Amazon Marketplace cutting off low-volume sellers

Discussion in 'Marketplace Discussions' started by fantailfan, May 9, 2017.

  1. Whoopycat

    Whoopycat Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Des Moines
    I'm guessing the majors have Amazon over a barrel now that Amazon is in the music streaming business... they can't afford to lose the licensing.
     
    PhantomStranger likes this.
  2. aoxomoxoa

    aoxomoxoa I'm a "Citizens For Boysenberry Jam" Fan

    Location:
    Ohio USA
    It stand to reason. They are making very little on the cheap used CDs being sold by third party sellers. By eliminating them, they can focus on selling new product.
    Bad news for cd buyers I guess.
     
    Matthew Tate likes this.
  3. kwadguy

    kwadguy Forum Resident

    Location:
    Cambridge, MA
    Last year, there were three substantial domain level players in the dirt cheap CD sweepstakes: GoHastings, Amazon (through the third party marketplace) and eBay, with eBay trailing by a good margin in terms of clean click-and-buy purchases.

    Now GoHastings is dead and Amazon has shrunk their 3rd party seller base. That has lead to recognizable increases in the cost of competing used merchandise on Amazon. This is good for the record companies. It's also good for the remaining (very) large 3rd party sellers who are reactive pricers who just got a major shot in the arm by way of much reduced suicide price wars.

    Amazon actually makes more off 3rd party media sales than they do off retail new merchandise. They don't want to shut down the 3rd party market. What they (or their favored nations) do want to do is increase the sell through prices across the board. And that appears to be what's happening.
     
  4. joachim.ritter

    joachim.ritter Well-Known Member

    Are you sure?

    As a third party seller I have a different view on this.
     
  5. kwadguy

    kwadguy Forum Resident

    Location:
    Cambridge, MA
    Third party sales are generally EXTREMELY profitable for Amazon. And Amazon has made changes in recent years to ensure the least profitable items are no longer so (e.g. they charge long term storage on all copies of an item now, even if there's just one, and shipping costs charged to the seller through FBA have been modified (increased) to much more directly reflect size and weight).
     
  6. quicksrt

    quicksrt Forum Resident

    Location:
    City of Angels
    So that a given Aerosmith or AC/DC CD can appear (on Amazon) more expensive without those zillions of cheap CD sellers in the way and driving down prices.

    But does Amazon know that those cheap prices will continue elsewhere, and will never go away? Leaving Amazon known as the most expensive route for old catalog CDs? The are acting like they are the only game in town, and what prices they have on their site are beyond question or compare.
     
  7. melstapler

    melstapler Forum Resident

    Lately, dormant third-party seller accounts, existing third-party seller accounts selling at low volumes and new or recently launched third-party seller accounts seem to be under heavy scrutiny. Recently, a large number of Amazon third-party seller accounts have been compromised. A scammer hacks an older or dormant seller account, changes the bank account information and adds listings for new merchandise at unreasonably low prices, then pretends to ship the item to a buyer using a false or incorrect tracking number. The scammer then withdraws available funds from received payments into their bank account. In cases where the scammers are operating from remote or international locations, this makes things even more complicated.
     
  8. kwadguy

    kwadguy Forum Resident

    Location:
    Cambridge, MA
    It's true that there are other platforms for sellers to use (eBay/Half and Discogs, to note the two most obvious). But there are a very very large number of buyers who ONLY feel comfortable on a platform like Amazon. So if Amazon pushes the bottom dwellers away, there will be other places you may get stuff cheap, but it's not likely to appreciably affect Amazon's bottom line.
     
    jsayers likes this.
  9. quicksrt

    quicksrt Forum Resident

    Location:
    City of Angels
    And (I have been reading Amazon's user forums), it seems many feel that if you are in the penny to one dollar CD racket then it really is time to find a fresh new product that people need. Even the .99 to $2.99 stuff can't be profitable for the sellers nor Amazon.
     
    jsayers likes this.
  10. kwadguy

    kwadguy Forum Resident

    Location:
    Cambridge, MA
    The penny-dollar stuff hasn't been very profitable for the seller in a long time. What pisses off other sellers is that there are still people who'll race to the bottom offering stuff at prices where they can't be making anything...which hurts the profit margins of their competitors.

