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Thu Jan 29 2009 22:35:18

Amazon 3P Sellers Approaching One-Third of Units Sold

By: Ina Steiner

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Amazon saw a worldwide increase in active seller accounts to over 1.5 million, up 18%. Seller units were 27% of total units versus 26%. Unfortunately Amazon.com is very tight with its numbers, and does not release the percentage of dollar sales coming from its 3P sellers. There's a big difference between low-price books and high-priced flat screen televisions, making the 27% number intriguing but lacking context.

The company released the stats during its conference call with analysts today after releasing fourth-quarter and full-year 2008 financials. Amazon.com said it shipped over 3 million units worldwide in fourth quarter 2008 on behalf of sellers who utilized Fulfillment by Amazon.

Active customer accounts exceeded 88 million, up 16%.

Surprisingly, no one asked about Amazon's online payment service, which it has been actively promoting to sellers. Online merchants can offer Checkout by Amazon (with its 1-Click) on their own websites. Nor did Amazon.com discuss the effect its decision to stop accepting Bill Me Later might have on revenue going forward.

One can't help compare Amazon.com's success with eBay's Q4 results announced last week. A commenter on the AuctionBytes blog makes an interesting point worth noting: "What is missing are the details on how third party sellers on Amazon are doing vs. the AMAZON company itself."




Comments (23) | Permalink

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Amazon 3P Sellers Approaching One-Third of Units Sold   Amazon 3P Sellers Approaching One-Third of Units Sold

by: wtf

Fri Jan 30 00:09:45 2009

If 3P is so successful, why the childish category restrictions requiring merchant approval that is generally not granted?

Amazon 3P Sellers Approaching One-Third of Units Sold   Amazon 3P Sellers Approaching One-Third of Units Sold

by: RT

Fri Jan 30 03:40:29 2009

To answer the post by WTF above....
If 3P is so successful, why the childish category restrictions requiring merchant approval that is generally not granted?

They have those restrictions set there to keep OUT the lazy scamming sellers that run amuck on eBay.

Amazon 3P Sellers Approaching One-Third of Units Sold   Amazon 3P Sellers Approaching One-Third of Units Sold

by: wtf

Fri Jan 30 11:15:57 2009

Come on! Get off the soapbox, not everything has to do with eBay. You't don't know what you're talking about. Not everyone being locked out of a category is a scammer, or sells on eBay. Don't be so ignorant. Look at the facts.

Amazon 3P Sellers Approaching One-Third of Units Sold   Amazon 3P Sellers Approaching One-Third of Units Sold

by: Patricia

Fri Jan 30 12:18:26 2009

Amazon was successful because they stuck to what they have been building on for many years now...and they streamlined it and have learned to do it expertly.  Comparing Amazon to Ebay is like comparing apples to oranges - they are two distinctly different companies with one company - Ebay trying to ''look'' (without the underlying hard work) like Amazon and failing miserably.  Ebay simply wants to sit back and scoop in the revenue - that's what its accustomed to doing - it needs to stick to and build upon what made it what it is today.  Donahoe hasn't learned that and doesn't believe that and that's why the company is declining and will die!

Amazon 3P Sellers Approaching One-Third of Units Sold   Amazon 3P Sellers Approaching One-Third of Units Sold

by: mj1

Fri Jan 30 12:32:33 2009

No, not everyone locked out of a category is a scammer. However, I imagine those who are locked out don't have enough business history to confirm they won't one day be a scammer.

We were approved into approval categories very easily. We also have 30K feedback on Ebay.

I'm glad....I'm tired of frauds on Ebay coming on and trying to undercut our prices with cheaply made items that ultimately brings the price of our QUALITY items down.

Amazon 3P Sellers Approaching One-Third of Units Sold   Amazon 3P Sellers Approaching One-Third of Units Sold

by: Ebay No More

Fri Jan 30 12:41:12 2009

RT is correct. Closed Amazon categories ensure that the Amazon site isn't flooded with merchandise that will lower the overall selling prices and revenue of the good sellers they have attracted. The closed categories and strict admission requirements keeps the scammers and sellers with less than stellar customer service OFF the site. That way Amazon buyers have a good buying experience and return to purchase again. Sure anyone can sell on Ebay but it also begs to ask the question should they? On Amazon they know who is selling, they monitor closely, and they quickly remove anyone who can't sell at their standards.

