- Amazon will charge a monthly inventory storage fee, long-term storage fee and a minimum long-term storage fee, starting April 1, September 15 and August 15, respectively, according to the company website.
- The e-commerce company is also raising transportation fees for certain items sold on its website, including beverages and diapers, Bloomberg reported Tuesday.
- In addition, Amazon will restrict storage space for sellers with an Inventory Performance Index below 350, starting July 1, to encourage better inventory management.
This latest news indicates a growing theme with Amazon to more tightly control its supply chain and keep profit margins stable, even at the expense of its sellers and suppliers
Despite tensions with authors selling their books on the online platform, Amazon also launched a new returns policy in August 2017 allowing any consumer to return an item bought from a third party seller for free, resulting in backlash from sellers.
Such a policy is especially difficult for smaller sellers as e-commerce continues to dominate consumer spending — the 2017 holiday season was expected to generate a record amount of returned goods for online sellers.
At the same time, Amazon is grooming its operations and supply chain to be the most efficient. By charging storage and transportation fees, the company is ensuring that its own profits won't be hurt by poor management skills on the part of its sellers and suppliers. Amazon is unwilling to let its sellers or suppliers become a liability.
It's a smart move for Amazon in the short run but could pose future relational challenges with sellers and suppliers who fail to meet Amazon's standards, and further alienate sellers who are already dissatisfied with Amazon's platform.