If in doubt, check our Absolutely-No-Spam Policy. Unsubscribe anytime.

#121 - Amazon's Evolution, Extra Fee For Shipping, and more

cardboard boxes with Amazon logo
Welcome, esteemed Amazon Sellers, to Issue #121 of FBA Monthly! Your compass in the ever-shifting Amazon terrain. This edition is all about distilled wisdom—essential news and pragmatic tips—to steer your FBA venture toward triumph. We unravel Amazon's evolutionary journey, decode the latest shipping fee dynamics, and more. Stay primed for insights that translate directly to your success!

Hot News

In the second quarter, Amazon generated $52.9 billion in revenue from selling goods online. It also generated $32.3 billion from collecting marketplace transactional and fulfillment fees and $10.6 billion from advertising services. The latter two combined are its online retail infrastructure business and were 81% as big as Amazon’s online retail business.


Amazon will soon start tacking on an extra fee for sellers who don’t use the company’s fulfillment service, according to reports from Bloomberg and CNBC. Documents viewed by the outlets indicate that Amazon will start imposing a fee on each product that merchants send out themselves.


The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) reportedly has a far-reaching antitrust lawsuit against Amazon in the works alleging that the e-commerce platform abuses its power to reward online merchants that use its logistics services and penalize those that don’t. But the allegation that Amazon’s business practices constitute anticompetitive behavior relies on questionable economic logic and little evidence of actual competitive harm.


Good to Know

Amazon has started releasing some sellers' funds back to them after many UK and EU sellers complained of money being held unexpectedly. The change in policy comes after the BBC reported Amazon's actions led some businesses being close to collapse. Amazon told some sellers it will now delay the temporary holds on money until January 2024.


Workflow Labs, a Seattle startup that helps Amazon sellers, recently raised a $1.3 million seed round. Founded last year by e-commerce veteran Justin Leigh, Workflow acts as an e-commerce assistant for online retailers selling on Amazon, monitoring product descriptions and automating parts of the listing and billing processes.


The in-house delivery service delivers products sold on Amazon's marketplace and other sites, including the seller's own or other channels. For now, the services if for within the contiguous U.S. Amazon Shipping first launched a beta service in 2018 in select cities, including Los Angeles and London. It was suspended when the pandemic hit.


While there are lots of reasons, most sellers tell us they choose to sell in the Amazon store because it’s a great value. Sellers get to sell in a store that many customers trust, they get access to powerful tools, services, and programs to drive their business growth, and sellers can do all of this at a cost that is typically lower than their alternatives.


Amazon is eliminating some private label brands as part of broader efforts to rein in costs across the company. Amazon sells goods from its own brands, in addition to those from third-party sellers and other retailers, on its sprawling e-commerce website. The company’s private label goods have been a key focus of antitrust regulators.


Amazon will reopen Seller Fulfilled Prime service to new merchants on October 1, 2023, the company announced on Tuesday. Back in June, it had announced its intention to reopen the SFP program “later this year” – see, “What It Will Take to Get a Prime Badge on Amazon with Revival of SFP” where we reported on sellers’ reaction to the news when first announced.


Lina Khan is not tired of losing. Fresh off her latest defeat in court in pursuit of antitrust enforcement against Microsoft, President Joe Biden’s Federal Trade Commission chair is reportedly ready to launch the fight of her career to break up Amazon.


With mounting signs that the Federal Trade Commission is preparing to file a lawsuit against Amazon for violating antitrust laws, a group of booksellers, authors and antitrust activists are urging the government to investigate the company’s domination of the book market.


In 2021, Wall Street and private equity firms invested 12 billion dollars in startups consolidating popular brands sold on Amazon. These aggregators of brands seemed like they would be the next big thing. By 2022, that number had risen to 16 billion dollars in capital raised. It was a "cool" time to be in ecommerce.


Sellers who pay extra for visibility through Sponsored Products ads on Amazon may now have their ads appear off-Amazon as well. Amazon announced Wednesday it was expanding Sponsored Products ads to other apps and websites. All such ads will link back to the Amazon product page.


On Wednesday, Bloomberg reported that Amazon will charge an additional 2% fee on all Seller Fulfilled Prime orders starting October 1. This new fee targets merchants enrolled in Amazon’s Seller Fulfilled Prime program where brands ship their Amazon orders directly from their own warehouses. This comes on top of Amazon’s existing listing fee of up to 15% for selling via Amazon.


For Amazon, in its ever-continuing bid to draw merchant loyalty and widen the use of Amazon Pay, installment payments are now the latest arrow in the quiver. And by making installments usable anywhere that Amazon Pay is accepted, the broadening of the ecosystem is a shot across the bow at other evolving commerce ecosystems such as PayPal’s.


There's an active black market for Amazon sellers looking to get their accounts reinstated and help them get an edge over rivals, according to CNBC, which found an instant-messaging group of over 13,000 members seeking and offering such services - and that wasn't the only group they found.


Tips and Tricks

If you want your product to succeed on Amazon, you need to explore all possible ways to get product reviews. Customer feedback helps build trust and social proof that your product is worth purchasing, which is especially important early on in a listing’s lifetime.


AI-generated customer review summaries on Amazon aim to highlight the best or worst features of a product. Ensuring the accuracy and reliability of these summaries is critical to avoid mistrust and potential damage to sellers' reputations. The adoption of AI for this purpose reflects a broader trend in leveraging technology to enhance online shopping experience.


Amazon Emerald is a new program from Amazon that allows third-party seller apps to connect to Amazon Seller Central. It provides sellers with important data and notifications directly through their seller accounts, saving them time and helping ensure they make the most out of their third-party apps. And Jungle Scout is one of the first tools to be included in Amazon Emerald!


Amazon is seller central when it comes to any kind of book. It can be a great place for individual sellers to create their own e-commerce business and start raking in sales. Once you sign up for your Amazon seller account, you can decide if you want an individual or professional account.


New sellers who want to start selling on Amazon often hear the term “Amazon FBA.” FBA stands for Fulfillment by Amazon and means that Amazon will store, pick, pack, and fulfill your orders for you – they will even handle customer service for orders fulfilled by Amazon. When sellers use FBA to fulfill their orders, they will send their products to one of Amazon’s many fulfillment centers across the country (and the world).


Amazon Prime Day kicks off on July 11, and the porch pirates are set to sail. While many retailers from Target to Home Depot have recently reported up to $763 million in lost profit due to in-store theft, damage and loss – called shrink – the threat is not limited to stores. At this time of year, online retailers should be bracing for shipment shrink.



In this episode, we answer your top Amazon PPC questions and talk about underrated optimization strategies that can potentially transform your click-through and conversion rates.