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Sellers Pay for the Privilege of Running Amazon Prime Day Deals

Amazon Prime Day

Amazon Prime DayAmazon reaps tremendous benefits when sellers seed its site with discounted items during Prime Day. Nevertheless, sellers pay for the privilege of running Prime Day deals.

Amazon charges sellers $750 to run a Prime Day Lightning Deal, up from $500 last year, according to CNBC. “By charging more in fees, Amazon not only makes additional cash but also filters out sellers who aren’t confident that their products will be popular enough to justify the costs,” according to the publication. Amazon typically charges $150 per Lightning Deal on normal shopping days.

Keep in mind that sellers are already shrinking their margins by lowering prices enough to qualify for Amazon deals.

Amazon also encourages sellers to boost advertising on Prime Day, and one seller told CNBC that the marketplace is trying to figure out “how to double dip into our pockets.”

For Amazon, Prime Day is more than a boost in sales; as CNN noted, it uses the exposure to spotlight its own products and attract new members to its Prime membership program.

A study by the National Retail Federation (NRF) found that other retailers and marketplaces benefit from Prime Day, including eBay:

“This year NRF found that nearly eight out of 10 back-to-school and college shoppers are marking their calendars for July 16 to look for sales on everything from school supplies to electronics. But while many (60%) back-to-class shoppers will be browsing specifically on Amazon, they’ll also be hunting for other deals. Leading up to mid-July, retailers from eBay to Apple to Macy’s have been advertising their own “Black Friday in July” sales to appeal to these early-bird shoppers.

“And it’s working: A quarter of back-to-school and college shoppers plan to use Prime Day to shop online deals at other retailers, and nearly a third (31%) will be checking for in-store deals.”

The NRF also found there are regional differences in Prime Day shopping behavior:

“Where consumers plan to shop for deals over July 16 can vary depending on where in the United States they live. Retailers looking to target back-to-class shoppers in the South should know these consumers are the most likely to be looking for in-store deals compared with other regions, while those in the Northeast are the most likely to shop Prime Day specifically at Amazon.”

Meanwhile, Amazon used an interesting technique to generate excitement for its big July shopping event. In the period leading up to Prime Day, Amazon began sending shipping boxes to customers with designs they could cut out and play with (and, it hoped, share on social media using the hashtag #morethanabox). The accompanying graphic shows cutouts from one such box featuring an image of planet Earth, an Amazon plane (assembly required), clouds, and a sign that reads “Prime Day.”

Edited 7/16/18 to add hashtag.

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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). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com.

3 thoughts on “Sellers Pay for the Privilege of Running Amazon Prime Day Deals”

  1. As bad as people feel about Ebay, Amazon is the real problem.

    Amazon is a Wall Street-constructed monopoly that seeks to provide wealth for the few by enslaving sellers and making them work harder for less.

    Amazon is also destroying American small and medium business by allowing the subsidized Chinese sellers to wipe them out. Again, only the few make get wealth from this, including the Chinese people, because Chinese businesses use slave labor for such low prices. It is the already-wealthy connected to the Chinese government that profit from these businesses.

    The buyer will also eventually be a slave of Amazon, being allowed to choose only from products that the few get wealth from.

    A monopoly means a lack of choice. It means total control.

    The Wall Street media carefully avoids any discussion of any of these issues. Amazon even has started to move their monopoly into the media. “Reporters” are just their shills that hide discussion of the problems. . Keep the slaves and future slaves ignorant.

    Will it be too late by the time people realize this?

  2. There has also been a shell game going on at Amazon. As the monopoly is formed, profits are not so important along the way to the ultimate goal.

    Amazon has never been a retail “success.”

    The dirty secret is that their cloud services have funded the retail loss (and sellers that impoverish themselves for the monopolists)

    People are delusional if they think Amazon is a shining success.

    Wall Street lets them fund the losses with profits from other things it because the goal is a full monopoly, and they are focused on the goal

    The few are using Amazon to provide for a future of wealth and control for themselves.

    They will also be able to totally control legislators because they wipe out all competition (and destroy small and medium business in the US that competes for legislator attention) so that eventually there will be no hope for breaking this monopoly up, and they will get things like TPP passed that will make them immune to laws.

    The Wall Street media keeps you unaware of any of this game going on, and people either don’t know where to seek the true information, or they want to believe delusions they are fed.

    If anyone thinks that Jeff Bezos is anything but a puppet lol they are unfortunately mistaken.

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