Amazon made a second announcement this week impacting third-party merchant fees: on Thursday, it said it will change the way it calculates something called High-Volume Fees. The sellers who fear they are the hardest hit are sellers of items that come in a single design with numerous sizes or colors – products such as Tshirts or window blinds.
Amazon instituted the High-Volume Fee last year, allowing a seller to list up to 2 million non-media ASINs, after which they would have to pay $0.0005 per ASIN beyond that.
With the new change that goes into effect on August 1st, sellers will only be able to list up to 100,000 ASINs before the High Volume Listing fee kicks in, but with a twist – only ASINs that were created over 12 months ago and have not had a sale from any seller in the past 12 months will count toward the first 100,000 ASINs. And instead of a fee of $0.0005 per ASIN, the new fee is $0.005 per ASIN.
Clearly the move is part of Amazon’s attempt to keep its virtual shelves clear of slow-moving inventory, just as the fee changes announced earlier this week are designed to keep slow-moving inventory off its real-life shelves in FBA Fulfillment Centers.
A discussion thread started on the Amazon boards after the announcement was surprisingly unsympathetic to the sellers who said it would negatively impact them. One poster went so far as to accuse those sellers of “clogging” the Amazon catalog with “useless junk.”
One seller who supported the move said they believed it was an effort to target drop-shippers who listed items they didn’t actually have in-stock – “Why should Amazon bear the cost of even 100,000 listings where most of them will never sell?”
Another seller who sells blinds said they offer many different colors and sizes and wrote, “Now we have to take down almost all the different sizes and leave the customer with just a few different chooses. How does this help the customer experience?”
In response, another seller wrote, “Although I understand what you are saying, Amazon tells you that you can keep all of your ASINs, but you have to pay “rent” for slow moving ones. I believe, Amazon has maintenance cost of this platform and that cost is being pass on sellers/renters as well…”
Yet another seller said the listings for different sizes and colors of blinds were “variation children,” and said those would not clog the catalog or all show up in search results.
Sellers told EcommerceBytes they wondered if Amazon would provide reports showing when an ASIN was created and if it has had a sale within the past month – we’ve got an inquiry in to Amazon to learn more.
Comment on the AuctionBytes Blog.
Edited to correct the fee amount.