Is AMZN nerfing FBM in favor of FBA?


So, guys, I have been doing SFP for many years now. I am competing directly with FBA sellers and sometimes with AMZN themselves.

In normal times, as long as I keep my prices competitive, I will win the buy box in my Prime region, The FBA sellers will win the buy box in the rest of the country, but I’m happy with just winning my Prime region.

Along comes COVID-19, and all of a sudden, I’m winning the buy box across the entire country. I’m sure some of you have experienced the same thing. Good times, yeah?

I’m sure FBA sellers were quite upset about this, and I’m sure they have all been complaining to anybody and everybody at AMZN who will listen.

Well, starting this afternoon the tides have turned and the FBA sellers are now winning the buy box everywhere, including my Prime region. My delivery date is 4 to 6 days sooner than theirs, my price is lower, my metrics flawless, no performance notifications, no return issues, Prime is active, and so on. I should at least be winning the buy box in my Prime region.

Is it possible that AMZN is giving the buy box to FBA sellers as a way to keep them from losing faith in the FBA concept? Even though it is providing an inferior buying experience to the customer?


Very interested topic… I want to hear what others think about this. I will post my thoughts on this soon.


Is it possible that AMZN is giving the buy box to FBA sellers as a way to keep them from losing faith in the FBA concept?

Of course it’s possible. For that reason, or any other.

Even though it is providing an inferior buying experience to the customer?

Of course. The Buy Box is the LEAST fair thing I’ve ever come across. It’s nothing but control and manipulation and I wish they’d get rid of it entirely. Stop trying to make people’s decisions for them Amazon. Present all the options and let people decide for themselves. SHEESH. :angry:

To say I’m NOT a fan of the idiotic Buy Box is an understatement.

The Buy Box is not there to give the “Buyer” the best option. It’s there to give Amazon the best option (as they see it) for Amazon. And who gives a flying fig what’s good for the buyer? Certainly not Amazon.

Things have cycled back and forth since COVID started and they’ll cycle back and forth again. In normal times, Amazon promotes (ie shoves down the buyer’s throats) FBA offers, and once FBA couldn’t fulfill orders on time, Amazon had no good choice but to shift to promoting FBM’ers. Now that FBA is catching back up, they’re switching again. But they’re doing it selectively, so there’s still FBM opportunity to be had.

Although I have seen (and AMAZON if you’re listening - are you FREAKING KIDDING ME???) Amazon give themselves the Buy Box with a ‘Temporarily out of stock, order now and we’ll let you know when it’s available’ message over MY offer of an in-stock item that would arrive within a few days.

You think the Buy Box is anything but outright manipulation to benefit Amazon??? What a bunch of baloney.


What you haven’t told us is if anything changed in your account. Did your ODR change? Are your responses to messages longer lately? Do you have less inventory? Did your on time delivery change?

It could be you are not qualifying as much as you did. It could be those in FBA are qualifying more.


it’s true about FBA warehouses catching up
First they started allowing some inventory in some categories to send shipping plans to warehouses. Now if you look at your fba inventory from ship dates they no longer have a 3-4 week window ( at least not mine anymore ) My items have a 9 day ship date, so slowly they are catching up.

I would think that Amazon Fresh and their groceries are slightly slowing as well, as supermarkets are now getting stocked. ( I’ve noticed this on my weekly shopping trips )

I also believe that the storage fees will return because they must be losing a ton of money on that angle. So they need to do something ( back promoting fba ) to justify bringing back those fees.


I see your point.

however, are you implying that an FBA seller with a 2-3 week processing delay on their backorder-ed inventory should rank higher than OP?

Correct me if wrong… wasn’t this mentioned: “My delivery date is 4 to 6 days sooner than theirs, my price is lower, my metrics flawless, no performance notifications, no return issues, Prime is active, and so on.”

