What you’ll learn
To accurately track and calculate your profits and expenses on Amazon, it’s crucial to understand the various fees payable by sellers for every transaction.
The Amazon referral fee is just one of the numerous fees sellers pay to sell on the marketplace, and the fee is calculated for every inventory sold on Amazon. It’s usually a 15% commission of the total sales price for every item you sell, depending on your category.
Ahead, you will learn more about the Amazon referral fee in this tutorial, who is responsible for paying it, how the fee is calculated, and what happens when your customers apply a discount code at checkout.
What is the referral fee?
The referral fee is the fee that Amazon charges every seller on its marketplace every time you sell a product. The referral fee is usually 15% of the total sales price, but the percentage varies based on the product category. For instance, I have seen personal computer sellers pay as low as 8%, and Amazon device accessories sellers pay as high as 45%.
Amazon has a full page on their referral fee charges and pricing. Here’s there table of the fees.
|Categories||Referral fee percentages||Applicable minimum referral fee|
|Amazon Device Accessories||45%||$0.30|
|Amazon Explore||30% for Experiences||$2.00|
|Baby Products (excluding Baby Apparel)||8% for products with a total sales price of $10.00 or less, and15% for products with a total sales price greater than $10.00||$0.30|
|Books (including Collectible Books)||15%||—|
|Camera and Photo1||8%||$0.30|
|Cell Phone Devices2||8%||$0.30|
|Electronics Accessories||15% for the portion of the total sales price up to $100.00, and8% for any portion of the total sales price greater than $100.00||$0.30|
|Furniture (including outdoor furniture)||15% for the portion of the total sales price up to $200.00, and10% for any portion of the total sales price greater than $200.00||$0.30|
|Home & Garden||15%||$0.30|
|Compact Appliances (including parts and accessories)||15% for the portion of the total sales price up to $300.00, and8% for any portion of the total sales price greater than $300.00||$0.30|
|Lawn Mowers & Snow Throwers||15% for products with a total sales price of up to $500.008% for products with a total sales price greater than $500.00||$0.30|
|Pet Supplies||15%, except 22% for veterinary diets||$0.30|
|Software & Computer/Video Games||15%||—|
|Sports (excluding Sports Collectibles)||15%||$0.30|
|Tools & Home Improvement||15%, except 12% for base equipment power tools||$0.30|
|Toys & Games3||15%||$0.30|
|Video & DVD||15%||—|
|Video Game Consoles||8%||$0.30|
|Categories requiring approval||Referral fee percentages||$0.30|
|3D Printed Products||12%||$0.30|
|Automotive & Powersports||12%, except 10% for tires and wheel products||$0.30|
|Beauty||8% for products with a total sales price of $10.00 or less, and15% for items with a total sales price greater than $10.00||$0.30|
|Clothing & Accessories (including activewear)||17%||$0.30|
|Collectible Coins||15% for the portion of the total sales price up to $250.00,10% for any portion of the total sales price greater than $250.00 up to $1,000.00, and6% for any portion of the total sales price greater than $1,000.00.||$0.30|
|Entertainment Collectibles||20% for the portion of total sales price up to $100.00,10% for the portion of total sales price greater than $100.00, up to $1,000.00, and6% for the portion of total sales price greater than $1,000.00||—|
|Fine Art||20% for the portion of the total sales price up to $100.00,15% for the portion of the total sales price greater than $100.00 up to $1,000.00,10% for the portion of the total sales price greater than $1,000.00 up to $5,000.00, and5% for the portion of the total sales price greater than $5,000.00||—|
|Grocery & Gourmet Food||8% for products with a total sales price of $15.00 or less, and15% for products with a total sales price greater than $15.00||—|
|Health & Personal Care (including Personal Care Appliances)||8% for products with a total sales price of $10.00 or less, and15% for items with a total sales price greater than $10.00||$0.30|
|Industrial & Scientific (including Food Service and Janitorial & Sanitation)||12%||$0.30|
|Jewelry||20% for the portion of the total sales price up to $250.00, and5% for any portion of the total sales price greater than $250.00||$0.30|
|Luggage & Travel Accessories||15%||$0.30|
|Shoes, Handbags & Sunglasses||15%||$0.30|
|Sports Collectibles||15% for the portion of the total sales price up to $100.0010% for any portion of the total sales price greater than $100.00 up to $1,000.006% for any portion of the total sales price greater than $1,000.00||—|
|Watches||16% for the portion of the total sales price up to $1,500.00, and3% for any portion of the total sales price greater than $1,500.00||$0.30|
How is the referral fee calculated?
Amazon takes 15% of the amount that your customers pay. Let’s say the original price of your product is $100, but if you lower the total sales price to $50. Amazon will calculate the referral fee based on the $50 price point and not the original price of $100. So, the referral fee for a $50 deal is $7.50, which is 15% of $50.
The same 15% applies to the total sales price if FBM is used.
If a customer opts to pay for gift wrapping, the referral fee will be (Total sale price + wrapping cost + shipping cost) × 15%.
