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What Is FBA and Which Calculators Are Best For It?

Posted on: 20-02-15-Sat 16:06
Home Toolkit What Is FBA and Which Calculators Are Best For It?
How Amazon’s FBA Service Works
How Much Does FBA Cost?
How To Use Amazon’s FBA Calculator
Best FBA Calculators
Now Get Ready To Sell!
 FAQ

While searching for a product on Amazon, you have more than likely noticed the seemingly endless quantity of items available, with hundreds to thousands of results popping up with every search. Well, this isn’t necessarily because Amazon owns every item out there for sale; it’s because of their Fulfillment By Amazon (FBA) service, which allows third party sellers to be able to sell products through Amazon, who make their profit after some fees and charges for the service. 

Since the birth of online shopping, people have been searching for ways to nestle themselves into the niche. Being able to sell your products online, working around your own schedule sounds very appealing to most, and there has consistently been services from companies, such as FBA, that allow people to do so.

With FBA, sellers are able to sell items without having to do much of the heavy lifting. After someone buys a product, the seller will send it to the FBA stock, and then Amazon will ship the item when they are ready, and the item is packaged correctly.

Sounds great, right? Well, it is, but it’s also a little tricky. With the fees and charges involved with the FBA service, it can be hard to tell how much profit you’re actually taking home every day. Luckily, there is such a thing as an FBA Calculator, which is a calculator that will help you find out how much Amazon will be charging you for the service.

How much they charge you depends on a few different factors, such as item weight, dimensions, category, referral fee, etc. It’s a simple process, but there are many external factors new sellers forget to consider which can affect how much you end up paying them. In addition, Amazon has disclosed that their own FBA calculator is not the most accurate, and should only be used as a ‘guide’.

Thankfully, there are tons of other good, and better, FBA calculator options to choose from, and many offer a Google Chrome extension, making them readily available for you whenever.

How Amazon’s FBA Service Works

If you decide that you would like to begin selling products online, one of the first questions that is essential to ask yourself is: do I want to sell privately, or do I want the help from a company service? Well, most people decide on the latter, and this is for a few reasons.

As a private seller, dealing with all aspects of the business such as handing the items, getting them prepared for packaging, the packaging itself, where to keep your stock, etc., can all begin to grow very tiresome, and possibly impede upon the growing success of your small business. As it may sound like a better idea at first, most sellers will come to realize that they may have been able to save money if they would have sold through FBA in the first place.

With FBA, selling can be a whole lot easier. But, this is not to say you shouldn’t be on top of your sales when using the service; many sometimes feel that they were overcharged, and believe they are losing money. This can be due to a few different reasons, such as not knowing what’s actually included in the cost, and the addition of weight when Amazon finalizes the packaging. This is where good FBA calculators, and knowing how to use them, come in handy.

Regardless, getting set up with and using FBA is a rather easy process, and can have you selling items and making money in no time.

  1. Set Up FBA  - If you already have a selling account on Amazon, you can add FBA to it. If not, you can get started through amazon.com/fba .
  2. Make Your Product Listings - After signing up, begin to list and categorize all of the items you wish to sell. You can add them one by one, or by bulk, into Amazon’s catalog. You also have the option of integrating your management software with Amazon’s API
  3. Product Preparation - Ensure that your products are ready to be in the hands of your customer, accounting for any safety / hazardous concerns. If you need help getting started with the right materials to properly ship to Amazon, you can get their preferred prep and packaging supplies delivered to you when you get started.
  4. Ship Product(s) To Amazon - After your shipping plans and labels are created, ship the products to an FBA fulfillment center. You will receive a tracking number in order to see where your product is, and when the customer should expect it. The customer will receive their own tracking number when the product reaches an FBA center.
  5. Customer Orders, Amazon Ships, You Wait! - After the fulfillment process is said and done, all that’s left for you to do is wait for your item to sell. Prime members will get their items faster than others. Other customers, on eligible orders, may receive a free shipping option.

As you can see, the process of selling through the FBA service offered by Amazon is not very complicated, and can certainly help to ease the stresses of selling various products. Despite this, it’s very important for you to stay on top of your sales and expenses, keeping note of how much money you are losing to FBA. With some tips, advice, and recommendations on the best FBA calculators available, you’ll be netting as much profit as possible in no time.

How Much Does FBA Cost?

As mentioned, one of the first questions you should be asking yourself when you decide you want to sell items is if you’d rather sell as a merchant through Amazon, or through their FBA service. This decision can be a big one in terms of how much money you’ll make.

Monthly Fee

If you have an idea of how many products you’ll be selling, at least at the start, the first decision is deciding whether to go with a Professional selling account, or as an individual, under FBA. With a professional account, you will be charged $39.99 per month, but won’t be charged anything per item. As an individual, you will pay a base fee of $0.99 per item, including an additional $0.45 - $1.50.

