One problem many Amazon sellers face when selling on Amazon is calculating fees charged by the Amazon platform. Many new sellers ignored this problem and chose to sell their goods at a very low profit, which ultimately leads to the failure of their Amazon business. Only with a clear understanding of Amazon selling fees can we choose products to sell correctly or set the right prices for your products. That’s the first step to success.

There are many fees we need to pay when we run an Amazon store to sell goods. Today’s post is mainly about the cost of using the Amazon FBA service. In the following part, I will introduce several kinds of expenses involved in the Amazon FBA business, and teach you how to calculate each cost according to your product category. There are also tips and tricks to cut down on unnecessary expenses that can help many novice sellers reduce their initial cost burden.

1. A brief introduction of FBA

FBA means fulfillment by Amazon, it is a service model provided by Amazon. Amazon sellers can list their products and sell them after they register a shop. Once customers place an order, a series of services will be provided by Amazon include order handling, shipping, picking and packing, and providing customer support.

Amazon FBA solves the problem of logistics timeliness. Your customers can receive the goods within two days, which is even more convenient and efficient than running the warehouse and goods yourselves.

If you want to make profits with FBA you still need to know the following kinds of costs that need to be involved in the Amazon FBA fee.

2. Amazon fulfillment fee

The fulfillment service includes order handling, shipment, pick and pack, and customer support. So, the fulfillment fee is calculated as follows.

Total Fulfillment fees = order handling fees + picking and packing fees + weigh handling fees.

amazon dimensional and weight calculation

Charges are based on the size and weight of the item, there are several fixed-size standards. You need to find a standard based on the size of the product, and use this standard as the basis for your calculation. Note that when you choose the criteria, you need to make your product meet all the criteria. Whether it’s weight or any dimension that exceeds, you will need to choose a larger standard.

First, determine the product category (apparel or non-apparel) and product size tier (standard or oversize). If your products can weigh fewer than 20 pounds after packaging and their dimension doesn’t beyond the size 18 x 14x 8 inches, then these products are standard size. Otherwise, your products would be oversize tier.

Then use the tables below to determine which fee will apply.

FBA fees for non-apparel items (standard-size)
Small standard-size (10 oz or less)Small standard-size (10+ to 16 oz)Large standard-size (10 oz or less)Large standard-size (10+ to 16 oz)Large standard-size (1+ to 2 lb)Large standard-size (2+ to 3 lb)Large standard-size (3+ lb to 21 lb)
Fulfillment fee$2.5$2.63$3.31$3.48$4.9$5.42$5.42 + $0.38/lb above first 3 lb

FBA fees for apparel items (standard-size)
Small standard-size (10 oz or less)Small standard-size (10+ to 16 oz)Large standard-size (10 oz or less)Large standard-size (10+ to 16 oz)Large standard-size (1+ to 2 lb)Large standard-size (2+ to 3 lb)Large standard-size (3+ lb to 21 lb)
Fulfillment fee$2.92$3.11$3.7$3.81$5.35$5.95$5.95 + $0.38/lb above first 3 lb

FBA fulfillment fees (oversize, both apparel and non-apparel)
Small oversize

71 lb or less
Medium oversize

151 lb or less
Large oversize

151 lb or less
Special oversize
Fulfillment fee$8.26 + $0.38/lb above first 2 lb$11.37 + $0.39/lb above first 2 lb$75.78 + $0.79/lb above first 90 lb$137.32 + $0.91/lb above first 90 lb

You can see that there are finer criteria under both levels, such as Standard-size products also can be divided into two kinds small standard-size and five kinds of large standard-size for both non-apparel items and apparel items.  

To calculate how much you should pay for your products’ fulfillment fees, you should choose the most desirable criteria. Remember, the weight is calculated according to the shipping weight.

Such as if I have a T-shirt whose dimensions are 8.5 x 4.8 x 1inches, its unit weight is 6.08oz and shipping weight is 11oz, then I should choose the fourth level under apparel items (standard-size).

the fourth level

The other thing to say is if your product is a dangerous product, you need to adopt a new standard. Dangerous goods require special handling and hazardous materials storage. The following tables will give you some reference.

