Amazon is going after FedEx and UPS with steep discounts as it looks to court more sellers to try its pilot shipping service that launched this year.
Ray Berman, an Amazon seller who was recently invited to the program, said the rates were as much as 50 percent cheaper than those offered by UPS. He said for a shipment of 600 pounds of boxes from his warehouse to Amazon's fulfillment center, Amazon charged only $80 — much lower than UPS' $160 and FedEx's $104.
"I was amazed by it," Berman told CNBC. "It could be a real savings in overall cash flow."
The discount shows how far Amazon is willing to go to build out the initial customer base of its own shipping service that competes directly with FedEx and UPS.
Although Amazon has long played down its shipping ambitions — saying its own delivery service is only meant to "supplement" existing partners — the aggressive pricing could be an indication of its plan going far beyond that.
"This is the typical Amazon playbook," said Jerry Kavesh, CEO of 3P Marketplace Solutions, a consulting firm for Amazon marketplace sellers. "They decided there's an opportunity — and they're willing to buy their way in."