Switching From Yay to Hell No on Amazon Marketplace

I used to recommend authors list their own books, autographed, in Amazon market place to provide another way to direct sale to readers.  Today though, I’m walking that back and recommending NOT doing it, because at some point Amazon seriously jacked up their Marketplace listing fees.

Case in point, I sold a $15 item last night. It used to be, I’d get the $15 + the 3.99 shipping fee and Amazon would take a cut of about $2.50 or so. But instead, when I got the “sold” email, I noticed this:

As you can see in the picture, Amazon has practically doubled their fee, taking $5.64 – because now on top of the $1.80 closing fee and $0.99 per item listing fee, they take an additional 15% as a “referral” fee.  I.E. they now charge you a premium for the “honor” of listing in their storefront.

Now, you may look at that picture and go “yeah, but you still made $13.35, so that’s not bad right?” and that is probably how it looks at first glance.

EXCEPT the new fee structure essentially steals back the shipping allowance! So now, instead of netting around $14 profit, because the customer paid the shipping, like this:

$15.99 Selling Price
$3.99 Shipping allowance
-$2.50 Amazon fees
-$3.28 Actual shipping cost
$14.20 NET Profit

I get $13 and STILL have to pay to ship the item out – so in the end, the net drops to $11.06 net.

$15.99 Selling Price
$3.99 Shipping allowance
-$5.64 Amazon fees
-$3.28 Actual shipping cost
$11.06 NET Profit

Likewise, when I first realized something was off was when I sold a $10 video game for a friend.  The net amount coming to my bank account to give him?

Yeah…suffice to say I felt horrible and I’ll probably eat the fee cost myself just to make it up to him.  Ebay is significantly cheaper for listing items and doesn’t punish you for being an individual seller. Amazon now does – if you aren’t signed up for their $40/mth professional selling plan, they basically make it untenable to sell through the marketplace anymore unless you are a big business that can eat that ridiculous monthly fee.  For me, I’ve pulled all my listings as of last night.

I’d wondered for a while why I’d seen fewer and fewer individual listings like you used to see, and prices jacked up on so many used items, but I’d set my listings up awhile back and hadn’t paid much attention to them since as I’m not a big seller. So I apologize for only just now realizing the situation had changed.  

To be clear, this is NOT the same as publishing through KDP Print or IngramSpark – the Marketplace is where you see “new & used” listings you see on products.