Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Mon May 13 2013 09:15:13

Amazon Coins Launch But Not Helpful to Third-Party Sellers

By: Ina Steiner

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Amazon.com launched its anticipated Amazon Coins virtual currency this morning. Visitors to the home page will see a letter from Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos. The information Kindle owners have been waiting for:

- If you own a Kindle Fire, you'll receive 500 Amazon Coins.

- 500 Amazon Coins = $5.

- The coins can only be used for games and apps in the Amazon Appstore.

Reaction is only just starting to come in on Twitter - ‏@shannonstacey wrote, "So 500 "Amazon Coins" = $5.00? That's quite an exchange rate. (Also, do we really NEED Amazon Coins?)"



Many Kindle Fire users will probably be disappointed to learn that the currency can't be used for content such as books and movies. But the Amazon Coins program is designed to encourage developers to create applications for its tablet and to boost its own Appstore, which is the "iTunes" of the Kindle Fire.

Amazon Coins won't be helpful to its third-party merchants selling physical products, but if consumers are drawn to the Kindle Fire tablet with the help of interesting games and apps, and if they then use the tablets to shop on Amazon, the coins can't hurt in the long run.

What do you think of Amazon Coins now that they've launched?




Comments (11) | Leave Comment | Permalink

Readers Comments

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This user has validated their user name. by: Merciful Minga

Mon May 13 09:24:17 2013

Wondering as to WHY ceo Jeff ''PESOS'' didn't make this a lower even count to be 5 ZON coins = $5 instead of the higher start count?

Curious to read more from our kind kindlers next?

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This user has validated their user name. by: Ina

Mon May 13 09:41:33 2013

BTW, what app or game would you spend your free 500 coins ($5) on?

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This user has validated their user name. by: Nolle

Mon May 13 09:45:06 2013

idiots - this will work as well as Microsoft's equally inane Xbox points.  

The only thing this accomplishes is exchange inefficiencies.  I don't want or need a ''credit account'' (which is all this is) so that I tie up money for items not yet purchased.

I am sure this will work just like xbox points - you might need 180 coins to buy that app, but you won't be able to buy 180 coins.  You need to buy 500 coins, leaving you committed to another 320 coins purchases.  In the end, you'll have 75 coins left, but will need another 50 coins to buy anything, and end up buying another 500 coins.

It's frustrating, inefficient, manipulative, deceptive, and greedy.

I had considered a Fire, but not now.  Give me a Nexus 7, pure android, where I can buy an app for .99 and actually pay .99.

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This user has validated their user name. by: Ina

Mon May 13 10:37:39 2013

FYI, you can still purchase apps for "real" money.

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by: JB This user has validated their user name.

Mon May 13 11:24:12 2013

What will the future hold...

What about when you can purchase real items with virtual money.

They may follow a similar path like bitcoin.

What about payment for sellers on places like Amazon and eBay.

How is it regulated if at all... paypal...

Will they follow a similar path like Nolle referenced above.

There may very well come a time when people will look back, and wish they could pay by check.

That would be a laugh.

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by: Ebay Seller-Ebay Buyer This user has validated their user name.

Mon May 13 17:17:04 2013

I think this is an excellent idea. The article doesn't say why it's not good for Third-Party Sellers though.

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This user has validated their user name. by: Ming the Merciless

Tue May 14 00:13:00 2013

@ Ebay Seller-Ebay Buyer

It's not for 3P sellers because the play money can't be spent on their products.

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by: KathleenJohnson This user has validated their user name.
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Tue May 14 05:29:08 2013

Having just crawled out from under Yardsellr and their "funny money" and "games" - I can tell you that type of eCommerce attracts a shopper with a "games" mentality and trying to operated as a Seller in that environment is hazardous.

If your business it forthright, honorable, prices inline with fair market value - why would you have to resort to "games" to sell your items, keep your customers, or grow your business?

At Yardsellr the "exchange" rate from "funny money" to the "real thing"  benefited "the house".

When gambling, in the long run, only the house "wins". Otherwise Casinos could not stay in business at the egregious profit margins they have.

If this is Amazon's game plan - then they have lost this Buyer/Seller.

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This user has validated their user name. by: Nolle

Tue May 14 08:26:01 2013

I think the real point is for these ''in game'' purchases - which is how facebook games make all their $$ - it looks like small change, but it's really hundreds of millions of $$.

It's giving you arcade tokens that only work in their arcade.  wait, you will see what I am saying when they rollout the coin purchase plans.  the idea is to have people always (compulsively) over-buying these coins so they always have some in their acct - but never quite enough to buy what they want.

It's a game to make $$ by forcing exchange inefficiencies and creating artificial financial commitments. it's textbook hi-tech marketing.

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This user has validated their user name. by: Forestt

Tue May 14 16:57:43 2013

@Nolle - What about adults who don't play video games or use Facetrash?

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This user has validated their user name. by: Forestt

Tue May 14 16:59:49 2013

Seems to me the only ones playing games are Amazon and eBay. Amazon is rapibly becoming just as distrustful as eBay. Both companies are clinging to the past, hoping for a future but it's only a matter of time before both are memories for consumers and merchants just looking for a straight deal, not games, not play.



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