Seller gets £26k bill from Amazon for fees they failed to charge in 2016

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Welcome back from paternity leave, you owe us twenty six thousand quid!

That’s the message that greeted one Amazon merchant. At just under £26k this the biggest outstanding debt we’ve heard of that Amazon are looking to bill, following their four month billing debacle.

The back story is that Amazon undercharged selling fees in the electronics accessories category, only billing 7% instead of 12% between the 8th of September 2016 and 11th of January 2017. The retailer in question was off work celebrating the birth of their new baby, although naturally other people in the company were dealing with the mess. On her return to work there was the bill for £25743.73 with the choice to pay it in one lump sum, or split in up to 8 instalments.

Previously the biggest undercharge that we’d heard about was a little over £12k. This unexpected invoice for almost £26k more than doubles that – did you get an even bigger bill for fees Amazon billed incorrectly?

The more we hear about this SNAFU, the more we wonder quite how Amazon have the balls to bill their customers. Yes, retailers selling on Amazon are businesses and should be aware of what’s owed, but when you saw the fee estimate at the time of listing was 7% surely they can’t come back later and say “Oh it should be 12%”? Amazon answer this saying “The Selling on Amazon Fee Schedule takes precedence. Any other fee preview pages within Seller Central are an estimate“. It looks like you can’t trust your Amazon invoice and that they should be considered estimates too.

As a business, do you feel that it’s fair enough Amazon are billing sellers for fees that they themselves failed to charge? Or do you think Amazon should have swallowed hard and written off outstanding balances which accrued through Amazon’s own inept mistake?

One Response

  1. As a buyer, Amazon are great. As a supplier to Amazon or seller than are at best tolerable at worst awful.

    We supply Amazon as a vendor and are hit by charges all the time. Sometimes thousands for late deliveries even when it is backlogs in their own warehouse that cause the delay.

    We also had a similar incident where they completely surprised us with a 12K charge from last year because they had worked out the fees wrong. Amazon charge us a percentage to sell to them.

    They often say they do not receive items which they have and will not pay out.

    Due to Brexit, many of our prices have risen, so we had to increase our selling prices to Amazon and they told us they would not accept the price increases!

    We regret getting involved with Amazon and there is no way we could or would treat our suppliers the way they treat us.

    There is no arguing with Amazon and everything must be done their way. I imagine being hard on suppliers and sellers is part of the reason they are so successful though.


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