read more about multi-channel fulfilment on Amazon’s website here.
Selling On eBay Using Amazon FBA
It is a no-brainer to cross-list sell on eBay using Amazon FBA. It gives you an extra sales channel that doesn’t take any of your sales away from Amazon and requires very little work to manage. Personally, I don’t do any marketing for eBay and just let sales roll in organically.
When you get an order from eBay you can enter it manually on Amazon seller-central by going to ‘Manage Inventory’, selecting the products you want to send and clicking ‘Create Fulfilment Order’.
Or there are tools out there that let you automatically link the two together and sell on eBay using Amazon FBA. The one I use is called JoeLister (you can use arbingblog as your refer-a-friend code for a 4-week free trial).
JoeLister automates everything apart from the customer service. It creates the listings, moves over your photos from Amazon, processes your orders on eBay using Amazon FBA, records the tracking number on eBay and writes your customer feedback.
It starts off by showing you your current inventory on Amazon.
Then you can choose which listings you would like to list on eBay.
When you select ‘List’, JoeLister will create a sample listing that is copied from your Amazon listing and optimised for eBay. Including all your images.
And it will work out exactly what the costs associated with eBay will be, and let you change the price accordingly.
As you can see it is slightly more expensive to list on eBay than on Amazon. This is true whether you process all orders manually or use a tool.
So you should also factor in the cost of the tool on top. JoeLister costs $29 a month for up to 100 listings. It works on all marketplaces but you will need a new account for each one. So for instance, if you sell on both eBay USA (using USA FBA) and eBay UK (using UK FBA) you will need two accounts.
That means that JoeLister is only really worth it if you are selling enough on eBay using Amazon FBA to cover the costs. For me, provided I have at least five sales a month I think it is worthwhile, but for you it might be higher.
Once the listing is live, every time you get a sale it will be automatically put through and delivered by Amazon FBA.
Here is a screenshot from my eBay orders page, all of which was processed automatically. The order was placed 17 Aug. The bat was dispatched 18 Aug and the tracking number entered. Then feedback was automatically left.
Selling On Your Own Website Using Amazon FBA
So that’s eBay, what about selling via your own website? Well, I think that is a slightly harder question.
For some of my brands, I redirect all of my own website traffic to Amazon. The more sales I get on Amazon, the higher I work my way up the bestseller lists and the more organic traffic Amazon gives me. If instead I take those sales and process them through my own website I am losing out on the free ranking boost on Amazon. Check out this post on how marketing your Amazon FBA business works.
The more sales I get on Amazon, the higher I rank and the more sales I generate. I might as well direct traffic I have control over to Amazon and build my presence there.
That is fine in principle but does leave you very much at Amazon’s mercy. If they decide to suspend your listing or close your account you don’t have any backup option. Or if someone hijacks your listing with a fake version of your product you will be referring traffic to them!
So for some other of my businesses I take orders on the website. It all really depends on the current strategy for that business and can change quite regularly. It is something you need to decide for yourself. How at risk are you to Amazon and how much do you need the sales boost?
If you do decide to sell directly on your website. Well, again it is very simple. You can either fulfil orders ‘manually’ by entering them into seller central yourself or pay for a tool that automates it. What tool you use depends on what platform your website is built on. But luckily most e-commerce shop builders will have apps available that you can use.
All my websites are built either on Shopify or on WordPress using e-commerce extension Woocommerce. I won’t talk about how to build the websites here, but you can check out this guide for Shopify where I build a very simple t-shirt business. Or this one for WordPress, where I build a blog.
Never Settle’s FBA for Woocommerce is the one I use for my Woocommerce sites. It’s a one-off $129 purchase and here is a video on how it works:
Shopify has Amazon FBA integration already built in as a standard feature. But it only works in the USA so I use a third-party app called FBA Shipping with ByteStand. It’s $25 a month and works for USA, Canada, Mexico and Europe.
I generally suggest starting off processing manually and then add in a third party app once you are sure it is going to be worth the money.
Should you use multi-channel fulfilment?
If you are already using Amazon FBA and not eBay, I cannot think of any reason why you shouldn’t sign up and start selling on eBay using Amazon FBA. It is a no-brainer: it is very easy to set up, gives you much greater freedom and lets you target customers you might never have reached otherwise.
Should you use multi-channel fulfilment to sell on your own website? Well that is a difficult question and really depends on your circumstances. If you are selling on Amazon and don’t have a website, you should definitely create one. And then you should decide whether it is better for you to refer traffic to Amazon, or take sales directly on your site.
If you are already fulfilling orders to your own website, you should have a look to see if it easier or cheaper to use Amazon FBA than whatever fulfilment service you are currently using.