What are the Best Alternatives to Amazon FBA in the UK?

Amazon deliveries on Christmas

Is Amazon’s ecommerce fulfilment solution the best option for you? Compare quotes with our free and easy tool now and find out.


Abstrakt, Huboo, Green Fulfilment and Sprint Logistics are the best alternatives to Amazon FBA, according to our thorough research.

You're likely here because your inventory has finally outgrown the size of your basement and you are preparing to invest in full ecommerce fulfilment services to really scale and uplevel your ecommerce business.

With 89% of Amazon’s sellers using Amazon FBA (Fulfilment by Amazon) to fulfil their orders, it’s certainly a popular choice.

But is it the right choice? 

If you’re short on time, try our shortcut to finding the best third party logistics (3PL) solution for your business: our 30-second fulfilment service comparison tool. Simply answer a few questions about your business, and we’ll send you free quotes tailored to where you sell, how you deliver your parcels, and how many of those you deliver daily.

Or, you can read on to explore our recommendations for the best alternatives to Amazon FBA.

alternatives to Amazon FBA

Want the best deal on ecommerce fulfilment? Let us help!


What are the best alternatives to Amazon FBA?

We’ve put together our list of the top four ecommerce fulfilment alternatives to FBA. The following 3PL providers, between them, offer fewer fees, less hassle, and more personalised service. 

So, let’s get straight to it. Our best alternatives to Amazon FBA are:

Read on to find out why.

Amazon FBA not for you? Let us save you time and money on your order fulfilment with bespoke quotes from preferred suppliers
Wait! Is order fulfilment the right option for you anyway?

Order fulfilment services, like the below Amazing FBA alternatives, are geared towards established businesses looking to seriously scale up their trading by investing in full-fat fulfilment services. If you have been trading for less than six months or your sales volumes are low, you may want to learn how to start dropshipping instead.

Here's a very quick guide checklist to see if you need order fulfilment or dropshipping:

Order FulfilmentDropshipping
Trading for 1 year+Trading 6 months or less
Shipping 300+ products per monthShipping low volumes
Selling expensive itemsSelling low value items
Willing to invest £££Modest budget

If more of the right-hand column applies to you, then check out our drop-shipping guide. Otherwise, read on for our recommended alternatives to Amazon's order fulfilment…


What is Amazon FBA?

Amazon FBA (Fulfilment by Amazon) is Amazon’s own order fulfilment solution. It allows growing ecommerce businesses to outsource storage, packaging, and shipping, directly to Amazon. 

If you choose this option, your inventory will be stored in a fulfilment centre (basically a big warehouse) operated by Amazon, who’ll also take care of the customer service involved in the delivery and returns process.

Basically, what it comes down to is this: you sell it, Amazon does the rest.

Here are FBA’s key benefits:

Customer care

Amazon is renowned for putting the customer first – and it shows. After sending the product, Amazon follows up with the buyer, handling any questions and collecting feedback. And, in the event of any consumer dissatisfaction with your product, FBA also takes care of returns, logging products back in and getting them ready for resale.

Quick delivery

Amazon FBA draws upon an extensive network of fulfilment centres across the UK and beyond. This means your products won’t ever be too far from your customer’s shipping address, and is what allows Amazon to offer next (or even same!) day delivery.

Versatility

Just because FBA is Amazon’s own channel, that doesn’t mean you’re restricted to selling through Amazon alone. Amazon’s multi-channel fulfilment (MCF) lets you sell through a wide variety of ecommerce platforms and channels, while still having Amazon shoulder the storage, packaging, and shipping duties.


What are our issues with Amazon FBA?

Amazon FBA isn’t for everyone. And, somewhat paradoxically, the things that make FBA great are also some of the biggest issues that we have with it. 

Because, as we mentioned before, FBA puts the customer first. Sure, this is a plus when it comes to Amazon handling questions and aftercare – but it also means that you, as the seller, come second

Here are a few things you should consider before jumping into a deal with Amazon:

You may see more returns

FBA makes it very easy for customers to return goods – it’s all part of the service, after all. But (let’s face it) when it’s that simple to send stuff back, people will exploit the system. Consider that 30% of goods purchased online are returned anyway… do you really need to be making it any easier?

Your stock may get mixed up with that of other sellers

It’s not just your business’ inventory being stored in Amazon’s UK-wide fulfilment centres. There are plenty of other sellers also using FBA, and selling similar (if not identical) products. 

