Amazon shipped 5 billion packages worldwide in 2017. Overcharging in fees, due to errors in Amazon’s FBA methods of intake may be putting an additional 500 million dollars in Bezos’ pocket each year. Here’s why.
As a brand seller on Amazon I have uncovered fees incorrectly being increased without notice due to an error that was either done by an intake fulfillment center employee who can’t measure properly, or by unauthorized contributions to listings.
Just imagine if 10% of the 5 billion packages shipped in 2017 where erroneously overcharged in FBA and listing fees. That’s $500 million dollars of Amazon Seller’s money that they make incredibly difficult to get back.
I liken this tactic to “Money Back Guarantees” that intentionally make it difficult to get a refund. We’ve all seen them. It all sounds great until you try to get your money back and it’s impossible to reach customer service for a return authorization number and address to return the goods. As a Registered Brand on Amazon we are suppose to be able to control our listings, but that is far from what I experience for the past 4 years. And when an error is discovered, well Amazon makes it as difficult as possible to recoup those lost fees.
One of the companies I own is EGPRO, LLC. We have a design patent in 5 countries and do not give authorization for any company to distribute our product, not even Amazon Catalog (retail division). In order to purchase our items you can shop at our website or purchase on Amazon.com. Since 2014 we have paid over $800,000 in fees to Amazon. (This does not include sponsored terms on the ad platform.) This doesn’t bother me when the fees are fair and correct.
But, here’s what happens.
Today, Sunday, the day before Labor Day Weekend 2018 I wanted to adjust the price (this is the only thing I can adjust without permission) and I find that once again, one of our listings is being incorrectly charged fees to the tune of $3.00 over. As you can see by the ad, I drive traffic to Amazon as I know this is where consumer will shop – but my Labor Day campaign in now in the “toilet” because I can not afford to put it on sale due to the error in the fees.
As I pulled up my inventory management tool on Seller Central, I notice my best seller (White) as having a sudden increase in fees to $14.24, where as the other SKUS are $10.44 and $10.82. As you can see they are the same except for color, thus the fees should be exactly the same, but they never are.
EGPRO, LLC has had Brand Registry for 3.5 years. As a small business and patent owner with a registered trademark, we are able to request Brand Registry so that we can (so Amazon says) “control” our brand on Amazon. There are certain benefits that come with this for sure – but we have had nothing but problems with our listings having erroneous “contributions by others” which is code for “Amazon Retail Division is controlling your listings, not you”.
In fact, since July 2018 I have had 2 cases open for incorrect category listings and control by Amazon, only to receive every 2 days an email stating: “We’re working on it”. In other words, once I report the measurements as being incorrect it will take weeks to fix, and meanwhile they continue to over charge and will refund only if we submit a list of all the orders that we were overcharged. Instead of taking the responsibility for the error they put it back on to us.
If this is happening to us, it is happening to hundreds, if not millions of sellers worldwide. Isn’t it time we banned together and found our Robin Hood to take back what is rightfully ours from Jeff Bezos, the riches man in the world?
Happy Labor Day!
September 18, 2018
Amazon has since adjusted the fees to be nearly correct, but my listings are still being controlled by “other contributions”. This seems like a never ending problem so perhaps I’ll just give it rest. Amazon has not given me a remedy to be reimbursed for the $3.00 a unit sold with the incorrect fees, yet. Can you imagine how much money Jeff Bezos makes if he just takes .10 cents of each item shipped each day because the fees are applied incorrectly? Thanks a lot of lunch money Mr. Bezos, perhaps you should put our “fees” into a charity called “Amazon Sellers Foundation”. Just say’n.