Amazon Selling Fees: What You Need to Know


Amazon is a major player in the e-commerce industry, offering a vast platform for sellers to connect with customers globally. For sellers aiming to succeed on the Amazon marketplace, it’s important to have a clear understanding of it’s various selling fees. This guide will break down these fees, explain their impact on sellers, and provide practical advice on how to manage them in a way that maximizes profits and minimizes unnecessary expenses.

Understanding Amazon Selling Fees

Types of Amazon Selling Fees

Amazon’s fee structure includes several types of charges. The primary ones are listing fees, referral fees (a percentage of the sale price, typically ranging from 6% to 45%), fulfillment fees (for those using Amazon’s FBA service), and additional service fees for optional services (can include high-volume listing fees, fees for optional services like advertising or premium account features). These fees vary based on product type and selling plan.

How These Fees are Calculated

The calculation of Amazon’s selling fees can seem complex, but it’s essential to grasp these details for effective pricing and profit management. Here’s a closer look at how each type of fee is determined.

Referral fees: These fees are a percentage of the total sales price, which includes the item price plus any shipping or gift wrap charges. The percentage varies by product category and can range broadly. For example, jewelry items may have a higher percentage fee compared to home goods. It’s important to note that Amazon sets a minimum referral fee for certain categories, meaning you’ll pay either the percentage of the sales price or this minimum fee, whichever is greater.

Fulfillment fees (FBA): For sellers using Fulfillment by Amazon, these fees are based on the physical characteristics of the product. Amazon charges according to the size and weight of the item, with fees typically increasing for larger and heavier products. These fees cover the costs of picking, packing, shipping to the customer, customer service, and processing returns.

Monthly subscription fee (Professional sellers): If you opt for the professional selling plan, you’ll pay a flat monthly fee ($39.99). This fee is charged regardless of the number of items you sell and is separate from other transactional fees. This plan is beneficial for sellers with a higher volume of sales, as it eliminates the per-item fee applicable in the Individual selling plan ($0.99 per item sold).

Closing fees (media items): For every media item sold (like books, DVDs), Amazon charges a fixed closing fee. This fee is the same for all items within the media category and is added on top of the referral fee.

Additional fees: High-volume listing fees apply if you exceed a certain number of active non-media listings. Storage fees for FBA are based on the volume (in cubic feet) of space your inventory occupies in Amazon’s fulfillment centers. These are calculated monthly for long-term storage.

Amazon selling fees explained by… Amazon

Impact of Amazon Fees on Sellers

Financial implications

Understanding the financial implications of Amazon selling fees is vital for sellers as it directly affects their profit margins and overall business health. These fees, including referral, fulfillment, and additional charges, can significantly reduce the profit per item sold. For example, higher referral fees in certain categories like jewelry can noticeably decrease the profitability of each sale. Similarly, fulfillment fees, particularly for large or heavy items using Amazon’s FBA service, can also cut into profit margins. It’s important for sellers to weigh these costs against the convenience and benefits provided by Amazon’s services.

The monthly subscription fee

For professional sellers, the monthly subscription fee is another financial factor to consider. This fixed cost needs to be offset by sufficient sales volume to ensure it doesn’t lead to reduced profitability. Furthermore, the overall pricing strategy of products is heavily influenced by Amazon’s fee structure. Failing to incorporate these fees accurately can lead to setting prices too low, resulting in revenue losses, or too high, which might decrease competitiveness and sales.

Storage fees

Another key aspect is the management of long-term storage fees for those using FBA. Improper inventory management can lead to accumulating fees for slow-moving items, eroding profits over time. Additionally, sellers must be mindful of the timing of fee payments to Amazon, especially during high-volume selling periods, as these fees can impact cash flow, crucial for maintaining inventory and business operations.

The cumulative effect of Amazon’s fees also plays a significant role in the growth and scalability of a seller’s business on the platform. High operational costs can restrict the available resources for expanding product lines, investing in marketing, or exploring new marketplaces.

A deep understanding and strategic planning around Amazon’s selling fees are essential for maintaining healthy profit margins and ensuring sustainable business growth on the platform.

Strategic pricing considerations

Sellers must price their products by considering these fees. This includes analyzing competitors’ pricing, understanding the fee structure, and setting a price that covers costs while remaining attractive to buyers.

Strategic pricing is a key element for success on Amazon, given the various fees that can impact your profit margins. Setting the right price for your products involves more than just covering costs; it’s about finding a balance that attracts customers while ensuring profitability.

