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Wed Oct 7 2020 15:43:00

Amazon Says It Plays Fair with Third Party Sellers

By: Ina Steiner

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Amazon and sellers complement each other and together create a better customer experience than either could create alone, the company wrote in a blog post on Tuesday titled, "Fringe notions on antitrust would destroy small businesses and hurt consumers."

However, a government report out yesterday expressed concern over the company's practices. In one excerpt, the report takes issue with the fact that sellers can't contact buyers, something sellers on other marketplace may also relate to:

"An important limit on a seller's ability to switch from Amazon to selling on its own site or a competing platform is that Amazon generally forbids sellers from contacting their customers. The packaging and even the order confirmation email for third-party sales feature the Amazon brand prominently and do not reference the seller. A typical Amazon customer is unaware of the source of the sale."

The report doesn't paint a pretty picture, stating some sellers who testified before the subcommittee described bullying and strong-arm tactics on the part of the company. "While Amazon has referred to third-party sellers on its Marketplace as "partners," and "customers," numerous small and medium-sized businesses told the Subcommittee that Amazon routinely bullies and mistreats them."

Lawmakers also looked at Facebook, Google, and Apple in its missive. CNBC described the report in an article: "House Democrats unveiled their nearly 450-page antitrust report Tuesday finding Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google each hold monopoly power and, in some cases, should have parts of their businesses effectively broken up."

The Congressional report states that dominant platforms have misappropriated the data of third parties that rely on their platforms, effectively collecting information from customers only to weaponize it against them as rivals, and therefore issued as its first recommendation: "Reduce Conflicts of Interest Thorough Structural Separations and Line of Business Restrictions."

"A former Amazon employee told the Subcommittee that Amazon has used the data of third-party merchants to inform Amazon's own private label strategy, identifying which third-party products were selling well and then introducing copycat versions," according to the report. (See Amazon's stance on this claim in today's Geekwire article.)

The House subcommittee report (PDF), titled, "Investigation of Competition in the Digital Marketplace: Majority Staff Report and Recommendations," totals more than 400 pages, marking the culmination of an investigation that included seven congressional hearings, the production of nearly 1.3 million internal documents and communications, submissions from 38 antitrust experts, and interviews with more than 240 market participants, former employees of the investigated platforms, and other individuals.

The Amazon post, titled, "Fringe notions on antitrust would destroy small businesses and hurt consumers," states "Misguided interventions in the free market would kill off independent retailers and punish consumers by forcing small businesses out of popular online stores, raising prices, and reducing consumer choice and convenience."

Do you think Amazon (and other marketplaces such as eBay and Etsy) play fair with sellers?

Let us know what policies and practices trouble you about the online marketplaces on which you sell, and what actions, if any, lawmakers should take.

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Perminate Link for Amazon Says It Plays Fair with Third Party Sellers   Amazon Says It Plays Fair with Third Party Sellers

by: Bparty This user has validated their user name.

Thu Oct 8 00:36:04 2020

No none of them are fair with sellers.
Ebay - look into how sales cut in half (for me every April starts a new downturn) every year for years now.  I feel I am paying for my items to be seen. It should be illegal for them to take my money and then do otherwise, no matter what is in their policy.
They should be required, if they want to collect money or hold money in trust for  sellers, to have the same requirements to met that any bank would and the same regulations to live up to.  The foolishness that goes on with these companies is just ridiculously dishonest.
Etsy- Etsy makes so many monetary mistakes with customers money it should just not be allowed to be in this type of business anymore.
Amazon - Again, I am paying Amazon for a service which is to provide for fair exposure to my listings.  If you put zero sellers in the buy box or  "sold out" until 2 months from now while you have several sellers with in stock items that will never be seen because your ad says it is sold out for 2 more months.  
When you have bots looking for unknown issues and then remove a listing and ask a seller to jump through hoops for these unknown issues and refuse after asking specifically what is the issue through many many emails and never to receive an honest answer, this is a problem.  They should be required to specify the line or word that the listing has erred on and then what the error of policy is exactly and what needs to be done specifically to remedy it.  
I feel that my payouts from amazon seem fine.  But, I have heard many stories from others where they just keep the sellers money, sometimes for unknown reasons.  This seems completely illegal and again, they should have to answer to an actual banking regulator for this.  There should be no way for them to actually keep another sellers money past a reasonable return period.
Walmart - Walmart provides the worst accounting of sales and payouts of any site.  They also give minimal reasoning for non listed items, but better than most in this case.  
On all these sites, sellers are penalized for things beyond their control and in some cases these sites want to charge them money for things that are beyond sellers control - this should not be legal.
Maybe there needs to be a special oversite for these large marketplaces.  Maybe a little bureaucracy would do them good, since they always want to impose their bureaucracy on us.

