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Sat Oct 31 2015 17:04:06

Amazon Closures Send Strong Message to Merchants

By: Ina Steiner

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Amazon is closing two more seller services - its payments card reader called Amazon Register, and its Amazon Local daily deals. The message Amazon is sending to online merchants:  list on its platform if you want to reach buyers.

The news comes as Amazon also ends its advertising programs that let merchants send Amazon shoppers to their off-site listings, and as it closes its Webstore platform where merchants could set up their own store.

Rather than enabling merchants with their offsite ecommerce businesses, Amazon wants them to sell directly on its marketplace, where it will be responsible for all parts of the sales process.

What may not be headed for the chopping block are Amazon's payment services for off-site merchants and the option for merchant-fulfilled FBA services.

What do you think of Amazon's decisions to close these services? Does it show Amazon's confidence in its ability to attract sellers to list directly on its marketplace?




Comments (24) | Permalink

Readers Comments

Amazon Closures Send Strong Message to Merchants   Amazon Closures Send Strong Message to Merchants

by: TomH This user has validated their user name.

Sat Oct 31 17:34:57 2015

One thing to always remember about Amazon is that they work on data metrics with probably everything they do.

My take is that Amazon is saying they don't need them anymore because the fulfillment center buildout they have been doing and their volume has overtaken positive results they may have been getting from the web stores and local deals.

They seem to be saying ''we don't need you now'' join directly with us or get loss.  

Amazon Closures Send Strong Message to Merchants   Amazon Closures Send Strong Message to Merchants

by: maxmad This user has validated their user name.

Sun Nov 1 03:19:43 2015

nice, sellers built them to the monster they are today, now they want even more, how about my first born, or kidney? need that too.

sellers let this be a lessen to you, these corporations are nothing but pure evil ,stop making them even more rich, Use your own selling venues right from the start, for full control, maximum profits and your sanity, don't fall victim to this disgusting corporate greed.

100% disgraceful, shame on you Amazon,  

Amazon Closures Send Strong Message to Merchants   Amazon Closures Send Strong Message to Merchants

This user has validated their user name. by: Anonymous Annie

Sun Nov 1 09:37:19 2015

I'll miss the traffic generated from the product ads. And just as I was getting ready to transition to Amazon's text-based ads (preparing campaigns and links and descriptions, etc.) I discovered that the text ads had been cancelled also.

It's worth noting that I found out about the 2nd cancelled ad service HERE AT ECOMMERCEBYTES... a full two days BEFORE Amazon emailed me with the info about the cancellation.

I guess I'll just have to pick out a few items that are suitable for FBA, and make sure each item includes a sticker or coupon or business card that invites the buyer to visit my website.

I'm surprised to see that the Amazon card reader has been discontinued. Just a few days ago they were advertizing it everywhere on Amazon. If it was slated to be discontinued, why continue to pursue new sign-ups? Did the right-hand (advertizing dept) not know what the left-hand (services dept) was doing? Was it a last-ditch effort to get a flurry of sign-ups in an attempt to salvage the service before it was discontinued? -- It's all very strange behavior.

Amazon Closures Send Strong Message to Merchants   Amazon Closures Send Strong Message to Merchants

by: Patricia This user has validated their user name.
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Mon Nov 2 00:53:25 2015

I hope they straighten out the new handmade category.  Not enough traffic because people don't seem to know we're there and we are not allowed to list in their regular categories.  For example, they have a collectibles & fine arts category yet i have to list my paintings in home & kitchen!  Seems a waste of possible sales!

Amazon Closures Send Strong Message to Merchants   Amazon Closures Send Strong Message to Merchants

by: Tiffee Jasso This user has validated their user name.

Mon Nov 2 02:06:44 2015

Annie unless you have unique items, Amazon will ship identical item from nearest warehouse, not necessarily your item. If the buyer gets a defective product or counterfeit, it is your problem, not Amazons.
I think the lesson here is sellers are going to have to depend more on themselves and smaller venues than big time venues that may drop you at any time, and for any reason.
I have turned to other ways to earn money. I survived forty years before Ebay or Amazon came along and I am still here. I am not sure they will be able to survive that many years as someone bigger will come along and disrupt them and cut them to pieces.

