Amazon Does Allow Sellers to Set Shipping Charges

Posted on August 18, 2008. Filed under: Amazon | Tags: , |

It is a common misconception that Amazon dictates what shipping costs every seller charges.   Our Amazon Seller Central Account allows us to establish our own shipping rates.  We are able to decide where we want to ship, what shipping service levels we want to offer, and finally we are able to decide how we want to have shipping calculated.

Where We Want To Ship:
Continental U.S.
Continental P. O. Box
APO / FPO Street
APO / FPO P. O. Box
Alaska and Hawaii Street
Alaska and Hawaii P. O. Box
U.S. Protectorates Street
U.S. Protectorates P. O. Box
Brazil, Mexico, South Africa

Shipping Service Levels We Can Offer:
One Day

Calculated Shipping:
Item / Weight Based Calculation
Banded Calculation

As an Amazon seller, we can choose the (1)  Item / Weight Based Shipping Calculation

So, for example we can charge $5.99 per shipment and then $1 per pound.  So, if a customer purchases 3 items with a total weight of 4 pounds, the shipping cost will be calculated as $9.99.

Alternatively, we can charge $5.99 per shipment and $2 per item.  So, if a customer purchases 3 items with a total weight of 4 pounds, the shipping cost would be calculated as $11.99.

Note that we can use either the total item or total weight based approach for each region to which we ship and for each shipping service level we offer.


or we can choose the (2) Banded shipping calculation.

Banded Shipping is based on the total dollar value of the order and different banded shipping costs can be calculated based on region and shipping service level.


Amazon does not ask buyers to evaluate sellers on shipping costs, unlike eBay where buyers are asked to give their opinion about the reasonableness of a seller’s shipping cost.  Instead, Amazon buyers decide in advance whether they think a shipping cost is reasonable / unreasonable as they intelligently consider the shipping cost in their purchasing decision prior to actually buying the item. 

All other things being equal, an Amazon seller with the lowest TOTAL cost (item + shipping) will receive placement above other sellers when search results are returned.  But an Amazon seller’s shipping cost is not more important in placement than a seller’s performance statistics (on-time shipping, returns, customer feedback, etc).  In contrast, on eBay, the reasonableness of a seller’s Shipping Cost is one of the single most important statistics since, of the four detailed seller ratings, it is the one that buyers consistently rate the lowest.  And it is, therefore, buyers’ opinion-based ratings of Shipping and Handling that is an important factor in a seller’s ultimate placement in the eBay search results along with determing a seller’s invoice discounts. 

As a seller, I prefer being “graded” on statistics that can be objectively measured such as the number of orders I shipped late or the number of customer returns I had rather than being graded subjectively on a buyer’s opinion about the reasonableness of my shipping and handling cost, a cost which was known to them in advance of the purchase.

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9 Responses to “Amazon Does Allow Sellers to Set Shipping Charges”

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How do you set your own shipping rate, different from the standard 3.99 Amazon sets for you? I don’t see a way to do this?

Jody, I have an Amazon Pro Merchant account ($39.99 a month) and I do not sell media items and I am able to set my own shipping. If you do not have a Pro Merchant account and/or if you sell media items then you might not be able to set your own shipping rates. What type of items do you sell on Amazon?

[…] Pro-Merchant accounts establish shipping costs and return policies.  See blog post titled Amazon Does Allow Sellers To Set Shipping Charges (click on the […]

I also sell on Amazon. I have a Pro Merchant account ($39.95 mo). I sell plush toys, Willow Tree Angels, Jim Shore, Webkinz, etc.

I can find no way to set my own shipping. Can someone explain exactly the steps. i.e., where in the Seller account to change the settings?

[…] lot of confusion is shipping charges — what options are available to which type of merchant. This recent article does a good job of covering the two types of shipping calculations, item/weight-based and shipping […]

Your are wrong. If you don’t have a Pro-Merchant account, you cannot set shipping. End of story.

Furthermore the lowest item plus shipping is only at the top if you have a Pro-Merchant account. You could sell the item for free, but if you don’t have a Pro-Merchant account you still won’t be at the top. That’s an unfair trade practice to small sellers. It keeps prices high and competition out.

Skip, yes I did say that we set shipping through our Amazon Seller Central Account (ie Pro Merchant account). You pay to play. If you don’t pay for a Pro Merchant account then you don’t get the same benefits.

However, having a Pro Merchant account doesn’t determine whether you are at the top or bottom of the list, as you suggest. Rather, it is your performance as an Amazon seller. Sellers are featured merchants or not featured merchants and that is not dependent on whether you have a pro merchant account or not. Featured merchants appear at the top and, of the featured merchants listed, the one with the lowest overall price will appear at the top of the list. It doesn’t mean the lowest price will earn the “buy box”, however.

We have a Pro Merchant Account and we “Pay to Play”. We have a friend who also has a Pro Merchant Account. When he logs in to his account, he goes to the “SETTINGS” tab and in the blue bar just below sees the following options:

Account Info | Login Settings | Shipping Settings | Advanced Features

As you can see, Shipping Settings are one of the options. However, when I logon to my PRO MERCHANT account, and go to the same steps, the “SETTINGS” tab, etc., my blue bar shows:

Account Info | Login Settings | Advanced Features

As you can see, even though we both have a Pro Merchant account and we both pay the $39.95 per month fee, we both do not have the same options to adjust the Shipping Settings. When we search the help pages of, it takes us ’round and ’round. Even if someone were to give step-by-step instructions on how to change and customize their shipping settings, it would only be if enabled your account to adjust shipping settings. Not all Pro-Merchant accounts are the same – trust me on that! Some have it where you have to ship the product in order to get paid by Amazon, ours pays us first, then we get to ship the product – again – SAME PRO MERCHANT ACCOUNT as far as what we pay in monthly charges and our status with Amazon, however, accounts have certain features enabled that only representatives at technicians can enable for you. How do I know this? I’ve actually talked to a human at and she specifically told me. A Pro Merchant account is a step in the right direction and is absolutely required if you want to have control over your shipping settings, but, your Pro Merchant account also has to be enabled to offer this. How it is done exactly, without calling Amazon, is a mystery to me.

i am a pro merchant as well

i sell bracelets water bottles and baby products

i see no way to edit shipping , in fact my screen i compared to your screenshot and the options you speak of are simply not there

can i ask are you approved for a restricted category? couse that might explain why you have it and we dont

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