A 2020 Guide to Amazon Fees and FBA Calculator

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In this is a blog post we share a basic introduction of the Amazon FBA program and outline how it can be leveraged notably through using DataHawk. Our software comes with a free plan and advanced paid plans for sellers, vendors, and agencies of all sizes.

This article covers the fees related to selling on Amazon including FBA Fees and outlines how to use the Amazon FBA Calculator.

When selling products online on Amazon, mastering your costs is paramount.

Many Amazon sellers are losing money or not making enough profits because they chose the wrong product and miscalculated their expected profits.

You should keep your Amazon FBA calculator close by and rely on it at all times to optimize your margins. Many differences in product characteristics such as its weight, dimension, selling price, or category can make a big difference and help you save money while increasing profits at the same time.

Before you become a professional seller on Amazon and make the transition to FBA, you will have to understand the pricing structure, advantages, and fees of selling on Amazon and using the Fulfillment by Amazon or FBA program.

Today we are going to explain all the fees that come with selling on Amazon through the FBA program to help you become more profitable while guiding on how to best use the Amazon FBA Calculator.

What are the fees related to selling on Amazon?

There are three main fees related to selling on Amazon:

1. Selling on Amazon fees - either a fixed subscription cost or a per-item fee

2. Referral fees - per-item referral fee depending on the item's category

3. Shipping or FBA fees - fees for (1) order fulfillment, (2) storage and optional services under the FBA program

The Amazon FBA Profitability Calculator

If the product you're selling is currently listed on Amazon, you can use one of its identifying numbers such as itsASIN(Amazon Standard Identification Number), itsUPC(Universal Product Code), or itsEAN(European Article Number) to look it up on the Amazon FBA Calculator on any of the following links, hence getting instant access to the expected costs and resulting profit related to selling it on Amazon:

The Amazon FBA fees calculator includes costs for lots of different parts of the fulfillment service. This includes:

  • Order handling
  • Pick & pack
  • Outbound shipping
  • Weight handling
  • 30-day storage
  • Inbound shipping

Below, we'll be covering all of those in addition to other general non-FBA fees.

The Selling on Amazon fees

First, when it comes to the "Selling on Amazon fees", Amazon offers two selling plans:

1. The Professional selling plan

2. The Individual selling plan

The Professional plan costs a $39.99 monthly subscription fee on top of per-item selling fees, called referral fees, that are dependent on their category - see next section.

However, if you plan to sell fewer than 40 items a month, the Individual plan may be a better fit for you as no monthly subscription fee is tied to it. Instead, Individuals pay $0.99 per item sold plus referral fees. There are additional benefits to using the Professional plan though:

Seller Account Type Individual Professional
Monthly Subscription N/A $39.99
Per Sale Closing Fee1 $0.99 N/A
Use of feeds, spreadsheets, and other tools to load inventory No Yes
Access to order reports and order-related feeds No Yes
Earn top placement on product detail pages No Yes
Sell in 20+ open categories Yes Yes
Apply to sell in 10+ additional categories No Yes
Customize shipping rates No Yes

Read more: Selling on Amazon pricing page

Referral fees

Referral fees on Amazon are also known as the commission fees that sellers need to pay on each item sold on Amazon. Amazon is one of the biggest shopping platforms online and millions of people visit this marketplace every day, giving sellers the ability to instantly reach their customers and start selling products. It is then only natural that sellers pay those commissions on each sale in exchange for this higher reach of high-intent purchasers.

Indeed, if you decided to create your own eCommerce store, it would take you years to market it properly and get all of those visitors. Since Amazon provides all of these benefits to their users, they consequently charge commissions to their sellers. For most product categories, the Amazon referral fees are fixed at 15% of each sale and every seller needs to pay them, while most of them range from 6% to 18%, excluding some exceptions.

