Amazon to Start Charging Sellers a Fuel and Inflation Surcharge of 5%, Consumer Price Increases Sure to Follow

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With very little warning, Amazon has announced that in 2 weeks they will start charging third-party sellers who sell on Amazon a surcharge of 5% as a “fuel and inflation” surcharge. Not even just little warning, but with little fanfare; in fact the only place that Amazon has posted a statement about it is with a post on Amazon’s “Seller Central” hub, slipping it onto the site as quietly as a knife going into..well, you get the point.

The sellers themselves received the unhappy news in a notification in their Amazon account which read “Starting April 28, 2022, a 5% fuel and inflation surcharge will be applied to US FBA fulfillment fees. The surcharge will apply to all product types, such as non-apparel, apparel, dangerous goods, and Small and Light items. The surcharge will apply to all units shipped from fulfillment centers starting April 28. The surcharge is subject to change.”

Amazon’s Notice to Sellers
amazon notice of fuel and inflation surcharage

“FBA” stands for Fulfillment by Amazon”, meaning that the sellers have shipped their products to Amazon for storage at Amazon warehouses, and then Amazon ships it out whenever an order is placed through Amazon.

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Says the post at SellerCentral, “Starting on April 28, 2022, a 5% fuel and inflation surcharge will be applied to FBA fulfillment fees. The surcharge is subject to change,” adding that well, actually adding nothing else at all. This curt announcement is followed by tables of how much more things are going to cost, but no further information or explanation. For example, above the “core fulfillment” table, there is the explanation that “The adjusted core FBA fulfillment fees shown below will take effect on April 28, 2022. The greater of unit weight or dimensional weight will be used to calculate the shipping weight for all large standard-size and oversize units, except for special oversize. For more information, view the Calculate the shipping weight section further down this page.”

But nowhere is there anything like “Dear Sellers, we know that this is a tough time for everybody, and we hate to do it but we are going to have to institute a surcharge.” Nothing, nada, zip. Geez, at least buy them dinner before you screw them.

Yet, in an email to news outlets (which apparently Amazon thinks more of than their own third-party sellers), such as to CNBC, Amazon explained that “In 2022, we expected a return to normalcy as Covid-19 restrictions around the world eased, but fuel and inflation have presented further challenges. It is still unclear if these inflationary costs will go up or down, or for how long they will persist, so rather than a permanent fee change, we will be employing a fuel and inflation surcharge for the first time — a mechanism broadly used across supply chain providers.”

Anybody want to take bet on the side of “yeah, sure that surcharge will go down”?

Of course, because these sellers will have to raise their prices on Amazon to cover the surcharge, what this means for consumers is that the cost of purchasing items from third-party sellers on Amazon is sure to go up. Guess who won’t have to raise prices of goods on Amazon? You guessed it, Amazon. Making their own offerings even more competitive against their own sellers than they already are.

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