Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Thu Nov 10 2016 22:17:30

Amazon Raises Fees - the End of Penny Booksellers?

By: Ina Steiner

Sponsored Link

Amazon is raising fees and making big changes in the Books, Music, Video, and DVD categories that some believe could spell the end of the penny bookseller.

In a letter to sellers, Amazon outlined three major changes for sellers who sell Media products on the Amazon Marketplace on Amazon.com.  

1) Sellers will be able to offer free shipping and set their own shipping prices on Books, Music, Video, and DVD products. (Effective March 1, 2017) - "you will be able to set your own shipping prices for Standard delivery and set different shipping prices by region for Expedited, Two-Day, or International delivery."

2) Sellers will be able to compete for the Buy Box for Books in new condition. (late Q1 2017) - "eligible sellers will be able to compete for the Buy Box for Books in new condition."

3) Changes to Selling on Amazon fees. (March 1, 2017):

- Variable Closing Fees (VCF): The VCF charge in Media product categories (Books, Music, Video, DVD, Software, and Video Games) will increase to $1.80 from $1.35 per item. This charge will appear as a Closing Fee (CF) instead of as a VCF to avoid confusion, as it will be a fixed fee rate and not variable.  

- Referral fees: Currently, the referral fee for Media products is an applicable percentage of an item's sales price (excluding any shipping or gift wrap charges). Effective March 1, 2017, the referral fee will instead be calculated on the total sales price (the total amount paid by the customer, including the item price and any shipping or gift wrap charges), as follows:

An EcommerceBytes reader said the third change is what has them most upset.

"This one has me broiling... 15% fee to total order including shipping." 

For FBA sellers, if a non-prime buys your book or wants it quicker, expect to fork over an additional 15% of your money, the seller explained.

"Add in that .45 raise to vcf and you're looking at $500-600  in new fees for every 1000 items you sell. Seller Support provided this email to suggestions as well. I urge everyone to email them, otherwise get read to pay up. The email is seller-suggestions @amazon.com."




Comments (21) | Leave Comment | Permalink

Readers Comments

Perminate Link for Amazon Raises Fees - the End of Penny Booksellers?   Amazon Raises Fees - the End of Penny Booksellers?

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

Thu Nov 10 23:26:34 2016

It is about time that the shipping for media can go up! Has it ever changed since Amazon opened to 3P sellers?

If the final fee gets rid of penny sellers, goodbye and good riddance. I don't have a clue why penny sellers want to spend to much time on a business that is only turning over to them $1 at most. Even if they sell 200 books a day and pocket $200. That is a lot of work for that. Maybe book values will get back to where they should be.

I don't like that the fee is on the shipping as well, but is that perhaps to keep sellers charging exorbitant shipping fees for a $1 book so they avoid fees. This way they can't, so a much better chance of an even playing field. And to be able to charge appropriately for postage for a heavy book is priceless.

Perminate Link for Amazon Raises Fees - the End of Penny Booksellers?   Amazon Raises Fees - the End of Penny Booksellers?

by: thebobman This user has validated their user name.

Thu Nov 10 23:59:38 2016

So whats the break even amount on a 5 oz CD? Right now, its about $.03 + $3.99 shipping (2.60 shipping, $.07 padded envelope, $1.35 fees)

Perminate Link for Amazon Raises Fees - the End of Penny Booksellers?   Amazon Raises Fees - the End of Penny Booksellers?

This user has validated their user name. by: Ming the Merciless

Fri Nov 11 01:28:39 2016

I'm wondering what all the AZ cheerleaders are thinking nowq.

Amazon lured sellers away from ebafia and then systematically began to put the screws to them.

They began demanding selles disclose their suppliers so Amazon could source product and undercut their own sellers.

They've raised fees how many times for FBA??

Amazon is an evil as ebafia, and smart sellers will leave before Amazon puts them out of business.

Perminate Link for Amazon Raises Fees - the End of Penny Booksellers?   Amazon Raises Fees - the End of Penny Booksellers?

by: Jester This user has validated their user name.

Fri Nov 11 04:16:34 2016

Mega penny book sellers get huge shipping discounts and make money by volume. The penny books will now become the $1 books + shipping.

Perminate Link for Amazon Raises Fees - the End of Penny Booksellers?   Amazon Raises Fees - the End of Penny Booksellers?

by: FeelingFroggy This user has validated their user name.

