FBA Calculator - Calculate Amazon Seller’s FBA Fees
Figuring out exactly how much profit you are making, or you anticipate making, is one of the biggest challenges of every Amazon seller. While growing revenue and a large bottom line can be enticing, in the end it does not pay the bills. In reality, the net profits and your return on investment are what determines whether you have a successful product, and ultimately, a successful and thriving business.
While this sounds good, it can actually be hard to calculate. There are selling and referral fees, shipping fees, taxes, FBA fees, returns, advertising, and so on... While we can’t tackle all of these different fiscal complications here, we can address some of the more difficult ones: Amazon fees and FBA fees. One easy way to evaluate these costs for a product is by using an Amazon FBA calculator. While many companies offer these, the Amazon FBA Calculator by ZonWords is accurate, convenient, and embedded in tools that help make it a one-stop shop for Amazon data.
Table of Contents
What is an FBA fee?
Amazon has a wide variety of fees. They charge a fee for selling products on their site, called a ‘referral fee’. Typically, referral fees are 15% of the sales price, though this has some exceptions based on the category and the final price. Additional fees exist for products that you choose to have Amazon fulfill..
Amazon has a fulfillment program called ‘Fulfilled by Amazon’ (FBA). With FBA, you send products to Amazon’s warehouses, and they handle storage, distribution, shipping to customers, customer service, and returns. It comes with a fee, called the FBA fee, which varies based on the size and weight of the item.
The buy box is an algorithm that determines who is the ‘default’ seller for an item with multiple sellers. It is based on both seller feedback and performance, return rate, shipping metrics, price, and also Prime status: thus, for sellers looking for an easy edge in the buy box, sending an item to Amazon’s warehouses can be a good option.
For all the benefits of using FBA, there are certainly some drawbacks: Amazon charges ‘seller fees’ based on both the size and the weight of the item. This is variable, and Amazon FBA fees can actually get to be quite expensive as the size or the weight increases. Here is a brief outline of some of these FBA fees for different size tiers. These change frequently, so be sure to check with both our website and the Amazon FBA Calculator by ZonWords FBA to make sure you are getting realistic estimates.
There are six product size tiers on Amazon, and between each tier, the pricing changes substantially.
Maximum weights and dimensions for packaged items
|Product size tier||Weight||Longest side||Median side||Shortest side||Length+girth|
|Small standard-size||12 oz||15 inches||12 inches||0.75 inch||n/a|
|Large standard-size||20 lb||18 inches||14 inches||8 inches||n/a|
|Small standard-size||70 lb||60 inches||30 inches||n/a||130 inches|
|Medium oversize||150 lb||108 inches||n/a||n/a||130 inches|
|Large oversize||150 lb||108 inches||n/a||n/a||165 inches|
|Special oversize||Over 150 lb||Over 108 inch||n/a||n/a||Over 165 inch|
Each of these different tiers comes with different costs, shown below.
|Small, 1 lb or Less||$ 2.41||Small Oversize||$8.13+$0.38/lb after the first 2 lb|
|Large, 1 lb or Less||$ 3.19||Medium Oversize||$9.44+$0.38/lb after the first 2 lb|
|Large, 1 - 2 lb||$ 4.71||Large Oversize||$73.18+$0.79/lb after the first 90 lb|
|Large, over 2 lb||$ 4.71 + $0.38/ lb||Special Oversize||$137.32+$0.91/lb after the first 90 lb|
Realistically, most FBA sellers will not be working with these larger items, but it is important to recognize the different tiers and how they will affect pricing. Small changes in dimensions and weight can greatly affect profitability for your items, and can quite easily change a product-s status from a good investment to a bad one, or vice-versa.
What is an Amazon FBA Calculator?
Amazon offers its own FBA Revenue Calculator. It goes by many names, including the ‘Amazon Fee Calculator’, the ‘Amazon Profit Calculator’, and even the ‘FBA Revenue Calculator’. It allows you to look up an ASIN and calculate the Amazon FBA fees based on the current size and weight entered for the item. This is a great tool, but can be tedious to use.