Perminate Link for Amazon Says It Plays Fair with Third Party Sellers   Amazon Says It Plays Fair with Third Party Sellers

by: COVID-19 This user has validated their user name.

Thu Oct 8 02:54:35 2020

These bigwigs should look into how eBay steals sellers' unique photos and written descriptions for other (lazy and unoriginal) sellers to use.  It is very galling to spend your time and resources on your own photos and detailed description only to have some lazy scums click on "Sell One Just Like This" and they never have to spend more than a minute on a listing.  eBay is forcing you sellers to help your competitors.  Yeah yeah yeah, I already know what the eBay sycophants will say "You agree to this in the ToS."  Still doesn't make it right.    

Perminate Link for Amazon Says It Plays Fair with Third Party Sellers   Amazon Says It Plays Fair with Third Party Sellers

This user has validated their user name. by: thehosst

Thu Oct 8 09:13:19 2020

Ina, the issue is not just the companies and executives but the most damaging issues happen at botton-feeder inside fraudsters working at Amazopoly, Google and eBay.

I was ask 1,500 a month to stop my product feed monthly suspension, by someone  who called me right after I was told by a google merchant staff: hang up now, someone will call you in a few minutes to help you with your issues"

Same experience with eBay and with Amazon we all know the same scams. The top executives are too lazy or too stupid to fix those big issues and we the small sellers are suffering the power of GIGANT companies, perpetrated by 1 dollar a day starving scammers in their 'customer service" departments.

I don't see any articles or comments on this subject. Buy hey, just wait for the comment of the very same rats saying "this never happens"

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This user has validated their user name. by: The End

Thu Oct 8 09:49:32 2020

We MUST take control of these privately run market places via Government.
Erase these aberrations and replace them with SANE, Clean government Control.
No funny business.
It's time.
No Golden Parachutes for morons, no stalking of monitors, no catering to out-of-country entities.
This will put Everyone on the level playing field.
AND it will bring down the cost of selling on these platforms.
We can ALL have Fun again   :o)

Perminate Link for Amazon Says It Plays Fair with Third Party Sellers   Amazon Says It Plays Fair with Third Party Sellers

by: Mark4 This user has validated their user name.

Thu Oct 8 10:00:28 2020

Amazon has been creating monopolies for their "Brands"  What happens is the 3rd party sellers get hit constantly with "suspected intellectual property right violations" even when they are not. Amazon is even hitting sellers who sell used items which is protected under the 1983 Supreme Court Case. After amazon hits sellers with these they suspend their accounts, thus getting rid of competition for the "Brand" and creating a monopoly for that brand. Just look at Apple.   We have had this happen to us alot, each time we pass the info on to our congressman and their attorneys who are collecting data on this. There are law firms specilizing in sellers who are victims  of this treatment by amazon. If this happens to you, contact your state congress folks. Also you can move your inventory very easily now that Walmart has partnered with Shopify.  Walmart is not playing this game, at least not yet.  

Perminate Link for Amazon Says It Plays Fair with Third Party Sellers   Amazon Says It Plays Fair with Third Party Sellers

This user has validated their user name. by: toolguy

Thu Oct 8 15:22:54 2020

@COVID-19

The title doesn't mention eBay, it's about Amazon.

How about trying to stay on Topic! ~ LOL

Perminate Link for Amazon Says It Plays Fair with Third Party Sellers   Amazon Says It Plays Fair with Third Party Sellers

This user has validated their user name. by: toolguy

Thu Oct 8 15:25:22 2020

I have NO idea what Amazon does or doesn't do.

I DON'T buy there and I DON'T sell there.

I refuse to make Jeff Bezos any richer then he already is.

Perminate Link for Amazon Says It Plays Fair with Third Party Sellers   Amazon Says It Plays Fair with Third Party Sellers

This user has validated their user name. by: RKTOYS

Thu Oct 8 17:57:29 2020

This just in, Joseph Stalin says he's fair with Siberian gulag residents.



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