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Wed May 28 2014 13:01:38

Amazon's Latest Effort at Disruption: Collectibles

By: Ina Steiner

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Amazon announced the launch of its latest collectibles category on Wednesday - the Amazon Collectible Coins Store. Here's how the company describes it:

"Amazon launched a Collectible Coins store (www.amazon.com/collectiblecoins), a marketplace that gives customers direct access to more than 10,000 unique U.S. coins from over 75 industry-leading dealers showcasing a wide variety of professionally graded and authenticated coins. The new store is one of the largest online destinations to discover and purchase graded U.S. coins, featuring easy-to-use search tools. Customers can explore a vast range of collectible, rare and historical coins from highly regarded dealers, including Stack's Bowers Galleries, Kagin's, David Lawrence Rare Coins and Liberty Coin."

As with its other collectibles stores (Sports, Entertainment, Fine Art), Coins is a gated category - dealers must apply before being able to sell there. Amazon is launching the store with fewer than 100 dealers. (Amazon spokesperson Erik Fairleigh told EcommerceBytes, "We have not set limits and welcome all interested sellers to apply and contact us for more details. We evaluate all potential sellers on a case by case basis. At launch, we are working with primarily professional coin dealers. ")

Two years ago, eBay put into place new restrictions in its coins category, dropping several coin-grading companies and only allowing grading from Numismatic Guaranty Corporation and the Professional Coin Grading Service. Earlier that year eBay had banned sellers from listing replica coins.

What do you think of Amazon and eBay's restrictions in categories such as coins?

Will Amazon eventually disrupt the online and offline collectibles market, including auction houses? And do you think Amazon's has a shot at being the go-to marketplace for collectibles?




Comments (9) | Permalink

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Amazon's Latest Effort at Disruption: Collectibles   Amazon's Latest Effort at Disruption: Collectibles

This user has validated their user name. by: Ric

Wed May 28 15:05:06 2014

Amazon's decision to capitalize on yet another poor decision made by eBay management is going to cost eBay significant volume in yet another category over the long term.

Once again, Jeff Bezos is doing a great job of picking up chunks of eBay business as John Donahoe allows destructive innovations to relegate his marketplace into irrelevancy.

Every change made by Donahoe in the name of improving the buyer experience always seems to translate into opportunities the more intelligent Jeff Bezos utilizes to grow his company at eBay's expense.

Donahoes destructive innovations cost eBay volume and allows Amazon to grow theirs.

Amazon's Latest Effort at Disruption: Collectibles   Amazon's Latest Effort at Disruption: Collectibles

This user has validated their user name. by: Al G

Wed May 28 17:04:26 2014

When the 300 lb gorilla moves into the china shop (sorry for the mixed metaphors), people will stop and take note.

And if Google search picks up Amazon in the 1st page of listings, kiss eBay coins good bye.

I will also assume that the casual coin collector will use Google search, Amazon search and eBay's Can't-see-me to pursue his/her passions.
Now, once a particular coin of interest has been located, in coin collecting where reputation is everything, who would you trust and where would you buy?

If sellers have listings on eBay and Amazon, where would you go?

And, given the choice of selling on Amazon VS eBay for fixed price listings, how much effort is required to sell on each venue.

Granted, Amazon charges 15% selling fee & nothing to list VS eBay's store/listing fees & FVF+shipping and PayPal's 2.9% which probably is equivalent to Amazons 15% +-.

How many hoops do you want to jump through in creating a listing and maintaining your ''status'' on each venue?

Interesting Amazon strategy - the death of 1000 cuts (if you believe in conspiracy theories) or just realising a marketplace opportunity in sensing a potential weakness in a rival.

Amazon's Latest Effort at Disruption: Collectibles   Amazon's Latest Effort at Disruption: Collectibles

This user has validated their user name. by: Ming the Merciless

Wed May 28 17:42:53 2014

The coin dealers Amazon has chosen are all indeed quite reputable and will squeeze comparable ebay categories.

