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Sat Oct 27 2018 11:45:52

Amazon Survey: Are We Good for Small Business?

By: Ina Steiner

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Can Amazon mold public perception so it's seen as a platform supporting small businesses and avoid being seen as a faceless corporate giant swallowing everything in its path? A survey adds to the growing evidence that Amazon is seeking to do just that. 

"Do you know that half of everything sold on Amazon comes from small and medium-sized businesses," Amazon asked customers in a survey this week.

The survey comes at a time when the company faces criticism on many fronts, and it's not alone. In writing about Google's earnings call, Business Insider noted that its CEO touted investments in the US and wrote, "But these are not ordinary times, and Google, like many of its Big Tech peers, is doing whatever it can to wrap itself in the American flag and show what a good citizen it is," the publication wrote.

Both Amazon and eBay have launched initiatives to promote their sites as helpful to small businesses - eBay with its Retail Revival program that helps Main Street retailers in several cities grow by selling on eBay, and Amazon with its new Storefronts launched last month, which it described as follows:

"Amazon opens "Amazon Storefronts," a new store for customers to shop exclusively from U.S. small and medium-sized businesses selling on Amazon. With Storefronts, customers can shop a curated collection of over one million products, and deals from nearly 20,000 U.S. small and medium-sized businesses, and learn more about profiled businesses through featured videos and stories."

That puts this week's Amazon survey into perspective. In the survey, Amazon asked shoppers how well the statement "Is good for small businesses" applied to Amazon.

"How easy is it to discover and learn about small and medium-sized businesses on Amazon," the survey also asked; keep in mind that Amazon's marketplace de-emphasizes sellers to the point shoppers may feel they're buying from Amazon itself even when purchasing from a third-party seller. The exception being the new Storefronts and its Amazon Handmade site for artisan goods.

Amazon also asked survey-takers how likely they would be to recommend Amazon to a friend or colleague shopping for products from small and medium-sized businesses.

The survey ended with a question that left us wondering what changes Amazon may be considering making to its site: 

"If in the future, you routinely saw that many products sold on Amazon were sold by small businesses, how would this change the way you shopped on Amazon?"



Comments (22) | Permalink

Readers Comments

Perminate Link for Amazon Survey: Are We Good for Small Business?   Amazon Survey: Are We Good for Small Business?

by: sasikat9 This user has validated their user name.

Sat Oct 27 11:58:44 2018

I for one don't care who is selling the item I want. I go to amazon to get what I need when I need it. Unlike Ebay one never knows where it comes from as a lot of chinese sellers are listing us addresses. So we no longer buy on Ebay. We now use Amazon Prime and love it.

Perminate Link for Amazon Survey: Are We Good for Small Business?   Amazon Survey: Are We Good for Small Business?

This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Sat Oct 27 15:09:32 2018

@sasikat9

The sellers are stated on Amazon, so if you are looking, you should know where it is coming from.  And while Ebay most certainly has issues with Asian sellers, make no mistake, so does Amazon.  And they are just as serious, it is just the subject doesn't get a lot of play here.

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by: RL15 This user has validated their user name.

Sat Oct 27 19:00:18 2018

Amazon is great. Low prices, fast shipping and very easy to avoid the chinese idiots


Perminate Link for Amazon Survey: Are We Good for Small Business?   Amazon Survey: Are We Good for Small Business?

This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Sun Oct 28 10:42:37 2018

I love Amazon; I love Amazon Prime. It used to be that Amazon prices for the items I look for were higher than eBay's, but now they are consistently lower. So now I check Amazon first, and if I can't find what I'm looking for, then I check on eBay.

Perminate Link for Amazon Survey: Are We Good for Small Business?   Amazon Survey: Are We Good for Small Business?

by: Vernfern This user has validated their user name.

Sun Oct 28 11:16:18 2018

I have to wonder if the average Amazon buyer knows the items they are receiving are often from small sellers? Even the FBA items often were sourced by smaller sellers, and that makes a positive difference to me.

However I usually go for the prime 2 day shipping, which I realize is often shipping from Amazon - but if the item is sourced from a smaller business, all the better.

I'd like to see a poll of what typical Amazon buyers actually think about the source of the goods they receive. I suspect they think those items all come from a huge mega-retailer from start to finish.  

Perminate Link for Amazon Survey: Are We Good for Small Business?   Amazon Survey: Are We Good for Small Business?

This user has validated their user name. by: toolguy

Sun Oct 28 14:00:04 2018

Amazon is my last choice even though I have a Prime account (Bezos is rich enough)

I support my fellow eBay sellers whenever possible. . .

I just bought some .223 & .45 chamber brushes off eBay.

Now I'm looking for some HP printer ink. (HP 564)

PS: I would NEVER sell on Amazon as a small seller!

Perminate Link for Amazon Survey: Are We Good for Small Business?   Amazon Survey: Are We Good for Small Business?

This user has validated their user name. by: RKTOYS

Sun Oct 28 17:53:25 2018

I was never impressed with Amazon.  Fees are high, shipping arrangement unfair, etc.  Put up with it as the cost of building a business until they stole from me.  That's when I cut them off as a buyer too.  Will buy absolutely anywhere else before Amazon.

Perminate Link for Amazon Survey: Are We Good for Small Business?   Amazon Survey: Are We Good for Small Business?

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

Sun Oct 28 19:13:35 2018

I looked into it.
$40 a month PLUS the 15% take is SO demotivating.
Not an option......

Perminate Link for Amazon Survey: Are We Good for Small Business?   Amazon Survey: Are We Good for Small Business?

by: TomH This user has validated their user name.

