Amazon takes a referral fee for the role it plays in facilitating the sales relationship between buyer and seller by deducting a percentage of the total payment to the seller. The referral fee is applied to every item as well as extras (such as gift wrap) and includes a variable closing fee, but excludes sales tax.
The purchase price of each item that is charged to the buyer, therefore, has several components:
- Item price
- Shipping charges (paid by the buyer)
- Gift wrap charges – if applicable (paid by the buyer)
- Referral fee (designated percentage of the item price and any gift wrap charges)
- Variable closing fee
- $0.99 per item fee for those sellers who do not pay a subscription fee
Amazon’s cut (a finder’s fee) is the referral ree combined together with the variable closing fee and the item surcharge where applicable.
Referral Fee Percentages
This table lists the different referral fee percentages by Amazon category (alphabetical order):
|Product Category||Referral Fee Percentage|
|Amazon Kindle Accessories||45%|
|Automotive & Powersports||12%, except 10% for tires and wheel products|
|Baby Products (excluding apparel)||8% for products with a purchase price of $10 or less; 15% for products with a purchase price greater than $10|
|Camera and Photo||8%|
|Clothing & Accessories||17%|
|Electronics Accessories||15% of purchase price up to $100 (minimum referral fee of $1/product);
8% of purchase price more than $100
|Entertainment Collectibles||See Category Requirements for referral fees.|
|Home & Garden (including Pet Supplies)||15%|
|Industrial & Scientific (including Food Services and Janitorial/Sanitation)||12%|
|Jewelry||20% of purchase price up to $250; 5% of purchase price more than $250|
|Luggage & Travel Accessories||15%|
|Shoes, Handbags, & Sunglasses||15% of purchase price up to $75; 18% of purchase price more than $75|
|Software & Computer Games||15%|
|Sports Collectibles||See Category Requirements for referral fees.|
|Tires & Wheels||10%|
|Tools & Home Improvement||15%, except 12% for base equipment power tools|
|Unlocked Cell Phones||8%|
|Video & DVD||15%|
|Video Game Consoles||8%|
|Watches||16% of purchase price up to $1,500; 3% of purchase price more than $1,500|
|All Other Products||15%|
How to Pay Amazon
Amazon pays sellers for their items that were purchased through the website every 14 days. Before transferring funds to the sellers’ bank accounts, Amazon deducts the appropriate referral fees from the sum total. Sellers do not need to worry about paying Amazon the referral fees in independent payments.
2019 Amazon Referral Fee Changes
The below-outlined referral fee changes went into effect on Feb. 19, 2019.
For sellers in most categories, the minimum per-item referral fee charged to list items is now $0.30, down from $1. For watches and jewelry, the minimum decreased to $0.30 from $2. This change impacts all product categories that had a minimum previously, while some items like books that never had a minimum now keep that distinction. In the below product categories, referral fees have been decreased:
- Furniture was reduced to 10% from 15% on the portion of sales over $200, but the portion below $200 remain at 15%.
- Baby, beauty, and health and personal care items experienced a reduction from 15% to 8% on items that cost less than $10. Items that are more than $10 remain at 15%.
- Jewelry experienced a reduction in fees to 5% from 20% for any portion of a sale over $250, but stay at 20% for the portion $250 and below.
Amazon stated that it hoped lowering the fees would help sellers list and sell more items in these categories, which in turn helps the marketplace increase its product variety and availability.
Other Amazon Seller Fee Updates
Dangerous Goods and Other Fulfillment Fees
Amazon introduced separate fulfillment fees for dangerous goods that contain flammable or pressurized aerosol substances and items containing lithium ion batteries. For example, a small standard item with a shipping weight of 10 ounces or less and a packaging weight of four ounces now incur an additional $3.27 dangerous-good fulfillment fee. As the size of the item increases, so does the dangerous goods fulfillment fee. These items also have separate monthly storage fees.
Below are the changes to Fulfillment by Amazon storage fees for that went into effect in 2019:
- As mentioned above, separately monthly inventory storage fees were introduced for dangerous items that contain flammable or pressurized aerosol substances. This change was first reflected in April 2019 and monthly inventory storage fees for other products will not change.
- Long-term storage fees have been eliminated for units that have been in a fulfillment center for 181 to 365 days. The last long-term storage fee charge for inventory in a fulfillment center for 181 to 365 was on be January 15, 2019. Amazon will continue to charge long-term storage fees for units that are stored for over 365 days.
- For minimum long-term storage, Amazon reduced the minimum long-term storage fee on units that have been in a fulfillment center for more than 365 days from $0.50 per unit to $0.15 per unit. The last charge at $0.50 per unit was on January 15, 2019.
Subscribe & Save
Amazon also announced that it simplified its Subscribe & Save fee structure in Sept. 2019. The program allows customers to sign up for recurring deliveries of their most used products. Sellers are now able to fund a flat discount of 5% or 10% for each new item that they add to the program. The discount percentage option that is chosen will be applied to all subscriptions for that item.
In addition, if a customer gets products from five or more subscriptions a month delivered to the same address, Amazon will give an additional 5% discount to the customer to help grow the sellers’ sales. Amazon notified those who operate on its platform of these changes two months in advance, in order to give them ample time to prepare accommodate the changes.