Pros and Cons of Amazon FBA

Amazon FBA programme is a great way to reach prime customer in the UK and beyond. It is cheap to use with no long-term contracts and international in scope. However, there are some quirks of the system which sometimes make it a challenge to manage.

Pros

PAYG fulfilment house with benefits

Unlike most fulfilment houses, FBA is pay as you go. You are charged per item, per month for storage and shipping per items. There are no additional fees for deliveries though there are some other charges. Products get listed for sale on Amazon but can also be used to fulfil other channels.

International scope

Amazon has created a European fulfilment network which allows products to be delivered to a UK warehouse but be prime eligible throughout Europe (DE, FR, IT, ES). It is also possible to send stock to Amazon platforms outside the EU, but this is more difficult.

Better chance of buy box

Fulfilment method is a factor in deciding who gets highest share of the buy-box on Amazon. Amazon modestly thinks its delivery is the best so promotes its own product and FBA products over merchant fulfilled.

Cons

Creating inventory

Creating inventory in the Amazon system can be a bit of a pain. Presuming that the item is already in the catalogue, it should just be a matter of uploading a simple inventory file, but often the products will be rejected for strange reasons or will not be eligible for FBA.

Creating deliveries

Once the inventory has been created then it is time to send over stock to Amazon. This is a laborious process as much of the stock needs re-barcoding, polybagging and box packing lists creating.

Reporting

Amazon reporting could be brilliant, but instead it makes me want to cry every time I use it. Amazon reports are always missing data so it is very difficult to download the full inventory. This is a problem when trying to answer questions like ‘how much inventory do I have’.  

eBay Listing Best Practice

We are frequently asked about best practise for eBay listings and so we thought we should collect together all the best sources for eBay optimi-sation advice.

eBay Gold Standard Listings

eBay have produced the following guide for creating ‘Gold Standard Listings’. All reasonably entry level stuff but relevant nevertheless.

ListSmart

List Smart is a recently launched tool which gives optimisation advice on live eBay listings.  Through the ecommerce blog Tamebay they have written two guides on eBay best practice:

Terapeak

Terapeak license data from eBay and allow subscribers to query it by, for example, searching for sales from a particular seller or category.  By using their tools you can:
  • Find commonly used keywords and the prices these products sold at
  • Find the best converting categories for a particular product

eBay conversion rate

Web Retailer is an excellent site and has produced this interesting article on eBay conversion rates.  I think their listings look pretty awful, but they make some good points.  We used some of this advice when developing the new listing template for Hello Baby.