Sellers who thought they might have been on to a good thing by selling accessories for the Kindle e-reader on Amazon will probably have to think again, after the company gave notice of a five-fold hike in its selling fees.
From October 15, sales of Kindle accessories will attract a total selling fee of 40.25 per cent of the product's price – consisting of a 35 per cent fee, plus the 15 per cent VAT. The current item fee is seven per cent plus the VAT, which equates to just over eight per cent.
In many sellers' eyes, the motive for this seems obvious – it will give Amazon a clear price advantage for selling accessories for its own products over any third parties. So, as a retailer in its own right, Amazon is snuffing out competition, or it considers that some sellers can bear the higher fees as the products involved sell at a high profit margin.
In Amazon's announcement of the change, it said that any products with 'Kindle' included in the title or description, or which are listed as for use or compatible with the devices, should be classified as Kindle accessories. It went on to say that listings will be "automatically moved to the correct product category beginning October 15 2012".
Chris Dawson of Tamebay.com, resourceful as ever, has one suggestion for anyone set to be hit by the increase – simply switch their listings to eBay.