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Mon Apr 25 2016 21:30:34

Amazon and eBay Use Data to Compete with Merchants

By: Ina Steiner

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Online sellers are buzzing about an article in Bloomberg that reported Amazon is not only competing with merchants for sales, but is also competing with brands by coming out with its own private label offerings:

"Amazon is using insights gleaned from its vast Web store to build a private-label juggernaut that now includes more than 3,000 products - from women's blouses and men's khakis to fire pits and camera tripods. The strategy is a digital twist on one used for years by department stores and big-box chains to edge out middlemen and go direct to consumers - boosting loyalty and profits."

The article notes that Amazon uses data to see what shoppers are buying and can also spot untapped opportunities by seeing what products shoppers are searching for but can't find.

This isn't news, but many may be surprised to the extent to which Amazon is competing with their own merchants.

eBay doesn't compete directly with merchants, aside from its new shipping-supplies store it opened this month.

However, many sellers are uncomfortable with the relationships eBay has cultivated with larger brands and retailers, and feel eBay is giving those sellers data that it does not make available to smaller sellers.

Do you feel Amazon and/or eBay cross a line in using seller data to compete with them (or help other sellers compete with them)?

Will reading the Bloomberg article change your behavior - or would you remain willing to buy Amazon private label products if the price was lower?




Comments (9) | Permalink

Readers Comments

Amazon and eBay Use Data to Compete with Merchants   Amazon and eBay Use Data to Compete with Merchants

by: FeelingFroggy This user has validated their user name.

Mon Apr 25 23:23:32 2016

We could care less. Its no worst than a grocery store that has its own house brand name at a cheaper price.

The quality is also cheaper.

Amazon and eBay Use Data to Compete with Merchants   Amazon and eBay Use Data to Compete with Merchants

This user has validated their user name. by: Philip Cohen
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Tue Apr 26 00:41:28 2016

As has been opined many times before, it's time for all yo' serious "professional" sellers to get your own websites ...

Amazon and eBay Use Data to Compete with Merchants   Amazon and eBay Use Data to Compete with Merchants

by: Chicago48 This user has validated their user name.

Tue Apr 26 04:47:04 2016

This sucks.  I just wonder to what extent they will "rebrand" because Target and Walmart already do this with foods and cleaning products (example) but not as extensively as Amazon.  I'm not one to buy batteries (AA) online but would rather go to the store across the street and buy them, so there will be some items AMZ will miss with.
I only buy clothes from brands I know will fit and I like their style.
The 3rd party brand companies  should be very afraid.

Amazon and eBay Use Data to Compete with Merchants   Amazon and eBay Use Data to Compete with Merchants

by: EbayerAmazons Corner This user has validated their user name.

Tue Apr 26 05:26:43 2016

I have been saying this for nearly 2yrs and it is only now that people are talking about it.How can a seller be paying a monthly fees to Amazon for Amazon to turn round and  compete with it and drive the seller off the product that they have been selling because Amazon gets the information from the seller goes to the supplier or manufacturer  that it forced the seller to divulge and negotiates a better offer from the manufacturer or supplier,lowers the price and drives the seller off the product until it finishes selling its own it is disgusting and buyers should be informed what Amazon is doing. It is a conflict of interest and since Amazon sets all the rules,also unlawful and needs to be challenged in court.It is an outrage!

Amazon and eBay Use Data to Compete with Merchants   Amazon and eBay Use Data to Compete with Merchants

by: ewegolf This user has validated their user name.

Tue Apr 26 08:19:25 2016

One only has to look at Marc Lore, founder of Jet.com, to find an example of Amazonian love.  He sold his Quidsi.com, which included Diapers.com and Soap.com, to Amazon, for $545 million.  This after, he claims, that Amazon lost roughly $100 million selling diapers at a loss for several months.  He folded, and sold out at a reduced price. Not too many people or companies can go head to head with Amazon.  

Amazon and eBay Use Data to Compete with Merchants   Amazon and eBay Use Data to Compete with Merchants

by: fAlken This user has validated their user name.
Web Site

Tue Apr 26 10:29:36 2016

People should really explore their own websites now.  Instead you see idiots advertising on their own social networks to bring customers to the venues.  Why are you bringing new buyers to ebay/Amazon where you pay them a commission in exchange for you doing the leg work to attract buyers that will then register and become permanent customers of those venues?  Hello?!  That traffic that converts is really the only value those venues hold for us.  If we have to drive our own traffic now, do it to your own site.  The "landlord" won't steal your ideas/products.

Amazon and eBay Use Data to Compete with Merchants   Amazon and eBay Use Data to Compete with Merchants

This user has validated their user name. by: IDKwhoIare

Tue Apr 26 12:00:14 2016

Wow. Yes, they both have crossed a line.  Ebay criminally and Amazon ethically.  Ebay selling info to China on what vintage items are popular to fake and letting them sell fake everything, including fake precious metals/stones, without shutting them down when they are busted - and so much more is criminal and the FTC should take care of that.  This copying of someone's popular items and then undercutting their sales while still charging them fees is pretty ballsy on Amazon's part.  It seems like normal competition except for the fact that these 'venues' are charging fees while they pillage their Selling clients.

I hope like H that the new Handmade group at Amazon are paying attention!!! Remember that verbiage in the TOU everyone got in an uproar about & worried that their ideas would be stolen?

It read ''If you submit material, and unless we indicate otherwise, you grant Amazon a nonexclusive, royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable, and fully sublicensable right to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, and display such content throughout the world in any media.''

Amazon said it respected Artisans intellectual property rights and ''The rights the Artisans grant us allow us to promote their products across multiple channels and help them grow their businesses on Amazon.''  UGGGGHHHHH!  Is anyone buying that now?

Would I be willing to buy Amazon private label products?  Not sure.  Not if I found out they were regularly stealing from small companies and killing them off.  I like healthy competition and choices, not limited selection from skeezy large corps capitalizing on the backs of their own hardworking clients or employees.



Amazon and eBay Use Data to Compete with Merchants   Amazon and eBay Use Data to Compete with Merchants

by: TomH This user has validated their user name.

Wed Apr 27 09:27:34 2016

Nothing new nor surprising, as Ina stated. Anyone selling on Amazon and is upset about this either is venting (can not completely blame anyone for that) or did not really read and understand the Amazon TOS agreements (which are very dense, complicated and long but nevertheless - binding).

Amazon and eBay Use Data to Compete with Merchants   Amazon and eBay Use Data to Compete with Merchants

This user has validated their user name. by: IDKwhoIare

Thu Apr 28 10:54:53 2016

@TomH...exactly why I am not selling  there ;)  

Actually crossing the line and doing it is a different game altogether than just writing TOU that make it possible.



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