Amazon FBA vs. FBM: The Profit Calculation Dilemma


The world of Amazon selling can be complex, especially when you're considering the differences between the Fulfilled by Amazon (FBA) and Fulfilled by Merchant (FBM) models. At the heart of this decision lies the question of profitability.

The FBA and FBM Conundrum

FBA – Fulfilled by Amazon. This model sees Amazon taking charge of storage, packaging, and shipping. It's a model many sellers, particularly beginners, opt for due to the convenience it offers and the eligibility it provides for Amazon Prime shipping.
FBM – Fulfilled by Merchant. In this model, sellers manage their own inventory and logistics, often via a third-party logistics (3PL) company. This model is often chosen by more seasoned sellers who want more control over their supply chain.
But the real question is, which model is the most profitable?

Decoding the Profitability
While the answer to the profitability question largely depends on your product and business model, certain factors can help guide the decision. These include:

  • The sale price of your product

  • The size of your product

  • Packing materials

  • Storage cost per unit

  • The cost of production for your product

To make this decision easier and more data-driven, Amazon provides a tool: the Amazon FBA Calculator.

Understanding the Amazon FBA Calculator

The Amazon FBA Calculator is a tool that helps sellers estimate the costs and potential profits associated with using the FBA model.

Input the details of your product including price, shipping costs, average inventory, and cost of product into the FBA calculator. The tool then provides a comparison between independent fulfilment and Amazon FBA.

While useful, the numbers provided by the Amazon FBA Calculator should not be taken as absolute. With changing fulfilment costs and potential changes in Amazon fees, the calculator should be used as a tool for gaining a broader picture of potential net profits.

Enhancing Profit Estimations with SellerSprite's Free FBA Profit Calculator

If you're in the early stages of product research or looking for an alternative fulfilment method, you may want more than just the basic FBA calculator tool. This is where SellerSprite's FBA Profit Calculator comes in.

SellerSprite's FBA Profit Calculator provides instant access to the same information as Amazon's tool, but with additional features.

With this tool, you can:

  • Auto-populate product data for all relevant FBA logistics, including item dimensions, monthly storage fee, referral fee, estimated freight cost, and more.

  • Estimate net revenue, profit margin, and return on investment.

  • Add other costs, like PPC or outside advertising costs, to get a more comprehensive picture of your profits.

  • Change most fields on the fly to see how different scenarios might affect your net revenue, profit margin, and ROI.
The Profitability Calculator is part of SellerSprite's suite of tools, and most importantly, it is FREE
FBA or FBM: The Final Verdict

The choice between FBA and FBM largely depends on the specifics of your products and business model. While the FBA model offers convenience and ease, the FBM model can provide greater control.

A combination of both models can sometimes offer the best of both worlds, creating a reliable inventory pipeline.

Regardless of which model you choose, tools like the Amazon FBA Calculator and SellerSprite's FBA Profit Calculator can provide valuable insights to guide your decision and maximize your profits.

Using SellerSprite's Free Amazon FBA Calculator

Let’s use a sample product to see its promising profits with Amazon FBA.

  • Fill out data related to revenue, cost of goods, cost, after-sales cost, Amazon fees and units sold.
  • You may fill out specific measures for your goods to calculate FBA fees
  • With one click, you get a quick view of profit and margin.
This tool is totally free.You can use the Profitability Calculator to conveniently calculate profit margins with built-in parameters such as item price, referral fees, FBA fees, etc. 


How are FBA fees calculated? FBA fees are typically calculated as a percentage of the sale price (usually between 8-15%) or a minimum dollar amount, whichever is greater. The minimum dollar amount is typically $1.

How do I access my FBA calculator? Several FBA calculator options are available, but the best ones will be incorporated into a Chrome Extension so that you can use them when you are on Amazon’s platform.

How important is it to use an FBA calculator? While not strictly necessary, an FBA calculator can provide valuable insights into potential profitability and competitive research.
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