Should marketplaces make seller location more prominent so that shoppers are aware of possible delivery delays when buying items located outside of their country?
That's the topic of discussion
on the Amazon boards. A reader sent me a link, writing, "Sellers are starting to make noise on the Amazon Seller forums about the unfair advantage foreign sellers have against American Sellers."
The sellers weren't bashing international sellers, but rather, pointing out that there were cases where a seller with a much longer delivery time could win the Buy Box for being just a few pennies cheaper than a domestic seller with much quicker delivery.
The original poster did suggest Amazon segregate offers where the products were located outside the country: "My solution to this would be group international sellers under a different box similar to the "other sellers" on the page. If buyers really want the best price and can wait, they can buy from them."
Some sellers related stories of how relatives had ordered items located outside the country without realizing they would have to wait several weeks to receive the item.
For some sellers, it wasn't just about longer delivery time. The original poster wrote, "many international sellers do not obey the same US mandatory rules we have like paying a import tariff, a minimum salary and offer benefits," which made it very difficult for US sellers to compete on price."
One seller went so far as to suggest, "Buyers should know exactly where the seller is based and this should include FBA sales," though some other sellers said it wasn't important where the seller was based, but rather, where the product was based.
Interestingly Etsy is moving to a system where it favors local merchants
in search results, but that's not popular with many sellers. It rolled out the change in the UK and Australia in the fall, and last week expanded the practice to France and Germany.
Should Amazon segregate foreign sellers in the Buy Box? Should all marketplaces prominently label internationally-based products as such?