A fan linked to a numerically-challenged anti-RMAH rant from MMO Crunch, which earned an argumentative Bashiok reply.
In any case, the listing and transaction fees, which are flat fees, are being kept as low as we possibly can keep them. Right now in beta it’s 0.80 ‘Beta Bucks’ total if you list and sell an item, and it’s possible it’ll be around that in USD for North America at launch. We still don’t know yet, though, but we’re trying to keep it as low as possible. And of course keep in mind that we still intend to offer a number of free listings per week. If someone wants to just use their free listings every week, they’re more than welcome to. We anticipate a lot of people will go this route as it’s a no-risk situation and no fees are taken if the item doesn’t sell.
People selling items beyond those free listing will indeed want to make sure their items are of a quality the market deems is worth more than the flat posting and transaction fees, and in fact the game just won’t allow you to post under a certain amount. Otherwise they may want to go the gold route, build up some gold, and then sell that through the currency-based auction house.
If you do decide that your sale is something you want to cash out, a percentage will indeed be taken, but we haven’t announced any details regarding what the PayPal cash out fees will be yet.
The “as low as possible” line is an odd one, since that number would be zero, if they wished it to be. The only costs at that point are to Blizzard for hosting the sales and running the system; it’s not as if they’re using some other credit card processing service that charges fifty cents per sale and they have to recoup the costs. The eight cents is pure profit for them, minus expenses. The only external fees come when/if you cash out via PayPal.
That said, zero costs for RMAH listings and sales would be a bad thing for we consumers, since then everyone would list every piece of junk and clog up the listings and market. There has to be some kind of cost, not just for Blizzard to cover expenses and make a profit, but to weed out the junk items, dissuade griefers, etc. It’s the same sort of logic that leads bars to charge a cover price, on busy nights. Whether eighty cents is a fair fee remains to be seen, but trying to explain all of that in every post would be a tiring for Bashiok, and a little too honest for Bliz PR.
Check Diablo 3 Markets for more, I’m sure Azzure has recently posted something germane to this issue.