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Wed June 27 2018 14:57:17

Amazon Plays Supervillain with Gating of Marvel Products

By: Ina Steiner

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Amazon is prohibiting sellers from listing Marvel products unless they get pre-approval, as of today. This is a practice known by Amazon sellers as "gating," which can apply across categories or brand.

A bookseller sent us the email he received today (referring to it as a "little love letter from Amazon") that gave him no advance warning. Is this the first shot at gating the booksellers and killing used books on Amazon, he wondered, or is it just a condition Marvel put on its movies being in Prime?  

Another seller reported receiving the same letter today in this thread on the Amazon boards, though they didn't mention in which product categories they sold Marvel products.

There are a lot of Out of Print (OOP) Marvel books, and one consequence of big-brand gating, according to the reader: those OOP books may no longer be found easily on Amazon.




Comments (14) | Permalink

Readers Comments

Perminate Link for Amazon Plays Supervillain with Gating of Marvel Products   Amazon Plays Supervillain with Gating of Marvel Products

by: sasikat9 This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jun 27 16:32:34 2018

This is one of the things that makes Amazon a more reliable site to buy from. Unlike Ebay with their free for all listing without controls that creates problems via fraudsters all in the sake of the bottom line.

Perminate Link for Amazon Plays Supervillain with Gating of Marvel Products   Amazon Plays Supervillain with Gating of Marvel Products

by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jun 27 17:23:33 2018

Gating is NOTHING NEW on Amazon.

Try the electronics or clothing categories if you think that gating Marvel is bad.

Its both their faults, Marvel insisting "too many fakes/unrecognized/unauthorized dealers", and Amazon for cutting some back room deal.

eBay has tried this in the past (Skullcandy and others) but it failed (since they cant VERO everyone (though they tried)), but sadly on Amazon it sticks.

Theres really no way around it and it stinks for sellers of these items.

Perminate Link for Amazon Plays Supervillain with Gating of Marvel Products   Amazon Plays Supervillain with Gating of Marvel Products

by: Beth This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jun 27 19:35:35 2018

I haven't been able to list Marvel items since January 2018 when I finally rec'd a wholesale order of some marvel keychains I'd hoped to have for the 4th quarter of 2017.  

Perminate Link for Amazon Plays Supervillain with Gating of Marvel Products   Amazon Plays Supervillain with Gating of Marvel Products

by: mcposty This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jun 27 23:33:51 2018

Good reason to never buy anything on amazon.

I dont see the appeal of a site that kisses corporate behind.

Much cheaper buying local

Perminate Link for Amazon Plays Supervillain with Gating of Marvel Products   Amazon Plays Supervillain with Gating of Marvel Products

by: shut1968 This user has validated their user name.

Thu Jun 28 01:34:15 2018

Of course someone would try to turn this into a ''bash ebay'' discussion right out of the gate..

''Gating'' is bad all the way around... it's bad for buyers because it creates less items on the site which drives the price up..  and it's bad for sellers because it places yet another restriction on the products you can sell.  

We have rights under the First Sale Doctrine.. as long as the products were legally obtained and proof can be supplied.

Amazon continues to violate those rights by restricting sellers and ''gating'' categories whenever it feels like doing it with complete disregard of the laws.

It doesn't matter if (for example) I buy 100 Spiderman dolls from a wholesale distributor or I go to Walmart and clean out the store shelves.. They were purchased legally and I have every right under the law to resell those items whenever I want and for whatever price I want.

Amazon, in it's continued  strategy to keep itself looking like the ''king of online sales'' starts ''gating'' categories and restricting sellers from selling legally purchased products so that it can drive the pricing up for it's own products to bring it's own sales figures up and meet or exceed quarterly and yearly expectations.

The FTC should be crawling up their a** over this stuff.. lawsuits should be filed.. heads should be had.

Amazon should be treated the same as a Landlord who comes into your brick and mortar retail business and tries to dictate what you can and cannot sell.

Sooner or later this has got to come to a head.... and they need to be punished by the courts for all the stress, failed business and loss of income because of their own greed that they have inflicted upon the small businesses in this country...

Perminate Link for Amazon Plays Supervillain with Gating of Marvel Products   Amazon Plays Supervillain with Gating of Marvel Products

This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Thu Jun 28 02:29:10 2018

@shut1968

Well Said!

