FBA "Passive" fees are not explained up front - an additional $1.00 per item on average

Here are some passive fees that FBA charges, which are not explained up front:

FBA Advertised Fees (for book fulfillment):

  • 15% normal Amazon commission
  • 50¢ fee for books under $25
  • $1.00 fee for books over $25
  • 40¢ fee per pound for shipping
  • $1.35 fee per book (variable closing fee)
  • 45¢ fee per month storage (per cubic foot)

Additional FBA Passive Fees (you must read the small print):
  • 5% restocking fee on returned items
  • 3-12¢ per item, cost of FBA labels (some books require 3 or 4 labels)
  • 30-36 ¢ per item (cost of shipping items to FBA warehouse)*
  • 25-50¢ per item storage fee (assuming 45-90 day turnaround per item)
  • 45-75¢ per item storage fee (assuming 45-90 day turnaround during 4th quarter, holiday storage fee rates)**

* Cost of shipping. Keep in mind, you have no control over which FBA warehouse is assigned to you. There are only a few FBA warehouses. We must ship our items to Reno NV, which is a remote location and expensive to ship there. Average shipment is 50 books per box / 45 pounds. Media Mail (generally the cheapest rate) is $18 in postage, or 36¢ per item.

**Additionally, most sellers underestimate FBA storage fees. Keep in mind, the rate jumps to 65 cents per foot per month during the 3 Christmas shopping months. Also keep in mind, they take the larger of the weight-based or volume-based calculation, and round up. (Not sure what this means? Neither do we...but it results in more fees)

**Many sellers think they can "raise" the price of inventory by $3.99, just by having them fulfilled by Amazon, and offset these costs Think again. There is another post entirely dedicated to this. Just remember - you can never surpass Amazon's price (which is often 30-40% below retail price), it's unlikely customer will pay more than the sticker price on an item, and if you're the only seller of an item, you cannot justify raising the price.

**Final note - here are some other costs not usually considered:

  • 100% restocking fee (no seller credit) on items FBA considered damaged
  • 100% restocking fee (no seller credit) when FBA refunds a customer but does not require them to return the item
  • 100% loss on items damaged during transit to FBA
  • $1.25 more per item (or more) for non-media items
  • $2.00 - $5.50 additional fees for non-Amazon orders (or more)
  • and, of course... $1,000's of dollars, if an FBA mistake gets your account suspended, or they lose your deposit, or any number of other glitches that hold up your money.

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