 

FBA fulfillment fees for dangerous goods (standard-size, non-apparel)
Small standard-size (10 oz or less)Small standard-size (10+ to 16 oz)Large standard-size (10 oz or less)Large standard-size (10+ to 16 oz)Large standard-size (1 to 2 lb)Large standard-size (2 to 3 lb)Large standard-size (3 lb to 21 lb)
Fulfillment fee$3.43$3.64$4.06$4.23$5.47$5.86$5.86 + $0.38/lb above first 3 lb

FBA fulfillment fees for dangerous goods (standard-size, apparel)
Small standard-size (10 oz or less)Small standard-size (10+ to 16 oz)Large standard-size (10 oz or less)Large standard-size (10+ to 16 oz)Large standard-size (1+ to 2 lb)Large standard-size (2+ to 3 lb)Large standard-size (3+ to 21 lb)
Fulfillment fee$3.85$4.12$4.45$4.56$5.92$6.39$6.39 + $0.38/lb above first 3 lb

FBA fulfillment fees for dangerous goods (oversize, both apparel and non-apparel)
Small oversize

71 lb or less
Medium oversize

151 lb or less
Large oversize

151 lb or less
Special oversize
Fulfillment fee$8.98 + $0.38/lb above first 2 lb$11.22 + $0.39/lb above first 2 lb$87.14 + $0.79/lb above first 90 lb$157.12 + $0.91/lb above first 90 lb

3. Amazon referral fee

Every time you sell a product Amazon charges you an Amazon referral fee, so it also is known as a selling fee. It’s kind of like a marketing fee because if you set up a website to sell products you still need to pay a lot of money on marketing.

Typically, this fee is calculated as a percentage of the price of the product you sell, but Amazon also has a minimum cost. Generally speaking, the recommendation fee is 15% of the selling price, and it will be adjusted according to the type of products you sell. The maximum is 45%, and the minimum is 6%.

the maximum and minimum fees

You can check the newest referral fee you need to pay for various types of products by Selling on Amazon Fee Schedule. I will put the regulations up to August 2020 in the following table.

CategoriesAmazon deducts the greater of the applicable referral fee percentage or applicable per-item minimum referral fee. See

“Referral fees” notes above.
 
Referral fee percentagesApplicable minimum referral fee (applied on a per-item basis unless otherwise noted)
Amazon Device Accessories45%$0.3
Baby Products (excluding Baby Apparel)8% for products with a total sales price of $10.00 or less, and

15% for products with a total sales price greater than $10.00
$0.3
Books15%
Camera and Photo¹8%$0.3
Cell Phone Devices*8%$0.3
Consumer Electronics8%$0.3
Electronics Accessories15% for the portion of the total sales price up to $100.00, and

8% for any portion of the total sales price greater than $100.00
$0.3
Furniture (including outdoor furniture)15% for the portion of the total sales price up to $200.00, and

10% for any portion of the total sales price greater than $200.00.

Note: Mattresses will be charged 15% regardless of price point.
$0.3
Home & Garden (including Pet Supplies)15%$0.3
Kitchen15%$0.3
Major Appliances15% for the portion of the total sales price up to $300.00, and

8% for any portion of the total sales price greater than $300.00
$0.3
Music15%
Musical Instruments15%$0.30
Office Products15%$0.30
Outdoors15%$0.30
Personal Computers6%$0.30
Software & Computer/Video Games15%
Sports (excluding Sports Collectibles)15%$0.30
Tools & Home Improvement15%, except 12% for base equipment power tools$0.30
Toys & Games215%$0.30
Unlocked Cell Phones8%$0.30
Video & DVD15%
Video Game Consoles8%$0.30
Everything Else315%$0.30
Categories Requiring ApprovalReferral fee percentages$0.30
3D Printed Products12%$0.30
Automotive & Powersports12%, except 10% for tires and wheel products$0.30
Beauty8% 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
$0.30
Clothing & Accessories (including activewear)17%$0.30
Collectible Books15%
Collectible CoinsSee Category Requirements for referral fees.$0.30
Entertainment CollectiblesSee Category Requirements for referral fees.
Fine ArtSee Category Requirements for referral fees.
Gift Cards20%
Grocery & Gourmet Food8% for products with a total sales price of $15.00 or less, and

15% for products with a total sales price greater than $15.00
Health & Personal Care (including Personal Care Appliances)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
$0.30
Industrial & Scientific (including Food Service and Janitorial & Sanitation)12%$0.30
Jewelry20% for the portion of the total sales price up to $250.00, and

