Saying it needs to offset rising labor and logistics costs, Amazon is for the first time imposing an added fee on some sellers during this year’s holiday season.
The retail giant will charge an average fee of 35 cents per item on goods sold through warehouse and logistics networks in the United States and Canada from Oct. 15 through Jan. 14 of next year, the company said in an emailed statement shared with PYMNTS.
“Our selling partners are incredibly important to us, and this is not a decision we made lightly,” the message said, citing perennial industry-wide increases in fulfillment and logistics costs during the holidays.
“We have previously absorbed these cost increases, but seasonal expenses are reaching new heights,” Amazon said.
As a result, the company said it is taking a page from other carriers and implementing what it calls a “Holiday Peak Fulfillment Fee that applies during a timebound period each year.”
A company spokesperson told PYMNTS this sort of fee is an industry-wide practice that has been around for years, with both FedEx and the U.S. Postal Service announcing their holiday peak fulfillment fees earlier this month.
The postal service’s fees will be in effect from Oct. 2 until Jan. 21, according to a news release. FedEx peak holiday surcharges will begin for some categories early next month and last until Jan. 15, the company said on its website.
Amazon also argued its fulfillment fees during the holiday will still be — on average — 30% lower for slower standard shipping methods than other major third-party logistics firms, and an average of 70% cheaper than similar two-day shipping alternatives.
Amazon announced last month it was raising the annual fee for a Prime membership for people in five European countries to offset higher costs on goods and shipping services.
The company said the new fees are set to go into effect Sept. 15 in the U.K., Germany, France, Italy and Spain.
“There are a number of factors that impact the price of Prime,” Amazon said in a statement, noting inflation’s impact on both general and material cost increases, including external factors like the cost of goods, as well as the increased cost of shipping.
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