December 5, 2012—The fees they are a-changin. On Tuesday, Amazon notified third-party sellers that Fulfillment By Amazon fees will increase in 2013, and introduced a brand new fee for returns in certain categories. The notice comes at a horrible time as FBA sellers prepare for the upcoming holidays and New Year.
Third-Party sellers were made aware of the new fee structure on Tuesday when Amazon updated the seller’s central with the announcement. Amazon blames rising transportation cost for the increase and says the new fee structure won’t take place until February 18, 2013. Along with increases in FBA fees, Amazon introduced a new “Returns Processing Fee” for customer-returned products in categories that Amazon offers free return shipping. The new Returns Processing Fee will apply for products in the categories: Apparel; Watches; Jewelry; Shoes; and Luggage.
According to Amazon, offering free returns to customers in these categories helps build customer trust and encourages purchases. “To better reflect our costs, when customers receive free return shipping on products in these categories, the seller will be charged a fee for each unit returned. This fee will be equivalent to the fulfillment fees for an individually shipped unit.”
To better represent transportation costs, Amazon is launching six new product size tiers: Small Standard-Size, Large Standard-Size, Small Oversize, Medium Oversize, Large Oversize, and Special Oversize. On the positive side, Amazon is reducing some of their fees including products that fit into the new “Small Oversize” and “Medium Oversize” categories, as well as reducing the fees associated with Pick & Pack. Amazon also mentioned they are not changing fees for Multi-Channel Fulfillment fees, Zero-Fee Fulfillment, Inventory Storage Fees, or any optional service fees.
In the announcement on Tuesday, Amazon mentioned a slew of improvements they’ve made over the year, along with new services like Amazon Lockers and Same-Day Delivery:
“In the past year, we have made it easier for customers to order and receive your products, including innovations such as Amazon Lockers and same-day shipping in select cities; and we have continued to grow the benefits and membership of Amazon Prime, which this year has surpassed FREE Super Saver Shipping in items shipped. We have also enhanced the FBA and Seller Central experience, through better access to your important business data on the Sales Dashboard and Payments reports; value-added services such as the FBA Label Service; and new ways to reach global customers with FBA Global Export.”
In the next few days, Amazon is expected to update the FBA Revenue Calculator so sellers can view and compare estimated fulfillment costs under the current fee structure and the new fee structure.
What do you thinking of the new Fulfillment By Amazon fees?