5% for any portion of the total sales price greater than $250.00
$0.30
Luggage & Travel Accessories15%$0.30
Shoes, Handbags & Sunglasses15%$0.30
Sports CollectiblesSee Category Requirements for referral fees.
Watches16% for the portion of the total sales price up to $1,500.00

3% for any portion of the total sales price greater than $1,500.00
$0.30
Extended Warranties, Protection Plans, and Service Contracts96%

Note that no matter whether you use FBM or FBA, the referral fee must be paid. However, if you use FBM, your referral fee should be calculated based on the selling price plus the shipping cost. I will illustrate with the following formula:

Amazon referral fee (FBA)= product sale price x 15%

Amazon referral fee (FBM)= (product sale price + shipping cost) x 15%

Another thing I need to mention is that the referral fee is related to your actual selling price. For example, if you sell a cup for $20, but you design a 20% discount to attract more people to place orders, then the referral fee is calculated based on the actual price of $16 you sold. So don’t worry about losing money because of referral fees when designing discounts or discounts.

Amazon also has a minimum $1 referral fee for almost all categories. Take an example, if you sold an item for $2 and you need to pay 15% referral fees, but it is lower than $1, you have to pay $1 for per this item.

But the minimum referral fee does not apply to all categories. Game console and video games, in these two categories, Amazon will only charge you for a percentage of the sale price.

Some of you may find it puzzling, or even unworthy, that Amazon charges such a high percentage. But in fact, Amazon provides you a selling platform that doesn’t need to pay too much construction cost.

4. Monthly inventory storage fee

As the name suggests, you pay Amazon monthly for your product storage and using Amazon warehouses.

monthly storage fee

Two things decide your Amazon storage fees. The first is the size category of the product, as well as the fulfillment fee, the storage fee differs from standard-size products and oversize products. Fees are charged by cubic foot, so oversize items may charge more than standard-size items. The second is the season, during the holiday months of October to December Amazon charges more.

MonthStandard-sizeOversize
January – September$0.75 per cubic foot$0.48 per cubic foot
October – December$2.40 per cubic foot$1.20 per cubic foot

Monthly inventory storage fees will be charged between the 7th and 15th day of the month following the month for which the fee applies. You can check your inventory storage fees in next month’s payment report.

Storage charges for dangerous goods and other special goods will also be higher. You can use the look up an ASIN tool to check the classification status of your ASIN and whether you need to be in the FBA Dangerous Goods program to sell it. More details can be confirmed through the Dangerous Goods identification guide.

MonthStandard-sizeOversize
January – September$0.99 per cubic foot$0.78 per cubic foot
October – December$3.63 per cubic foot$2.43 per cubic foot

5. Long-term storage fee

One of the most important things I want to mention is that the products stored in the Amazon logistics center for more than one year, a long-term storage fee will be charged in addition to the monthly storage fee.

A long-term storage fee of $6.90 per cubic foot or $0.15 per unit (whichever is the greater) will be charged by month for inventory stored at the distribution center for more than 365 days. It will be calculated on the 15th day of each month. The charging policies examples are shown in the table below.

 

Toy: 11 x 8 x 2 inchesStorage durationApplicable cubic-foot LTSFApplicable per-unit LTSFBilled long-term storage fee (the greater of the two)
1 unitMore than 365 days$0.7$0.15$0.7
2 unitsMore than 365 days$1.41$0.3$1.41
10 unitsMore than 365 days$7.03$1.5$7.03

Book: 8 x 6 x 0.5 inchesStorage durationApplicable cubic-foot LTSFApplicable per-unit LTSFBilled long-term storage fee (the greater of the two)
1 unitMore than 365 days$0.1$0.15$0.15
2 unitsMore than 365 days$0.19$0.3$0.3
10 unitsMore than 365 days$0.96$1.5$1.5

 

It’s better to control your inventory among 365 days, you can check your inventory storage time by ASIN. Only those items stored for more than 365 days will be charged according to a first-in, first-out (FIFO) basis.

So if you want to lower your FBA fees, one thing you must do is to avoid long time storage. Or you can actively manage your older inventory by submitting a removal order and setting up automated removals for inventory subject to long-term storage fees. So that your inventory will be removed before the cleanup date to avoid the long-term storage fees.

