Amazon charges sellers fees that are high enough to offset losses from Prime, a new report says

amazon charges sellers fees that are high enough to offset losses from prime

A new report says Amazon charges small businesses fees that eat into profits | Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

The massive reach of Amazon’s e-commerce platform is appealing for any small business that wants to sell its products online. But a new report suggests that the cost of doing business can become a Faustian bargain for a third-party seller, as the fees that Amazon charges them can quickly eat into profits.

Amazon Toll Road, a report from the nonprofit Institute for Local Self-Reliance (ILSR), found that Amazon charged third-party sellers a total of $121 billion in fees this year alone. According to the report, written by ILSR co-director Stacy Mitchell, those fees — for things like advertising, referrals, and shipping — usually mean that small businesses lose money to Amazon; Mitchell said that in 2014, sellers paid Amazon $19 of every…

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