Categories Amazon deducts the greater of the applicable referral fee percentage or applicable per-item minimum referral fee. See “Referral fees” notes above.
Referral fee percentages Applicable minimum referral fee(applied on a per-item basis unless otherwise noted)
Amazon Device Accessories 45% $0.30
Baby Products (excluding Baby Apparel) 8% for products with a total sales price of $10.00 or less, and 15% for products with a total sales price greater than $10.00 $0.30
Books 15%
Camera and Photo¹ 8% $0.30
Cell Phone Devices* 8% $0.30
Consumer Electronics 8% $0.30
Electronics Accessories 15% for the portion of the total sales price up to $100.00, and 8% for any portion of the total sales price greater than $100.00 $0.30
Furniture (including outdoor furniture) 15% for the portion of the total sales price up to $200.00, and 10% for any portion of the total sales price greater than $200.00 Note: Mattresses will be charged 15% regardless of price point. $0.30
Home & Garden (including Pet Supplies) 15% $0.30
Kitchen 15% $0.30
Major Appliances 15% for the portion of the total sales price up to $300.00, and 8% for any portion of the total sales price greater than $300.00 $0.30
Music 15%
Musical Instruments 15% $0.30
Office Products 15% $0.30
Outdoors 15% $0.30
Personal Computers 6% $0.30
Software & Computer/Video Games 15%
Sports (excluding Sports Collectibles) 15% $0.30
Tools & Home Improvement 15%, except 12% for base equipment power tools $0.30
Toys & Games2 15% $0.30
Unlocked Cell Phones 8% $0.30
Video & DVD 15%
Video Game Consoles 8% $0.30
Everything Else3 15% $0.30
Categories Requiring Approval Referral fee percentages $0.30
3D Printed Products 12% $0.30
Automotive & Powersports 12%, except 10% for tires and wheel products $0.30
Beauty 8% for products with a total sales price of $10.00 or less, and 15% for items with a total sales price greater than $10.00 $0.30
Clothing & Accessories (including activewear) 17% $0.30
Collectible Books 15%
Collectible Coins See Category Requirements for referral fees. $0.30
Entertainment Collectibles See Category Requirements for referral fees.
Fine Art See Category Requirements for referral fees.
Gift Cards 20%
Grocery & Gourmet Food 8% for products with a total sales price of $15.00 or less, and 15% for products with a total sales price greater than $15.00
Health & Personal Care (including Personal Care Appliances) 8% for products with a total sales price of $10.00 or less, and 15% for items with a total sales price greater than $10.00 $0.30
Industrial & Scientific (including Food Service and Janitorial & Sanitation) 12% $0.30
Jewelry 20% for the portion of the total sales price up to $250.00, and 5% for any portion of the total sales price greater than $250.00 $0.30
Luggage & Travel Accessories 15% $0.30
Shoes, Handbags & Sunglasses 15% $0.30
Sports Collectibles See Category Requirements for referral fees.
Watches 16% for the portion of the total sales price up to $1,500.00, 3% for any portion of the total sales price greater than $1,500.00 $0.30
Extended Warranties, Protection Plans, and Service Contracts 96%

The Shipping fees or FBA fees

Amazon also charges its FBA sellers for fulfillment and this includes shipping, packing, and storing products that users are selling. Of course, you will have to pay these fees only if you are using Amazon FBA.

The FBA program alleviates the hassles of fulfillment and logistics for sellers. Whenever you have a customer buy a product from you through Amazon, the Amazon staff has to pick your product in one of the many fulfillment centers they have where they decided to store it, they then have to pack it, and finally ship it to the end customer while also supporting returns.

All of these warehouses are scattered around different states in the US, and around the world while being packed with millions of products. It takes a lot of logistics and management to take care of these items and deliver them to the right customers. This is why people need to pay the fulfillment fees to compensate Amazon for their troubles.

FBA fulfillment fees consist of two components:

1. Fixed FBA fees

2. Variable FBA fees.

Fees are further broken down into two types of fees categories depending on the product characteristics:

1. Small and Light FBA fees

2. Standard-size and oversize FBA fees

Small and Light FBA pricing

  • Order handling, pick & pack, and weight handling fees consolidated into a single per-unit fulfillment fee by weight.
  • $0.10 per is charged per unit for Small and Light items in the optional FBA Label Service.
  • All standard FBA storage fees will apply to Small and Light, which will reduce the per-unit fee from $0.50 to $0.15. Small and Light FBA fees pricing table:
Size Weight Fulfillment fee per unit
16 x 9 x 4 inches or less Less than 4 oz $1.97
Greater than or equal to 4 oz and less than 10 oz $2.39
Long-term storage for Small and Light February 15, 2020, and after
Items in a fulfillment center for 181 to 365 days No fee applies
Items in a fulfillment center more than 365 days $0.15 per unit or $6.90 per cubic foot1

The variable fees on the Small and Light pricing include weight handling which varies depending on the weight of a product.

For Small and Light items between 4 and 10 ounces, the per-unit fee is charged from $0.25 to $0.30. The rate for items under 4 ounces will remain $0.25 per unit.

This means that on Small and Light pricing, you should expect a minimum of $1.6 and up to $$3.2 ($0.8 + $0.75 + 0.15 oz * $0.11 for an item with a weight of 15 oz) on items with a price lower than or equal to $5, in other words, FBA fees will represent 32% to 64% of your $5 item's selling price. Were you selling a $15 item, you would be paying $1.9 to $3.4 in FBA fees.

Tough, right?

Standard-size and Oversize FBA pricing

In standard-size and oversize pricing, the FBA pricing structure is somehow simplified as the order handling and pick & pack fees are merged into one single and tiered size fee that depends on the size of the product, or, more precisely, on its dimensional or volumetric weight, also called DIM weight.

Indeed, the outbound shipping weight outlined in the pricing tables below is to be calculated for each unit by adding the packaging weight to the greater of the unit weight or the dimensional weight. DIM weight is used to calculate the shipping cost of bulky yet lightweight packages (think of a large bag for instance). In other words, if your package is taking up a bit more space than the weight the package captures in rates, you will pay for that additional space.

The dimensional weight in lbs. is calculated by determining the cubic size of the item and dividing it by a divisor. The formula used is Length*Width*Height/Divisor where the divisor depends on if the shipment is domestic or international.