Edited comment: Either way (flawless ratings or not) can we agree that it’s bad for business to feature an OUT OF STOCK seller in the buy box??? I mean…


@OneandDunn, I think that @Caan was just asking troubleshooting questions–not declaring a philosophical stance in the FBA v FBM religious wars. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:


@papyrophilia All right… I did get a little heated in my response. thank you for comment, it put a smile on my face.


I’m so glad! We all need a little nudge sometimes. :sweat_smile:


Nothing has changed. Ironically, even the little ‘buy box wins’ widget at the top of seller central has not changed - it was 47% last week when I was beating the FBA sellers, and it’s still at 47% now when the FBA sellers are beating me.

Is anybody else experiencing this? Is it possible I’m missing something somewhere?


I was at 40+ for several weeks when they were favoring FBM and now I am at 6 as they’ve shifted back to favoring FBA.


Funny!! SO we offer both FBA & FBM, since the breakout of COVid our FBM was crazy like never before and we were not sending stock to FBA because of the issues, since a couple days ago our FBM has slowed still steady but has dramatically slowed and now we are working on FBA again hey whatever works to make a buck


I sell used electronics. I wish I never got the “buy box”. I get too many orders where the buyer says “I thought it was new” or I get a return for something that was obviously in the notes (scratch on back corner, Hardware rev 3, only works on Windows 7 or earlier**…). Anyone whole just “one clicks” to buy something isn’t a welcome buyer in my world. Most of my items need some research to figure out if it fits their needs - if there buyer is in that big of a hurry to order something, odds of a return is too great for me. To prep an item and pack an order can easily take a half hour. (take a 5 handset cordless phone. Clean all the handsets, clear all the saved numbers, wrap up all the cords and pack them), only for the buyer to say "I thought this was new, cram it back in the box and ship it back. I’m too busy for that - I have more stuff to get out there. Save the buy box for the cheap, new items like phone chargers and cases.

**changing the listing can be next to impossible for an older item (webcam, modem, etc), while the listing was current when it was made 10 years ago, companies go out of business, computers change and while some people may need this to fit a particular need (a server that runs a particular piece of hardware that is very expensive to upgrade), most buyers should look to some other product.


I didn’t know “nerf” could be a verb.

Learned something today.

Good, I can knock off now.


Of course! They will never admit to it but of course they are. It only makes sense. But at the end of the day there is nothing you can do about it - if it’s happening on purpose or not.

Adapt and overcome, focus on other marketplaces and not amazon?


The FBM’s have fulfilled their purpose. Back to keeping those warehouse fees coming.


Just try to look at the bigger picture, their algorithm affects millions of offers across many categories and products in addition to many sellers offers within, I would imagine its complex task to implement a logic that makes sense for everyone, They might be implementing a set of rules and code that may not make sense, but eventually with testing (which requires time) they will get their intended effect eventually and at that time it make sense.

FBA centers were so behind in the past few weeks so they try to favor FBM, when things are getting better and they are catching up, they are starting to restore the balance back. in between those transitions you will go through phases that don’t make sense.

Also, are you checking on a clean browser? with all cookies and cashes cleared?

Are you checking with a signed-in account? or guest account? with prime ? or without prime?

All these variables will show you different result, hope this makes sense!


I think that your theory is very likely. I am selling a book in New condition for around $20. I am among the lowest prices, there are a few other FBM sellers selling the book in the $20 range. The buy box is going to an FBA seller who has the book priced over $50.


Yes they are. I am competing with an FBA seller as FBM seller and I am almost 4% lower price and the FBA seller still have they buybox.


I sell my own products on amazon. I have one offer for FBA and one for FBM, both at the same price point. Usually the FBM is just in case I run out of stock for the FBA. However during the covid crisis it was automatically switched to FBM. I too noticed in the last day or so that things were switched back to FBA, even though the shipping time is still a few days longer. After some experimenting I had to set the price difference to over $5 in order for the FBM to win the buybox again.