Amazon.com charge sellers $1000s to sell branded goods

Amazon.com have started blocking their merchants from selling certain brands unless they’re willing to pay an upfront free to restore their selling privileges.

We’ve heard of sellers being charged $1000 to be allowed to sell Lego and $1500 for permission to list Nike products on Amazon.com.

CNBS carries an image of an Amazon “Selling Application for Brand” for selling Samsung products. Amazon are demanding copies of invoices showing the purchase of Samsung product along with a letter from Samsung authorising the merchant to sell their products. In this case Amazon are demanding the merchant pay a non-refundable fee of $1000.

Apparently Amazon are fed up with counterfeit products on their site and making sellers go through a ‘brand gating’ process is their solution to ensure legitimate product only is sold. Most sellers don’t have a problem with showing that they supply legitimate goods. Merchants do however have a problem with coughing up $1000s of dollars in order to sell a couple of manufacturers products when it appears Amazon.com do little more than glance at their paperwork and wave them through to selling.

A thread on Reddit suggests that for many merchants the $1000 fee isn’t a huge problem and some even question if they’ll be able to get the brand themselves to fund it. Of course if you’re a single brand merchant with a sizeable business is probably isn’t that big a deal… that is until you suddenly discover that you have 10 brands you have to pay up for, then it probably feels a bit like extortion.

Would you be happy pay $1000 to carry on selling a brand you’ve been listing for many years if you knew it meant your competitors and counterfeiters may no longer be able to sell on Amazon.com? Or do you think being forced to pay for a fee to sell a brand is a step too far?