Can You List the Same Item on Amazon FBA and FBM?

Amazon FBA can be a huge game-changer for most handmade sellers, but one question I’m often asked is if you can list the same item on Amazon FBA and FBM.

The short answer is: yes!

But, there’s a bit more information you need to clarify that answer. Isn’t that always the case with anything Amazon related?

Before we dive too far into how you can make FBA work for your business and items, let’s cover exactly what FBA and FBM mean when it comes to selling on Amazon Handmade.

 

What is Amazon FBA?

FBA stands for fulfillment by Amazon. If you want your items to be available by Prime and shipped from Amazon to customers within 2 days, you need to convert your listings to FBA and send them to the warehouse.

From that point, Amazon picks the item from their shelves when an order comes in and sends it off to the customer. It's a pretty great thing when it comes to busy holiday periods and can save huge amounts of time from fulfilling tons of last-minute orders (which, as we know, Amazon shoppers tend to be last-minute shoppers!). An extra benefit is an increase in sales. Listings that are available via Prime do get a small push in search results, and customers that are Prime members, tend to shop with the 'prime only' filter turned on.

Currently, for items in the handmade category, your FBA listing can't have any variations. If you offer an item in different colors or sizes, each one has to be listed separately to convert the listing to fulfilled by Amazon.

What is Amazon FBM?

FBM stands for fulfilled by merchant. This means that you will be shipping the orders yourself, similar to selling on your website or on Etsy. You set your shipping rates, your processing times, and you are responsible for getting the order to the customer in the time you've specified.

FBM listings can have variations, and Amazon offers a wide variety of different customization fields.

You can set some variations to be required for a customer to add to their cart, too, which is really helpful because of how buggy the Amazon messaging system is.

How to do FBA When You Sell Mostly Personalized Items

As handmade sellers, we love to offer personalized items! Customers love them, and it really puts a spin on just how special handmade items can be. But, how can this work for Amazon FBA?

It can, but you need to adjust your items a little bit.

Because we can’t have variations on FBA listings, you need to figure out a way to offer your personalized items without personalization.

If you do monograms, for example, choose your best selling letters and send a few into FBA to try! If you sell personalized ornaments with last names, create some that only have the date on them and send them into an Amazon warehouse to test.

You can’t have duplicate listings on Amazon. That means they can’t be 100% identical. You can have one listing for FBA without customizations and another listing for FBM that does have customizations attached where the customer personalizes the item or chooses a specific color or size.

One listing has variations, and one doesn't, so they aren't identical.

TIP: For SEO purposes, you will want to adjust your titles a little bit between the two (or more) listings, so you are varying your keywords. Your titles are most important when it comes to Amazon SEO. Using a few different keywords in each title will allow you to better optimize for even more keywords!

Examples

Here are a few examples of sellers that have changed their personalized items and listings a little bit so that they can take advantage of Amazon FBA:

  1. FBA Non-Personalized Listing | FBM Personalized Listing
  2. FBA Non-Personalized Listing | FBM Personalized Listing (side note, I own this, and it is divine!)

Final Thoughts

Amazon FBA is an amazing tool for handmade businesses to utilize. There is a way that any seller can use it to their benefit, it’s just a matter of figuring out the best way to make it work for you and your items.

I’ve never had a client regret doing FBA! The only complaint I’ve heard is that they wish they started FBA sooner!

Have you sent any items into FBA yet? What is holding you back from taking this step? Share in the comments! If you’d like to book a mentor call with me, use this link to schedule a call so we can connect!

 

2 comments

  • Thank you for the push. I will put this on my To Do List to add this year! I do custom Monograms, but this helped convince me to try it!

    Paige Renter
  • Yes I only wish I started sooner!! I also didn’t know I couldn’t duplicate them for fbm so I’ll change that. Though I prefer FBA. I want to grow my business and although I LOVE personalizing, there comes a burn out point. FBA is hard work but it gives me that break plus I can feel free to take some time off on the weekend and still be getting paid (so I don’t feel so guilty!) can’t wait to work with you more Dana!!

    Rebecca Duger

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