Cost structure

Firstly, understanding the complete cost structure is crucial. This means considering not just the cost of the product itself, but also Amazon’s referral fees, any fulfillment fees if using FBA, and other potential costs like storage or high-volume listing fees. Ignoring these costs can lead to pricing products too low, eating into profits.

Market research

Additionally, market research plays a pivotal role in strategic pricing. Analyzing competitors’ pricing strategies and understanding the price points at which similar products are sold can provide valuable insights. This research helps in setting a price that is competitive yet profitable. It’s important to remember that being the cheapest isn’t always necessary to win sales; often, customers are willing to pay more for products that have better reviews, higher quality, or stronger brand recognition.

Amazon’s dynamic nature

Another consideration is the dynamic nature of the Amazon marketplace. Prices on Amazon can fluctuate based on demand, competition, and other factors. Therefore, staying flexible and ready to adjust prices in response to market changes is important. Tools like automated repricing software can aid in maintaining competitive pricing without constant manual oversight.

Psychological aspect of pricing

Sellers should also factor in the psychological aspect of pricing. Pricing strategies, like using charm pricing (e.g., $19.99 instead of $20) or bundling products, can make offers more appealing to customers. Considering seasonal trends and sales events (like Prime Day or Black Friday) when adjusting prices can lead to increased sales volumes.

Lastly, it’s essential to periodically review and adjust pricing strategies. Regularly monitoring sales performance, feedback from customers, and market trends helps in refining pricing to stay relevant and profitable.

Comparing Amazon Fees Across Product Categories

Fee variations by category

Fees vary considerably across product categories. For instance, electronics might have a lower referral fee percentage than luxury items.

In exploring the variations of Amazon’s fees by category, it’s evident that sellers face a diverse range of costs depending on the types of products they offer. Here’s a summary of the referral fee rates across major Amazon categories as of 2023:

  • Books, Music, Video: 15%
  • Automotive & Industrial: 12%
  • Electronics: 8%
  • Computers: 8%
  • Home, Garden & Tools: 15%
  • Jewelry: 20%
  • Watches: 12%
  • Clothing & Shoes: 15-20%
  • Sports & Outdoors: 15%
  • Toys & Baby: 15%
  • Furniture: 15%
  • Food & Beverage: 15%
  • Musical Instruments: 8-15% (tiered)
  • Video Games: 15%

In addition to these, certain categories have unique structures. For example, in the Beauty, Health and Personal Care category, the fee is 8% for products with a total sales price of $10.00 or less, and 15% for items with a total sales price greater than $10.00. Similarly, in Electronics Accessories, the fee is 15% for the portion of the total sales price up to $100.00, and 8% for any portion greater than $100.00.

For Amazon FBA fees, they are typically based on the size and weight of the product, with different brackets determining the fee amount. However, the exact breakdown of FBA fees by category was not readily accessible within the time frame. This information is crucial for sellers to understand as it can significantly impact their pricing strategy and overall profitability on Amazon.

Case studies

Small electronics seller

In the electronics category, Amazon charges an 8% referral fee. For a small electronics seller, this means for every $100 product sold, Amazon takes $8. If using FBA, the seller also incurs fulfillment fees based on the size and weight of the electronic items. These fees can range but generally increase with the item’s size and weight. The seller must price their products considering these fees to maintain profitability, which could mean slightly higher prices to cover the costs.

Handmade goods seller

Handmade goods often fall into various categories, each with different fees. For instance, if classified under jewelry, a 20% referral fee applies. Handmade goods sellers might choose to fulfill orders themselves (FBM) to save on FBA fees, especially for unique or customizable items. This seller needs to consider the higher referral fee in their pricing strategy, which might result in significantly higher prices compared to mass-produced items.

These cases show how fee structures can influence pricing strategies. Electronics sellers might face lower referral fees but higher fulfillment costs, while handmade goods sellers deal with higher referral fees but potentially lower fulfillment costs if they choose FBM.

Fulfillment Options and Associated Fees

When it comes to fulfilling orders on Amazon, sellers have two primary options: Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) and Fulfillment by Merchant (FBM). FBA involves Amazon handling the storage, packing, and shipping of products, along with customer service and returns. This is ideal for sellers who want to leverage Amazon’s extensive logistics network and save time on handling these operations themselves. However, FBA incurs specific fees based on the size and weight of the products, which can impact profit margins.

On the other hand, FBM requires sellers to manage the shipping, customer service, and returns on their own. This option can be more cost-effective for those who have the capacity to handle logistics efficiently, as it avoids Amazon’s fulfillment fees. It’s particularly suitable for sellers with unique or customizable products, or those with smaller operations that can easily manage their shipping processes.

