A New Amazon Fee Could Bring Higher Prices to Consumers

Customers won't have to pay the surcharge outright, but sellers could pass on the rising costs.
Amazon packages in mailbox

Amazon can be hugely convenient for shoppers in a variety of areas, from rural towns to huge cities. But that convenience can come with a price — and it might get even bigger for some customers.

With gas prices elevated in many areas, you may have recently noticed ride-hailing, food-delivery, and even grocery-delivery services adding an extra fee to your bill. But they're not the only ones. Check out the info below on the new fee Amazon is introducing.

Amazon's New Fee Is a Fuel and Inflation Surcharge

Amazon recently indicated it will begin charging sellers a 5% fuel and inflation surcharge on April 28. As a consumer, you may be wondering what an Amazon fee for sellers has to do with you. Well, depending on how a third-party seller sets up their Amazon business, you may end up having to foot the bill.

Expect some sellers to raise prices in response to Amazon's 5% fuel and inflation surcharge.

An Amazon spokesman told CNN that this surcharge will only apply to sellers who utilize Amazon's fulfillment services — that is, the sellers who rely on the online retailer to handle tasks like storing, packing, and shipping their products. It was made clear that sellers who don't rely on Fulfillment by Amazon won't have to worry about this new fee.

Customers Could Pay the Price

While these charges aren't going directly to customers, some sellers impacted by the new measure may pass the extra costs on to shoppers. It will vary by seller, to be sure, but there's no doubt that certain ones will likely raise prices in order to offset their own rising costs.

Amazon Isn't the First Company to Try a Surcharge

As CNN notes, Amazon isn't the first company to make this move — and it likely won't be the last. The ride-booking services Uber and Lyft recently implemented their own fuel surcharges, while airlines like Delta have been increasing prices in an attempt to secure a profit. Anecdotally, this writer has seen fuel surcharges tacked on to food delivery services lately, making takeout even more expensive.

SEE ALSO: Is Amazon Prime Worth It Now That the Price Is Going Up?

How to Save on Amazon

Rising prices can make shopping more expensive. But even if Amazon's surcharge does lead to higher product prices, the good news is that you can still save with the tips below.

Get Amazon price info on CamelCamelCamel. This site is a great place to set up price alerts for items on Amazon, but it's also an excellent way to check out the pricing history of a product. Looking at the history is especially useful if you're hoping to discern a pattern and know when a discount could be likely.

Use DealNews. We recently laid out pro tips for maximizing your DealNews experience, and they can go a long way toward helping you to save in general, but also on Amazon. For instance, you can create deal alerts here on DealNews; then you'll be notified when we list an offer that meets your alert parameters. What's great is that if you're trying to shop around, we'll show you far more than just Amazon, so you'll have plenty of options for finding unbeatable savings.

Watch the Lightning Deals. We've covered the excellent offers you can find among Amazon's Lightning Deals before, so this tip is probably nothing new. But if you've been slacking on checking them out on the reg lately, now's the time to pick it back up! As Lightning Deals are limited-time offers, it's worth sorting through them to see if an item you're interested in has dropped in price.

Pay attention to the Amazon seller. As noted above, Amazon sellers who don't use Fulfillment by Amazon services won't be subjected to the company's new fee. That may mean you'll have better luck finding a lower price from sellers who choose to fulfill their own orders. When shopping on Amazon, look for products that say they ship from someone other than Amazon itself; you should be able to find that info under the "Add to Cart" and "Buy Now" buttons on the retailer's product pages. This could be a good strategy to try if you want to avoid paying higher prices.

With prices on the rise, we still have you covered with the best deals — check them out now!

Julie Ramhold
Senior Staff Writer/Consumer Analyst

Julie's work has been featured on CNBC, GoBankingRates, Kiplinger, Marketwatch, Money, The New York Times, Real Simple, US News, WaPo, WSJ, Yahoo!, and more. She's extolled the virtues of DealNews in interviews with Cheddar TV, GMA, various podcasts, and affiliates across the United States, plus one in Canada.
DealNews may be compensated by companies mentioned in this article. Please note that, although prices sometimes fluctuate or expire unexpectedly, all products and deals mentioned in this feature were available at the lowest total price we could find at the time of publication (unless otherwise specified).


Leave a comment!

or Register