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AuctionBytes Blog The AuctionBytes Blog has been giving a voice to online merchants since its launch in 2005. Named one of the world's top 30 blogs in 2008 by "Blogging Heroes." Weigh in with your thoughts on the joys and pitfalls of selling online.
Sun Oct 2 2016 23:17:58

Amazon Pulls Rug Out from Under Booksellers

By: Ina Steiner
Sponsored Link
When you think of used goods, you probably think of eBay first, but when it comes to books, many people turn to Amazon or niche book sites first, whether for new, used, out-of-print, or otherwise hard-to-find titles.

But longtail books on Amazon are in jeopardy, some sellers are warning, because Amazon FBA is eliminating an exemption for single-unit Long Term Storage Fees. 

Amazon sent sellers who participate in its Fulfillment By Amazon (FBA) program a notice about an offer for free removal of items in FBA fulfillment centers (usually Amazon charges fees for removing items) - applying to single ASINs. Included in the email was the following bombshell announcement:

"In the past, one unit of each ASIN in storage has been exempt from the twice-annual Long-Term Storage Fee. Effective with the February 15, 2017, Long-Term Storage Fee assessment, this exemption will end. A Long-Term Storage Fee will be assessed on all inventory that has been in a U.S. fulfillment center for six months or more. There are no additional changes to the Long-Term Storage Fee at this time, other than there will no longer be a single-unit exemption effective February 15, 2017."

That means if you have one copy of a rare or hard-to-find title sitting in Amazon's fulfillment centers, you'll be charged LTSFs if it doesn't sell by February. One seller pegged the change as a 341% increase in storage fees. 

While there won't be any LTSF fee until February, media sellers need to decide in a matter of weeks whether to empty their inventory of single-unit longtail inventory in order to take advantage of the free removal fees. (Amazon will reimburse sellers for the return or disposal fee for one unit of each ASIN for which they file a removal order through October 14th.) 

If sellers choose to remove inventory now in order to take advantage of free removal fees to avoid higher fees come February, they lose out on holiday shopping sales.

If they don't remove single-unit titles before October 14th, they face the prospect of paying LTSF if the titles don't sell by February.

We asked Amazon for comment, but it has not provided us with a response to the conundrum sellers are facing.



Comments (10) | Permalink
Readers Comments

Amazon Pulls Rug Out from Under Booksellers   Amazon Pulls Rug Out from Under Booksellers
by: FeelingFroggy This user has validated their user name.
       
Mon Oct 3 05:34:00 2016
Ok folks......And this comes as a surprise only to those living on another planet..
Amazon Pulls Rug Out from Under Booksellers   Amazon Pulls Rug Out from Under Booksellers
This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford
       
Mon Oct 3 07:12:52 2016
All small sellers should flee these behemoth public companies and buy and sell on sites that are catering to small sellers. Or at least ones that aren't constantly tightening the screws on them.

The greed machine is in 6th gear. Both Amazon and eBay are more concerned with fees than they are with the success of their sellers. eBay particularly seem to be under the delusion that they don't need buyers, they just need fee paying sellers.
Amazon Pulls Rug Out from Under Booksellers   Amazon Pulls Rug Out from Under Booksellers
This user has validated their user name. by: toolguy
       
Mon Oct 3 09:48:35 2016
eBay fees are nominal and I usually only pay when something sells.

The only other fees I have is a small store fee and a few .20 cent listings in 2nd categories otherwise eBay only makes money if I have sales.

Just sold a Huck 352 15 minutes ago for $399

Viva La Ebay
Amazon Pulls Rug Out from Under Booksellers   Amazon Pulls Rug Out from Under Booksellers
by: vk This user has validated their user name.
       
Mon Oct 3 10:20:00 2016
I don't see what the big deal is. The storage space is not free, so why should Amazon hold valuable space for something that might never sell, rather than use it for quick-moving merchandise?
Amazon Pulls Rug Out from Under Booksellers   Amazon Pulls Rug Out from Under Booksellers
by: FeelingFroggy This user has validated their user name.
       
Mon Oct 3 10:35:33 2016
All amazon is doing is getting rid of the garbage on the site that doesn't sell. It is creating more space for the fast movers.

Unlike Ebay that caters to garbage that stays listed for years without a sale.

These sites only make money when something sells. Whether one likes it or not its good business sense.
Amazon Pulls Rug Out from Under Booksellers   Amazon Pulls Rug Out from Under Booksellers
This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow
       
Mon Oct 3 16:50:38 2016
I agree with FeelingFroggy that they are just trying to clear out stuff that isn't selling to make space for stuff that is/will be selling. I'm sure, like most retailers, that Amazon makes a substantial portion of their yearly revenue from Christmas time, so why store an esoteric book that would be of interest to only a couple of people when you can use that shelf space for books on Pokemon.  
Amazon Pulls Rug Out from Under Booksellers   Amazon Pulls Rug Out from Under Booksellers
by: Bidonmine This user has validated their user name.
       
Mon Oct 3 23:25:11 2016
The original reason why the first item of a sku was not charged the monthly storage fee was so that Amazon could quickly populate their sales 'floor' on FBA with a large variety of items. Now that Amazon FBA is bursting at the seems, they feel they no longer need to insure the variety that people have come to love. Like Ebay, Amazon knows how to create unfair-seller policies that will surely come back and haunt them.
Amazon Pulls Rug Out from Under Booksellers   Amazon Pulls Rug Out from Under Booksellers
by: Chicago48 This user has validated their user name.
       
Tue Oct 4 06:39:58 2016
@vk- agree.  Surprised that AMZ wasn't charging storage fees all along.
Amazon Pulls Rug Out from Under Booksellers   Amazon Pulls Rug Out from Under Booksellers
by: Whatever This user has validated their user name.
       
Tue Oct 4 10:50:58 2016
I always felt "fulfillment" was a joke to begin with - never mind paying them to lose or steal your product.  Everything comes to an end. If your a decent seller doing your job you don't need someone else to do it for you
Amazon Pulls Rug Out from Under Booksellers   Amazon Pulls Rug Out from Under Booksellers
by: TomH This user has validated their user name.
       
Sun Oct 9 09:32:41 2016
I think some people are maybe missing the fact that the storage charge is for ''cubic foot'' - you can put a good number of books in a cube and the resultant per book charge is not quite as prohibited as it at first seems.

The people it is really going to up the prices for are, for example, those who sell larger toys and games; especially the smaller seller who only has one or two items of each product. Many such toys are easily a half cube or so each. Such sellers could face significant charges.  


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