EcommerceBytes-NewsFlash, Number 2981 - January 17, 2013     2 of 4

Amazon Sellers Feel Sting of Fee Hike in Electronics

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Amazon sellers who list electronics accessories are feeling the pain this week after fees rose on January 15, 2013. Amazon announced the changes in August and, with no reminder, some sellers were caught by surprise.

Amazon launched a new Electronics Accessories category with higher fees than Consumer Electronics, where accessories had belonged prior to Tuesday.

"It kills me - I'm paying 2x the "vig" to Amazon," wrote a reader who sells accessories such as headphones. "It forces you to raise prices." He believes manufacturers are behind the fee increase as much as Amazon is. "Amazon just got its arm twisted after CES by Sharp (whose sales and stock are in the dumps) - all tv/video/audio asins are blocked."

The commission for selling a Consumer electronics item is 8%. The commission for an Electronics Accessory is 15% for up to $100 and 8% for any portion of the item price greater than $100. (See Amazon fees.)

A seller on the Amazon discussion board said the one-dollar minimum per item in the new category really hurt his pocketbook. "Also keep in mind that its $1 minimum per item," he reminded colleagues. "so when Amazon is checking to see if 15% is > or < $1 they are looking only at the single item price. Case in point: we sold 40 of something last night, each was $3.06. So the order total was $122.40. The fee is not 15% of $122.40 (around $18), its $1 per item b/c 15% of $3.06 < $1. So the fee was $40."

Note that the one-dollar minimum does not apply to sellers who pay a $0.99 per item fee.

One seller expressed concern that the new fees would encourage sellers to list in incorrect categories to try and avoid the higher fees, which would make a mess of things, he said.

About the author:

Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to

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