    To which I say: tough luck. I mean, if you are selling commodity used stuff then you're probably in the wrong business anyway.

    The people listing at a penny or whatever, where they are losing money after Amazon fees, are idiots, sure. But the only people who hate them are people who are trying to sell common as dirt used stuff for more...

    The 3rd party stuff is ALL profitable for Amazon, though. Amazon gets a healthy cut no matter what.
     
  11. mesfen

    mesfen Well-Known Member

    Location:
    lawrence, ks usa
    I was under the impression that only low volumn sellers were being affected, but take a look at the many oop Dead listings. Many are low volumn sellers and damn those prices have indeed gone up. Some of these listings have only 1 seller. Just don't understand their logic of who can sell what; must be some type of vague mysterious marketing algorithm. Appears major domestic labels (are there just 2 nowadays) are becoming taboo for most sellers.Looks like a price control play; well it's their house and they do want they please. As for me , I will boycott Amazon from now on. BTW, besides EBay and Discogs, what other sites offers individual trading or selling?
     
    Last edited: May 22, 2017
    Matthew Tate likes this.
  12. jsayers

    jsayers Just Drifting....

    Location:
    Hendersonville, NC
    Those are the big three - Amazon, Ebay and Discogs. The first two get the most traffic and the 3rd not as much since Joe Six-Pack isn't even aware of their existence.
     
  13. quicksrt

    quicksrt Forum Resident

    Location:
    City of Angels
    I am a low volume seller, often only two items sold per month. But the items are often 19.99 and up to $130.00 range. Lots of still sealed vinyl and things slightly rare. Glad I blew out the CDs long ago when they were just starting to really cool off.
     
  14. jsayers

    jsayers Just Drifting....

    Location:
    Hendersonville, NC
    From what I'm gathering reading this thread, it's not cd's themselves but cd's that are going for pennies or a few bucks that are getting axed.

    I never even bother posting a cd that's less than $10 and I haven't been affected by this new crackdown, or whatever you want to call it. I actually hated seeing all those one cent cd's - glad to see 'em go. Just take all that schwag to Goodwill and be done with it! :laugh:
     
    LordThanos1969 and Malina like this.
  15. CraigVC

    CraigVC Forum Resident

    Location:
    Portland, OR
    The last time I used my Seller account - according to Amazon - was 2013. (That sounds about right; haven't sold stuff online in a few years.)

    I tried to logon to my Seller account yesterday and got the same error message many of you have reported. So I called Amazon Seller support, and they told me that last month there was a massive hack affecting many dormant seller accounts, so they have taken drastic action to close out as many accounts as possible.

    They said the only way to sell on Amazon again is to create a new Amazon Seller account with a different email address. They said I'll never be able to use my original email address again to create a Seller account. All of my prior sales history, dormant inventory, and positive feedback are irretrievably gone. They said I'll have to start over from scratch as a brand-new seller with a new account.

    They also said they now offer two-step authentication now for Seller accounts, which they expect will help with preventing hacking in the future.

    I spent 30 minutes on the phone talking to the support representative, and I got annoyed when the script they were obviously reading kept trying to spin all of this as somehow better than restoring all of my sales history and reputation as a seller who can be trusted. But I also said I realize that these decisions and policies are out of the support rep's control, so I wrapped up the call by asking the rep to escalate a complaint about how poorly this was all handled. I pointed out that I've been a happy Amazon customer for over 20 years, appreciative of the helpful support over the years, and contrasted it with how disappointed I am in the way my seller account has been treated.

    Craig.
     
  16. fantailfan

    fantailfan formerly RIchardL Thread Starter

    Location:
    Belmont, MA, USA
    I disagree. I sold a dozen Bowie RCAs and Ryko Au20s within the past year -- I posted them and they sold within a week -- so it's not that.