If the cost of the product is low and there is a lot of inventory, you can sell off your products to reduce the cost of a large inventory. At the same time, the referral fee will be reduced when you sell at a discount, which can reduce the loss caused by high referral fee and long-term inventory penalty while reducing the inventory.

6. Removal order fees

One difference of the Amazon fulfillment center is that you need to pay a removal fee except your warehouse storage costs. if you want to put your inventory or unsold inventory shipped from Amazon or give up the stock altogether, Amazon will charge removal fees.

So if you have a large amount of inventory that is about to be penalized for long-term storage, and you want to remove the goods from the warehouse to avoid the penalty, it may not be the best choice, as the removal fee will still make you suffer from the loss.

The wisest thing is not to overstock, but if you have to deal with this problem, you may need to calculate costs based on how much stock you have left. Removal fees are charged per item removed. The removal fee is also determined by the size and weight of the goods, as shown in the following table.

 

Size tierShipping weightRemoval/disposal fee per unit
Standard size0 to 0.5 lb$0.25
0.5+ to 1.0 lb$0.3
1.0+ to 2.0 lb$0.35
More than 2 lb$0.40 + $0.20/lb above first 2 lb
Oversize and special handling items*0 to 1.0 lb$0.6
1.0+ to 2.0 lb$0.7
2.0+ to 4.0 lb$0.9
4.0+ to 10.0 lb$1.45
More than 10.0 lb$1.90 + $0.20/lb above first 10 lb

 

Typically, removal orders are fulfilled in 14 business days. However, removal order processing may take 30 business days or more during the holiday season and peak removal periods.

7. Returns processing fee

If customers buy fashion category goods include apparel, watches, jewelry, shoes, handbags & sunglasses, luggage. they can use the 30-day free return service to return goods. Amazon’s free returns to customers can help build customer trust and encourages purchases. At this time, sellers will have to bear the handling charge of returning the goods except where the reason for the return is one for which Amazon takes responsibility in accordance with the FBA lost and damaged inventory reimbursement policy.

The number of poundage commonly also is the package size that presses returned goods decides. This fee is equal to the fulfillment fees for per unit. If returned packages need to be repackaged and resold, Amazon charges a repackaging fee.

amazon returns

8. Refund administration fee

If you refund a paid order to a customer, Amazon will refund you the referral fee you paid for the product, but charge an applicable refund management fee. (20% of the applicable referral fee no lesser than $5).

For example, if you refund a customer the $10.00 total sales price of an item in a category with a 15% referral fee, your Refund Administration Fee will be $0.30 ($10.00 x 15% referral fee = $1.50, $1.50 x 20%= $0.30).

9. Unplanned service fee

You need to be prepared to take your labeled inventory to the Amazon fulfillment center, which requires all items to be labeled and barcoded to certain specifications, or else you’ll be charged about 20 cents per item for the labeling fee.

10. Two tips to reduce Amazon FBA fees

First and foremost, choose the right and suitable products to sell. As you can see about all kinds of Amazon FBA fees, many of them related to size and weight. If you can choose some high sell value but small size and light products, you will save more fulfillment costs. Especially the new sellers should avoid large size products as possible as they can.

Storage fees are based on weight and size and not price, so it’s better to choose an item with a high sale price because if two products are of similar size and weight, their Amazon FBA costs will be similar too. For instance, if an item with a low price is the same weight and size as an item with a high price, Amazon FBA costs will be the same, but it’s harder for you to make a profit on the item with a low price.

Secondly, You need to constantly monitor your inventory. It is important to reduce FAB costs by avoiding unnecessary expenses, such as long-term storage fees, or clearance fees. This not only requires you to keep an eye on the number of units in stock for each product, but it also requires you to have a rough idea of how many units will be sold over the next period. In particular, some products are sold with obvious seasonality.

Amazon’s Seller center offers the Inventory Performance Dashboard, which you can use the dashboard to monitor your inventory activity, as well as receive suggestions on making better use of your inventory and its management.

There may be many other ways to save FBA fees, but today I only give the above two suggestions, hoping to help you better understand Amazon FBA charging rules.

Final thought

Thank you for reading and you can share it with your friends who need it. Remember to stay tuned on our website, I will bring you more knowledge about Amazon business.

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