The Future Looks Bright for Amazon Sellers

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    There is a rather strange difference when you compare Amazon and eBay. When people talk about buying on eBay, they are usually referring to buying something from one of its sellers. When people talk about buying on Amazon, however, there is usually no distinction between third-party sellers and buying directly from Amazon itself.

While a lot of this has to do with how Amazon has branded itself and their sly use of the Fulfillment by Amazon program (FBA – which is where members ship their items directly to the Amazon warehouse and Amazon ships the sold items for them), it may still come as a surprise to some that when the earnings call for Amazon came out back in January, their Chief Financial Officer, Tom Szkutak reported that at least 39-percent of their “product units” sold through the website were actually from third-party sellers. This basically means that during that time more than a third of the items people bought on Amazon were from members, rather than Amazon itself.

So, why do buyers tend to think of Amazon as one big giant that sells everything by itself, but they usually think of eBay as a bunch of different sellers? Well, aside from some really great marketing, it might be the way that people shop on Amazon varies greatly from the way they shop on eBay.

When people shop on eBay, it is all about member Feedback. If a member has no Feedback or very little Feedback, a good buyer knows to watch out. On Amazon, however, where few people even think about leaving a seller any feedback, it is all about the price of the item. Okay, some people might actually read a review about the product too, but basically it is all about price and whether the item is eligible for Amazon Prime. For the uninitiated — Prime is a type of membership that members can pay that allows them to get FREE two-day shipping on certain items, as well as free access to Amazon Instant Video and the added ability to borrow books from “Kindle Owners’ Lending Library.”

If analysts’ predictions are correct, it appears that Amazon will rely more and more on its sellers as an important stepping-stone to expanding their marketplace. Wired reported that last year, the commission for third-party sells accounted for about 15-percent of Amazon’s sells. This figure is expected to grow again as we go further into this year. What this basically means is that if you are a seller on Amazon, you’re going to need shades — because the future looks bright.    

About our Guest Blogger

This guest post was contributed by Kat Simpson. Kat is a trusted eCommerce author, speaker, educator, and entrepreneur. Kat Simpson has been a successful eCommerce merchant for over 10 years; is an eBay Education Specialist and Gold Level PowerSeller, as well as a successful Amazon merchant. Currently Kat is the hosts the popular weekly eCommerce Podcast That Kat Radio

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