    One cent CDs were worth what you paid for them. For commons I always skipped to the $3 and up hobby sellers (i.e., people like me) because the usually cared about the product.
     
  17. jsayers

    jsayers Just Drifting....

    Location:
    Hendersonville, NC
    Just a theory - who knows the reason? There's a lot of different explanations being tossed around. I still stand by my main comment - don't miss those ridiculously low prices one bit. :unhunh:
     
  18. Romerovm

    Romerovm Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Birmingham, AL
    Well I didn't get a notice or anything, but my seller account seems to be gone as well. I just don't see the "seller account" tab anywhere. Is that how you guys realized your account was gone, or am I missing something?
     
  19. jsayers

    jsayers Just Drifting....

    Location:
    Hendersonville, NC
    Try going here -

    https://sellercentral.amazon.com/
     
  20. melstapler

    melstapler Forum Resident

    It's a shame that Amazon chose to address the more recent problem with fraudulent seller accounts by punishing so many existing and established legitimate sellers. Even if Amazon didn't anticipate such problems would transpire in the future, their lack of foresight seems to be having a negative impact on so many innocent sellers. I suppose is Amazon is doing what they believe will prevent abuse from fraudulent sellers, but it's surprising that it took this long for them to address the issue in the first place.
     
    Matthew Tate likes this.
  21. Romerovm

    Romerovm Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Birmingham, AL
    jsayers likes this.
  22. CraigVC

    CraigVC Forum Resident

    Location:
    Portland, OR
    I am skeptical of the reason(s) they are offering. There are many less drastic responses to accounts being hacked. Depending on how their back-end is set up, they potentially could have temporarily disabled all seller accounts until they could enable a two-step authentication feature for everyone. Then they could have turned all the accounts back on, sent an email to everyone, and given instructions on how to login and turn on two-step authentication before their dormant account could become active again.

    Maybe their back-end is held together with duck tape and twine (I've heard rumors from those in the tech industry that such is the case...), though, and the only way to "fix" a tech challenge like this is to unavoidably make a lot of users unhappy.

    For example, why couldn't they limit my ability to restore my old account and history, with my current Amazon email address, unless and only if I agree to maintaining two-step authentication on my seller account from now on? I would happily do so! Seems perverse to force (hundreds, thousands, hundreds of thousands?) of affected sellers to create additional Amazon.com accounts, just to create a Seller Central account that is brand-new, when they have perfectly active Amazon.com buyer accounts that theoretically are also susceptible to the same hacking threats as their seller accounts...?

    Craig.
     
  23. R. Totale

    R. Totale The Voice of Reason

    Location:
    Bi-Regional
    Dude I talked to didn't mention hacking, and tried to float the fairy tale that Amazon was running out of server space and couldn't afford to maintain inactive seller accounts. He specifically said I hadn't done anything nasty with my seller account, which meant it was there on the screen in front of him and being maintained. For whatever their real reason is he couldn't reactivate it.
     
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  24. CraigVC

    CraigVC Forum Resident

    Location:
    Portland, OR
    It took some time for me to get them to give a reason. I had to start asking questions like: "Where are all the seller accounts? I am looking right now at a product page that used to have a lot of third-party sellers, and now there's only one third-party seller and it's the publisher of the product. What's really going on here?"

    Eventually they also put me on hold for a few minutes, then came back on to tell me the exact day of my last sale on my Seller account - so I agree, it seems like they do have the history retained in some format, but they are refusing to reinstate/reactivate those accounts.

    Craig.
     
    melstapler likes this.
  25. SBurke

    SBurke Nostalgia Junkie

    Location:
    Philadelphia, PA
    I got an e-mail giving me 30 days to produce receipts from suppliers for my "most popular products" or else I would be barred from selling "certain popular products in the Music category," whatever those are. The interesting thing is that to the extent I have a "supplier," it's Amazon -- I just sell used CDs from my own personal collection. My sales have really slowed down in the past year or so, so if I get thrown off I suppose it won't matter much. But it's annoying, for sure -- another example of how corruption (the counterfeiters, in this case) costs us.
     

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