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."