Vendor Central Tariff Price Increase: What It Means for Amazon Sellers

By Tinuiti Team

In May, the US Trade Representative recently announced that the rate of tariff for List 3 ASINs would increase from 10% to 25% for goods exported to the US on or after May 10, 2019. 

If you exported List 3 ASINs from China to the US before May 10, 2019, they subject to the 10% tariff rate only if they arrived in the US by June 15, 2019.

What Amazon sellers need to know about the tariff increase

1. Which items are affected by the tariff increase?

Every product subject to a tariff action is identified by an 8-digit or 10-digit Harmonized Tariff Schedule (HTS Subheading). If you know your HTS subheading(s), you can use this search engine to learn whether your products are affected by the List 3 tariff increase.

2. How will the tariff increase affect Amazon sellers? 

Many third-party Amazon sellers may not have the negotiating power to shift increased tariff costs onto suppliers, so if you import List 3 ASINs from China, you may have to choose between absorbing the cost or passing it onto your customers in the form of raised prices.

Small Amazon sellers may no longer be able to afford to absorb the cost of tariffs. Instead, you may want to consider raising prices to account for the increase. If you don’t, you might end up losing money on the sale of List 3 ASINs.

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You might also consider working with a new supplier outside of China; however, switching suppliers can be a costly and time-consuming operation, especially if you have an ongoing contract with a Chinese supplier. Bloomberg reported that “finding the right factory, securing raw materials, and conducting product quality testing can easily eat up a year.” 

Whatever you choose to do, whether it’s implementing a new pricing strategy or supplier, make sure to act as soon as possible — don’t wait for the holiday rush to get started. 

If you do choose to raise prices, you will need to submit a product cost revision for consideration. Make sure to do this as soon as you have your price changes ready in order to have everything squared away before the holiday shopping season begins. 

3. How to submit a product cost revision to Amazon 

Here’s how Amazon asks sellers affected by the tariff increase to submit a product cost revision request:

  1. Download a cost sheet from Items > Edit Item Costs
  2. Update the cost for all applicable ASINs

Make sure to input this information with the request:

In Vendor Central, Amazon announced that based on the information submitted with your product cost revision request, they will confirm whether or not your products are impacted by tariffs based on HTS codes and country of origin — so make sure to include that information.

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