Amazon News: Did You Catch These FBA and Selling Fee Changes?

Amazon recently overhauled its FBA fees, referral fees, and a couple of other inhouse programs. Did you catch the changes? See the breakdown here.

Warning: heavy reading ahead. We’re talking number crunching.

Turn back now if you’re looking for a beach read or something to skim on your coffee break.

Anyway, PSA: did you miss these Amazon fee changes?

In case you did, here’s our comprehensive breakdown, with all the relevant Amazon links attached for your handy dandy reference.

We know how annoying it is to wade through all the legal-ese, so we summarized the important points as concisely as possible, and provided you with direct links so you can do your own further research to figure out which of these fee and program updates will affect your business.

The rundown:

  • The following categories are affected: Referral fees, FBA fees, storage fees, removal fees, FBA labeling service fees, and the nascent FBA New Selection Program
  • Core FBA fulfillment fees increased for small standard, large standard, and medium oversized shipping tiers
  • The $0.40/item FBA fulfillment surcharge for clothing items was eliminated, but FBA fulfillment fees increased across all clothing shipping tiers
  • Hazmat FBA fulfillment fees increased for small standard and large standard shipping tiers
  • Some referral fee categories increased, some decreased, and some remained unchanged
  • Storage fees increased for Q1-Q3 (January – September)
  • FBA label service fees increased
  • Some removal fees have increased, decreased, or remained unchanged depending on size tier
  • Small and Light item weight limit is now 10 oz instead of 15 oz, and 
  • Small and Light program long-term storage fees decreased

Yeah, that’s quite a handful of changes. Amazon allegedly managed to keep most increases under 3%, but a few cents per unit across this many types of fee increases can potentially have a larger impact on your business than you might realize.

Here’s Amazon’s obligatory thoughts on the topic:

“This year we invested more than $15 billion in infrastructure, programs, people, and 150 new tools and services to help our sellers grow their brands and businesses. We also invested billions of dollars to expand FREE One-Day Delivery to more than 10 million Prime-eligible items … this was the largest one-year investment we have ever made in FBA. Nevertheless, in 2020, we will make only moderate increases (about 3%) in fulfillment fees, below industry average…”

Granted, Amazon kind of makes up a huge chunk of the industry, so “below industry average” seems a bit like comparing itself against itself, but hey.

Now let’s run through the changes one group at a time.

Referral fee changes

Most categories remained untouched, but if you sell products in any of the following categories, your ASINs will be affected:

  • Shoes, handbags, and sunglasses
  • Outdoor furniture
  • Personal care appliances
  • Activewear
  • Ring (Amazon device) accessories

The following changes are effective as of February 18, 2020:

Shoes, handbags, and sunglasses:

Referral fee reduced from 18% to 15% ONLY if the item’s total sales price is over $75.

Outdoor furniture:

Referral fee reduced from 15% to 10% ONLY for the portion of the sale above $200.

Personal care appliances:

Referral fee reduced from 15% to 8% for items with a total sales price of $10 or less.

Referral fee remains 15% for items with a total sales price above $10.

Activewear:

Referral fee increased to 17%.

(Amazon) Ring accessories:

Referral fee increased to 45%.

See more fine print on Amazon’s referral fee update page.

Amazon fulfillment center

FBA fulfillment fee changes

Fulfillment fee tables are split into four types: “core” fulfillment fees (all items but clothing and hazmat), clothing fulfillment fees, hazmat item fulfillment fees, and hazmat clothing item fulfillment fees.

No FBA fulfillment fees were decreased (sadly, but not surprising).

All of the FBA fulfillment fee changes are effective as of February 18, 2020.

Core fulfillment category fees:

Fees increased for: all small standard, all large standard, and medium oversize tiers, with increases between $0.09 to $1.58 per unit depending on shipping weight and size tier.

Fees remained the same for: small oversize, large oversize, and special oversize tiers.

Clothing fulfillment category fees:

The $0.40-per-unit surcharge has been eliminated.

Fees increased for all small standard and all large standard tiers, with increases between $0.12 to $0.29 per unit depending on shipping weight and size tier.

