Small and Light is shrinking its limits… and usefulness

For some time, Amazon has offered discounted FBA fees for products that met pricing and physical criteria in an effort to get more smaller items into the marketplace that would have otherwise not been profitable. Dubbed Small and Light, the program promises predictable discounted fees based on size and weight and a requirement that the sale price be under $15. That’s about to change, though.

Starting July 26, 2019, the requirements are changing substantially. Here’s the break down:

CriteriaOldNewChange
Weight15 oz10 oz-33.3%
Dimensions16x9x4SameN/A
Price<= $15<= $7-53.3%

The biggest and most disruptive change is the price threshold. By moving the ceiling down from $15 to $7, this will easily eliminate the potential from the bulk of items that could be added to S&L under the existing rules. The weight drop isn’t as substantial, as there’s a plethora of products that exist which weigh less than 10 oz. Why the dimensions are still the same is entirely beyond me. I can’t think of too many products that woudl meet all three criteria at this point.

I have a feeling this plays a lot into Amazon’s push into 1-day shipping and the cost to make that happen for this class of item isn’t one they can ignore forever.

There’s a silver lining

This all sounds like crap news, and it is. While this sucks, the changes don’t go into effect until July 26, 2019 andexisting ASINs will get to keep their S&L status under the old restrictions until Jaunary 27, 2020. After this second deadline, all existing items outside the 10oz/$7 boundary will automatically convert to standard FBA fee structures.

Put another way, get your S&L items in now and be liberal about it if you want to take part in the program. There are some that say they don’t get the buy box when whey’re enrolled in S&L, and that might be true, but becuase so much goes into that algorithm, S&L likely only plays one part. I’ve had ASINs that sold just as well as before converting to S&L and weren’t otherwise profitable. No one person’s experience should be considered fact and gospel.

At the end of the day, I’m not surprised this is happening. Small and Light has always been a bit confusing for me. I would think that if Amazon is willing to discount the FBA fees for items that meet these smaller dimensions and prices, they would just apply them automatically and adjust the fees accordingly if they decide it’s no longer profitable. I suppose I’m dreaming, too, and expecting a best-case scenario that’ll never happen.

Last Updated: February, 7th, 2021 at 07:19 pm UTC
Johnathan Lyman

Johnathan Lyman



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