There's a movement to band online sellers together to make Amazon more accountable. "In order to gain ahold of their businesses, Amazon sellers have been organizing to communicate their needs to the Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission," Business Insider reported. "Both bodies have launched anti-trust probes into Amazon this summer."
The publication spoke to Scott Needham of online merchant BuyBoxer, who explained sellers' concerns.
One common concern is that Amazon has access to third-party merchant sales data, which may allow them to unfairly compete by identifying best-selling products and then create its own branded versions and offer them for sale at a lower price with greater visibility.
Business Insider said another leading complaint from Amazon sellers is that they might have their accounts suspended without much notice or explanation. "The process to get one's account reinstated is brutal, sellers told Business Insider."
BuyBoxer's Needham told the publication he was suspended for seven days for what he said was an incorrectly formatted label. "The company wasn't told of its suspension until two days into the process," the publication reported.
Paul Rafelson, a tax law attorney at Francissen Rafelson Schick, LLP, whose practice is focused on helping Amazon sellers, told Business Insider it can be challenging to get sellers to understand the importance of banding together.
Part of the difficulty of sticking together is the competitive nature of online selling. As eBay sellers learned, companies can appease certain large sellers who ultimately act in their own self-interest.