Sponsored Links

Amazon will fine sellers who ship products in oversized packaging

New guidelines aim to reduce waste and cut shipping costs.
Georgina Torbet
Georgina Torbet|@georginatorbet|August 1, 2019 8:29 AM

Amazon continues to find new ways to cut costs in its effort to maximize profits. It has announced that new guidelines to reduce packaging will come into play on September 3rd, pushed back from the original deadline of today.

If you've ever received a gargantuan cardboard box with one tiny USB stick inside, you'll know that packaging can be very wasteful. In response to this issue, Amazon's Frustration-Free Packaging Program aimed to give customers "minimal, protective and functional packaging" to keep items safe without adding unnecessary waste packaging. The company hopes the program's new guidelines will both cut down on shipping costs and lessen the environmental impact of packaging.

If Amazon sellers don't stick to the packaging guidelines they could face a penalty, according to the Wall Street Journal. Packages which don't meet the new standards will be subject to a $1.99 surcharge that the seller must pay. Offering a carrot as well as a stick, Amazon will give $1 credit to sellers for each item that does meet the guidelines.

Brands have little power to influence Amazon's rules, and the company already has a reputation for treating its third-party sellers poorly. For sellers operating on already-thin margins, these new packaging rules could pose a challenge.

Turn on browser notifications to receive breaking news alerts from Engadget
You can disable notifications at any time in your settings menu.
Not now

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission. All prices are correct at the time of publishing.
Amazon will fine sellers who ship products in oversized packaging