Like a train wreck, I can't stop looking at the NSFE

I answer a few questions once in a while, but the number of sellers who are savvy enough to ask their questions but still mess up their Amazon sales and risk their accounts is astonishing.

FBA is fraught with problems large and small. Glad I got out in time.


“Like a train wreck, I can’t stop looking at the NSFE”

KNOW Thine Enemy will ever be - now, always, and eternally - the best path to tread.

Sadly, it’s not always particularly clear where the dividing line between friend and foe actually lies…


What happens to the Amazon sellers who have not figured out how to ask questions of other sellers? Are they inquisitive enough to use Google or YouTube?

I am so glad I only did a 6 month experiment back in the beginning. The cost to ship things to FBA and all the fees left me with a $1 profit on some $30 items. Add in the high return rate and it became a loss.
Then take into consideration that anything customer damaged was “just the cost of doing business”

The straw that broke the camels back was when they accepted a return 90 days after purchase of a pair of uniform pants. The pants came back to me from FBA with chemical stains, blood stains and god knows what else. No matter how many policies I pointed out the did not follow they basically told me to suck it up.

I can’t even imagine the headaches it would cause now, 6 weeks to get the items in, always miscounting items.

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What got me out was Amazon’s rescinding the ability of booksellers to have ONE copy in their warehouses that did not accrue extra storage fees.

FBA worked for me for about 5-6 years, until it did not.

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As a bookseller who started too late to ever have the “one book with no storage” perk, I’ve always paid storage. But what really blows my mind is how much some sellers focus ONLY on the storage fees (I know for you it was just the last straw). Considering the fulfillment fees, the inbound shipping, and especially the newer prices for removal orders for those books that don’t sell, on top of absurd returns, the storage cost is literally the least significant part of the equation (until you get to LTSF anyway).

But if I can make $5 more on a title by going FBA (and feel pretty confident that it will sell in less than a year), then it makes sense. But over the years, I’ve gone from 100% FBA to about 85% FBM.


You couldn’t possibly be referring to someone like this guy, could you?

“lost product need to locate”

I did offer a couple suggestions…

I was in FBA after the one of each title period.

The strategy was to put the smallest items possible in FBA to minimize the storage charge. The charge was actual space required at that time with no minimum charge.

I had items packed in postcard sized rigid plastic protectors. (4" x 6" x 1/16"). Storage bills were tiny.

Whenever I got an order, Amazon would be unable to find the item. They would credit me for the item. Months later, they would find the item and debit me.

The concept I had in mind was a trickle of sales when listings were on vacation. In spite of the tiny storage charge, I lost money on FBA. Too few sales were actually fulfilled.


Thank you for answering the question I did not take the time to ask - FBA or FBM for books.
I was just “gifted” at least 500 books, we are still going through them. At first blush many of them appear to be profitable.
Was considering FBA just to clear space - thank you for saving me from what more than likely
would have been an unnecessary loss.


FBA is not one of these.

It requires one to tailor their business model, packaging and process’ to work in many cases.
The recent changes to fees, have finally put the stake through the heart of the “store and pray” sellers, who simply sent in piles of used DVD’s and books they found when grandma died hoping for that “passive income” they saw on Youtube. (and Chinese inventory dumpers)

These authors are easy to spot as on the OSFE as they would make dumb statements like “how come I can store 200 cuft of shoes? I don’t sell shoes” without an IQ high enough to comprehend shoes have their own warehouses and logistics systems not associated with hot tubs, sofas, and tractor tires.


If you are new to bookselling, you do not want to ship your books to FBA. Come here and ask questions first, either here or in the bookselling section of this site.


I remember when Amazon booksellers could make about a buck a book by sending books that sold for less than 5 bucks to FBA and still make a small profit.

Those days are long gone, but what surprised me recently was Amazon’s new charge for sending back a 2-pound book from FBA.

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For us, FBA gives us a leg up against other sellers on the same catalog item as our listing becomes the preferred listing. Usually, the additional costs associated with FBA can be offset with a slightly higher unit sell price on FBA vs FBM. It’s a niche avenue for us with Amazon.


My rough rule-of-thumb (and subject to change at any time!) is that I’ll do FBA only if I can charge at least $5 more than I would charge FBM (including shipping charge); only books with a sales rank of under 1.5M, (using an average sales rank, not just the current one that may be low because it just sold); no books over $75 (since they might lose it), and I won’t bother if there are lot’s of other FBA sellers who seem to be price-matching, as the price is bound to drop.

Ironically, some of the oft-quoted advice you’ll see is “only books under 50K sales rank” or similar range, but for the most part, those books are better sold FBM, as they often do not get enough of a premium for FBA, and they sell fast enough that you don’t need to count on the BB to get the customers.

One big plus for FBA is that you don’t have to have the storage space; so for some sellers, it may be the only option. But what many people don’t realize is that it’s actually MORE work than FBM, since you have to watch the pricing to make totally sure that your copy will sell before you need to remove it (and of course, there will always be some that turn out to be duds). With FBM, if the price tanks on a book, I can just wait it out. You can’t do that with FBA.


Yes, that made a HUGE change in the risk/reward calculations; I’m still recovering, as there are books that I would not ship in now because of the risk of not selling that made sense a year ago.

On the bright side, I no longer have to sign for delivery of removal orders.

I actually started out selling books 19 years ago. Sold books only for several years.
Today’s investigation proves the lot has quite a few profitable titles and I believe FBM
will be the best plan for me.


no books over $75 (since they might lose it)

I just have to say LOL at that! :laughing: :laughing: :laughing:

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This guy who replied admits to providing a forged document :exploding_head:
Delete the word proforma

Technically it’s not forged, it’s just fake. The supplier issued the document, so the document itself is authentic, it’s just that the supplier’s not reputable and put false information on the document.

Quite frankly I’m surprised that an invoice from china was accepted at all. Most chinese suppliers will give you a piece of paper with whatever you want it to say if it’ll get you to spend money with them.

Chinese suppliers also routinely put false prices on invoices to cheat taxes/custom duties. If they’ll submit these invoices to the authorities, don’t think they’ll have any qualms about creating false invoices to submit to a private business. Some companies that import products from china to the US will get an invoice with lower prices to cheat customs duties, then get another invoice with higher prices for filing taxes with the IRS.


I feel like there’s shills and manipulation to make certain threads featured to talk people out of selling on Amazon (to reduce competition I guess).

There’s almost always a post like this one that’s “featured” in the default view:

All upvotes, tons of views, for something that’s not upvote worthy at all. I mean really, someone’s quitting their entire Amazon business because they got screwed out of $100, and they act like it’s the first time in their 10 year business they got screwed on something? What kind of toxic attitude is that? Sounds more like a shill trying to discourage people from selling on Amazon. I noticed a trend with these kinds of posts (complaining about fraud, or amazon screwing them somehow) getting featured a day or two after they’re posted (for bots to view/upvote the posts), and then the OP stops responding after the post is 7 days old, because the default view is posts from the past week, so as soon as it hits 8 days old nobody sees it anymore and there’s little incentive to keep up the charade.

In this post they’re not even asking for a solution (eg. how can we appeal the refund). It’s literally just crying and threatening to close their store as if Bezos reads the forums and will personally reimburse them to keep them selling or something. And all the most upvoted responses are worthless posts saying “Yeah! Amazon’s platform is a scam! Don’t sell here!”