jwolthuis - 6:01 pm on Feb 18, 2011 (gmt 0)
you are paying Amazon to compete with Amazon on Amazon's home turf.
I sell a hundred-or-so products on Amazon, and a thousand-or-so products on my stand-alone site. (I also sell on eBay, Sears, Bonanza, etc).
Of those hundred products, about half have other sellers, either Amazon or third-party, a mix of Prime and non-Prime.
Although Amazon is technically "competing against me", and I'm "paying them" a commission, I justify that payment based on the customers they bring to me. They run a very fast, popular website that gets a ton of traffic, and that's certainly worth my commission payment.
What's the downside? They sell a few more widgets than I do. I didn't incur an expense because someone bought from Amazon instead of me. It costs me nothing to list with them (I'm not a Pro-Merchant). In fact, the sales and profits I get from Amazon make it worth the trouble to list products with them. I make money.
If Amazon can put a few thousand in my pocket, I'll forgive them for competing with me, thank them for their high-traffic website, and take my wife out for a nice dinner tonight, paid for with my Amazon profits.
Anyway, that's my view of Amazon.