Amazon adds a 5% “fuel and inflation surcharge” to seller fees


Amazon is taking a step to offset its rising costs, announcing on Wednesday that it will add a 5% “fuel and inflation surcharge” to the fees it charges third-party providers that run the e-commerce giant’s fulfillment services. use giants.

The Seattle-based company said on its website that the additional fees, which take effect April 28, are “subject to change” and would apply to both apparel and non-apparel items.

The latest fee hike follows one announced in November and went into effect in January. Amazon didn’t immediately respond to a request for more details about the recent move. However, in a note sent to sellers on Wednesday, the company said its costs have increased since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic due to increases in hourly wages, hiring workers and building more warehouses.

It said it covered costs whenever possible, only increasing fees to manage ongoing costs and be competitive with other providers. Amazon’s competitors in the United States, FedEx and UPS, both impose fuel surcharges.

“In 2022, we expected a return to normal as COVID-19 restrictions eased around the world, but fuel and inflation posed further challenges,” the company said in the statement.

US federal data released on Tuesday showed the country’s inflation rose 8.5% in March, the fastest pace in more than 40 years. Gasoline prices have skyrocketed 48% in the last 12 months.

Though the company blames inflation and rising fuel costs for the surcharge, Stacy Mitchell, co-director of anti-monopoly group Institute for Local Self-Reliance, slammed Wednesday’s announcement, saying Amazon is “seizing the moment”.

“Amazon is constantly increasing its fees for the sellers who rely on its platform,” Ms Mitchell said, adding that the new fees are a way “to take more money out of the pockets of independent businesses and into Amazon’s coffers.” stuck.” Amazon’s third-party marketplace, where independent retailers list millions of their products, is a big part of the business. It has about 2 million sellers and more than half of the goods sold on come from these sellers.

Last year, sellers paid Amazon about $103 billion in fees, which accounted for about 22% of the company’s revenue. The online retailer said the new fees will apply to products ordered before April 28 but shipped and delivered after that date. Amazon is expected to release its earnings report for the first three months of this year on April 28.

Amazon has long faced accusations of undercutting merchants who sell on its platform by making “fake” or very similar products and boosting their presence on the site.

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