Amazon is trying to offset the rising cost of gas with a new fuel and inflation surcharge. The 5% surcharge will kick in on April 28, according to a memo obtained by CNN. The e-commerce giant will collect it from third-party sellers who use its fulfillment services.
Third-party sellers who don't rely on Amazon fulfillment services will not be affected by the surcharge. Amazon's fulfillment services include storing, packing, and shipping products to consumers. A report by Jungle Scout (PDF) shows that nearly 89% of Amazon's 2 million third-party sellers used Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) services in 2021.
“Consumers will lose,” said Dan Brownsher to Bloomberg (opens in new tab). He runs Channel Key, a Las Vegas e-commerce consulting business with more than 50 clients selling products on Amazon. “Amazon already raised fees in January, so sellers will have to raise prices," said Brownsher.
Amazon joins Uber, FedEx with new fuel surcharges
Amazon isn't the only company adding a fuel surcharge. As inflation soars and the cost of gas increases, companies like Uber, FedEx, and UPS have also started charging fuel surcharges. Most airlines are also levying fuel surcharges on travelers.
For its part, Amazon has said that it has tried to absorb the cost of inflation. According to the company, this is the first time in its history that it's imposing a surcharge on its sellers.
"In 2022, we expected a return to normalcy as Covid-19 restrictions around the world eased, but fuel and inflation have presented further challenges," Amazon wrote in a memo obtained by CNN. "It is unclear if these inflationary costs will go up or down, or for how long they will persist."
What Amazon's fuel and inflation fee means for you
We still don't know how these new charges could affect this year's Prime Day deals, but for consumers looking to cut costs, it means another potential hit to the wallet as third-party sellers will likely pass on the costs to shoppers.
Earlier this year, the cost of an Amazon Prime membership also increased from $119 to $139 per year. At the time, Amazon said the price increase was a result of the continued expansion of Prime member benefits and the rise in wages and transportation costs.
However, there are some things you can do to save money on Amazon. Be sure to check out our guide to the 12 Amazon buying tricks every Prime member show know and see the one Amazon tool you need to use before clicking buy. Also, if you're a Prime subscriber, make sure to check out our list of best Prime member benefits to get the most from your subscription.