Amazon Closures Send Strong Message to Merchants   Amazon Closures Send Strong Message to Merchants

by: Chicago48 This user has validated their user name.

Mon Nov 2 07:01:38 2015

I like and use the daily local deals.  

Amazon Closures Send Strong Message to Merchants   Amazon Closures Send Strong Message to Merchants

by: Chicago48 This user has validated their user name.

Mon Nov 2 07:16:26 2015

I don't there was much use for the Card reader.  I remember going to one retailer in my city that used it, but they discontinued it after a while.

Amazon Closures Send Strong Message to Merchants   Amazon Closures Send Strong Message to Merchants

by: TomH This user has validated their user name.

Mon Nov 2 07:20:10 2015

''Annie unless you have unique items, Amazon will ship identical item from nearest warehouse, not necessarily your item. If the buyer gets a defective product or counterfeit, it is your problem, not Amazons''

This is true IF you choose ''Stickerless Commingled Inventory'' under Inventory Settings of your FBA Settings. Otherwise your individual labeled item will be shipped if your item is the one ordered.

If you choose to use Stickerless Commingled Inventory and don't have large inventory of commodity type items, tons of sales, and fairly deep pockets --- THEN you will really need to be fearless with strong nerves.


Amazon Closures Send Strong Message to Merchants   Amazon Closures Send Strong Message to Merchants

by: Jennifer S This user has validated their user name.

Mon Nov 2 09:29:33 2015

Why did Amazon send me an offer of a $10 credit to sign up for Register on 10/31, when they pulled the plug on 10/30. It makes no sense to me!

Amazon Closures Send Strong Message to Merchants   Amazon Closures Send Strong Message to Merchants

by: Beth This user has validated their user name.

Mon Nov 2 09:50:02 2015

Annie, don't be putting cards or stickers on or in your Amazon shipments, either MF or FBA.  Amazon takes that rule seriously (they have a rule against advertising anything non-amazon in your amazon shipments.)

It's one of the easiest, fastest ways to get booted off Amazon

Amazon Closures Send Strong Message to Merchants   Amazon Closures Send Strong Message to Merchants

by: Moonwishes This user has validated their user name.
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Mon Nov 2 09:56:27 2015

As a long time Amazon seller, none of those changes will impact me as I wasn't using those things. I tried getting a webstore several years ago and found that they wouldn't 'grandfather' me in so I would have to maintain the webstore and my regular Amazon account which was more bother than it is worth.

One of the biggest problems that I have with Amazon is not necessarily Amazon's fault at all, but seller making up product pages with purchased UPCs even when an item already has a UPC, or the Chinese sellers dumping 25K worth of inventory into one completely wrong category all with wrong UPC's, no real info about the product, Substituting their name for the product brand, etc. I'm enjoying helping to turn those folks in but it is basically a game of whack a mole. They just end up doing the same thing only under a different name and different category. I have seen them list crayons listed under car GPS systems!

Not sure why some feel that Amazon is an evil giant. Amazon helps keep food on my table along with eCRATER and I am grateful for them.

Amazon Closures Send Strong Message to Merchants   Amazon Closures Send Strong Message to Merchants

by: Whatever This user has validated their user name.

Mon Nov 2 17:39:51 2015

Well that's all well and good - I'd love to transition all my merchandise over to Amazon. Problem.
They won't let me in - been trying for years.  So I guess Square will be getting my money now.

Amazon Closures Send Strong Message to Merchants   Amazon Closures Send Strong Message to Merchants

by: Whatever This user has validated their user name.

Mon Nov 2 17:41:20 2015

Oh did I mention that I've sold over $230,000 retail on ebay but amazon still won't let me in? Just can't figure out how to get in the "Club" (not really sure I want to anyway)

Amazon Closures Send Strong Message to Merchants   Amazon Closures Send Strong Message to Merchants

by: TomH This user has validated their user name.

Mon Nov 2 19:26:45 2015

@ Moonwishes

''Substituting their name for the product brand, etc. I'm enjoying helping to turn those folks in but it is basically a game of whack a mole. They just end up doing the same thing only under a different name and different category. I have seen them list crayons listed under car GPS systems!''

Oh isn't that the truth.....  I play the ''whack a mole game'' also in the categories I sell in. Seems like I spend twice as much time playing the game than taking care of my stuff.

