AuctionBytes Blog
Covering auctions, collectibles and marketplace selling.

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.
Wed Dec 5 2012 10:49:41

How Do You Feel About Amazon's New FBA Fees?

By: Julia Wilkinson

Sponsored Link notified sellers late yesterday that some of the FBA fees were changing, as Ina wrote up in today's NewsFlash, "Amazon Hikes FBA Fees." While some fees are going down - many products that fit into the new Small Oversize and Medium Oversize categories will have reduced overall fulfillment fees, according to the email - one-pound Large Standard-Size products, "which represent a significant portion of the products Amazon fulfills" - will have a the total fee increase of $0.09 per unit. Amazon noted that to give sellers time to plan for these fee changes, they will not take effect until February 18, 2013.

They are also adding more product-size tiers to "better reflect the variety of products we fulfill." The Pick & Pack Fee for Oversize products "will result in a fee reduction for most Oversize products," they wrote, ranging between $4 and $10 depending on the product size tier. "Pick & Pack Fees will remain $1 for all Standard-Size products," according to the email.

Sellers discussing the changes on the "New FBA fees starting in February" thread in the Amazon Seller Discussion Forums (under Fulfillment By Amazon ยป General FBA Discussions) seemed to take the changes in stride.

"I was very critical of the prior FBA fee changes, but this one actually was done right, so I'll give credit where it is due," wrote one seller. "I get the small increase in standard size weight fees. They are just taking back the reduction from 40 cents to 37 cents, kicking it up to 42 cents." But, the seller added, "that shouldn't be an issue for anyone, shipping costs do go up."

They said the nice thing is that "oversize items are going down in fees, this was a major issue the last time around, $6 for oversize vs $1 for standard size did not make any sense at all. They didn't completely fix it, but it does help."

Asked by the seller starting the thread, who wrote, "I was surprised to come over here and find no one posting about this," if anyone had thoughts on this, a seller with the forum name "Texas Angel" said, "Not really. I sell a lot of things where there are no FBA sellers (item cost is too low), so I control the buy box most of the time. Even if I don't, when the one or two lone FBA sellers run out, I get 100's of orders a day. I just have to wait them out, and I'm making three times the profit they are. I sell things FBA, too, but I think the mix of merchant and FBA-fulfilled works - at least for me."

Another said this new change wasn't really a big deal compared to changes made over the last couple of years: "That's why there's no outrage. We already got that out if our systems." And, "If you want to win the Buy Box on a regular basis, you really have no choice. Self-fulfilled featured merchants really have the deck stacked against them, even if they beat the FBA price by a good amount."

The most negative comment was made by the seller starting the thread, who pondered that they were "ambivalent?" about the changes. On the one hand, they wrote, "there is a 9-cent increase in the weight handling for items up to 1 lb. (which most of mine are), but on the other hand, at least they have attempted to come down on the ridiculous $6 oversize charge."

However, this seller felt the new tiers that now include "small standard size" and "large standard size" and "small, medium, large and special" in the oversize were "ridiculous." It seems like it's just going to be a cluster with all those measurement options. Not to mention Amazon has never been very good about their 'measurements.'"

But one seller summed up how the gist of the changes would impact them succinctly, "Going from $6 oversize to $4 for small oversize is like Christmas in February."

How do you feel about the new FBA fee structure? Good, bad, indifferent...or, will it be "Christmas in February"? Post a comment here!

Comments (6) | Permalink

Readers Comments

How Do You Feel About Amazon's New FBA Fees?   How Do You Feel About Amazon's New FBA Fees?

This user has validated their user name. by: Al G

Wed Dec 5 19:39:44 2012

FBA increases?

What about upping the shipping charges for books!
Especially the outside-of-good-ol-USA.

How Do You Feel About Amazon's New FBA Fees?   How Do You Feel About Amazon's New FBA Fees?

by: kilogirl78 This user has validated their user name.

Wed Dec 5 20:59:10 2012

We stopped using FBA.  We were having too many returns when we tried FBA than when we were sending them out ourselves.  The last straw was when a customer said an item was defective (which there was no possible way it could have been defective as it wasn't an item that could go defective).  Amazon issued them a return label.  It got put in to my unfullfilable inventory.  I emailed amazon and they told me that because the customer coded it as defective, I would have to have amazon ship it back to me and then I send it back to amazon.  

Before Amazon FBA, my return rate was under 5%.  After FBA, it was 15%.  I think buyers would buy the item knowing they could return it if it wasn't the piece they needed rather than do some research first or send an email.  

How Do You Feel About Amazon's New FBA Fees?   How Do You Feel About Amazon's New FBA Fees?

by: kilogirl78 This user has validated their user name.

Wed Dec 5 21:03:35 2012

Also wanted to add that I have my own brand of items.  I keep separate phone numbers for my ''retail'' business and my ''manufacturer'' business.  After I used FBA and my items were selling pretty good, Amazon contacts my ''manufacturer'' and wanted to buy directly and bypass the retail business.  They didn't know that I was both businesses but that is just dirty on Amazon's end.  I pay their fees and their $40/month and they tried to steal my product line.  

How Do You Feel About Amazon's New FBA Fees?   How Do You Feel About Amazon's New FBA Fees?

by: FREDDY This user has validated their user name.

Fri Dec 7 00:52:39 2012

Don't really care. Do not use FBA. Heard too many bad things re returns or throwing merchandise out due to  being hazardous etc...
IMO, if they didn't have a no question return policy - maybe they would be showing a little more profit for the stock holders???

How Do You Feel About Amazon's New FBA Fees?   How Do You Feel About Amazon's New FBA Fees?

by: Caroline This user has validated their user name.

Sat Dec 8 11:00:57 2012

Once again the Sellers are low on the totem pole. I know the old cliche about the buyer being always right, can be a good thing, however Amazon has taken that to a new level. Many of the returns have NEVER even been opened!! Restocking fees are really over the top for Sellers, since Amazon does not try in anyway to control buyers remorse. The buyers lie and say Item not as described, defective, etc.....they never ever opened the item in 98% of the returns. Their policies are antiquated and they need to review them and try to be more realistic. If they are losng money, pass some of the costs onto the Buyer, if they want to return and item, charge them.  

How Do You Feel About Amazon's New FBA Fees?   How Do You Feel About Amazon's New FBA Fees?

by: Digmen1 This user has validated their user name.
Web Site

Sat Dec 8 14:00:57 2012

All of these price hikes for fullfillment and postage are not good for online selling.
These extra costs along with fees and paypal etc can really make online selling a waste of time.

Login is required to post comments.
To sign in to leave a comment using your AB Verify User Name, fill in the form below. If you have not yet signed up for AB Verify, or if you'd like more information, go to the Registration Page

Login for AB Verify
Be sure and use your email address and password to log in.

 Forgot Your Password?
 Even though you are signed in with the AuctionBytes Blog, you will have to sign in to the EcommerceBytes blog. But you can sign in with your existing AB Verify info.