Amazon Adds 5% Fuel, Inflation Surcharge To Sellers
Amazon is taking a step to offset its rising costs, announcing Wednesday it will add a 5% “fuel and inflation surcharge” to fees it charges third-party sellers who use the e-commerce giant’s fulfillment services, Haleluya Hadero reported for the Associated Press (AP).
Photo Insert: An Amazon delivery vehicle
The Seattle-based company said on its website that the added fees, which take effect April 28, are “subject to change” and will apply to both apparel and non-apparel items.
The latest fee hike follows one announced in November and went into effect in January. In a notice sent to sellers Wednesday, the company said its costs had gone up since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic due to increases in hourly wages, the hiring of workers, and the construction of more warehouses.
It said it had absorbed costs whenever possible, and only increased fees to address permanent costs and to be competitive with other providers. Amazon competitors FedEx and UPS both have fuel surcharges.
“In 2022, we expected a return to normalcy as COVID-19 restrictions around the world eased, but fuel and inflation have presented further challenges,” the company said in the notice.
Federal data released Tuesday showed inflation jumped 8.5% in March, its fastest pace in more than 40 years. Gasoline prices have rocketed 48% in the past 12 months.
Though the company is blaming inflation and rising fuel costs for the surcharge, Stacy Mitchell, co-director for the anti-monopoly group Institute for Local Self-Reliance, criticized Wednesday’s announcement, saying Amazon was taking advantage of the moment.
“Amazon keeps increasing its fees on the sellers that have to depend on its platform,” Mitchell said, adding the new fees are a way “to take more money out of the pockets of independent businesses and put it into Amazon’s coffers.”