Choosing the best fulfillment option depends on several factors. Sellers should consider their inventory volume, resources for shipping and handling, and overall business goals. For instance, a seller with high-volume sales and limited storage and shipping capabilities might find FBA more advantageous. Conversely, a seller with lower sales volume or specialized products might benefit more from the control and potentially lower costs of FBM. Ultimately, the decision should align with the seller’s operational strengths and business strategy to maximize efficiency and profitability on Amazon.

Strategies to Minimize Amazon Selling Fees

Minimizing Amazon selling fees requires a strategic approach, focusing on optimizing product listings and managing shipping and inventory efficiently.

Optimizing product listings involves practices such as bundling products together, which can attract more customers and increase sales while reducing the per-item selling fees. Additionally, targeting higher price points where feasible can help absorb the impact of fees better, as the percentage taken by Amazon remains constant.

Bulk shipping and inventory management are particularly crucial for Fulfillment by Merchant (FBM) sellers. By shipping products in bulk and efficiently managing inventory, sellers can significantly cut down on shipping costs and storage expenses. This approach is especially beneficial for products with consistent sales patterns, where bulk processing can streamline operations and reduce overhead costs.

These strategies focus on making the most out of every sale and operation, ensuring that the fees paid to Amazon bring maximum return in terms of sales efficiency and profitability.

Tools and Resources for Managing Amazon Fees

Amazon fee calculators and other tools

When it comes to managing Amazon fees, sellers have access to a variety of tools and calculators designed to help estimate and strategize around these costs. Amazon fee calculators are particularly useful. These tools allow sellers to input specific product details such as category, price, and dimensions, and then calculate the estimated fees for both FBA and FBM options. This provides a clear picture of potential costs associated with selling a product on Amazon, aiding in pricing decisions and overall financial planning.

Additionally, there are third-party tools available that offer more advanced features. These can include historical data analysis, profit forecasting, and more detailed breakdowns of fees. They might also integrate with other aspects of Amazon selling, like inventory management and sales analytics, offering a comprehensive view of a seller’s business.

Using these tools effectively can greatly enhance a seller’s ability to make informed decisions. By accurately estimating fees and understanding their impact on profit margins, sellers can adjust their strategies, whether that’s altering pricing, switching fulfillment methods, or even deciding which products are most profitable to sell. In a marketplace as competitive as Amazon, having a clear understanding of all associated costs is crucial for long-term success.

Leveraging Analytics for Better Decision-Making


Leveraging analytics for better decision-making is crucial for success on Amazon, and integrating tools like Netrivals can provide a significant advantage. Amazon’s own analytics tools offer insights into sales performance and customer behavior, essential for understanding market trends and product performance. Adding Netrivals to this mix can elevate a seller’s strategy.

Tracking competitors’ pricing

Netrivals, a price intelligence and competitive analysis tool, tracks and analyzes competitors’ pricing and product strategies in real-time. This integration can be particularly beneficial in understanding how competitors are pricing similar products, allowing Amazon sellers to adjust their prices dynamically and stay competitive. By analyzing data from both Amazon analytics and Netrivals, sellers gain a comprehensive view of the market, helping them make more informed decisions about pricing, inventory management, and marketing strategies.

Actionable insights

For example, if analytics indicate a high volume of views but low conversion rates on certain products, and Netrivals shows competitors offering lower prices, a seller might consider adjusting their pricing strategy. Similarly, insights into peak selling times and customer preferences from Amazon’s analytics, combined with competitor pricing trends from Netrivals, can guide sellers in optimizing stock levels and promotional activities.

Leveraging a combination of Amazon’s analytics and external tools like Netrivals enables sellers to make data-driven decisions. This approach helps in optimizing listings, pricing competitively, and ultimately enhancing profitability and market presence on Amazon.

Amazon Selling Fees FAQ

Amazon selling fees include referral fees (a percentage of the sale price), subscription fees for Professional accounts, closing fees on media items, and fulfillment and storage fees for using Amazon’s services. These fees cover the costs of selling, shipping, and storing products on Amazon’s platform.

Completely avoiding fees on Amazon is nearly impossible. However, minimizing fees can be done by choosing an Individual account for small-scale selling, picking categories with lower referral fees, handling your shipping and customer service, watching for fee-waiving promotions, and managing inventory to avoid long-term storage costs.

Adrian Gmelch

Adrian Gmelch is a tech and e-commerce enthusiast. He initially worked for an international PR agency in Paris for large tech companies before joining Lengow's international field marketing & content team.

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