Amazon will add a 5% "fuel and inflation surcharge" on April 28. File Photo by Christian Wiediger/Unsplash
April 14 (UPI) -- Amazon shoppers are likely to see prices go up on the online shop site once a 5% "fuel and inflation surcharge" for third-party sellers that use its fulfillment services takes effect on April 28.
The new surcharge, which applies to Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) service, was announced on the Amazon Seller Central website, with the caveat that it was subject to change.
"In 2022, we expected a return to normalcy as COVID-19 restrictions eased, but fuel and inflation have presented further challenges," an Amazon spokesperson said in an email to CNBC. "It is still unclear if these inflationary costs will go up or down, or for how long they will persist, so rather than a permanent fee change, we will be employing a fuel and inflation surcharge for the first time -- a mechanism broadly used across supply chain providers."
At 24 cents per unit, Amazon's surcharge to take effect on April 28, is below the UPS fuel surcharge of 42 cents and FedEx's fee of 49 cents, since March 21, according to CNBC.
Since Amazon shoppers mostly purchase items from third-party sellers, the surcharge will likely result in higher prices for them.
While Amazon's millions of third-party sellers can choose to handle their own fulfillment, the FBA is their most popular fulfillment method, according to Jungle Scout research.
The surcharge follows months of rising inflation and higher gas prices amid reopening and lifting of COVID-19 pandemic restrictions, exacerbated by Russia's ongoing war in Ukraine.
Federal data showed U.S. inflation increased 8.5% in March over the same time last year, the largest jump over the 12-month period since 1981. Gasoline prices were also up 48% in March from a year earlier, the New York Times reported.