Now that we’ve settled into spring, it’s time to read the headlines. This month’s Digest is filled to the brim so, without further ado, we bring you the latest Amazon seller news.
Amazon Collects Tax on Pennsylvania-Bound Orders
Effective April 1, Amazon will collect sales tax on orders shipped to customers in the state of Pennsylvania. No, this is not an April Fools’ prank. The change will be taking place automatically. It will affect all sellers who ship to Pennsylvania, even if they don’t have nexus there.
If it’s starting to feel like deja-vu, we can relate. Unfortunately, the Remote Transactions Parity Act of 2017 is likely to be discussed on Capitol Hill soon, according to Digital Commerce 360. It seeks to make all online retailers charge their customers sales tax, and then remit to the states their customers live in, order from, or have their orders delivered to – which of these, we’re not sure.
The obvious conundrums are: state jurisdiction across state lines, billing versus delivery address, IP privacy, chasing up non-local companies, etc. Hopefully, it won’t come to pass. In the meantime, please read our recent guest post, The eCommerce Seller’s Guide to Shipping Taxability for more information on online sales tax. But keep in mind that Pennsylvania has since joined the list of states that require sales tax on shipping.
New Amazon.com FBA Storage Fees and Policies
Amazon US FBA storage fees and policies will change throughout 2018 to improve logistics and delivery rates, as explained here. The most notable changes are:
- Monthly Inventory Storage Fees higher by $0.05 per cubic foot for standard-size and oversize items;
- Long-Term Storage Fees will be charged on a monthly basis starting September 15, 2018;
- Minimum Long-Term Storage Fees of $0.50 per unit per month on all items stored for more than a year;
- Inventory Performance Index to be assessed every three months starting July 1, 2018, and to apply to all sellers with a Professional plan who ship to FBA – a score of under 350 means your storage will be limited, as explained here.
Please follow our blog for a review of these changes. In the meantime, don’t hesitate to use the FBA Revenue Calculator or the Fee Preview Report (sign-in required) to minimize your costs before July 1.
New FBA Europe Fees
Effective April 26, FBA fees will also change on European venues as follows:
- Local Fulfilment Fees will change for products sold and shipped from the same marketplace, with Pan-European orders charged based on where they were bought;
- European Fulfilment Network (EFN) Fees will change for orders shipped across European borders;
- Monthly Storage Fees will increase for inventory stored in European fulfilment centers;
- Zero Fee Fulfilment discount is being discontinued. Fulfilment fees will be based on size tier;
- Returns Processing Fee for customer-returned products in the Jewelry, Watches, and Luggage categories;
- Manual Processing Fee from October 9 for shipments without box content information.
New Image Editing Tools for Your Amazon Listings
Amazon.com sellers welcome the launch of an AmazonBasics product that’s bound to change how they budget for product images. Meet AmazonBasics Portable Photo Studio, the self-professed cost-effective nearly-professional-grade photo studio!
Weighing 15 pounds, this portfolio-sized studio comes with its own app to help you snap that picture-perfect backdrop yourself. There’s a US version and a UK version currently priced at $135.99 and £112.09, respectively. Is it all that, though? Amazon product reviews say it all.
Non-UK Sellers Operating in the UK: Register for UK VAT
We wrote in our New UK VAT Requirements post that the Finance (No. 2) Bill 2017-19 would become law this month. The bill was granted Royal Assent on March 15, and it’s henceforth known as the Finance Act 2018. This means all non-UK sellers who store their goods in the UK or sell more than £70,000 to UK buyers must register for UK VAT.
To check if you need to register, please read Amazon UK’s VAT Resources page or take the VAT registration test. If you haven’t registered for VAT in the UK yet, there’s still time to sign up with the HMRC. Alternatively, use VAT Services on Amazon, and Amazon will do it for you.
Direct Quantity Discount Requests for European Amazon Business Customers
Our previous Digest mentioned that the Manage Quotes page now allows Amazon.com users with a Business Badge to reply to discount requests. The feature has now been extended to the German and the British venues as well. So, Amazon Business customers on Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.de will now be able to ask for quantity discounts through Amazon.
Amazon Launches Seller Forums in Canada
You can now share your experience about selling on Amazon Canada with fellow sellers online. The newly-launched Amazon Canada Seller Forums only feature four categories, namely: FBA questions, marketplace announcements, general selling questions, and website feedback.
Amazon Business Comes To Amazon.fr
After rolling out to sellers in Germany in December 2016 and in the UK in April 2017, Amazon Business is now also available to French sellers. Those who apply for a French Amazon Business Account will be able to enjoy the same features as US, UK and DE sellers:
- invoice payments;
- VAT-free prices;
- automatically generated invoices featuring VAT calculations;
- Business Seller badges (eligible users only).
Once you have a business account, you can use B2B Central to analyze sales and trends, and the Business Action Center to optimize your seller profile.
‘Buy Box’ Status for Non-Local Sellers
Amazon recently sent an email to let sellers know how to view their ‘Buy Box’ status from abroad. If you sell on Amazon.com, for instance, but you’re based in Canada, you won’t be able to see if your item is winning the Buy Box using your own account. You’ll need a local, US-based buyer account with a US address on file. The same goes for any other venue you’re selling on from abroad.
This is all the Amazon seller news we have for you today. We hope you’re looking forward to Q2, and you’ll take note of the information we shared with you here. If you’d like to hear more from us, please follow our blog.
Melanie takes an active interest in all things Amazon. She keeps an eye on the latest developments and keeps Amazon sellers up to speed.