The Seattle-based company, which has a huge depot known as a “fulfilment centre” in Dunfermline, will increase fees to most traders from 7 per cent to 12 per cent next week.
Similar fee increases were introduced in the US in January. One angry trader wrote on a bulletin board: “Now that Amazon has all the power they’re imposing increased fee hikes to all those cozy sellers who have supported Amazon since day one.”
Many small traders are switching their businesses to eBay – which charges lower fees and which pays up more quickly through its PayPal company. However, Amazon traders are loath to comment publicly because they depend so heavily on the firm. One said: “We are obviously quite worried. We don’t know if this will push us under.”
Another said he was planning to pass on the extra charge to customers. “We are not supposed to, but we will have to have higher prices on Amazon. I don’t think they can enforce pricing. We have to be able to compete with everybody. It should be up to the seller, it shouldn’t be up to Amazon.”
Amazon is also facing criticism for avoiding taxes in the UK. An online petition demanding the company “pay their fair share of tax in the UK” has received more than 100,000 signatures.