|Sun Feb 26 2012 18:00:13|
Amazon Corners Market on Gillette Products
By: Ina Steiner
When EcommerceBytes learned that third-party sellers weren't allowed to list Gillette products on Amazon's marketplace, we did some digging to see which entity was behind the policy - Amazon.com or the brand-owner Proctor & Gamble.
In Monday's Newsflash newsletter, EcommerceBytes clears up part of the mystery, but there are many unanswered questions. However, one thing is certain, the ban makes retailers who are concerned about having to compete with Amazon even more nervous. The ability to access sellers' proprietary supplier and sales information gives Amazon competitive intelligence it could use to its own benefit, many fear.
Another area where Amazon has a competitive advantage over 3P sellers is with its Certified Frustration-Free Packaging program. Amazon works with manufacturers to create product packaging that are easy to open and good for the environment.
Amazon "owns" the listings for products with Certified Frustration-Free Packaging, though the company does offer a "retail" option in listings - if you click on Retail, you'll find third-party sellers - see this listing for this Case Logic Ultra compact camera case, for example.
Capitalizing on retailers' concerns about marketplace selling, eBay has been sending a message for the past 3 years that it wants to work with retailers, not compete with them, but it is aiming that message at large brands and chain stores. Small and medium-sized eBay merchants sell in an environment where they fear they could be shut down by big brands through the eBay VeRO program, and they must compete with the favoritism eBay gives large brands and retailers.
Amazon was mum over the reason for its third-party ban on Gillette (and Oral B) products - let us know if you've seen other instances where sellers have been banned from selling brands and where the marketplace has the exclusive.