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Understanding Amazon Storage Fees and Their Seasonal Variations

Updated: Nov 8, 2023

Amazon is a retail giant that offers sellers an extensive platform to reach a global audience. However, operating within the Amazon ecosystem comes with various fees, one of which is Amazon storage fees. These fees can significantly impact a seller's profitability, and they exhibit seasonality that sellers should be aware of.


What are Amazon Storage Fees?

Amazon storage fees are charges levied on sellers for storing their products in Amazon's fulfillment centers. These fees are essential to Amazon's fulfillment service, which allows sellers to take advantage of Amazon's vast warehousing and shipping network. The amount a seller pays in storage fees is primarily determined by the volume and duration of storage.


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Credit: Kenny Eliason via Unsplash

Seasonality of Amazon Storage Fees:

Amazon storage fees follow a seasonal pattern, and understanding this pattern is crucial for sellers to manage their inventory effectively and control costs. Here's how seasonality impacts storage fees:


1. Long-Term Storage Fees:

Amazon assesses long-term storage fees twice a year, on February 15th and August 15th. These fees apply to units that have been in Amazon's fulfillment centers for more than 365 days. The goal of these fees is to encourage sellers to manage their inventory efficiently and prevent overstocking.


2. Holiday Season Surge:

The holiday season, starting in October and peaking in December, often sees a surge in sales for many sellers. To accommodate this increase in inventory, sellers may need to send more products to Amazon's fulfillment centers. As a result, storage fees can increase during this period as sellers pay for the additional space required.


3. Pre-Holiday Stocking:

In anticipation of the holiday rush, many sellers increase their inventory levels in the third and fourth quarters of the year. This buildup can lead to higher storage fees in the months leading up to the holiday season.


4. Post-Holiday Inventory Cleanup:

After the holiday season ends, sellers may find themselves with excess inventory. To avoid long-term storage fees, they often choose to remove or dispose of unsold products. These cleanup activities can also impact storage fees, but they can be a strategic move to reduce costs.


5. Off-Season Storage:

During the off-season, typically in the first half of the year, storage fees may be lower as sellers experience reduced demand. This period can be an opportunity for sellers to assess their inventory management strategies and make adjustments.


Tips for Managing Seasonal Storage Fees:

  • Plan Ahead: Anticipate your inventory needs and adjust your stock levels accordingly, especially before and after the holiday season.

  • Optimize Inventory: Regularly assess your product listings, identify slow-moving items, and consider discounting or liquidating them to avoid storage fees.

  • Use Amazon's Inventory Performance Dashboard: Amazon provides tools like the Inventory Performance Dashboard to help sellers monitor and manage their inventory more efficiently.

  • Consider Fulfilled by Merchant (FBM): For products with lower sales volumes or seasonality, you may opt for Fulfilled by Merchant (FBM) instead of Fulfilled by Amazon (FBA) to have more control over storage costs. While you won't have nearly as strong of sales on these products since they aren't Prime eligible, it does still allow for the products to be available for sale at reduced fees.


In conclusion, Amazon storage fees are an important aspect of selling on the platform, and they exhibit seasonality that can impact a seller's bottom line. By understanding the seasonal patterns and strategically managing their inventory, sellers can optimize their storage fees and improve their overall profitability on Amazon.


 

If you need to evaluate if your storage fees, or think they are just a bit too high, let's talk!


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