Amazon focuses on sellers' 5%'fuel and inflation surcharge'

Amazon focuses on sellers' 5%'fuel and inflation surcharge' ...

Amazon is taking a step to help offset its rising costs, and on Wednesday, it will add a 5% "fuel and inflation surcharge" to the fees it charges to third-party sellers who use the e-commerce giant's fulfillment services.

The Seattle-based firm said on its website that the additional expenses, which will take effect on April 28, are "subject to change," and will include both apparel and non-apparel items.

The most recent fee increase has been rescheduled following an announcement made in November and went into effect in January. Amazon did not immediately respond to a request for further details on the recent move. In a notice sent to sellers Wednesday, the company claimed that its expenses had increased due to increased hourly wages, increased hiring of employees, and the construction of additional warehouses.

It claimed to have absorbed costs whenever possible, but that it would pay more to deal with permanent costs and to be competitive with other providers. FedEx and UPS both charge fuel charges.

"We expected a return to normalcy in 2022," the company said in a statement. COVID-19 restrictions around the world have slowed, but fuel and inflation have brought further difficulties.

Gasoline prices have increased by 48 percent in the last 12 months, according to federal statistics.

While the company is blaming inflation and rising fuel costs for the surcharge, Stacy Mitchell, the co-director of Institute for Local Self-Reliance, criticized Wednesday's announcement, claiming that Amazon was taking advantage of the moment.

"Amazon continues to increase its fees on the sellers who have to depend on its platform," Mitchell said, adding that the new fees are a way "to take more money out of the pockets of independent businesses and put it in Amazon's coffers."

Amazon's third-party marketplace, where independent merchants list millions of their products, is a large part of its business. It has about 2 million sellers, and more than half the goods sold on are from these sellers.

Amazon paid $103 billion in fees last year, accounting for 22% of the company's revenue. The retailer said the additional fees will be applied to items ordered before April 28 but shipped and delivered after that date. Amazon is also expected to release its earnings report from the first three months of this year on April 28.

Accurate reputation on Amazon is causing many issues on its platform, including making "knock-offs" or very similar goods, and increasing their reputation.

The Associated Press

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