Amazon.com “brand gating” fees won’t apply to existing merchants

We wrote a story last week called: Amazon.com charge sellers $1000s to sell branded goods. In brief, Amazon looked set to charge Amazon merchants to sell branded goods on their marketplace.

The idea was to better protect buyers from counterfeit branded goods and the fee was part of a more stringent approval process for sellers. They call it “brand gating.”

Now it looks like they have refined the details rather and the charges won’t be applied to existing merchants. One notable aspect of the original pronouncement is that the exact terms and that caused confusion.

Amazon spokesman Erik Fairleigh said CNBC.com:

“If a seller is already selling brands on Amazon that are now subject to a fee, they are not required to pay the fee to continue selling those brands. The fee only applies to new sellers of particular brands. Sellers can see whether a product requires a fee to sell when they search for that product using the “Add a Product” tool on Seller Central.”

So, that sounds like progress on one level. But it’s still not an ideal situation.