Please note this is a channel-specific article only applicable to Amazon.
Linnworks cannot automatically switch an item on Amazon between FBA and FBM. Due to how FBA listings are identified in Linnworks, there is potential for error if an FBM item gets switched to FBA or the other way around, so this approach is not recommended.
Switching an item from FBM to FBA can lead to "phantom" or "ghost" listings on Amazon. "Ghost" listings can become a severe problem as it often leads to overselling and it can be difficult to get them off the Amazon marketplace (only Amazon support can do that).
- Linnworks will only find out that the item is no longer FBM and needs to be marked as FBA when it receives a new listing report from Amazon. This is done on a daily basis and can be ordered separately by clicking the Download Listings button in Settings > Channel Integration > Edit channel details > Listings.
- Until the report has been processed, Linnworks will still see the item as FBM, as it was previously, and will submit stock levels for it if there has been a change in available level.
- This is how stock levels could be submitted for items that have just been switched to FBA in your Amazon inventory - resulting in phantom listings on Amazon.
Changing listings between FBA and FBM can only be done on Seller Central directly.
The risk can be minimized if before switching an item to FBA, user sets the listing to "Ignore" sync in Linnworks. This would instruct Linnworks not to send updates to the listing before it is fully converted and shows up in Amazon reports as an FBA listing. Then Linnworks would be able to correctly interpret the listing and handle it as FBA.
Nevertheless, we would still advise against switching items between FBM and FBA in the first place. For instance even if "Ignore" sync is set before listing conversion, there is a chance that an update for that listing's stock is already queued to be submitted at that point and would not be cancelled hence still leading to a "Ghost" listing creation. There can also be other scenarios that would lead to issues if this practice is followed.
Switching from FBA to FBM (also can only be done on Amazon) is marginally safer. Once item is converted back to FBM, stock updates are no longer a risk and "Ignore" sync can be switched off for the item. However there may still be a delay where item shows up as FBM on Amazon but it is still being converted in the back end. If during that time Linnworks sends a stock update it could also result in a "Ghost" listing or have other unexpected consequences.
The scenarios and handling mentioned above make switching fulfilment type of Amazon listing a very risky practice. Please do not underestimate the risks and the damage that "Ghost" listings can cause.
Instead of switching between fulfilment types, Linnworks recommends separating the listings and using one SKU for the FBM item and a separate SKU for the FBA item.
This resolves the problem with Linnworks not knowing that the item was switched to FBA as there are already two separate SKUs. It will also prevent the potential problem with phantom or ghost listings on Amazon.
For more details on ghost listings and the options available in Linnworks which may help to identify and avoid them, please see the Amazon Ghost Listings article.
- Amazon - Ghost listings
- Amazon - errors when listing
- Amazon - FBA listings with composite items
- Incorrect stock levels [troubleshooting]