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Amazon Entices Retailers to Sell Kindle eBook Readers

Amazon is inviting retailers to sell its Kindles and is enticing them with a 10 percent commission on the price of Kindle ebooks purchased from the devices they sell for the first two years after a customer buys a device. However, online sellers are not included in the invitation.

Amazon Source is targeted at independent bookstores and other retailers. While one news outlet headline read, “Amazon Has A Plan To Get Indie Bookstores To Kill Themselves,” Amazon Kindle VP Russ Grandinetti was quoted in the press release announcing the program, “We believe that retailers, online or offline, small or large, should be striving to offer customers what they want – and many customers want to read both digital and print books.”

He added, “For many years, bookstores have successfully sold print books on Amazon – now Amazon Source extends this opportunity to digital. With Amazon Source, customers don’t have to choose between e-books and their favorite neighborhood bookstore – they can have both.”

Amazon Source builds on the technology and sales integration launched with Waterstones in 2012, and several bookstores have already been using Amazon Source in a pilot program: the University of Puget Sound Campus Bookstore and JJ Books, both located in Washington state.

Retailers that are part of the program can use Amazon Source to purchase Kindle devices and accessories for resale. Retailers can choose between two programs:

1) Bookseller Program: Buy Kindle devices at a 6% discount from the Manufacturer Suggested Retail Price. Buy Kindle accessories at a 35% discount from the Manufacturer Suggested Retail Price. Earn a 10% commission on the price of every e-book purchased from customers’ Kindle devices for two years from device purchase.

2) General Retail Program: Receive a larger discount when purchasing the devices from Amazon, but do not receive revenue from their customers’ Kindle book purchases: Buy Kindle devices at a 9% discount from the Manufacturer Suggested Retail Price. Buy Kindle accessories at a 35% discount from the Manufacturer Suggested Retail Price.

The first order from Amazon Source is “worry-free” for retailers – if a retailer decides they no longer want to sell Kindle, Amazon will buy back the inventory for up to six months after their first order, with no questions asked.

Retailers located in certain states are not allowed to participate, however. The list of ineligible states along with FAQs are located on the Amazon Source website.

Under the eligibility section, it states: “To qualify, you must operate a physical retail store (at this time, online sales are not permitted through this program) and be able to provide state resale exemption certificates for each state in which you have a store.”

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Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). She is a member of the Online News Association (Sep 2005 - present) and Investigative Reporters and Editors (Mar 2006 - present). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com. See disclosure at EcommerceBytes.com/disclosure/.