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Sellers Shocked by New Amazon Brand Fee

Amazon sellers are reeling from the news that in some cases, they must now pay $1,000 (and sometimes more) to get approval to sell branded items on the marketplace – that’s $1,000 per brand approval.

Amazon confirmed it requires fees for selling certain products and categories, providing EcommerceBytes with the following statement: “We want customers to be able to shop with confidence on Amazon. We consider several factors when determining qualifications and criteria to sell certain products. For certain products and categories, Amazon requires additional performance checks, other qualification requirements, and fees.”

It’s difficult to get details, since Amazon won’t provide them, and sellers are having different experiences as they try to list different items. Amazon doesn’t provide a full list of products or categories affected – sellers are only able to see what additional performance checks, other qualification requirements, and fees are required to sell specific products as they complete the application process.

It also appears that some sellers are grandfathered in and don’t have to pay a fee – at least for now.

A reader forwarded a thread to a discussion of the new fees that was started on the Amazon boards on Thursday.

Sellers say that when they go to list a branded item, Amazon asks them to submit required documents (purchase invoices from a manufacturer or distributor along with proof they have permission from the brand to sell its products) and to agree to pay a non-refundable fee upon approval of their application.

Amazon is feeling pressure from disappointed customers and from brands who are doing all they can to curb counterfeit and gray-market items. It would seem Amazon has decided to begin forcing sellers to prove they are authorized to sell branded goods – and to pass along the cost of the policy to the sellers themselves.

Comment on the AuctionBytes Blog.

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Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner
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). She is a member of the Online News Association (Sep 2005 - present) and Investigative Reporters and Editors (Mar 2006 - present). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com. See disclosure at EcommerceBytes.com/disclosure/.