Standard-Size pricing table:

Product Size Price
Small standard-size (1lb. or less) $2.50
Large (1lb. or less) $3.31
Large (1 to 2lb) $4.90
Large (3 to 21lb) $5.42 + $0.38/lb after the first 3 pounds

The above pricing applies to domestic and international orders.

Clothing items, however, incur an additional per-unit fulfillment fee. Here is how that works:

Size Tier Shipping Weight Packaging weight Fulfillment fee per unit
Small Standard 10 oz or Less 4 oz $2.92
10 to 16 oz $3.11
Large Standards 10 oz or less 4 oz $3.70
10 to 16 oz $3.81
1 to 2 lb 4 oz $5.35
2 to 3 lb 4 oz $5.95
3 lb to 21 lb 4 oz $5.95 + $0.38/lb above first 3 lb

Oversize pricing table

Product Size Product Price
Small oversize (71lb or less) $8.26 + $0.38/lb above the first 2lb
Medium oversize (151lb or less) $11.37+ $0.39/lb above the first 2lb
Large oversize (151lb or less) $75.78 + $0.79/lb above the first 90lb
Special oversize $137.32 + $0.91/lb above the first 90lb

The above pricing applies to domestic orders only.

The variable FBA fees

Storage fees

Storage fees include the services of storing and maintaining products within the fulfillment centers. They are are based on the daily average volume (measured in cubic feet) for the space your inventory occupies in fulfillment centers. Storage fees are divided into two categories, depending on the required time of storing:

1. Normal or short-term storage fees

2. Long-term storage fees

Inventory storage fees

Inventory storage fees are paid monthly and are typically charged between the 7th and 15th day of the month following the month the fee applies to. Each month, you calculate how many items you stored within their fulfillment center and pay the adequate price for that storage space.

Additionally, you should bear in mind that the prices for November and December are higher given its a high-velocity sales period with constrained warehouse space.

Again, this is a fee where your product's volume is paramount.

Storage Month Standard Size Oversize
January – September $0.75 per cubic foot $0.48 per cubic foot
October – December $2.40 per cubic foot $1.20 per cubic foot

Long-term storage fees

These fees are paid twice per year. They include all products which were stored for at least six months within the fulfillment center. These fees have two tiers, the first one is $11.25 per cubic foot for all items that have been 6 or 12 months in the fulfillment center since the last inventory cleanup. The other one is $22.50 for all times that were in the storage for 12 months or longer since the last inventory cleanup.

The long-term storage fee is in addition to the monthly inventory storage fee. Fees are not charged if a removal order has been submitted prior to the fee being charged.

To calculate cubic feet from inches:

1. Multiply Length*Width*Height in inches to get the volume.

2. Divide the volume by 12 cubic inches (12" *12" *12" = 1728 ).

Example: A unit measuring 47" x 12" x 10" divided by 1,728 = 3.3 cubic feet.

Monthly Storage Fees

Date of arrival 181 to 365 days 1+ years
Semi-annual (February 15 and August 15) $11.25 per cubic foot $22.50 per cubic foot

Long-term Storage Fees

Date of arrival 181 – 365 days 1+ years
Monthly (15th of every month) $3.45 per cubic foot $6.90 per cubic foot

Minimum Long-term Storage fees

Date of arrival Items in centers more than 365 days
Monthly (15th of every month) $0.50 per unit

Storage Limits and the Inventory Performance Index

Since there are so many sellers on Amazon and efficient warehouse space management is essential, Amazon has decided to measure sellers performance and favor those that perform well.

After all, it’s not in their interest to store countless items that aren’t being sold and take up so much valuable space that could be used better by other sellers. This is why they’ve added the Inventory Performance Index which is a Key Performance Indicator (KPI) based on how well you keep popular products in stock, maintain healthy inventory levels, and fix listing problems.

A 2020 Guide to Amazon Fees and FBA Calculator
  • Sellers who maintain an Inventory Performance Index of 350 or greater will have unlimited storage for standard-size, oversize, apparel, and footwear items.
  • Sellers with an Inventory Performance Index less than 350 six weeks before the end of a quarter will be notified of their potential storage limits. If their score is still less than 350 on the final day of the quarter, the limits will apply for the next quarter.
Score less than 350(Six weeks before the current quarter ends AND at the end of the current quarter) Score of 350 or more
Storage limits Updated quarterly
Monthly Inventory Storage Overage Fee $10 per cubic foot over the storage limit

The seller’s score can go from 0 to 1k and you need a score of at least 400 puts if you want to have unrestricted storage and all the benefits. Having a lower score than this would mean that you need to improve as a seller. Amazon hasn’t revealed exactly how they calculate the scores, but some factors that definitively affect it are sell-through rates, excess inventory, current in-stock inventory, and stranded inventory.

Conclusion

Amazon fees are a complex matter that's paramount to master if you want to succeed selling on Amazon, and doing your homework by computing products detailed fees is essential before sourcing and purchasing them from your suppliers.

As part of your Product Research process, you can leverage DataHawk not only to get product launch ideas, but also to instantly unveil their related Amazon fees, including FBA fees and referral fees.

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