One difficulty with using Amazon’s tool is having to go to their website each and every time. It is much easier to have a broad platform of tools that can help you find the Amazon fees quickly and easily. This is where Amazon FBA Calculator by ZonWords is especially effective. The Amazon FBA Calculator by ZonWords is available on both our website, and through our Chrome extension.
TThere are some important things to remember when using these calculators. Firstly, they are based on the uploaded sizes and weights. Some users, when creating a listing, ballpark these numbers, or even outright lie.
If you have a more direct understanding of the potential size and weight of your item, you can manually calculate this using the information about FBA fees.
Not every item that looks very similar to your new product will have the identical dimensions, and small changes in measurements can result in large changes in fees.
How to calculate FBA fees and revenue in Europe and other countries
The fees will vary not just by item, size, and weight, but also by country. This is not especially surprising. Amazon has different shipping rates throughout the world. As such, the fees for fulfillment can change drastically between the United States, France, etc.
Here are several of the different Amazon calculators for each country. It is also worth noting that if you do not have a unified account between your stores in different regions of the world, they will not all work. For instance, if you only sell in the United States, then only the FBA revenue calculators for Canada, Mexico, and the United States will work, as these are all part of the North American region. If you have a unified account connecting your North American Amazon account to your European Amazon account, the calculator for each of these countries will also work.
How does FBA Calculator work?
The Amazon FBA Calculator by ZonWords profit calculator lets you enter in several variables, such as the product cost, price you expect to sell at, additional per unit costs (catch-all for things like advertising, cost of shipping from your manufacturer to your shipping agent, giveaways, cost to ship to Amazon, etc.), and additional monthly costs. It uses this to estimate your monthly profit and revenue for an item like the one being researched, and even gives you the return on investment.
Return on investment is important because it states your profits in terms of how much money you are putting in. If I can make $20 from the sale of an item that cost me $20 total, I have made a 100% ROI. If I make that same $20 on an item that cost me $100, I only had a return of 20% on my spending. Clearly, a higher ROI is better, though it will depend on volume, return rates, and other factors to determine if a product is worth selling.
The other important thing in the Amazon FBA Calculator by ZonWords is that it shows you estimated monthly storage costs. Amazon continues to charge storage fees, and if the past is any indication, these charges will continue to increase substantially over the next few years. They have raised the month-to-month storage prices, as well as substantially increasing their long-term storage fees. This means sending a massive quantity of inventory can be risky without a previous sales history.
What are the costs to sell on Amazon?
FBA fees are a substantial part of your costs for selling on Amazon. These fees may seem small for an individual item, but as you sell hundred or thousands of units a month, they can soon begin to add up. The good thing, is that many of the other costs associated with selling on Amazon will become marginalized as your volume increases. This includes things like the ‘Amazon Professional Seller’ fee, which is a $39.95 monthly subscription, and must be established in order to be able sell items on Amazon as a ‘pro’.
As a seller, if you only sell 40 items a month, this fee is quite significant, as it adds a full dollar on top of the cost of every item you sell: however, as your sales increase, many fixed costs can become almost negligible. For a seller who sells 4000 items a month, this fee is only one cent per item. This is also true with many other fixed costs for sellers.
It is important to differentiate between ‘fixed’ and ‘variable’ costs. Your fixed costs can decrease in effect simply though increasing your sales, while your variable costs tend to scale proportionally in conjunction with your items. Some variable costs actually scale down as your sales increase. This is especially true for items that can be purchased in bulk, such as shipping supplies, boxes, or even the actual product itself! There are often times when the rate you pay for a single order could be significantly reduced per item if you were to instead make a bulk order for tens of thousands of pieces.
