Amazon has undoubtedly created a platform that allows millions of small businesses to reach an enormous audience of consumers. That's great if you want to sell your products to people you'd never be able to reach on your own, but it's worth asking the question: at what cost?
Starting today, Amazon will begin charging a fee to sellers that don't comply with the company's guidelines on how products are packaged. The goal, according to Amazon, is to reduce cost and waste associated with what the company considers oversized and unnecessary packaging that makes it more expensive to move items through its warehouse and delivery systems.
In an announcement last fall, Amazon noted that these requirements include moving small items from boxes to flexible mailers, optimizing boxes to better address product size and weight, and using fully recyclable mailers. They also noted that they are working with vendor partners to develop ready-to-ship packaging.