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What do FBA, FBM and SFP Stand For? Three common shipping abbreviations explained

by | Jan 11, 2022 | Distribution Service

If you have products you want to sell and you are considering your distribution and shipping options, you are likely to come across three of the most common abbreviations used in this business – FBA, FBM and SFP. Below, you will find a brief summary of each of these distribution abbreviation meanings, after which we will explain each of them in greater detail, so you have a clear understanding of the differences.

amazon fba fbm sfp explained
  1. FBA – Fulfilled by Amazon is where Amazon is responsible for taking delivery of the products you want to sell. They will then handle packing and posting your products sold through the Amazon platform.
  2. FBM – Fulfilled by Merchant is where products sold on platforms such as Amazon are packed and shipped by the seller themselves. This could be via their own warehouse or fulfilment centre.
  3. SFP – Seller Fulfilled Prime is where a merchant can sell products through the Amazon platform, which will also display the ‘Prime Shipping’ option. However, the seller is responsible for shipping the product sold using an express delivery service, not Amazon.

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FBA- Fulfilled by Amazon

If you have a small product or products you want to sell, then selling them via the Amazon platform under an FBA agreement could be the ideal solution for you.
Amazon FBA products are easy to spot on Amazon as your company/business will be shown as the seller and the product(s) dispatched from Amazon. FBA is great because you don’t need to have any warehouse space and beyond selling and shipping the product(s) to your customers, Amazon also handles all ‘customer care’ aspects of your business, such as dealing with returns, providing refunds/replacements, etc.

Where TSP can help you with FBA shipping is to act as a safety net, ensuring that Amazon never runs out of stock. Obviously, there is only so much room available in Amazon’s warehouses and with today’s supply chain problems, if your goods are, say, being manufactured in China, you run the risk of severe delays with product delivery. Maintaining a ‘reserve’ stock with TSP can mitigate supply chain risk and, in addition, can protect you at times when there can be a spike in demand, such as at Christmas.

amazon shipping explained

FBM – Fulfilled by Merchant

There are other selling platforms beyond Amazon, such as eBay, Etsy, Shopify and Woo Commerce, but they don’t provide shipping options. Renting a warehouse would destroy any profit margin, so using a company like TSP became a logical alternative. In simplified terms, we provide everything Amazon provides where storage and distribution/shipping is concerned. FBM is also a shipping method used on Amazon as they allow you the option of using the platform to reach potential customers, but they do not ‘lock you in’ to a distribution agreement as well. FBM products are easy to spot on Amazon as they are marked as ‘Shipped by XX’ delivery time is usually several days/weeks, and Prime shipping is not an option.

SFP – Seller fulfilled Prime

In today’s time-sensitive world, speed of product delivery can often be a deal clincher or deal breaker. Offering ‘Prime’ delivery through Amazon but under an FBM arrangement means that Amazon will allow you to display your products with Amazon’s ‘Prime’ logo, indicating express delivery is available, but you can still ship them yourself. Did you know that Amazon has over 10 million Prime members in the UK and, according to Amazon, “Seller fulfilled listings that became Prime-eligible for the first time through Seller Fulfilled Prime experienced an average sales uplift of more than 50%.”?

What you may also not be aware of is that here at TSP we meet Amazon Prime requirements, so any order we receive on a prime service prior to 4pm will be shipped out the same day.

Now that you know what FBA, FBM and SFP stand for, and the differences between them, there are doubtless other questions you may have on these shipping options and, of course, you’ll also be needing an idea of costs. So, why not get in touch and let’s see what we can do to help you.

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