The decision by AbeBooks to place an 8% charge on seller shipping expenses has caused outrage among many of the online retailer’s booksellers, who called the move shortsighted and one that discriminates against international booksellers. Hannes Blum, Abe CEO, said that in order to cover rising costs and compete in a marketplace that includes Amazon and Alibris, Abe needed to find a way to boost revenue. The benefit of instituting a charge on shipping fees is that it has the dual affect of raising revenue while discouraging gouging on shipping costs by booksellers who sell books for (literally) pennies and make their profit on shipping charges.
This is a BIG deal. Eight percent is no small chunk of change; we routinely eat up to $20 on shipping as it is, to add another 8% is going to kill a lot of smaller dealers.