Amazon quietly extended a program designed to help it sell more grocery items online

  • Amazon has quietly extended a promotion that gives sellers a break on fees for grocery items that are selling for less than $15.

  • Amazon originally announced the program in October 2017. It was scheduled to end this October but has now been extended through December 2019.

  • The program is seen as a way to get more grocery items on its website even if Amazon isn't selling them directly.

Amazon is doubling down on an effort to get more grocery items on its website.

The online retail giant has just extended a promotion that gives third-party sellers a break on fees for certain grocery items. Usually, Amazon charges a referral fee of 15% on all sales of grocery and gourmet items, but since October 2017, that fee has been cut down to 8% for all items costing less than $15.

The promotion was originally slated to end this October, but in an email sent to sellers this month and viewed by Business Insider, Amazon said it had extended the discount until December 2019.

Amazon also quietly updated its website to reflect the extension. A company spokesperson did not immediately return Business Insider's request for comment.

The move could be seen as a way to encourage sellers to list more grocery items on the cheaper side, thus giving customers a larger selection to choose from than what Amazon sells directly. It's another way that Amazon is looking to get customers used to buying food online.

Amazon is attacking grocery from multiple angles and hasn't quite found a winning formula yet. It most recently expanded both pickup and delivery from Whole Foods with its Prime Now service

Earlier this year, Amazon kicked all of its third-party sellers off of its Amazon Fresh grocery-delivery platform. Amazon Fresh customers have reported issues with the service as it fades into the background and Prime Now gobbles up the spotlight.

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