How to get referral fees reimbursement from Amazon
While Amazon has continued to ensure that it treats sellers fairly, you will encounter incorrect referral fees and other errors with fee calculations. Check your products are properly categorized. If properly categorized but there’s still a mismatch in the referral fee, you can open a case as outlined below to get reimbursement.
We provide these mismatch scenarios where you can see the errors from Amazon. This is available via the reimbursement data plan with Gorilla ROI.
Submit a request for an Amazon referral fee refund
Use the Transaction Report to check the referral fees before submitting a request for reimbursement. The Transaction Report is available under Reports > Payments > Transaction View on Seller Central. You can also check the Referral Fees Rate to confirm the referral fees, and if you observe any discrepancies, quickly reach out to selling partner support to open a case.
To be reimbursed, Amazon requires sellers to present the following information:
- The incorrect Amazon referral fees amount and why you believe it’s incorrect.
- The transaction details resulted in the incorrect fee.
- The date of the transaction.
- The product category guidelines.
You can file for a reimbursement if you have the above information handy. Note that submitting an invalid claim to Amazon may prevent you from having access to submit further reimbursement claims in the future.
How to submit Amazon referral fees reimbursement
To submit referral fees reimbursement claim:
- Navigate to “help” on Seller Central to open a case with selling partner support.
- Select “Get Support” under “need more help” at the bottom of the page.
- This will open up a menu selection. Select “Your Account” and then “Account Fees” from the selection
- Enter the required information, including your email and the amount you believe was erroneously charged.
- Click “send” to submit your claim.
Support may contact you for more information to support your claims once you open a case, so check your email regularly.
Limitations to the referral fees reimbursement
There are a few limitations to the referral fee reimbursement to know. You are only allowed to file one claim for each fee charge. If you are eligible for reimbursement, support will review your case and notify you of your status. If Amazon support says you are not eligible for reimbursement, you can appeal by applying for an independent review, but make sure you arm yourself with additional documents or proofs. The decision of the independent review team is final.
Is there a fee for every referral?
Regardless of your selling strategy or fulfillment method, all sellers on the Amazon marketplace are subjected to referral fees. If you maintain an individual seller account, Amazon policy requires you to pay a closing charge of $0.99 for every inventory you sell on their marketplace. This is in addition to the referral fee that you will still pay.
For a professional selling account, a monthly fee of $39.99 is charged, plus you won’t pay a predetermined closing charge and will have access to a wide range of tools and insights. If you sell at least 40 items a month on Amazon, you should upgrade to a professional selling plan because you will save a lot of money and enjoy volume listings and management tools.
Regardless of the plan that you opt for, you will still pay the referral fee once you sell any item on Amazon.
To what extent do you apply discounts and claim codes?
Suppose you sell a hairbrush at an original cost of $30, but give your customers a 50% discount. In most cases, you will enjoy a 15% commission on the sale, but the customer will pay $15 for the hairbrush at checkout.
Consequently, the referral fee that Amazon will charge you will be based on the total sales price which is $2.25. 15% of the $15 the customer paid at checkout.
The bottom line
Understanding the Amazon referral fee is necessary if you must appropriately track your profits and expenses on the Amazon marketplace. The referral fee is charged for every item you sell on Amazon, but the minimum referral fee and percentage depends on your product category. It’s not just about the referral fee alone. You must also have an in-depth understanding of all other fees payable by sellers, including monthly inventory storage fees.
Remember, around 82% of Amazon’s sales go through the Buy Box, so you must understand these fees and deploy the right tools to remain in business and maximize your bottom line.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the Amazon referral fee?
The Amazon referral fee is the fee charged by Amazon for every good or inventory that is sold through its marketplace. Currently, Amazon charges a 15% referral fee on most products, but this fee can vary between 6% and 45%, depending on the product category.
Is a referral fee due if you return a product?
Not all products qualify for a referral fee refund when returned. So long as the product you are returning does not fall into the media category, Amazon will reimburse up to 80% of the amount you paid during the transaction and any other expenses up to $5. The rule with Amazon referral fee is that when a media product is returned, sellers get back their money with no questions asked. Though a rule of thumb, remember that the refund may not include the seller fee.
How do I pay Amazon for a referral fee?
As a seller on the Amazon marketplace, you don’t have to do anything manually to pay a referral fee. Amazon has a mechanism that automatically takes the referral fee, making the process very easy for everybody.
Is it legal to pay a commission for a referral?
Paying a commission for a referral is very lawful. In today’s competitive marketplace, product sellers usually pay third parties to promote and refer consumers to their listings to make purchases. In fact, many businesses and brands use this business approach to scale their businesses and expand their sales potential, making it legal or lawful.
Is there an upward or downward trend in referral fees over time?
Expect fees to always increase over time. Referral fees don’t change often but price them into your margin calculations.
How do I prevent Amazon’s referral fee from being charged?
So long as you said you are making profits on the Amazon Marketplace, you cannot avoid paying the Amazon referral fee. At best, what you can do to reduce the fee is to plan and choose low referral fee products to include in your listing.
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