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Amazon Seller Fees: So, What Are the Costs Exactly?

By Ling Wong Reviewed By Ann Cornell
By Ling Wong
By Ling Wong Reviewed By Ann Cornell

In 2020, Amazon.com’s net sales were $263.52 billion in the U.S. alone, according to Statista.  Add that to the global audience Amazon Marketplace reaches, it’s a digital shopping network that merchants can’t afford to ignore. 

However, keep in mind that you’ll pay Amazon seller fees when you set up a virtual shop.  

Let’s go through the Amazon seller pricing and various merchant charges, including:

  • Individual seller fees
  • Professional seller fees
  • Seller account monthly fees
  • Referral fees
  • Shipping costs
  • Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) fees

Amazon Marketplace Seller Plans

Amazon offers 2 types of seller accounts: individual and professional.

Amazon’s Individual Seller Account

Geared toward low-volume sellers, the individual plan requires little setup and doesn’t have a monthly fee. However, Amazon Individual Seller fees include a 99-cent listing fee per item that will be taken from your payout when a product is sold.

The individual seller account has the following restrictions:

  • You can’t make 40 or more sales per month
  • You can’t access the inventory management feature
  • You’ll need to manually create listings on the Amazon Seller Central dashboard and can’t use the bulk upload feature
  • You can only list on the 20-plus open categories that don’t require approval from Amazon

Amazon Professional Seller Account

Designed for businesses and high-volume sellers, the professional seller account has a $39.99 monthly fee but no listing fee for individual items. All Amazon seller plans will pay a closing fee on certain products, the amount of which varies by category. The professional account offers various volume-selling features, including:

  • Unlimited product listings
  • No listing fee per item
  • Bulk product uploads
  • Integration with ecommerce, inventory-management and order-management software
  • Access to Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) inventory management software

Amazon offers two types of seller accounts: an individual selling plan and a professional one.

How Much Does It Cost to Sell on Amazon?

In addition to the Amazon seller account fees, there are other costs to selling on Amazon. Review the following Amazon fees to help choose the right plan to optimize your profits:

Amazon Marketplace Referral Fees

Amazon charges a referral fee for each item sold, the amount of which depends on the product category. The referral fee is calculated as a percentage of the total sales price, excluding tax, delivery or gift-wrapping charges.

Most product categories have a referral fee that ranges from 6% to 15%,  (e.g., 15% plus $1.80 closing fee for books, 8% for consumer electronics, 15% for office products and 15% for toys) with a minimum of 30 cents. Sellers need to pay the referral fee or the per-item minimum referral fee, whichever one is greater.

Amazon Marketplace Variable Closing Fees

Amazon Marketplace charges an additional variable closing fee for products sold under the media categories. A $1.80 fee is added to the referral fees for items such as books, DVDs, music, software, video games and video-game consoles.

Amazon Refund Administration Fees

If a buyer returns an item, Amazon will refund your referral fee minus an administration fee, which is “the lesser of $5 or 20% of the referral fee.”

Amazon Seller Shipping Rates

Amazon Shipping Credit

For certain products, Amazon will give you a flat shipping credit on every sale to cover the shipping cost. 

  • For books, music, video games, etc., you’ll get a $3.99 credit for domestic standard shipping. 
  • As for other products, it’s $4.49 plus 50 cents a pound when buyers choose the “domestic standard” shipping method.

It’s important to find out if the shipping credit can cover the actual shipping cost of the particular product you’re selling. Otherwise, the overage can impact your margins.

Fulfillment By Amazon (FBA) is available to both individual and professional sellers in which Amazon stores, packs and ships your products.

Fulfillment by Amazon Fees

FBA is available to both individual and professional sellers in which Amazon stores, packs and ships your products. While there are fees associated with the service, FBA products are Amazon Prime-eligible and have a better chance of winning the Buy Box — making it a good investment for many merchants.

FBA fees are calculated based on product size and weight. There are 2 categories: standard-size products and oversize items. Here are the Amazon fees you need to take into account when calculating the cost of selling on Amazon if you use this service:

FBA Fulfillment Fees

This per-unit fee covers picking and packing your orders, shipping and handling, customer service and product returns processing.

The fee starts at $2.70 for small standard-size items that are 6 ounces or less and goes up to $138.11 for oversized items (plus 79 cents a pound for every pound over 90). 

There’s also an additional 30-cents-a-pound fee for clothing items heavier than 3 pounds, and an 11-cent-a-unit fee for items containing lithium batteries.

FBA Monthly Inventory Storage Fees

This per-cubic-foot fee is charged for all units stored in an Amazon fulfillment center. It’s based on the daily average volume in a calendar month. It varies by the product size tier and the time of year.

Months Standard Size Fees Oversize Fees
January – September 75 cents per cubic foot 48 cents per cubic foot
October – December $2.40 per cubic foot $1.20 per cubic foot

Amazon notes that standard size storage fees are higher than oversize fees because storage systems for smaller items are more expansive and complex.

The FBA storage fee for products sold through the FBA dangerous goods program is higher for both standard-size and oversize items. In addition, units that have been stored in an Amazon fulfillment center for over 365 days will incur a long-term storage fee of $6.90 per cubic foot or a 15 cents per unit, whichever is greater.

Cost Examples

Amazon FBA offers a fee calculator to help sellers navigate the fee structure and take all the Amazon FBA seller fees into account when pricing products.

Other FBA Fulfillment Options

FBA also offers specialized services designed to help sellers grow their businesses with minimum upfront investment.

These include:

  • Multichannel Fulfillment: This enables you to sell from your own or third-party websites. FBA will take care of the picking, packing, and shipping.
  • Small and Light: This provides reduced fulfillment costs on qualified items, so you can lower the cost of fulfilling orders for low-cost, small and lightweight FBA inventory.
  • Subscribe and Save: This allows you to offer discounts and free shipping on eligible FBA products for repeat customers to generate more recurring revenues.

Amazon Commission Rates

If you have a website for your business, you can direct web visitors to your Amazon Marketplace store to make purchases. You’ll have to join the Associates Program and obtain a widget for your site that potential customers can click through to the Amazon site. 

Amazon commission rates for Associates range from 1-10%, depending on the sold items. The lowest fees are for grocery or health items along with physical video games and game consoles. The highest commissions are for luxury beauty items and Amazon coins.

Ling Wong Contributing Writer at Fast Capital 360
Ling Wong has more than 15 years of experience in the realm of online marketing. She writes about business-to-business marketing, customer experience, search engine optimization, the latest in market technology and online marketing for small businesses.
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