Editor’s note: This story has been updated to include additional comment from Amazon.
(NEXSTAR) – It isn’t just inflation that will be driving up the price of your holiday shopping. Some companies and delivery services are adding extra fees to cover the cost of getting your package where it needs to go. Amazon is among them, adding a “Holiday Peak Fulfillment Fee.”
The fulfillment fee for third-party sellers that use Amazon fulfillment kicks in Oct. 15 and lasts until Jan. 14 of next year. Amazon says the average surcharge will be about 35 cents per item, though the exact amount varies by size and weight.
While customers aren’t being hit with the surcharge directly, it’s another cost that may be passed on.
“The sellers eventually will increase their prices to the consumer, in order to make up those prices,” explained Brendan Heegan, founder of logistics and fulfillment company Boxzooka. “Those prices may not be that noticeable at first, but they will continue to add up.”
An Amazon spokesperson said the company does not anticipate customers will be impacted by the fee for sellers.
“Our selling partners are incredibly important to us, and this is not a decision we made lightly,” Amazon said in a letter to sellers affected by the price hike. “The entire industry sees increases in fulfillment and logistics costs during the holiday peak period due to the concentrated volume of shipments. We have previously absorbed these cost increases, but seasonal expenses are reaching new heights.”
An Amazon spokesperson told Nexstar it’s the first time the company has implemented such a fee. The company said that even with the temporary surcharge, its fulfillment services are faster and cheaper that services provided by their competitors.
Even as we continue to hear news of rising prices on goods and services across sectors, there is hope we may have seen the worst of it. Inflation eased in July as energy prices tumbled.
“Inflation appears to have peaked in mid-2022 and should slow on a year-over-year basis through the rest of this year and in 2023,″ said Gus Faucher, chief economist at PNC Financial Services.
Shipping costs have gone down for at least one business. Nick Zawitz, who runs Tangle Creations, a South San Francisco company that makes Fidget Toys among others, said that shipping costs have plunged and raw materials prices have dropped slightly. Meanwhile, the company’s sales are up 45% over the past year. “Things are chugging along,’’ Zawitz said.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.