Perminate Link for Amazon Plays Supervillain with Gating of Marvel Products   Amazon Plays Supervillain with Gating of Marvel Products

by: Paul W This user has validated their user name.

Thu Jun 28 02:32:21 2018

Amazon does not prevent you from selling your Marvel products.  They simply say you can't sell them on their site.  No law is being broken.
It's their store.  If I had a physical store I could prevent you from selling anything in it.  Same difference.

Perminate Link for Amazon Plays Supervillain with Gating of Marvel Products   Amazon Plays Supervillain with Gating of Marvel Products

by: Carol Is Here This user has validated their user name.

Thu Jun 28 02:40:23 2018

Wall Street is working hard to turn Amazon into a complete retail monopoly. They are working hard to destroy small and medium businesses, and the used item categories, on behalf of multinational corporations.

Wall Street uses its media to promote its Amazon monopoly, and the suckers take the bait.

People who support Amazon are going to get a bad surprise when they find their choices are controlled, prices are fixed, and they are at the mercy of a few multinational corporations who turn the consumer into a slave.

Amazon is the biggest fraud of all.

But it is no surprise that their victims will tie their nooses and hand off to Amazon lol.


Perminate Link for Amazon Plays Supervillain with Gating of Marvel Products   Amazon Plays Supervillain with Gating of Marvel Products

by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Thu Jun 28 08:46:00 2018

@shut1968

Except thats NOT what the FSD says.

Amazon is under no obligation to let you (or me) sell ANYTHING. That they do is strictly under their purview and is a courtesy - not a right.

GATING is %100 wrong - but its not illegal.

As well - its not that you CANT sell those items, its that you need the correct paperwork to be approved.

It sucks, its wrong, its not good for business - but then again who thinks that Amazons 3P business is for the SELLERS benefit?

Its PURELY for Amazons and they do what they want, when they want to.

LASTLY

"Of course someone would try to turn this into a ''bash ebay'' discussion right out of the gate.."

Well yes because what eBay tried was WORSE.

Amazon says - you cant without permission, eBay tried to fake VERO hundreds of sellers claiming that SIGHT UNSEEN since they didnt know who you are you OBVIOUSLY were selling fakes and therefore deserved to be booted off eBay.

eBay hasnt given up on it and tries it from time to time - just because you dont know about it - doesnt mean it doesnt happen.

Perminate Link for Amazon Plays Supervillain with Gating of Marvel Products   Amazon Plays Supervillain with Gating of Marvel Products

by: shut1968 This user has validated their user name.

Thu Jun 28 15:20:52 2018

by: Paul W:

''Amazon does not prevent you from selling your Marvel products.  They simply say you can't sell them on their site.  No law is being broken.''

When the reason for Amazon AKA the ''Landlord'' starts ''gating'' what a company/business can sell in a place or entity where it pays to be able to sell it at limits and/or dictates what you can sell or not sell when the merchandise being sold was lawfully obtained and is doing so for the sole purpose of eliminating competition to boost its own sales by selling the same merchandise for higher prices at the expense of other small business then yes, it should be investigated by the FTC for unfair business practices and possible violations.

''If I had a physical store I could prevent you from selling anything in it.  Same difference''

Uh.. no.. you could not.   There may be specific ''types'' of merchandise you as the lessor could include in the lease agreement that the lessee agreed not to have in the store (example: Adult novelties, drug paraphernalia etc etc..) because of possible legal issues with county laws and ordinances.. and in some rare cases a non-compete clause with other business in the same shopping center or mall.. but what you DON'T have is the right to revolving restrictions on what legally purchased merchandise can be sold or not sold period.

(After 40+ years in retail and owning B&M stores I can promise that's something I know for a fact.. there have been a few ignorant landlords who have tried and I challenged them in court.. needless to say we won, they lost and 2 of them paid dearly for it)

The only right you have as a landlord if your not happy with the merchandise being sold is to terminate the lease when it comes up for renewal.


by: pace306

''GATING is %100 wrong - but its not illegal''

I didn't say it was illegal, but in these cases it is being done to eliminate competition driving the price up for Amazon's own sales. Doing so is unfair to small businesses and should be investigated by the FTC.