Amazon Closures Send Strong Message to Merchants   Amazon Closures Send Strong Message to Merchants

This user has validated their user name. by: RKTOYS

Tue Nov 3 07:28:29 2015

Amazon is an evil giant because it takes 20% of my sales and shorts me on shipping.

Amazon Closures Send Strong Message to Merchants   Amazon Closures Send Strong Message to Merchants

by: Moonwishes This user has validated their user name.
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Tue Nov 3 08:46:00 2015

@TomH >> Oh isn't that the truth.....  I play the ''whack a mole game'' also in the categories I sell in. Seems like I spend twice as much time playing the game than taking care of my stuff.  >Amazon is an evil giant because it takes 20% of my sales and shorts me on shipping.<< Well that is interesting, especially since I'm sure that no one twisted your arm to sell on Amazon. You choose to sell there and if you didn't like the terms, don't list.

With the postage increases that may be taking place in January, I do hope they will increase the shipping amount, but even if they don't, I will be calculating if it is worth selling there. Are you 'losing' 20% of your sales to fees or to trying to have the lowest price and thus be in a better position to sell? When I have time, I check the product page and listings after my product has sold and found that the majority of time my product was the most expensive, so lowest prices aren't necessary. What is, is good feedback, good pictures, good titles and comments. I've seen far too many sellers think all they have to do is throw a listing up without any comment at all. That is just lazy and I'm not saying you are doing it, but I see lots of lazy sellers on Amazon. Their only comment for all their inventory is something along the line of 'legendary seller' or a blurb about their DVDs when that isn't the product that they are selling.



Amazon Closures Send Strong Message to Merchants   Amazon Closures Send Strong Message to Merchants

This user has validated their user name. by: RKTOYS

Tue Nov 3 10:30:34 2015

Well, moonwishes, nobody twisted your arm to sell on eBay either and yet their policies are a regular target of complaints.  Perhaps if you read between the lines you might see how seller policies affect buyers.  When you receive an item banging around in an unpadded box (or the label slapped on the item directly), thank Amazon's shipping vouchers.  I very rarely order from Amazon anymore because I was paying for shortcuts like that.

People need to realize that eBay and Amazon aren't interchangeable.  A freeform listing is not the same as a tiny undecorated textbox buried amongst a hundred others in a catalog tab.  If the market responds better to lazy listings than neat templates, that's what you're going to see more of.

At the risk of sounding like Toolguy, nobody is in eBay's league.  Simple math makes 20% plus shipping overruns a huge hurdle to profitability, doubly so on a platform where the only way to affect placement is to change prices.  People are so upset about CantSeeMe because the alternative to eBay is a plain text race to the bottom on Amazon.  Amazon is an afterthought and one that I don't care to bend over further for just to be on the other side of their Christmas lockout.

Amazon Closures Send Strong Message to Merchants   Amazon Closures Send Strong Message to Merchants

by: TomH This user has validated their user name.

Tue Nov 3 22:06:11 2015

@ Moonwishes
"  >Amazon is an evil giant because it takes 20% of my sales and shorts me on shipping.<< "  That was RKTOYS, not me..... lol

Amazon Closures Send Strong Message to Merchants   Amazon Closures Send Strong Message to Merchants

This user has validated their user name. by: RKTOYS

Wed Nov 4 07:30:42 2015

Hey, somebody asked why people think Amazon is evil and, surprise, they got an answer.

Price: $50.00
Shipping: $4.99
Amazon fees: -$8.99
Your earnings: $46.00
After shipping (because I was super lucky and had a local buyer): ~$40.00

I thought the $20 range was bad but clearly it extends all the way to $50.  18% on Amazon and people chimp out over 13% at eBay?  That's the real question.

Amazon Closures Send Strong Message to Merchants   Amazon Closures Send Strong Message to Merchants

by: Moonwishes This user has validated their user name.
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Wed Nov 4 09:07:37 2015

@TomH -@ Moonwishes
"  >Amazon is an evil giant because it takes 20% of my sales and shorts me on shipping.<< "  That was RKTOYS, not me..... lol

Sorry about that. I thought I had separated the quotes, agreeing with you and disagreeing with RKTOYS

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