Amazon 3P Sellers Approaching One-Third of Units Sold   Amazon 3P Sellers Approaching One-Third of Units Sold

by: wtf

Fri Jan 30 12:54:38 2009

''However, I imagine those who are locked out don't have enough business history to confirm they won't one day be a scammer.''

So, wait, ten years, 100% and 13,000 transactions wouldn't be considered enough? Nice little standard there ...

''Closed Amazon categories ensure that the Amazon site isn't flooded with merchandise that will lower the overall selling prices and revenue of the good sellers they have attracted.''

So Amazon does not want sellers like me to *raise* the prices, and offer merchandise with *higher* quality? That's nice too ...

The problem with this conversation is that the responses so far have suggested that a) I have no idea what I'm doing (wrong), b) that I have no or subpar sales histories (false), c) that I offer less than quality merchandise (wrong again), and d) that I will drive GMV down (not true).

So before you overgeneralize, let me state this again: Amazon is missing out on top sellers because their policies is *****TOO****** strict. They're missing the #%^#@^ boat.

Amazon 3P Sellers Approaching One-Third of Units Sold   Amazon 3P Sellers Approaching One-Third of Units Sold

by: wtf

Fri Jan 30 12:58:36 2009

Obviously this is not the venue to hold an intelligent conversation on the standards that Amazon does/should embrace, and how those impact sellers would any day of the week could kick the competitions ass on Amazon (but are locked out). The problem here is that respondents are from the "Golden Chosen Few", who apparantly are holier than thou ... its a shame, because the universe shouldn't revolve around arbitrary application of standards.

Amazon 3P Sellers Approaching One-Third of Units Sold   Amazon 3P Sellers Approaching One-Third of Units Sold

by: Gail

Fri Jan 30 13:10:25 2009

WTF ~ didn't you actually answer your own question?

Perhaps 3P is so successful BECAUSE of the ''childish'' category restrictions requiring merchant approval. I would think Amazon is being cautious about maintaining its reputation, as well as its bottom line.

Obviously, Amazon believes 3P works in some categories, not in others. As 3P proves successful, Amazon will probably test it in other categories. I certainly hope so.

I wonder if a seller's attitude is factored into the approval process?

Amazon 3P Sellers Approaching One-Third of Units Sold   Amazon 3P Sellers Approaching One-Third of Units Sold

by: ebay = penny stock

Fri Jan 30 13:16:42 2009

My two cents. Who would you rather buy from.

Amazon--Controls who sells and what is sold--Screens sellers. Service both customer and seller.

Ebay--Lets anyone anywhere sell anything. Dollar is bottom line nothing else. No service. Scams, frauds. If it makes money its on ebay with their blessing.

Amazon 3P Sellers Approaching One-Third of Units Sold   Amazon 3P Sellers Approaching One-Third of Units Sold

by: Becoming better

Fri Jan 30 13:40:09 2009

Hmmm...I think that is why eBay is trying to weed out the bad sellers by doing DSR and stuff like that. Better buying experience etc. As all you guys has said that eBay has all the fraudster. eBay is no longer "Lets anyone anywhere sell anything." In a way it is a good thing but there will be good sellers that are caught in the net. I guess it has to be done.

Amazon 3P Sellers Approaching One-Third of Units Sold   Amazon 3P Sellers Approaching One-Third of Units Sold

by: Becoming better

Fri Jan 30 13:43:14 2009

One more thing. If Amazon can be strict about who sell on the site. Why not eBay? That is what they are trying to do isn't it? Just my 2 cents.

Amazon 3P Sellers Approaching One-Third of Units Sold   Amazon 3P Sellers Approaching One-Third of Units Sold

by: Daisy

Fri Jan 30 15:43:10 2009

by: ebay = penny stock

I agree. I'd love to sell on Amazon but they have restrictions in my category. Even still, I'm glad they have high standards because I love to shop on there and have never had a problem.

Amazon 3P Sellers Approaching One-Third of Units Sold   Amazon 3P Sellers Approaching One-Third of Units Sold

by: Ebay's Slow Death

Fri Jan 30 15:44:11 2009

But, on Ebay, one psycho, blackmailing Buyer can ruin a Seller's good reputation. And, there is nothing a Seller can do about it. Amazon has built-in safeguards to keep that from happening. They treat Sellers and Buyers equally, and are fair in settling disputes.

