FBA or FBM? Which should I choose?

When I first started selling on Amazon Seller Central in 2016  I was taught that the only way you should sell was via FBA (Fulfilled by Amazon). 

For the several years I would 100% agree that this was the only and best way to sell on Amazon.  However last year’s global pandemic saw Amazon close its warehouses for deliveries and drastically increase shipping times for products that were not hand sanitisers or face masks (even for Prime customers).  It was then that my attention turned to FBM (Fulfilled by Merchant) because I needed to ship my products to customers faster than Amazon could or would.

Nowadays I still recommend that you sell FBA BUT I also think it's sensible to have FBM listings up your sleeve in the event that Amazon decides to extend prime delivery times again.

It also gives you the opportunity to sell to customers that don't have a prime account. I offer free shipping to FBM customers (based on longer shipping times) and charge a fee for faster shipping that is cheaper than Amazon would charge.

Now that Amazon is restricting the amount of stock that you can ship into FBA it can mean you go out of stock on a popular product so having an FBM listing means that you can fulfil via your own warehouse or via stock held by Amazon but is not yet available for sale.

This is just another example of how Amazon keeps us on our toes and how we need to be able to pivot fast when selling on Amazon.