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Amazon.com Hopes to Spawn New E-Tailers

Amazon.com Inc. Wednesday announced a new program that will give any business, from large manufacturer to small retailer, access to the online retailer's more than 12 million customers.

Dubbed zShops, Amazon.com said the program's goal is to expand the number of items available through its Web site to include a greater variety of popular or hard-to-find items.

The move should provide a big boost to Amazon's bottom line. The company will charge zShop owners a monthly fee of $9.99 a month. Amazon will also receive a commission of between 1 and 5 percent, depending on the price of the item.

"We're delighted to welcome to Amazon.com the thousands of companies and individuals -- hobbyists, specialty retailers, entrepreneurs, investors -- anyone with something interesting to offer," said Amazon.com Chief Executive Officer Jeff Bezos.

"This is a win for customers who get a bigger selection, a win for sellers who can now reach more than 12 million customers hassle-free and a win for Amazon.com because we're now an even better shopping destination. This is all about finding what you want and saving time and money."

Amazon.com also extended its 1-Click payment feature to individuals and small businesses that sell over zShops. 1-Click allows customers who have ordered from Amazon.com before to purchase additional items without re-entering their credit card information. Amazon.com will handle the credit card processing and make a direct deposit into the seller's checking account. Sellers will also be instantly notified when the deposit has been handled which eliminates the need for a seller to wait for checks to clear before shipping goods.

Finally, Amazon.com introduced All Products Search, a new feature designed to help shoppers scour the Net for a particular item and hook up with someone offering it for sale. Amazon.com said All Products Search will go beyond Amazon.com's inventory and the products available in its new zShops. Search results will also be categorized and will provide detailed product information as well as a place for visitors to view merchant ratings and add their own comments.

"Our goal is to build a place where customers can go to find and discover anything they might want to buy online. With All Products Search, if we don't have it, we'll still help you find it," he said.

The announcements were fueling Amazon.com's shares. In late morning trading, Amazon.com (AMZN) had climbed 9 to 74-7/8.