Hazmat (Dangerous Goods) fulfillment category fees:

Fees increased for all small standard and large standard tiers, with increases between $0.16 to $0.24 per unit depending on shipping weight and size tier.

Fees remained the same for all oversize tiers (small, medium, large, special).

Hazmat clothing fulfillment category fees:

Fees increased for ALL weight and size tiers, with increases between $0.18 to $0.29 depending on the tier.

For the fine print on these changes, as well as the opportunity to decipher the complex code that comprises shipping and packaging weights and tiers, see the fee schedule page here.

Storage fees, label service fees, and removal/disposal fees

Storage fee changes, effective March 1, 2020:

Inventory storage fees for standard-size items will increase by $0.06 per cubic foot for the January – September period (Q1-Q3).

Inventory storage fees for standard-size items will remain the same for the October – December period (Q4).

Inventory storage fees for oversize items will remain the same.

Label service fee changes, effective February 18, 2020:

The optional FBA label service fee has increased from $0.20 to $0.30 per unit.

(Note this is the fee you pay if you opt to have the Amazon fulfillment center individually label your products with your FNSKU labels, rather than doing it yourself or having your manufacturer/supplier print/label them).

Removal order fee changes, effective February 18, 2020:

Removal fees will now be charged by weight and size tier rather than by the $0.50 or $0.60 per unit flat rate as before.

Removal fees per unit will decrease, increase, or remain the same depending on size tier.

Decreases are as high as $0.25 per unit; increases are as high as $1.30 per unit.

The heaviest weight categories in both standard and oversize/special handling tiers will now also incur a $0.20/lb surcharge above the first 2 lbs and 10 lbs respectively.

Disposal order fee changes, effective February 18, 2020:

Disposal fees will now be charged by weight and size tier rather than by the $0.15 or $0.30 per unit flat rate as before.

Removal fees have increased across all size and weight tiers, with increases between $0.10 and $1.60 depending on the tier.

The heaviest weight categories in both standard and oversize/special handling tiers will now also incur a $0.20/lb surcharge above the first 2 lbs and 10 lbs respectively.

For the fine print on these categories, see Amazon’s page here.

Amazon page

FBA Small and Light program fees

Small and Light FBA fulfillment fees, effective February 18, 2020:

Items under 4 oz are now charged a flat per unit fulfillment fee of $1.97.

Items at or above 4 oz are now charged a flat per unit fulfillment fee of $2.39.

Small and Light long-term storage fees, effective February 15, 2020:

Fee has been waived (from $0.25 per unit or $3.45/cubic foot) for items in FC storage for 181-365 days.

Fee has been reduced (from $0.50 per unit or $6.90/cubic foot) to $0.15 per unit or $6.90/cubic foot for items in FC storage more than 365 days.

The $6.90/cubic foot measurement appears to be the same for the 365+ day storage; Amazon notes the greater fee will apply (between per-unit or per-cubic-foot).

Small and Light FBA label service fees, effective February 18, 2020:

The optional FBA label service will now charge $0.10 per unit (presumably from a no-fee policy; please let us know if you have prior experience with the Small and Light program).

Small and Light removal order fee changes, effective February 18, 2020:

Removal order fees for Small and Light program items will now follow the removal fee policies for all other items.

Small and Light items between 4 and 10 ounces will increase from $0.25 to $0.30 per unit.

Small and Light items under 4 ounces will remain the same at $0.25 per unit.

Read more on the “small” print of changes to the Small and Light program fees here.

Read general info about the Small and Light program here too.

Check your numbers

We hope this data parsing will help you interpret the fee schedule overhaul Amazon implemented this month.

(Sometimes the cliché “it’s all Greek to me” is applicable – although sometimes I feel like I can read Attic Greek better than I can Amazon’s help pages!)

It’s generally expected for fees to creep up over time, but it’s also important for you to keep apace and remain aware of them so you can focus on the best strategies for your business needs.

(Which by the way, for the sake of a shameless plug, did you know our Profits tool is great for keeping track of your Amazon account’s money?)

Nonetheless, as always, good luck out there, and keep #CrushingIt!

Kai Maranon

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