Besides the fixed and variable costs, there is the cost in labor that many Amazon sellers quickly forget about. When evaluating the efficacy of your business, you should at some point begin to consider the costs of your labor. If you put in hundreds of hours for a profit of $50 a month, you may need to reevaluate your business. While ‘sweat-equity’ is a very real factor within companies, and every small business owner realizes they may not receive a paycheck early on, the time you and your partners put into your company eventually has to be considered as an actual cost when evaluating the profitability of your Amazon business.
FBA vs. FBM
Some sellers look at the expensive costs for Amazon fulfilment and think, ‘Maybe I should just handle this myself’. The good news is that it is certainly an option. ‘Fulfilled by Merchant’ (FBM) is when the seller ships and processes all of their orders, and handles returns by shipping and receiving directly from these customers. Sometimes it can be much cheaper...but there are some drawbacks. If you are not approved or not shipping as a Prime shipper (a special program called ‘Seller-Fulfilled Prime’ or SFP), you will not have the special Prime badge on your listings. If you are competing against other sellers on your listing, not being Prime means you will be hurt in your quest to win the buy box.
Surprisingly, sometimes the Amazon fees can end up not being quite as expensive as they seem. This is especially true for smaller and lighter items. For the smallest category of items, Amazon charges $2.41 to fulfill. This is likely less than, or at least very similar to, what you would spend to ship it yourself. For these small items, FBA is usually the recommended method for fulfilling orders. For larger and heavier items, you may be able to save some money. If you are not SFP, make sure it is an especially non-competitive niche, where perhaps the Prime badge will not be vital to your sales. In these cases, it may make sense to ship the items to the customers personally.
The other word of warning to those considering FBM, is that it changes the game. When the entire business is FBA, it is easy to run a truly mobile and flexible business. As soon as you begin shipping items yourself, fixed costs begin to increase. Things like a warehouse and shipping materials become a larger part of the budget, and sometimes you can sacrifice some of that flexibility that made you want to sell via Amazon in the first place. Be extremely cautious before making the jump to fulfilling items yourself on Amazon. It may save a little money, but in the end it can cost more in terms of total sales, time spent, and even the long-term stability and vision of your Amazon business.
|Fulfillment Costs||Very reasonable for two-day shipping, but often more expensive than first-class mail and other economy shipping options||Cheaper economy shipping options, but premium or two-day shipping is often expensive|
|Prime Status||Comes with the Prime badge, making your product easily available to many Prime users||Can offer Prime through SFP, but is expensive to offer two-day shipping without Amazon's cheaper negotiated rates|
|Time Commitment||Eliminates most of the time associated with fulfillment||Fulfilling orders can be very time-consuming as they increase in volume|
|Returns||FBA items typically have a higher return rate, but you will not have to handle them directly||Lower return rate but you will be responsible for processing and refunding any returns|
Tips to Reduce FBA Fees
All of this talk of fees, expenses, variable and fixed costs, and sweat-equity may be disconcerting. Fear not, for there are ways to keep these fees to a minimum, and to keep your profits as high as possible.
#1. Know the the cutoff points between size tiers.
Being aware of jumps in FBA fees. The difference between a regular and an oversize item can be the difference between a home run and a strikeout.
#2. Explore some alternative methods of fulfillment.
These include both FBM, which was discussed in depth, and Small and Light. This is a deeper topic for another occasion, but the Small and Light program offers slower fulfilment with the Prime badge, as well as a reduction in fees for the smaller items you carry. It is worth exploring, and could bring you big savings in the long run.
#3. Use programs like Seller Fulfilled Prime if you are a more established seller.
This allows you to sell larger and heavier items than you had previously looked at, and it could help your business expand quickly. While smaller and lighter objects are always the first items to be sold by Amazon companies, big items can have a very high profit margin and ROI, but they typically come with a higher upfront investment. These items mean extra research, and should be treated with extreme caution, but they could also help take your business to the next level.
We have shown you what an FBA calculator is, and how to calculate profits for Amazon items. We have also shown how these fees scale and change for different sellers, and why it is important to always pay close attention to them. We encourage you to continue to check in with our site as a way to learn the Amazon experts’ tips and tricks for both the veteran and rookie seller alike.
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