In other words, if you believe that you will be selling over 40 products a month, it may be more worth it to go with the professional account instead of an individual one.

Fulfillment / Stock Removal Fees

If you sell through FBA, this obviously means that they will be taking care of most of the locating, shipping and handling that deals with the products. Fees by FBA to locate the item, pack it, ship it and deal with customer service can range from $2.41 per unit all the way up to over $137 for products that happen to be oversized, or ‘special’.

With knowledge of how much these aspects could cost you if you did them yourself, you can draw comparisons between the two, being able to more easily tell which is more worth it.

If you desired to take out and sell some inventory from Amazon, perhaps some items that went unsold for them, you will be charged a rate of around $0.50 - $0.60 per item.

FBA Prep Service Fees

When preparing a package to send to Amazon for fulfillment, there are certain guidelines and structures that they would prefer you to follow, in order to help the flow of business and keeping things in check at the FBA center.

You have the option to allow Amazon to do the correct packaging, for a fee. Many sellers try to correctly package the item before sending it to the fulfillment center, hoping they can save on fees, but end up getting an unplanned fee due to the package not complying with Amazon’s FBA package guidelines. Depending on the type of product, you will pay a fee of $1.00 - $2.20 per item.

Storage / Long - Term Storage Fees

Included in the costs of FBA are the costs of storing your item(s) at the closest Amazon fulfillment center. These costs will be faced as an individual merchant, or as a seller through FBA, because storage for stock is a necessary aspect of this business. Fees dealing with storage will vary depending on size, the amount of items, and how long they store it for.

The fees you will face for storing your items at Amazon's fulfillment center will range from $0.48 - $2.40 per cubic foot of space that is taken up. The variance in the price per cubic foot can change depending on the season, and how big the items happen to be.

If your item happens to be sitting in a fulfillment center for over 1 whole year, or 365 days, long-term storage fees will be charged to you, at either $6.90 per cubic foot or $0.15 per unit. Whatever number happens to be greater will be the number that they choose. 

How To Use Amazon’s FBA Calculator

Crucial to your success as a seller is the visibility of your products listed, pertaining to category and availability. If you decide to sell through FBA, your items, by standard, will already be more visible than listing the items as a private merchant. This is a clear advantage to have, especially if you are aware of what to expect in the fees and charges to be taken out by Amazon.

To help figure out how much money they are taking home, it is absolutely crucial that FBA sellers implement the use of an FBA calculator, whether it be through Amazon’s own FBA calculator, or other ones offered from different companies. Using an FBA calculator will help you see how much money will be taken out in fees that comply with shipping, handling, product size, product category, and more.

In the spirit of full disclosure, Amazon has said in the past that their own FBA calculator is not 100% precise, and should be used as a guide rather than a definitive statement. The possible intentions behind this may be clear, but we won’t go into that here.

In order to use Amazon’s own FBA calculator, you’ll have to follow a few different very simple steps, almost as simple as using most other calculators would be. These include;

  1. Search For Exact Product / Product Similar To One You’re Selling - Searching for the product you wish to sell can be done simply by copying and pasting the ASIN (Amazon Standard Identification Number) into the calculators search bar. The ASIN can be found under the product description on the item page. Other ways to search are through search terms, EAN, ISBN.
  2. Input Values of Product - After your desired product is found, begin to fill in a few of the value boxes, such as the price of the item you are selling, and cost of shipping to Amazon. If specific dimensions to the product aren’t found, you’ll have to put those in as well. There are two separate columns, labeled ‘Your Fulfillment’ and “Fulfillment By Amazon’. Playing with different values in each of these will help you to see how much money you’d lose or save if you decided to sell the product through FBA or not.
  3. Cost Of Product - The last value field you will fill in will be the one labeled ‘Cost of Product’. Here, you will not only include the cost of the price you paid for the item, but also any costs related to packaging, shipping overseas, packages that go through customs, or any other costs you endured in the process. Including all of these costs will help to give you a more definitive picture of your profit.

fba amazon calculator

With the use of Amazon’s FBA fee calculator, or any other FBA calculator, you’ll be able to get a quick glance at how much to expect to pay in fees and charges related to your sale through FBA. Using this tool can be very helpful in providing a real-time visual of how much money you could possibly lose or save by selling through FBA, and perhaps which certain items may be more worth it to sell as a merchant.

Amazon’s FBA calculator is useful, but there are better ones out there that are able to give you a better idea of what expenses you will realistically pay for. As a seller, keeping track of your profit margins is very important, so using the best FBA calculator possible will undoubtedly work as a great tool for your small business.

Best FBA Calculators

In an earlier section, Amazon’s own FBA calculator had been shown, as well as some of the general value fields that you’d have to input to figure out how much money you’ll be taking home. It’s generally known that Amazon’s own FBA calculator is NOT the most accurate, and that there are better ones to use.

