Amazon imposes new fee on sellers shipping their own products – Times of India

E-commerce giant Amazon is adding a new fee for third-party sellers. This fee will be imposed on sellers who don’t pay for the company’s fulfilment services and ships their own products. Previously, the company didn’t charge sellers any such fee from sellers. Last week, Amazon sent a notice to the merchants (spotted by CNBC). This notice notes that starting October 1, members of Amazon’s Seller Fulfilled Prime (SFP) program will have to pay the company 2% fee on every product sold.
“We’re updating our requirements for Seller Fulfilled Prime to ensure that it provides customers with a great and consistent Prime experience,” the notice mentioned. However, Amazon is yet to respond about the new fee.
What is the SFP program
In 2015, Amazon launched the SFP program to allow third-party merchants to sell their products with the Prime badge. These sellers also didn’t need to pay for Amazon’s fulfilment services, known as Fulfillment By Amazon (FBA).
In comparison, the SFP program hasn’t attracted as many users as the FBA. However, in SFP, sellers need to meet the company’s Prime delivery standards, which include speedy shipping and weekend service.
In June 2019, Amazon suspended enrollment in SFP. The company reopened sign-ups for the invite-only program earlier this year.

Apart from this, Amazon also charges sellers a referral fee between 8% and 15% on each sale. Also, sellers may need to pay for other things like warehouse storage, packing and shipping, as well as advertising fees.

FTC’s looming lawsuit a concern for Amazon
Amazon’s marketplace is reportedly under the scanner of multiple antitrust investigators both in the US and abroad. Multiple regulators suspect that the company uses its dominance to squeeze the merchants that sell on its platform.
Regulators are examining whether Amazon pressurises sellers into using its services for getting preferential treatment in the marketplace.
US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is also reportedly planning to file a long-awaited lawsuit against Amazon. The agency is investigating the company on multiple fronts which include its treatment of sellers on the marketplace.

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