Last week, I wrote that it was a dark time for Amazon Sellers. I still believe it is, but there may be a silver lining. Much like some airline programs–I’m looking at you Delta–Amazon doesn’t always communicate the most efficiently with its sellers. I totally get that. I run into communication issues in my day job all the time.
That all said, lets get to the good news!
$1,500 ungating fee won’t apply to existing merchants
Courtesy of Ben Turnbull and CNBC, we learn that Amazon won’t apply to existing merchants. This is both reassuring and concerning at the same time. Reassuring because, those Amazon sellers who have sold the brands that Amazon is now clamping down on, should be ok. But what about those folks that have also been around, but not sold a particular brand? I mean, I’m sure there are some Amazon sellers who have been around, but, somehow been under a rock with regard to some brands that are popular four letter brands. Worse yet, what about the new sellers, who legitimately want to build a business selling on Amazon? Now, they must do the calculation as to whether paying $1000-1500 to get ungated in a particular brand is worth it. That assumes they can even get a letter, or acceptable receipt, if that is a requirement.
What this all means for Amazon Sellers
Candidly, I’m not sure that this changes much. The fact of the matter is, Amazon is changing things up. They are attempting to rid their marketplace of counterfeit items. I totally get that. I love that. It’s a reason why I never do commingled inventory, even if it is easier. But the fact remains. This will erect additional barriers to entry to reselling on Amazon. Some say that Amazon has had a huge influx of sellers lately, I think, if there wasn’t the concern of counterfeit merchandise, that Amazon would love this. Competition forces prices down. Amazon is in a business to provide the customer–read: not seller–the lowest, competitive price. The challenge, however, is when Amazon lets many businesses that may be based off-shore, that results in counterfeit products being introduced into the Amazon supply chain. I think it’s still a to be determined, to see how this all ends up.
Overall, this was a welcome sign at the end of the week. I still feel like there is much uncertainty. This is part of the reason that I always advocate that you add a product to inventory before buying. It takes only a few seconds, but can save minutes, if not hours of heartache. Other than that, there are a bunch of groups–subscription like Mile High Reselling Club, and non-subscription based–that have talked about the various brands, like Lego, Nike, and others, and potential changes as time goes by. Overall, this is a very uncertain time, which is most unfortunate, as we are fast approaching Q4, the best time of the year for resellers!
Have you been restricted on any particular brands as an Amazon Seller? Please share in the comments.