Amazon Pick and Pack Fee Explained

Share this:

The Amazon pick and pack fee, also called its fulfillment fee, applies to Fulfillment By Amazon program. This charge is a per-unit fee that helps Amazon cover costs and generates income (from you) when it sends your products to consumers. The Amazon pick and pack fee changes significantly across products, with the product category, size, and weight impacting the cost.

Amazon charges All FBA fulfillment fees when it ships your order. In this post, we’ll look at some of the standard charges and what would likely increase your cost compared to other businesses. Remember, the fees we cover — including any “special” fees on items like large TVs — are charged to you, not the customer.

How to calculate Amazon pick and pack fees

There are a few prominent characteristics that Amazon will use to determine your costs. There are four core values that we’ll discuss briefly. However, please note that how they’re applied can differ when it comes to individual products.

Product-size tiers

The Amazon pick and pack fee is generally based on your product’s size. The size tiers are determined by the product type, weight, and dimensions. Amazon uses the measurements standard in your location, which means inches and pounds for us in the U.S. Your location also matters! So, be sure to look up the local fee structure for your specific location.

Here in the U.S., Amazon lists its product-size tiers as:

Amazon pick and pack fee category chart

This chart helps you identify your product’s size. You need to meet every requirement in each column, For example, a standard-size item meets all the following criteria when fully packaged:

  • Unit weight is less than or equal to 20 pounds
  • Longest side (length) is less than or equal to 18 inches
  • Median side (width) is less than or equal to 14 inches
  • Shortest side (height) is less than or equal to 8 inches

Meet all that, and your item is standard size. The company will also apply product category labels. So, there is a different price calculation for standard-size apparel and standard-size non-apparel goods, for example.

Shipping weights

Amazon will look at the weight of your products to determine shipping fees in most cases. Shipping weight is the rounded-up weight of an item. The product size noted above impacts what shipping weight calculations you’ll use.

Let’s look at standard size tiers for weight. If goods are under 1 lb., then the weight is rounded up to the nearest ounce. If your product weighs more than 1 lb., Amazon rounds up to the nearest pound. Amazon always uses shipping weight for standard-size products that weigh 0.75 lbs. or less. Up from there and for its oversized packages, the company also considers dimensional weight.

If your goods are in the “special oversize” category, the standard unit weight always applies.

Dimensional (DIM) weights

As noted above, Amazon will look at the dimensions of your products to determine how much to charge you. Calculate dimensional (DIM) weight by measuring the length, width, and height of your product. For each unit, you’ll multiply these together and then dividing that number by 139. This final number will give you the DIM weight, and you’ll be charged on this number if it is higher than the physical weight of the unit. This example can help:

So, when does Amazon calculate DIM weight to see if they should charge you more? For large standard-size units weighing more than 0.75 lbs. and all small oversize, medium oversize, and large oversize units, Amazon uses dimensional weight when it is greater than the unit weight.

Oversize products have a different set of requirements around when DIM weight is used. The Amazon pick and pack fee will also consider DIM weight unless your special oversized product meets any of these criteria:

  • Total unit weight is more than 150 lbs.
  • The longest side is more than 108 inches
  • Girth plus length is greater than 165 inches
  • Amazon has notified you that the product requires “special handling to ensure a good customer experience”

If your goods meet any of those criteria, they’ll be special oversized goods, and you’ll only need to think about physical weight for the Amazon pick and pack fees.

Get more information and a DIM weight calculator from Red Stag here

Fee categories

Amazon’s fee categories are the information it uses to determine if your product faces additional fulfillment fees. The company throws this term out a lot in different ways. We want to focus on two of those now.

  1. Amazon’s fee categories help you understand the category that your products fit in so you can determine other fees, like size tiers. For example, apparel has its own set of tiers where the smallest and lightest products start with a $3 fulfillment fee per unit. That’s higher than its general category, where pricing starts at $2.70
  2. You can also use these categories to determine if your products will have additional expenses. The company has special handling fees for specific items, such as a $40 fee for TVs with a 42” or larger screen.

Amazon pick and pack fee rate card

The marketplace publishes rate cards with their fulfillment fees to help you find the correct expense for each SKU. These are the tables current as of September 2021, but Amazon’s prices do change. Thankfully, the web page for its current tables tends to get updated regularly, making it an excellent resource to double-check FBA expenses.

Based on Amazon’s published information, here’s what you can expect:

Amazon pick and pack fees for general products
Amazon pick and pack fees for apparel
Amazon pick and pack fees for dangerous goods
Amazon pick and pack fees for oversized products

Yet another caveat

While those charts help you out, there are even more considerations for you to understand the Amazon pick and pack fees you’ll face. For FBA sellers, you may also face fees when your products are on backorder and if you’re using Amazon for Multi-Channel Fulfillment (MCF) orders. Amazon tends to charge significantly more for fulfillment on these MCF orders.

You’ll also face a 5% surcharge if you block fulfillment services from Amazon Logistics. Sellers are doing that in response to carrier restrictions imposed by some channels. So, if you’re trying to run your business with Amazon’s MCF and need to use other carriers or options, you potentially face a surcharge on every order.

What you might find troubling is the cost differences for this order fulfillment. Here’s an example directly from Amazon’s website:

When you look at the same FBA example product category, Amazon says it will charge you $2.70 for a small standard-size unit with a shipping weight of less than 6 ounces.

Our question is: Why? Let’s say a customer bought the same product from you two times, once using Amazon and once using your own website. Why should you have to pay roughly twice as much to fill the order from your website?

Find a partner that’s fair

Variable fees, extra charges for specific packages, surcharges for different marketplaces, and excess fees all make it hard to run your business. That’s troubling when these apply to Amazon pick and pack fees because fulfillment is essential to eCommerce. Many can’t afford that uncertainty.

Red Stag Fulfillment thinks there’s a better way through transparency. With us, you know what you’ll pay for pick, pack, and ship. Plus, we’re clear on costs around inventory management, processing, and more. That’s all backed up by our guarantees for order accuracy, on-time shipments, fast processing, and zero shrinkage.

Amazon FBA isn’t required to get your products to customers across the U.S. in two days or less. You can achieve that by having a national fulfillment plan with a leading 3PL like Red Stag. Get the reliability your customers and your business demand, without surprise fees or confusing costs. And, if you still want some FBA support, we can help you prep and deliver inventory to Amazon while saving you money when we fill orders from your other channels.


An important note

Nothing in this article is meant to imply a legal relationship between Red Stag Fulfillment, LLC and and any company mentioned. Red Stag Fulfillment, LLC does not own any other company’s trademarks referenced or included in this article. Information gathered for this article came from a mix of publicly available news and websites, websites of the companies mentioned, and direct communication with named companies.

RSF logo icon

Red Stag is a 3PL with ecommerce DNA

Talk with us
RSF logo icon

Subscribe for more articles like this!

Red Stag Fulfillment is a 3PL founded by ecommerce operators, and built for scaling businesses.

A team of fulfillment fanatics who care about our clients’ businesses like their own. We see things from our customers’ perspective, and have the guarantees to prove it.

Talk with us
3PL founded by ecommerce operators, and built for scaling businesses.
RSF logo icon