Amazon takes security seriously for both Sellers and Buyers.  They pay attention. Ebay rewards bad Sellers and Buyers. As long as Ebay can make a few cents off the transaction, anything goes.

Comparing Amazon to Ebay is indeed like comparing Apples to Oranges. Or maybe better yet, like comparing premium Apples to rotten Oranges.

If you have been restricted on Amazon for selling in a certain category, there is always an Amazon Webstore.

Amazon 3P Sellers Approaching One-Third of Units Sold   Amazon 3P Sellers Approaching One-Third of Units Sold

by: Steve

Fri Jan 30 17:58:40 2009

Patricia says: Donahoe hasn't learned that and doesn't believe that and that's why the company is declining and will die!

Amen to that.  Ebay had a successful business model but since the Ho has no creative innovative vision, he simply tried to turn eBay into Amazon.

One only has to look at eBay's stock price to see that he is failing miserably.  He has tried to change everything that made ebay unique and special, and he essentially thumbed his nose at the sellers who made eBay what it was.
 Nobody wants another on-line strip mall that is full of third party advertising that sends people AWAY from the site where they go to shop.

Amazon 3P Sellers Approaching One-Third of Units Sold   Amazon 3P Sellers Approaching One-Third of Units Sold

by: Ex Powerseller/buyer

Fri Jan 30 19:59:05 2009

Just a heads up to all who still sell on ebay.  As of 3:30PST 1/30/09, the 'new page view Experience' has been forced on all of us, so there's not way to opt out.  In the past, when they beta tested the new page 'Experience', sellers could opt out and their listing frames would go back to normal.  The opt out site was http://shop.ebay.com .  The process was to opt out, clear cashe, restart browser, and it would be normal again.

If you don't like being forced into the new page view ''Experience'' send emails to   viewitem-us@ebay.com

And explain why you don't like the bandwidth-hogging, individuality robbing one size fits all amazonian copy cat look of the new page ''Experience.''  

Ebay has completely lost my interest.

Amazon 3P Sellers Approaching One-Third of Units Sold   Amazon 3P Sellers Approaching One-Third of Units Sold

by: Bifferoo

Fri Jan 30 20:51:53 2009

I am surprised that other sellers don't comment on more of the problems with the Amazon 3P model.  Maybe it only affects certain categories.  In ours (electronics), we have a branded product that competes with generics.  We own the factory, the brand and the IP. All products have UPCs.  We listed these on Amazon via 3P and found that unscrupulous 3P sellers would link to the product detail pages.  Presumably they supply generic product if a customer buys from them.

To our great disappointment, Amazon has been completely uninterested in resolving this problem, in spite of us working hard to give them the details - they won't even provide a business contact we can discuss this with.  This amazes me, as an Amazon customer that buys one product and gets something else is going to be unhappy.  Yet the substitution continues.

If anyone has figured out a way to deal with 3P Parasites on Amazon I would love to hear about it.

Thanks

Amazon 3P Sellers Approaching One-Third of Units Sold   Amazon 3P Sellers Approaching One-Third of Units Sold

by: Et tu, Brute!

Sat Jan 31 01:50:36 2009

"A commenter on the AuctionBytes blog makes an interesting point worth noting: "What is missing are the details on how third party sellers on Amazon are doing vs. the AMAZON company itself."
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
That is what I want to know as well.  It would be very interesting data, and certainly exacerbates ones curiosity as to how much 3P sellers (of which I am one) is assisting in the healthy Amazon spreadsheet.
   
Interested persons want to know!

Amazon 3P Sellers Approaching One-Third of Units Sold   Amazon 3P Sellers Approaching One-Third of Units Sold

by: 258225

Sat Jan 31 14:19:14 2009

--Seller units were 27% of total units--

So Amazon was 73%?

WTF--Maybe that is why you are locked out. Amazon unlike eBay doesn't advertise its competition.

Even if you are a stellar seller, good luck getting in if your prices will cause prices or sales for Amazon owned inventory to decrease.

Amazon 3P Sellers Approaching One-Third of Units Sold   Amazon 3P Sellers Approaching One-Third of Units Sold

by: Et tu, Brute!

Sat Jan 31 14:39:30 2009

by: Bifferoo

Send your complaint care of Jeff@amazon.com.

Bypass the red tape and go straight to the top.

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