Amazon is raising the fees it charges sellers for its Multichannel Fulfillment (MCF) program, saying the hike comes with enhancements like app integrations with BigCommerce, Adobe/Magento and Wix — not Shopify — but sellers are complaining, saying they’ll be priced out of the offering.
The company said the increases will take effect Jan. 19, saying they are reflective of the “significant investments” made to improve our shipping speeds and add new features.
“MCF will continue to provide best-in-class fulfillment services – which are, on average, priced lower than alternatives – with up to 50% discounts on multi-unit orders, and unbranded packaging at no additional cost,” Amazon said in a notification Monday.
The latter was something Amazon added earlier this month for all MCF sellers who prefer not to have the ubiquitous smiley logo appear on their boxes. The option was previously available only to select sellers since being introduced in 2020.
Amazon said in conjunction with the fee increases, it will increase the standard shipping speed for MCF from 7 days to 5 days, while still offering expedited three-day and priority two-day shipping.
At the bottom of the scale, Amazon is consolidating some weight classes. For instance, there are currently two tiers of pricing for sending packages under 6 oz. in 3-5 days: 2 oz. or less, and 2-6 oz. Now there is a single tier of less than 6 oz. Under the new structure, a package that is 2 oz. or less, currently $4.75, will increase more than 50%, to $7.15. A package between 2-6 oz. will go up 33%, to that same price.
This change for MCF will certainly impact pricing for sellers, and some of them took to Seller Central to air their grievances on the virtual Festivus pole.
“Faster shipping means nothing when their handling time reaches 1-2 weeks,” grumbled one seller. “We’ve been marked down on other platforms because Amazon has failed to ship out MCF orders in a timely manner. It seems to be the last unit of an item that gets ‘stuck’ in fulfillment.”
“Wow, at some point the shipping cost increases for a product will be so high that people will actually start going back to buying from stores as online will be too expensive,” said another seller.
A third seller said the change will mean a 37% price hike for shipping their products, typically in a 5 oz. large standard package. “I thought Amazon wanted to expand their 3PL, but clearly not,” they wrote.
One helpfully suggested Amazon consider allowing sellers to redesign their own packing slips to improve branding.
“No mini 4″ x 4″ scrap piece of paper with a bunch of Amazon lingo and the tiniest font used for the seller message,” they wrote. “I would like to put my brand logo on the packing slip, and make it READABLE to someone.”