Fri Nov 11 07:56:25 2016

Most sellers on Amazon and Ebay don't understand one basic rule of selling. VOLUME EQUALS DOLLARS.

One can sit back and list an item for 500.00 and cry about no buyers or one can find and list an item for 5.00 and sell thousands.

There are many sellers on Ebay and Amazon that do just that. Hence the everyday question how can they make any money?

Perminate Link for Amazon Raises Fees - the End of Penny Booksellers?   Amazon Raises Fees - the End of Penny Booksellers?

This user has validated their user name. by: toolguy

Fri Nov 11 09:56:57 2016

15% ?

And people complain about eBay's 10%

I'm glad I never got involved with Amazon as a seller or a buyer. . .

Perminate Link for Amazon Raises Fees - the End of Penny Booksellers?   Amazon Raises Fees - the End of Penny Booksellers?

by: epuise This user has validated their user name.

Fri Nov 11 09:57:17 2016

The "venue" and the "shipping carrier" now make more than the seller.

Perminate Link for Amazon Raises Fees - the End of Penny Booksellers?   Amazon Raises Fees - the End of Penny Booksellers?

This user has validated their user name. by: eXtinctBay

Fri Nov 11 10:32:16 2016

@Froggy

To expand on this, the simple reason for the new fees is a method to rid themselves of small sellers (sounds like another e-commerce company, doesn't it?)

Amazon and eBay do not want small sellers. They take up the same amount of server space to place one listing with one item as a mega seller who could sell hundreds or thousands of the same item, using the same space.  

Perminate Link for Amazon Raises Fees - the End of Penny Booksellers?   Amazon Raises Fees - the End of Penny Booksellers?

This user has validated their user name. by: eXtinctBay

Fri Nov 11 10:58:59 2016

@Tool

If you are being paid by (forced by eBay to accept) PayPal, they also take their cut.

So the fees to sell on your favorite site are certainly more than ten percent. Add in the eBay listing fees, and, while a bit less than selling on Amazon, the cost is nearly the same.

Perminate Link for Amazon Raises Fees - the End of Penny Booksellers?   Amazon Raises Fees - the End of Penny Booksellers?

This user has validated their user name. by: toolguy

Fri Nov 11 11:43:58 2016

@eXtinctBay

My eBay & Paypal fees together are:

July ebay 7.2% paypal 3.5% = 10.7%
August ebay 7.3% paypal 3.4% = 10.7%
Sept ebay 7.5% paypal 3.5% = 11%

Perminate Link for Amazon Raises Fees - the End of Penny Booksellers?   Amazon Raises Fees - the End of Penny Booksellers?

by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Fri Nov 11 13:38:14 2016

Im one of the people who have (usually) positive things to say about Amazon.

HOWEVER - believe me - its NOT that they arent evil - just less so then eBay.

Theres also (1) BIG difference between the 2 companies.

On Amazon - its their sandbox. You as a seller DONT SELL ANYTHING - you fulfill for Amazon. Its that plain and simple.

Of course Amazon doesnt care about the fees and the pricing - they make more on a 3P seller selling an item (fees) they they could on the items themselves most times. Its win/win on Amazon ALL THE TIME.

But since its their "game" you have to work within the system.

On eBay - "its supposed to be" YOUR seller account - your rules - except for when its not.

Its of course an outright lie and you have no control over visibility, picture(s), returns, payments etc.

Personally Id rather be told UP FRONT (Amazon) about the fees and the other costs of doing business, as apposed to being LIED to by eBay.

eBay takes ZERO responsibility for anything and everything .. at least Amazon CS responds and is helpful.

Perminate Link for Amazon Raises Fees - the End of Penny Booksellers?   Amazon Raises Fees - the End of Penny Booksellers?

This user has validated their user name. by: RKTOYS

Sat Nov 12 02:16:11 2016

"VOLUME EQUALS DOLLARS"

Yeah, and when they take 20% of the sale while shorting you $5 on shipping, it equals RED INK too.

Perminate Link for Amazon Raises Fees - the End of Penny Booksellers?   Amazon Raises Fees - the End of Penny Booksellers?

by: FeelingFroggy This user has validated their user name.

Sat Nov 12 05:58:56 2016

@Toys

In the past 6 years in five stores that we have WE HAVE NEVER CHARGED A DIME FOR SHIPPING. All 25000 plus items are free shipping. Shipping has been added to the cost of the items.