Sun Oct 28 22:46:05 2018

I've bought and sold on Amazon since; forever. Even sold on there when they were screwing around with auctions.

I have some difficulties getting around so have been a Prime member since they started the program and buy a lot of stuff on there.

Also been a professional seller on the platform since they first started the program. FBM and FBA  Small sellers but decent money, well, except for the last year. They have really been moving the goal posts around and this Christmas season is looking to be dismal for us.

So bad in fact, that we are once again putting tons of stuff up on eBay. More so far this year and the last five years in total.

For me it is a definite Love/Hate situation...

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by: TomH This user has validated their user name.

Sun Oct 28 22:47:34 2018

PS:  Overall -- No, they are not good for small business.

Perminate Link for Amazon Survey: Are We Good for Small Business?   Amazon Survey: Are We Good for Small Business?

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Mon Oct 29 06:28:25 2018

"PS: I would NEVER sell on Amazon as a small seller!"

If I am recalling one of your earlier posts (months ago)  you stated that you went to Amazon, and you had difficulty listing your products there.  Your items are niche.

Perminate Link for Amazon Survey: Are We Good for Small Business?   Amazon Survey: Are We Good for Small Business?

by: go-figure This user has validated their user name.

Mon Oct 29 08:21:10 2018

This is nothing but window dressing on Amazon's part.

Virtually every day in the seller's forums there is a new and rapidly growing thread about yet another US seller's sales suddenly being slashed by 50, 60, 70 percent or more (I have yet to see any seller that ''speaks'' in broken English complaining about their sales activity suddenly being cut). They actively throttle both sales and revenues (by hiding your listings from public view) and once you fall under their throttling bots, there's no way out.

So, what's the point of putting up a pretty storefront if Amazon's going to make sure that no one sees it except when they want them to?

Perminate Link for Amazon Survey: Are We Good for Small Business?   Amazon Survey: Are We Good for Small Business?

This user has validated their user name. by: Fly on the Wall

Mon Oct 29 10:45:50 2018

At one time (years ago), I had over 8,000 used book listings on Amazon, while at the same time listing collectibles, etc on eBay (before my Etsy days). Over the years on 'the river', my sales we're dwindling (even though I played the under-cutting game daily!) I kept discovering Amazon hiding my books from search (especially books that they had themselves). I eventually saw my lone self inevitably becoming a loser going up against a corporation that sold their OWN inventory on the same page as us little guys! That not being fair, and me working my arse off for less and less money, I decided to sell all my inventory to get out while I could. I now have maybe 40 individual books listed (no merchant account). I probably sell 1-2 a year.  

Perminate Link for Amazon Survey: Are We Good for Small Business?   Amazon Survey: Are We Good for Small Business?

This user has validated their user name. by: Fly on the Wall

Mon Oct 29 10:54:45 2018

I almost forgot to mention that ALL sellers on Amazon have ALWAYS had a "storefront", whether you know or believe that or not. It's just that they keep it very well hidden (a little more deeply hidden as the links to contact a seller before your purchase). It's just up to each seller to promote their own link to that storefront. So NOW Amazon is going to start charging sellers for something that's always been included, yet let them dress up the style. Pretty 'crafty' I say. And I don't mean crafty as in doing crafts.

Perminate Link for Amazon Survey: Are We Good for Small Business?   Amazon Survey: Are We Good for Small Business?

This user has validated their user name. by: David Steiner
Web Site

Mon Oct 29 11:42:57 2018

@FOTW, you are correct. There are ways to extract your Amazon listings to create a "storefront" of a kind.

Some merchants who have set up listings in our EveryPlaceISell  directory, include their Amazon sales with a link. It might be interesting to some to see how they went about it:

http://www.everyplaceisell.com/cgi-bin/ep/ep.pl?venu&Amazon


(Also
included the link in my "Web Site" link)

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by: Whatever This user has validated their user name.

Mon Oct 29 11:45:37 2018

Seen Crazy Rich Asians yet? There's the real story - 2 Chinese per day become billionaires - anyone who buys on Amazon even from a small seller - well if they think their not buying Chinese how wrong they are. Come on folks use your head.  Even if your buying from the "handmade" category (which by the way is a huge joke) yes an American probably put it together but the parts came from China - if Americans really want to stop making China rich their gonna need to rethink their whole program -
Signed
Amazon hater

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by: Whatever This user has validated their user name.

Mon Oct 29 11:48:39 2018

Fly - lol - gotcha - I think I have one book on Amazon that's been there for 10 years unless they purged it

Amazon Hater

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by: shut1968 This user has validated their user name.

Mon Oct 29 14:34:17 2018

Amazon rips off small businesses far more than Ebay.. you just don't hear about it so much on here because of all the Ebay haters.

Hang out in the Amazon seller forums for a week and get educated... then you'll be glad to be selling on Ebay

Perminate Link for Amazon Survey: Are We Good for Small Business?   Amazon Survey: Are We Good for Small Business?

This user has validated their user name. by: RKTOYS

Mon Oct 29 18:44:30 2018

Amazon seller forums are a textbook case of Stockholm syndrome.  When Amazon aids and abetts a theft, it's "the cost of doing business" and your only question should be "please, sir, may I have another?"

Perminate Link for Amazon Survey: Are We Good for Small Business?   Amazon Survey: Are We Good for Small Business?

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

Mon Oct 29 19:37:55 2018

Have you see the TV advertising AMZ is doing telling the public about independent sellers?

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