Amazon FBA = “Fulfilled by Amazon”. In other words, there is an option for them not just to show your products/artworks on their giant shop, but also to ship those items to customers.
In 2018 I registered as a seller on Amazon Handmade, but it was such an exhausting hassle that I didn’t start experimenting with selling there until 2020 (here is a link to my blog post about it, and here is a link to my shop thing). Then last week I joined Amazon FBA, as another experiment to see if it would be worth doing. One week later, here is my proof:
Amazon are shipping items for me while I’m asleep!
Of course, they’re doing it for a hefty fee – and setting up the whole thing is a huge faff and takes ages – but I’m guessing the process will get faster/easier once I’ve done it a few times.
The other giant benefit is that as well as shipping things for me while I’m asleep, Amazon will also be multiplying my capacity for physically sending out parcels. At the moment I am the sole employee of my business, so it is my job(s) to do the following:
- Order raw materials
- Design items to make and sell
- Make the items I’ll be selling
- Pack and post sold items
- Take photographs of products
- Research possible new suppliers
- Research possible new outlets
- Update my websites
- Add new products to my online shops
- Attend craft fairs
- Visit potential retailers of my products (shops, museums, galleries)
- Restock existing retailers of my products
- Design business cards, logo, stationery
- Carry out maintenance on equipment
- Deal with customer queries
- Develop new products
- Keep accounts updated
- Fill in tax returns
…not to mention that in the background I’ve actually got a life to live, as well.
So when I spend time on the activity of “pack and post sold items” it means that I can’t do any of the other activities at the same time. And if I can’t spend time making items, I then won’t have any to pack and post.
One drawback of using FBA is that it involves a LOT of admin, which eats up time. Another is that I still have to actually pack and post items – although it does save me some time because they are all going to the same place (Amazon’s FBA warehouse) instead of having to send them to individual customers. However as I said above, I’m hoping the process will get easier/quicker once I’ve sent a few more shipments off to Amazon.
Anyway, it’s been a very interesting experiment this week, dabbling in Amazon’s FBA programme. Now let’s see what happens at Christmas…
Have you tried selling with Amazon? Or is it an evil bloated monster squatting all over the internet and you would never even shop with, let alone allow your artworks to be tainted with its vile commercialism? Feel free to leave me a (polite-ish) comment 🙂