Never had a problem with Ebay overcharging something we don't add.

Its the seller with the cheap price but the inflated shipping that thinks they are getting something over everyone else.

Our items sell daily while theirs gathers dust. Remember QUANTITY EQUALS MONEY.

Perminate Link for Amazon Raises Fees - the End of Penny Booksellers?   Amazon Raises Fees - the End of Penny Booksellers?

This user has validated their user name. by: RKTOYS

Sat Nov 12 09:59:42 2016

I have no idea what you sell but in my category sending a 2 lb box has a window of $6.80 to $12.40 with flat rate boxes at $13.45 or higher.

You're welcome to try adding $9.60 or more to a $20 item (bonus points if China Post is delivering counterfeits for free).  I do/did on Amazon because of their tightfisted control over shipping and I average about 6 sales per year there as a result.  Better to make $10 on the rare sale than to lose $5 every day I'd say.

Perminate Link for Amazon Raises Fees - the End of Penny Booksellers?   Amazon Raises Fees - the End of Penny Booksellers?

This user has validated their user name. by: RKTOYS

Sat Nov 12 10:18:26 2016

If I were to hazard a guess, the sellers making money on Amazon are shipping very small trinkets and media mail.  Sure, the 99c flat fee destroys you on a $10 item.  But if you can buy a $2 padded envelope on that $4.49 voucher, you just might come out ahead.  Something doesn't seem right about having to skim off shipping; nor is it advisable in a market that goes ballistic over any discrepancy between shipping cost and price.

eBay used to be better, because I could be very transparent and charge actual shipping costs, but the sharks smell blood in the water now...

Perminate Link for Amazon Raises Fees - the End of Penny Booksellers?   Amazon Raises Fees - the End of Penny Booksellers?

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

Sat Nov 12 13:05:57 2016

Sellers would be wise not to sell on Amazon. They are big time rip offs as simple as that.

Perminate Link for Amazon Raises Fees - the End of Penny Booksellers?   Amazon Raises Fees - the End of Penny Booksellers?

by: mindelec This user has validated their user name.

Mon Nov 14 14:39:09 2016

this is no surprise, amazon hasn't raised media fees in a long long time so it was bound to happen.

nothing will stop the penny sellers, they are already too math impaired to understand that they are paying more than they are making.

it's important to note, the closing fee will not affect pro sellers since they don't pay it.

sticking a fee on the shipping is something every other site has done, amazon was bound to do it too.  at least we can raise shipping to cover it and hopefully bring the shipping charge equal to the shipping expenses.  for hardcover and oversize books shipping has always been a loss.

the question i have is whether there will be a way to adjust shipping for all items at once or if ever item will need to be edited...

the irony about these increases is that originally (when amazonn first started as a book site) the closing fee was a fee taken from the shipping, then they changed the name of it so it wasn't connected with shipping and now they are putting a new charge on shipping.

Perminate Link for Amazon Raises Fees - the End of Penny Booksellers?   Amazon Raises Fees - the End of Penny Booksellers?

This user has validated their user name. by: RKTOYS

Mon Nov 14 16:23:55 2016

"at least we can raise shipping to cover it and hopefully bring the shipping charge equal to the shipping expenses"

Just to clarify.  You can only do this if you're paying the $40 monthly fee for Amazon's watered down version of an eBay store.  If not, you get the same $4.49 whether you're shipping a grain of salt next door or a cannonball to the moon.

Perminate Link for Amazon Raises Fees - the End of Penny Booksellers?   Amazon Raises Fees - the End of Penny Booksellers?

by: mindelec This user has validated their user name.

Tue Nov 15 19:47:21 2016

Thanks for the clarification. I didn't get an email from them, but then i'm not a pro seller.  Figures though they FINALLY raise the shippkng, but then adds another fee that more than negates it.  I think amazon delights in the fact that booksellers are fully compensated for shipping costs.

Perminate Link for Amazon Raises Fees - the End of Penny Booksellers?   Amazon Raises Fees - the End of Penny Booksellers?

by: booklover27 This user has validated their user name.

Fri Feb 17 20:51:59 2017

I'm tired of saying the M word.  Where the hell are all the innovators when you need them.  Someone start an honest Market Place and kill these MONOPOLIES.

Click to view more comments
1 2  [Next Page]


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.

 
Email:
Password:
 
 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.