Amazon fee adjustments see book Closing Fees double

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Noting this is an incredibly challenging period for entrepreneurs and small business owners, Amazon issued a note confirming that, as announced previously, they have postponed annual Amazon fee adjustments until the 1st of June 2021.

“As announced previously, we have postponed our annual fee adjustments until June 1, 2021. To further benefit sellers, we are pleased to announce that we are reducing the customer returns processing fee, extending the referral fee promotion for Clothing, Shoes and Bags, and expanding the popular FBA New Selection programme. The FBA New Selection programme applies to Amazon stores in the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Italy and Spain.

The returns processing fee changes will go into effect on March 1, 2021, and the FBA New Selection changes will go into effect on April 1, 2021”
– Amazon

Amazon fee adjustments for books

However, someone seems to have forgotten to tell the book category about delaying Amazon fee adjustments as fees changed on the 25th of January. Merchants have spotted that the Closing Fees have doubled. This change was announced back in July 2020 and from the 25th of January 2021 saw the closing fee of £0.50 per item rose from £0.50 to £1.00 for Books.

Previously for media (Books, Music, DVD, Video, Video Games and Software), the Referral Fee (including the Digital Services Tax) was 15.3% plus a closing fee of £0.50 per item.

From the 25th of January for media, the Referral Fee (including the Digital Services Tax) changed from 15.3% to 5.1% for products with a total sales price below £5.00. The referral fee remained unchanged at 15.3% with a total sales price greater than or equal to £5.00.

This is great for most media sellers, but not for book sellers where the closing fee rose.

Impact for book sellers

The net result of this is is that for most merchants cost have risen.

  • For a book selling for at £5.00 or more total fees rise 50p
  • For a book selling at close to £5.00 the change is negligible
  • For a book selling at less than £5.00 costs have risen considerably. For instance:
    • A £2.00 a book would previously have attracted a referral fee of 30p plus 50p closing fee so a total of £0.80
    • Now the sale of a £2.00 a book will attract a referral fee of 10p plus a closing fee of £1.00 so a total of £1.10

    The 30p increase in costs might not seem considerable in monetary terms, but for many media sellers this can be the difference between making a profit and making a loss. The lower the price of the book the bigger the percentage impact.

    For a book selling for more than a fiver, the 50p increase comes straight off the bottom line unless merchants increase their prices.

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