(Wall Street Journal) – Amazon.com Inc. is cutting fees to third-party sellers of “small and light” products and offering free shipping with no minimum order to shoppers as the company tries to expand sales of smaller goods on its website.
The program, the latest move by retailers to go after a piece of the online market by cutting shipping prices, is targeted at items that often can cost almost as much to ship as the items themselves are worth.
The goal is to entice online demand for products like $6 packs of earplugs by taking shipping fees out of the equation for shoppers. Previously, Amazon customers would have to purchase a minimum of $35 in goods to get free shipping, or pay $99 a year to enroll in Amazon Prime, the company’s membership program.
Third-party sellers, meanwhile, would pay fees starting at $1.90 per unit to use Amazon’s fulfillment services, compared with $2.50 under Amazon’s catchall pricing for products of all sizes. It is also cheaper than what it costs sellers to pack and ship on their own, the company said.