Don’t be surprised if the prices of goods on Amazon increase slightly in the coming weeks. Inflation and rising fuel costs are forcing the company to add a 5% surcharge on fees for merchants who use Amazon’s shipping services to send their products.
The news was first reported by Bloomberg, which viewed a copy of an email Amazon is about to send to affected merchants. “In 2022, we expected a return to normal with the easing of Covid-19 restrictions around the world, but fuel and inflation presented other challenges,” he says.
“It is still unclear whether these inflationary costs will rise or fall, or for how long they will persist. Rather than a permanent fee change, we will for the first time use a fuel and inflation surcharge – a mechanism widely used by supply chain suppliers,” the email adds.
The company also quietly announced an upcoming “fuel and inflation surcharge” for businesses on a help page, which was spotted by traders. The e-commerce giant applies the 5% fee for US sellers, who use the Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) service, from April 28.
“The surcharge will apply to all types of goods, such as non-apparel, apparel, hazardous foods, and small and lightweight items,” Amazon wrote in the notice, which also states that “the surcharge is subject to change”.
Under the current FBA fee structure, merchants can end up spending $2.35 to over $6 or more per product shipped, depending on the weight and size of the item. Thus, in many cases, the inflation surcharge should only amount to 10 to 30 cents per unit. Nevertheless, many sellers are already starting to complain on the company’s forums.
“We’ll have to do less FBA then. We’re under pressure from all sides right now, and something has to give,” one trader wrote. “That likely means low-margin items, which make up about half of what we sell on Amazon, will be removed from Amazon.”
“How do you expect us to do FBA, then?” writes another. “The fees were already too high. I’m already paying a fulfillment fee of about $5 for an item I’m selling for $9. I’m not even talking about other expenses.”
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The surcharge comes as the US Department of Labor reported that inflation jumped in March to 8.5% year-on-year, due to sharp increases in fuel, housing and food costs. .
Amazon did not immediately respond to a request for comment. But in February, the company also raised the price of an Amazon Prime subscription from $119 to $139 a year, citing the need to pay rising wages and higher transportation costs.
The news coincides with a strike on Etsy, where sellers are protesting higher transaction fees.
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