Here’s where the issue arises. For organisational reasons, products of a similar nature are stored close together in these warehouses. And all it takes is one individual mistake to have a product from another seller shipped to your buyer.

At its worst, this could mean products of a lower quality (or even counterfeit goods) are sent to your buyers; impacting on your brand’s reputation, and leading to bad reviews. Amazon has suspended seller accounts as a result of these mixups, so be wary. 

FBA is expensive…

Amazon’s storage fees are among the highest. Unlike Huboo and others, FBA offers no period of free storage – rather, you’ll pay from the word go. Worse still, FBA hikes prices from October to December, cashing in on sellers at the most cruel and inconvenient time – the leadup to Christmas.

…and complicated

Amazon’s guidelines for having your products shipped to its fulfilment centres are notoriously strict. Each product has to be labelled and packaged individually then sent to a multitude of different FBA warehouses. 

All this can be a head-scratching experience, particularly if you’re just starting out in business – and when it comes to shipping costs, all it does is shrink your bottom line.

Amazon deliveries on Christmas

Amazon FBA: is it really all smiles?


Is Amazon FBA right for your business?

So, let’s recap. Amazon FBA excels when it comes to quick delivery and simple returns, and its multi-channel options are fantastic. However, its customer-focussed approach hamstrings sellers with more returns, more fees, and more paperwork.

Also, what you’ve got to remember is that Amazon is in the business of selling… not storing. So, while FBA offers cost benefits for ecommerce businesses that make regular sales, its hefty storage fees make FBA less ideal if you trade in items that take up more space (and those that don’t exactly fly off the shelves).

Essentially, FBA works best when you’re dealing in high volumes of low value goods. Think books, batteries, cheap electronic stuff (chargers, cables, phone accessories, etc.)… basically, whatever can be bought at scale.

Alternatives to FBA work best if you’d like a solution that values your ecommerce business as much as it does your customers. Amazon FBA alternatives also offer an inherently more customisable, personalisable way to outsource your fulfilment – and smaller storage fees give you more leeway when it comes to both inventory and total spend.

Take a look at the table below to decide whether FBA or a 3PL alternative is the right selection for your business.

FBA logoFBA alternatives
Choose FBA if you…Choose one of our alternatives if you…
Sell at high volumeWant to pay lower fees
Deal in smaller, lower value goodsNeed the flexibility to house inventory of varied size, value, and volume
Prioritise the security of working with a big namePrioritise personalised customer service
Want Amazon branding on the products you shipWould prefer to develop your own brand image and presence
Are excited to draw on Amazon’s fast shipping promisesRequire a highly customisable solution, or one tailored to your industry
Would like to make it super easy for your customers to send back purchasesDesire ultimate control over your channels and integrations

Got your heart set on an alternative? Great – simply complete our free, 30-second webform to receive tailored quotes, and start comparing top ecommerce fulfilment providers in the UK. Otherwise, read on to choose an FBA alternative from one of our top four selections.


Abstrakt

Best FBA alternative for returns handling

Anyone who’s ever shopped online knows how vital the returns process is to the overall customer experience. It’s a relief, then, that Abstrakt handles all returns with speed and efficiency. As a seller, you can rest easy in the knowledge that anything that gets sent back will be inspected, and then either added back to your stock, held in quarantine (gulp!), or disposed of as necessary. Better still, returns are dealt with on a daily basis  ensuring that you stay in the loop with regards to stock levels, and enabling you to act quickly in refunding customers.

Abstrakt can streamline your order fulfilment hand-in-hand with FBA, applying Amazon barcodes to your goods, packing them to the necessary standards and dispatching them to the correct fulfilment centre within the specified time slot.

Pros

  • Boasts an impressive 90% client retention rate
  • Offers tax and savings benefits to your European customers

Cons

  • Its online reporting methods aren’t as strong as the other alternatives on our list
Trading for over 12 months? Time to check if you can get a better order fulfilment deal

Huboo

Best FBA alternative for the lowest costs around

What’s better than a 99.9% accuracy rate and simple account setup? The best ecommerce fulfilment rates in the country, that’s what. Huboo offers all this, but the benefits don’t stop there. You’ll also get two months’ worth of free storage (blowing Amazon’s offering right out of the water) plus discounts tailored to your product type after that. What’s more, Huboo’s service is personal, and bespoke to the nature of your business and industry. When you call up, you can be sure of a real person on the other end of the line – Huboo even goes the extra mile to put you in touch with the very team managing your orders, and help forge a lasting relationship.

