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Amazon Denies Supplier Purge, but Vendors Wise to Prep in Case

Amazon Denies Supplier Purge but Vendors Wise to Prep in Case

Amazon denied a report in Bloomberg that it was purging suppliers. In the article, “Amazon Is Poised to Unleash a Long-Feared Purge of Small Suppliers,” the news source wrote, “In the next few months, bulk orders will dry up for thousands of mostly smaller suppliers, according to three people familiar with the plan.”

It’s the latest report that Amazon plans to shift vendors from Vendor Central to Seller Central, but the company denies that it is making a “large scale reduction of vendors.” Back in December, DigiDay had reported that Amazon was moving lower-volume vendors to the 3rd-party selling model, and in March, TJI Research said it appeared Amazon was pushing smaller vendors to become marketplace sellers on Seller Central.

Amazon Senior Vice President of Worldwide Operations Dave Clark denied the Bloomberg report, tweeting today, “It might be interesting if it were true, but it’s not…and we said so in the story…an Amazon spokeswoman said: “….any speculation of a large scale reduction of vendors is incorrect.””

Amazon also provided a statement to Geekwire denying the report: “We informed Bloomberg prior to publication of their article that their story and sources are wrong. We review our selling partner relationships on an individual basis as part of our normal course of business and any speculation of a large scale reduction of vendors is incorrect. Like any business, we make changes when we see an opportunity to provide customers with improved selection, value and convenience, and we do this thoughtfully and considerately on a case-by-case basis.”

Nevertheless, if you sell through Vendor Central, you might wish to heed some advice offered by a former Amazon employee in the Bloomberg piece (link via LA Times):

“Anderson Salgado, a former Amazon vendor manager and CEO of Trisbell, a consulting firm that helps people sell products on Amazon. Smaller Amazon vendors should prepare now by learning how to sell on Amazon’s marketplace to make the transition more smoothly, he said.

““If this happens soon and people are not ready for it, they will not be ready during the holidays,” he said. “The people who get ahead of the game are going to thrive.””

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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/.