''eBay tried to fake VERO hundreds of sellers claiming that SIGHT UNSEEN''

Ebay's Vero program came about because prior to that anyone could make any claim that an item was not authentic and Ebay would take it down and warn/suspend the seller. Sellers all new this and it became a simple way to wipe out your competition for many many years.
Ebay created the Vero program to have a legal platform to stand on in removing inauthentic items from it's site, the problem then became poor vetting by the Vero team when they allowed alleged copyright holders to sign up to the program.. all you had to do was present some type of legal form stating you owned the rights without proof and then ''BAM'' you became a Vero member and could go in and target your competitors and wipe them out again. It took Ebay several years to weed out the fake Vero accounts but eventually they did and now it works well for policing the site.. problem is that now these Vero members have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars if not millions policing the site and removing fake items that some have actually given up.. The list of Vero members is now a fraction of what it used to be and Ebay will NEVER go back to allowing sellers or site users the ability to report items to get them removed because then it will just go back to the way it was and that's not good either.

Perminate Link for Amazon Plays Supervillain with Gating of Marvel Products   Amazon Plays Supervillain with Gating of Marvel Products

by: mindelec This user has validated their user name.

Thu Jun 28 16:56:38 2018

i'm the one that gave ina the heads up.  so far i have only seen 2 of my 40 marvel books deactivated, it's possible that the ban might only effect non-book items (this would actually make sense).   i know gating is a fact of life on amazon, but not getting any advance notice is just not right.

marvel views their comics and books as advertising for the movies and have discontinued the masterwork series and cut down on the the number of titles and the size of the print runs.  they don't warehouse back stock so books are often OOP within a year.

@sasikat  you might want to rethink your liking of gating.  try finding an in print used dvd, cd, or record that isn't priced as high or higher a new copy.  that is what gating those categories did...

Perminate Link for Amazon Plays Supervillain with Gating of Marvel Products   Amazon Plays Supervillain with Gating of Marvel Products

by: shut1968 This user has validated their user name.

Fri Jun 29 06:15:34 2018

@mindelec
"try finding an in print used dvd, cd, or record that isn't priced as high or higher a new copy.  that is what gating those categories did"

A "Prime" example of Amazon gating a category in order to get rid of small sellers so that it could jack up prices of its own merchandise. Amazon couldn't compete with marketplace sellers and it's warehouses were filling up with all the used media products it had been buying or accepting as trade ins so they gated the categories, eliminated 80% of it's competition and drove prices back up.  
They destroyed many many small businesses that had spent a decade or so building a customer base and had built up inventories of thousands upon thousands of used media products.

Perminate Link for Amazon Plays Supervillain with Gating of Marvel Products   Amazon Plays Supervillain with Gating of Marvel Products

by: shut1968 This user has validated their user name.

Fri Jun 29 15:52:19 2018

Of course if this were Ebay that had done this there would have been 5 pages of comments ripping them apart...

Just saying..

Perminate Link for Amazon Plays Supervillain with Gating of Marvel Products   Amazon Plays Supervillain with Gating of Marvel Products

by: Frank F This user has validated their user name.

Sun Jul 1 21:37:02 2018

This is a good thing for most American sellers and businesses.  Most of the widespread counterfeiting is   being done as foreigners, mainly the Chinese have inundated all the marketplaces with fake counterfeit unlicensed trademark infringing items.  

Ebay is a virtual cellpool of counterfeits, just search Superman, sports team items, Disney and just about any American brand, band, team, super-hero characters and you will find hundreds of thousands of counterfeit items.. Limit your search to China too if you want to see just all the fakes but that isn't all of them as they have listing where they say they are in the US now, and SO MANY Americans have gotten into the counterfeiting game too as there is no repercussions these days for doing this, its a shame as its just taking category after category on ebay, and destroying many small businesses that were selling the licensed products.

The brand owners have been playing an endless game of 'whack a mole' as they take down one userid and another pops up the same day selling the very same item.  

At least Amazon is taking actions to put a stop to this horrid practice as its undercutting American businesses..  

Ebay should be called out, as they obviously are partnered with these foreign criminals, and do nothing to help the owners of these trademarks who in many cases no longer police ebay as they are in a no-win nightmare situation.  Again,  this company is a total utter disgrace!



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