The Seattle Times has a sobering story today about a seller operating as part of Amazon's independent marketplace that charged as many as 3,500 customers for holiday gift purchases that the customers never received. The third-party seller, which used the name "mygreatchoice", was said to be a tool company in California. Oddly, the seller had a high customer satisfaction rating as an Amazon seller, prior to this holiday season. But many customers who said they ordered DVDs from mygreatchoice late last year said that their credit cards were charged for orders that never arrived in the mail. Amazon is trying to make good on the unfilled orders on behalf of the delinquent seller.

The news comes as an unpleasant footnote to an otherwise cheerful holiday sales season for online retailers like Amazon. According to CNET, Amazon sold 108 million items during the holiday period, the most expensive of which was a pair of diamond earring worth $94,000.