Huboo also does away with the stress of integrating it with your ecommerce platform. Its extensive array of multi-channel integration options rivals that of FBA, and here’s the kicker; if it can’t currently work with the channel you sell through, it’ll build that integration from scratch – for free.

Subscriptions start at £25 for businesses that dispatch a maximum of 300 units per month, and cap at £150 per month for up to 5,000 units. Larger businesses can get in touch to bag a corporate rate.

Standard rates for individual items start from £1.10 (a small letter – up to 20g – processed within 48 hours) and go up to £5.04 (a medium parcel – up to 2kg – processed within 24 hours). This fee includes all receipt, picking, packing, and postage/courier costs.

Huboo delivers through DPD, Royal Mail or Hermes (Corporate) and you'll receive a dispatch notification when an item is on its way to your customer. 

However, if you'd prefer to pay a bit more for that extra peace of mind, we'd recommend plumping for Huboo's fully end-to-end tracking service. This starts from £3.89 (for a small parcel – up to 500g – processed within 48 hours), and reaches up to £7.77 (for an extra-large parcel – up to 20kg – processed within 24 hours).

Uncertain about these options? Remember you can use our free, 30-second webform to get quotes from a range of hand-picked 3PL providers.

All pricing information correct as of 27th April, 2022.

Pros

  • Outstanding customer reviews
  • All prices are available online, for absolute transparency

Cons

  • When it comes to customer care, Huboo can’t compete with all the trimmings Amazon FBA has to offer

Green Fulfilment

Best FBA alternative for the environmentally-conscious business

When you’re processing hundreds of orders per month, it can be easy to forget about the impact your business is having on the planet. That’s why it’s handy that Green Fulfilment does the remembering for you. As well as using only eco-friendly paper, it recycles plastics and cardboard, and does away with using styrofoam as packaging void fill. Plus, Green Fulfilment doesn’t just think about the earth – it lets you store stock around it, too, making for easier, quicker international shipping.

Green Fulfilment also offers a live, online dashboard to help you track sales, stock, and shipment. Pulling together data from across multiple channels and locations, you’ll have access to everything you need to dominate your ecommerce business’ orders and inventory – 24/7, from wherever in the world you are.

Pros

  • You can be set up within 24 hours
  • Its relationships with carrier partners help drive down shipping costs

Cons

  • Green Fulfilment’s rates aren’t available to view online

Sprint Logistics

Best FBA alternative for online stock control

Based in London, Sprint Logistics sorts, packs, and ships thousands of parcels every day. And, while its team does the (literal) heavy lifting, Sprint’s simply excellent online interface puts you in the driver’s seat. As well as automating re-orders and providing granular stock usage reports, Sprint’s platform offers multi-level, multi-user access, and works with multiple channels to boot.

Sprint also offers logistics tailored to the needs and pain points of specific industries. Fashion, retail, marketing, travel, and cosmetics are among the sectors Sprint caters to with bespoke solutions. 

Pros

  • Excellent customer service
  • Offers a comprehensive returns handling process

Cons

  • Its range of ecommerce platform integrations is more limited than that provided by the other 3PL suppliers here
How do you know if you've got the best order fulfilment deal? Let's ask around for a better price

Next steps

To FBA, or not to FBA; that is the question. Hopefully, though, it’s one we’ve gone a fair way to addressing. If low fees are on your mind, call Huboo. Try Abstrakt for hassle-free returns handling, and Green Fulfilment for a logistics solution that cares.

And, while all of these providers offer online dashboards for managing stock levels and deliveries, Sprint Logistics’ interface is the most intuitive and feature-rich of the lot. So, which one’s right for you?

If it still seems like there are too many ecommerce fulfilment providers to get to grips with, why not let us help break it down?

Simply take a moment to answer a few quick questions about where you sell, and how many parcels you ship daily. We’ll match you with 3PL suppliers tailored to your business’ size, sales volume, and location, who’ll then provide quotes made just for you. 

It’s free, easy, and designed to help you scale. Hit one of the buttons below to get started.

Compare Quotes From Leading Amazon FBA Alternatives and Save
Which products do you sell online?
It takes just 30 seconds...
Sabrina Dougall

Sabrina writes about tech for business as well as consumer software. She covers topics ranging from digital marketing to ecommerce fulfilment, security systems, franking machines, and more. Having run her own successful small business, Sabrina knows first-hand how much there is to keep on top of. Writing with your company’s needs in mind, she distils truly useful product information (without the sales pitch).