Formerly, the calculations we had been using for a product’s Referral and Variable Closing Fees were based on the information provided in Amazon’s publicly available fee schedule. According to this page, a Referral Fee is charged for the sale price of an item, though the page doesn’t specify whether the sale price includes the shipping price charged to the buyer. Furthermore, non-media products (products excluding Books, Music, DVDs, Software, Video Games, and Video Game Consoles) are shown to have a Variable Closing Fee that is based on weight and shipping method, while media products have a Variable Closing Fee that depends solely on shipping method.
However, from recent experience on Amazon Marketplace and correspondence with Amazon Seller Support, we learned to revise our calculations. The first revision involves the Referral Fee. For media products, the Referral Fee excludes the shipping price from the sale price. In contrast, the Referral Fee for non-media products includes the shipping price as part of the sale price. Secondly, the Variable Closing Fee for non-media products is not based on weight or shipping method as described in the public fee schedule page mentioned above. Instead, the Variable Closing Fee for non-media products is the Referral Fee charged on shipping paid by the buyer, and thus is not charged separately. This information is detailed in the fee schedule found in Amazon’s Seller Central, which requires sellers to log in to access.
The Amazon Calculator has been updated in light of this information. Non-media products will no longer produce a Variable Closing Fee and instead will have a Referral Fee that includes the shipping credit as part of the sale price. Calculations for media products are not affected by this change.
March 9, 2013 Update: Amazon’s fee schedule appears to have been updated since this post was first published and is now consistent with what we’ve described.