But Amazon's gated categories aren't as safe as Amazon would have you believe.

In the categories I sell in -- all closely related -- for many years ebay's biggest purveyor of fake goods -- is now selling on Amazon.

The problem is most of their buyers can't tell the difference between the genuine and the fake so Amazon continues to allow them to sell.

How's Devin  Wenig working out for you, Ho?

Amazon's Latest Effort at Disruption: Collectibles   Amazon's Latest Effort at Disruption: Collectibles

by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Wed May 28 22:15:54 2014

Amazon +1
eBay -1 AGAIN

when will eBay ever learn ?

Amazon's Latest Effort at Disruption: Collectibles   Amazon's Latest Effort at Disruption: Collectibles

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

Thu May 29 02:37:39 2014

Then there is probably a collaboration behind the scenes between Ebay & Amazon. Ebay recently made it impossible to list coins over $2,000. Not a coincidence.
And, I believe we're seeing collaboration between the Big Three.
Etsy, Amazon, Ebay.

Amazon's Latest Effort at Disruption: Collectibles   Amazon's Latest Effort at Disruption: Collectibles

by: Moonwishes This user has validated their user name.
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Thu May 29 09:25:49 2014

I'm still sitting here trying to figure out the why of the title of this post. Disruption???

"Will Amazon eventually disrupt the online and offline collectibles market, including auction houses? And do you think Amazon's has a shot at being the go-to marketplace for collectibles?
"
Not sure how you think that Amazon selling will disrupt them. Amazon is just another selling venue, although a very large one. Yes, it may take business, but is that really a disruption? When Pizza Hut comes in, do you say the local mom and pop pizza places are being disrupted. I wouldn't think so but it may be time for them to rethink their business plan and recipes-- (invite Robert Irvine of Restaurant Impossible to help if needed! Same with coin dealer except without Robert.

Amazon's Latest Effort at Disruption: Collectibles   Amazon's Latest Effort at Disruption: Collectibles

by: charcorvet This user has validated their user name.

Thu May 29 12:06:53 2014

NO - Amazon is not allowing enough people to sell in any category to disrupt any other marketplace.

Their loss. They could be a market killer. But they are not.

Amazon's Latest Effort at Disruption: Collectibles   Amazon's Latest Effort at Disruption: Collectibles

This user has validated their user name. by: cfrphoto
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Thu May 29 13:02:37 2014

I don't know if a "gated category" approach will be effective in curbing unethical, sloppy or incompetent sellers. A number of the largest eBay sellers of stamps have mostly good listings and also a few very bsd listings. One major seller, reported by a major New York auction house a couple of weeks ago on the Frajola board misrepresented a stamp purchased for about $600 and resold it on eBay for about $3,000.

A better solution in stamps and coins would be to allow buyers to request an extension for expertizing. This practice is common at most brick and mortar auction houses. Extensions would help level the playing field by giving buyers a tool to validate purchases without getting stuck with damaged or altered stamps or coins they don't want and cannot return.

Enabling buyers to obtain a certificate before finalizing a transaction would make some types of misrepresentation, misidentification or fraud less profitable. Major players like eBay or Amazon can set up an extension mechanism, similar to escrow, but with the funds paid to the seller, to control and monitor the process.

No amount of gating or enforcement will be as effective as self-service enforcement by buyers.

Amazon's Latest Effort at Disruption: Collectibles   Amazon's Latest Effort at Disruption: Collectibles

by: comet This user has validated their user name.

Thu May 29 22:03:12 2014

Sadly if Amazon keeps trying to be THE exclusive top dog seller's seller---

What happens to the REST of us?

Oh right--there is always ebay.

Sigh.

Maybe Amazon could consider launching a DIFFERENT business--something where people with things to sell can get together with people who want to buy things on the Internet.

I don't think that has been done before.  



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