One big help? Most of the ones listed below are free, and the use of them can help you begin saving money almost instantly. With the use of an exceptional FBA calculator, you’ll have as good of an idea as you can when it comes to how much money you’re actually making after FBA fees.

JungleScout

One of the most renowned services in the world of third-party selling is JungleScout. As a great resource for information pertaining to products, Amazon’s FBA, market volatility for category, etc., this company also provides one of the best FBA calculators available.

JungleScouts FBA fees calculator is one that includes as much information as possible relating to your expenses, whether upfront or variable. They take in considerations such as Amazon’s referral fees, the cost of weight handling, monthly storage and prep fees, warehouse labor costs, and other expenses.

Offered as a browser extension, the FBA calculator offered by JungleScout can be accessed quite easily. Popping up right on top of your browser, you are able to quickly identify and get an idea of how much selling a certain item through FBA may cost you.

JungleScout is an excellent place to refer to when seeking information on anything in the field. They have resources such as webinars, beginners guides, e-books and more that will all help you become the best seller you can.

fba fee calculator

Viral Launch

As a free FBA calculator, the calculator provided by Viral Launch can be a very convenient tool to use to help you determine how much profit to expect. The use of their calculator is very simple, and only takes navigating to their website to get started!

Once on their website, you can simply paste the copied ASIN found under the product description of the item you are looking to sell. When it is calculated, you’ll see how much you are losing to referral fees, basic FBA fees, and other charges.

For comparison, typing the same ASIN into Amazon’s own FBA calculator as you would in Viral Launch’s calculator gives you two different profit prices, with Amazon’s telling you that you’d make more. Realistically, Viral Launch took into account the referral fee imposed by Amazon, something they conveniently forget to do.

amazon fba calculator chrome extension

AMZScout

As a reputable company and forum that provides third party sellers with information regarding anything in the field, AMZScout also offers an incredible FBA calculator, helping you to determine your profit after selling through FBA. With a similar structure to JungleScout, this calculator also includes plenty of fees and charges that are hidden by Amazon’s own FBA calculator.

With an offered internet browser extension, this calculator can be readily pulled up whenever searching online, allowing for quick and easy analysis of how much it may cost you to ship a certain item. With value fields including your marketing costs, your shipping costs, giveaways, referral fees, and more, it is highly unlikely that the price they calculate for you will be far off of the one finalized by Amazon. 

fba calculator

SaleCalc

As another free calculator, the FBA calculator provided by SaleCalc is one that has plenty of value fields to input, possibly giving you clearer of a picture or profit than most others can provide. With a whole list of product types to calculate by, in addition to most aspects of expenses related to your item, this FBA calculator is a great tool to keep in your arsenal.

Common in all of these FBA calculators are that they include fees and charges not shown by Amazon. This hiding of fees will ultimately lead you to believe you are making more money than you actually are. With the implementation of any of these FBA calculators, you will have a great understanding of what to expect to make for each item you sell. 

amazon fba calculator fba fee calculator

Now Get Ready To Sell!

After reading through this article, you should consider yourself well-acquainted with how selling through FBA works, and what to expect in terms of how much profit to expect after their fees and charges. At the end of the day, it is your decision to make whether to sell as a private merchant, or through FBA. Both have upsides and downsides to them, but selling through FBA can possibly land you the same amount of profit, with a whole lot less hassle.

Using FBA calculators, you’ll be able to closely determine how much you can expect to earn off of each sale. Do your best to be aware of all of the fees included, abide by Amazon’s packaging guidelines, be responsible of your inventory, and you’re already halfway there to becoming a great seller!

 FAQ

Question: How Much Are Amazon Fees ?

Answer: The fees that you will experience from selling through Amazon vary depending on if you are a professional member, the size of your item, the category of your item, how long it stays in storage for, etc. Generally, selling through FBA will take up about 15-30% of your sale price.

Question: What is Amazon’s FBA service?

Answer: Fulfillment By Amazon (FBA) is a service that Amazon offers which allows third party sellers to sell items on Amazon’s website, taking home profit after fees and charges for handling and shipping the item are processed.

Question: How Much Is FBA Per Month?

Answer: When selling through FBA, you have two options to choose from. You either sell as an individual, and will pay a base fee of $0.99 per item, followed by $0.45 - $1.50 for shipping and handling, or you can sell under a professional account, costing you $39.99 per month, but no base fees per item.

Question: What Are The Best FBA Calculators?

Answer: Available online are many FBA calculators that will help you determine how much profit you will make after FBA fee. Amazon has their own calculator, but are honest with the fact that it is not very accurate. The best FBA calculators to use are those offered by JungleScout, AMZScout, SaleCalc, and Viral Launch.

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