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Saturday, February 26, 2005

A Fair Cut? [Updated AZ info 2/28]

Booklisting sites provide an incredible resource to the online bookseller. By consolidating independent sellers into one place they provide a viable market for consumers as well as significant coverage for sellers. Many of these sites, however, have not been extremely successful (at least in terms of finances). This makes many of us wonder what is wrong with their business model? From the viewpoint of the bookseller this leads to imposing sellers' fees which may be on the rise? In my opinion many of the "cuts" now taken are fair. One exception is the "share" of the shipping costs taken by some sites. This usually hurts the seller, but more often simply artificially inflates prices. Below is a review of some site's fees, please inform us of corrections or other sites you think should be added.
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HALF.COM-
15%, up to $2.33 shipping reimbursement of $3.25 taken
Alibris-
20%, up to $2.30 shipping reimbursement of $3.49 taken
Abebooks-
8% (min of 50 cents) + $25 (min) monthly fee,
Amazon-
15% + 99 cents**, up to $2.26 shipping reimbursement of $3.49 taken.
Choosebooks-
10% (capped*),
50 cents + 5% payment processing (optional), shipping reimbursed in full
Biblio-
15% (capped*),
25 cents + 5% payment processing (optional), shipping reimbursed in full
Tomfolio-
$35 (min) monthly fee, "small fee to use " their payment processing.

* - Each month, after a certain amount of fees have been collected and based on the number of books in your inventory, these sites stop charging commission on sales.
** - You can pay $39.99/month and not pay this fee.
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