Home / Spring 2013 / 2013-04-11 / Amazon takes advantage of online shoppers

Amazon takes advantage of online shoppers

Written by Olivia McLean

 

Amazon.com is a favorite among college students looking to save a buck or two on textbooks.

It’s also a favorite for students looking to sell used textbooks at the end of the semester; however, selling textbooks and other items on Amazon may become a bit more expensive with their recent increase in seller’s fees.

As of Feb.18, many of the fees for the Fulfillment by Amazon service offered in the United States have risen. In an example chart on the help page of the company’s website, the different fees are broken down into “order handling,” “pick and pack” and “weight handling” sections. The most notable fee hike in each type of product example is “weight handling,” which for a CD might only be a difference of five cents, but for a white board, for example, the difference could be a whopping $94.47.

Amazon’s reason for raising FBA fees is so that as the costs for transportation continue to increase, its fees can better reflect and cover those costs. 

Why should a seller be forced to pay these fees to list an item with FBA? One of the great appeals of Amazon is the fairly inexpensive method of listing an item to sell.

Even if a seller were to list their items on Amazon without using the FBA service, they’d have to pay a fee of up to 25 percent as well as a fee of 99 cents per item.

Once again, it seems like us little people are being taken advantage of by money-hungry corporations looking to capitalize on our hard work. I wouldn’t be surprised if Amazon raised its fees once again in the next six months. Amazon executives know that there are committed sellers who fear leaving the site that they have built their business on.

Amazon is also causing a stir in Europe, where, as of April 4, third-party sellers are seeing fee changes as high as 70 percent.

All this could possibly do is drive away small third-party sellers, forcing them to use other sites such as eBay.com. If these sellers continue to use Amazon, I’m sure many of them will raise the prices of their items to compensate for their personal losses, which would only cause buyers to look elsewhere.

People use Amazon to find deals on things they wouldn’t find in physical stores, but with fees and prices increasing, perhaps online shopping won’t be so trendy anymore.

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