Why Amazon Marketplace sucks

When you visit a product's page on Amazon.com, it has a handy feature of letting you "Sell your own". It saves time in that you don't have to describe the item or write an ad for it (as you have to on eBay); you only have to say in what state it is (new, used etc.). I used this to sell a Java book. The process was very smooth, I got a buyer the next day, I shipped immediately, and was notified that I got my desired price plus $3.99 credit for shipping. However...

Amazon charges about 20% commission

While putting the book on sale, I never saw anything about the commissions. However, the e-mail notification that my account was credited for the sale, looked like this:

Buyer's Price: $28.00
Shipping Credit: $3.99
Amazon Commission: $-6.54
Your Earnings: $25.45

It turns out that Amazon commissions include a "$0.99 per-transaction fee", a "a commission of 6 to 15 percent of the sales price" and a "closing fee" of $1.35 for books. If you do that math, (6.54-1.35-0.99)/28 is 0.15, so I was charged the maximum commission.

Of course, Amazon can charge whatever it wants, but please display the commissions on the item sale page.

Your Marketplace Payments Funds: Action Required

Now that you've been robbedcharged about 20% for a $30 book, there's one more obstacle before you can use your money:

Remember, providing a checking account is the only way you can receive your earnings. We cannot send checks, credit your credit card, or credit your retail account at this time.

WTF?! My "Marketplace account" and "retail account" are both electronic accounts I have with Amazon. I can transfer money online from my checking account to my savings account with any backwards bank. Why can't Amazon, a high-tech company, transfer money between my two accounts with them?!

Amazon's boilerplate e-mail reply

I e-mailed amazon about these two gripes (displaying the commissions when putting the item on sale, and the schizophrenia of the two accounts), and got a boilerplate reply. It included,

While we realize that some sellers might wish to have their Marketplace Payments funds transferred into their retail account, Amazon.com is not offering this as an option at any time in the foreseeable future

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