For Retailers, Amazon Can be a Real Jungle

Amazon Jungle

by Maggy Michaels Durrenberger  

Don’t be dazzled by Amazon’s customer base of 160 million or eBay’s claims of 233 million global customers. The third-party (3P) online sales environment is not for every retailer—or every product. Those who take the time to look over the terrain may just decide to cancel the safari.

Beware of Uncharted Territory

Navigating Amazon is not a simple matter. After a time-consuming and often complicated entry process, some products may fail to list. The larger the inventory, the tougher it will be to locate and fix the error. You will need to match your products to the “best” listings, select the “right” key words, and win the Holy Grail of Amazon—the little blue Buy Box that means the highest visibility, the most searches and the most sales. Amazon is mysterious about the variables leading to this prize but among them are positive seller standing, customer feedback, low price, consistent availability, high volume, low refund rates and low returns.

The Natives are Restless

While Amazon and eBay both operate large online marketplaces, Amazon became number one years ago—largely on the momentum of FBA (Fulfillment by Amazon), a service that stores and ships products and even handles customer service. Recent FBA changes are meeting with angry protests from Amazon sellers who say that sharp fee hikes cut deeply into their slim profit margins. The new FBA long-term storage policy is forcing some sellers to pay Amazon to destroy their year-old merchandise because Amazon would charge so much more to return it to them.

Major brands like Ralph Lauren, Hugo Boss and Guess are furious about unauthorized 3P sellers on Amazon that are pricing their merchandise below the minimum set for the label. Even the “little guy” who periodically sells items on Amazon can end up screaming. If Amazon runs an automated check on a seller that generates a false-positive for fraud, the seller account is immediately closed without explanation—or recourse. eBay at least provides customer service contacts, online chat and email options for resolving such issues. Not so in the jungle of Amazon.

About Gevril Group

Gevril GroupGevril Group is the exclusive US representative for select European watch brands, distributing and servicing luxury, fashion and sports timepieces at a wide range of price points. Gevril Group also operates a full-service watch repair department staffed by master Swiss watchmakers. Contact Gevril Group by email or by calling 845-425-9882.

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