[Fortune] Andy Jassy says Amazon has a ‘great relationship’ with sellers. Longtime sellers say it’s ‘the worst it’s ever been’

Amazon’s CEO Andy Jassy’s 2023 Letter to Shareholders was released yesterday, which also saw Mr Jassy being interviewed on CNBC. Part of that interview went thusly (excerpt edited for space):

Click for CNBC interview excerpt

And Sellers have taken this part personally…

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:thinking: Have we seen this announced?

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:rofl: :rofl: :rofl: - That’s a good one.

Not that I have seen or could find. Even checked that Seller News Letter I get every week. If it was announced officially, they would have picked up on it at cruxfinder.

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From Amazon’s perspective the relationship is great. They make money, get to dictate terms, and decide how much money they want from sellers.

And for sellers it’s “good enough” because they’re still around.

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Statements like this almost suggest that the speaker knows nothing about power differentials and disproportional consequences that trap people into abusive relationships.

But this guy sure gets it… :eyes:

It’s giving Ike Turner.

giphy (1)

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It was announced 5Dec2023 in the News Headline here:

Update to US referral and Fulfillment by Amazon fees (link)

The applicable SHC (“Seller Help Content”) page is 2024 returns processing fee changes (link).
It was also announced in Dharmesh Mehta’s 5Dec2023 “About Amazon” blog post here:

https://sellingpartners.aboutamazon.com/update%20to%20us%20referral%20and%20fulfillment%20by%20amazon%20fees

It was also referenced in Cruxfinder’s 12Dec2023 edition of Amazon Seller News #293, with the Subject Line “Brace for Higher FBA Fees in 2024” (admittedly, obliquely).

There’s a reason why I archive everything.

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Nice work. I didn’t go back that far on Crux.

Amazon buried it in the fee announcement

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Yepper, and the preceding paragraphs, focused primarily upon Inventory Placement & Low Inventory Level fees did a fair job of burying that particular lede.

I’ve seen a few NSFE discussions mentioning this particular sea-change, but they’ve been few and far between - something that I do not expect to be case in coming months…

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Of course he does, that’s why he’s the CEO. Not a ton of incentive to treat people better when they’ll tolerate it.

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I think Amazon has a great relationship with sellers. Those sellers they care about. Those sellers who choose their business relationships based on a spreadsheet.

As always, the press and the complaining sellers who the press quotes fail to recognize that in spite of the great contribution sellers make to the Amazon bottom line, there are too many of them.

Those they want, have little problem meeting these new requirements and paying these fees.

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This is true, the sellers who whine the most are the most emotional of the bunch. Emotion and business are a bad combination. It’s like complaining about returns/scam buyers. Complaining is pointless, if the spreadsheet says a product is worth selling including costs of returns/scammers, you sell it, if the sheet says you’re losing money, stop selling it.

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And that’s exactly the point of Sellers expressing their thoughts about things like this. Walking with their dollars would obviously be best, but again, when you’re trapped, you’re trapped…so plenty of Sellers who appear outwardly content, compliant, and successful, turn to outside oversight organizations to raise flags and provide receipts.

It’s a tale as old as time. Overconfidence in your ability to get away with mistreating and disadvantaging others for your own benefit has consequences. :thinking: How many times has Rome fallen? No matter how many roads and aqueducts the Roman slaves built for conquered peoples, or how many gladiator battles or histories or theatrics entertained the subjugated, corruption and competition take down The Big Ones every time.

Jassy is the CEO because he said yes as Bezos was running out the door, clutching his billions. :eyes:

Titles (or degrees, or experience, or salary) do not equal smarts.

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But does the sheet says you must sell it on the Amazon sales channel, or it won’t sell? :thinking:

Successful retail businesses do not make their success dependent on outside parties.

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And the stock price has never been higher (not today but yesterday), so why in the world would they ever change what they do to us.

Right on. When you sell on marketplaces, everything - and I mean EVERYTHING, is completely out of your control or influence.

It’s a horrible way to do business but Amazon has its advantages for sellers who are willing to put in the time and put up with the BS.

It’s best to have a good combination of both (Retail / Ecomm), they compliment each other. Trying over here… Things are looking positive for us with our expansion this year outside of AMZ / WMT .coms.

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For a lot of sellers, the numbers for selling on Amazon are a lot more favorable than through other means. Driving traffic to your own site is a huge investment, and if you’re not that well known, retail stores won’t open the door for you.

I do think that Amazon will decline someday, but not because of mistreating sellers. They’re having some pretty major issues with how they’re handling buyer customer service right now and THAT is a real problem. The big sellers are mostly fine, and the small whiny sellers can be replaced fairly easily. I don’t see companies like Pattern and AnkerDirect complaining about anything. It’s like this in all businesses. The big powerful company dictates the rules, and the small businesses have to adapt their business around the other’s.

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:arrow_down::arrow_down::arrow_down:

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Not always true. PXs on military bases are successful even though their success is dependent an outside party - the DOD.

So are Duty-Free Shops at airports.

There are contractors who run cafeterias for large corporations to serve their employees.

For many years Nine West and before them J Baker ran shoe departments for major department stores. A close analog to the Amazon/Amazon seller relationship.

I ran a company which had a close relationship with a Fortune 200 company. We supplied them with product . We sold other products which complemented their offering, and were promoted by their sales force to their customer base who ordered directly from us.

If I was willing to spend the time, I could think of other examples.

If the numbers work, it is successful. When the numbers no longer work, it is time for a different strategy.

Even stores in a mall are dependent on another party - their landlord. The landlord dictates the business hours, limits what the retailer can sell, and takes a cut of the gross sales.

Amazon has broken very little new ground other than dealing with a lot of sellers who have no business experience or sense. FBA operates close to the way a classic public warehouse does. 3P sellers are extremely similar to concessionaires like Nine West. This is why much of what outside oversight is attempting to apply are reinterpretations of existing laws.

Amazon did a great job of selling itself as an innovator, but it really isn’t one.

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There’s definitely a lot of money to be made here (remember that 85% of retail is STILL brick and mortar), but as far as work and BS goes, I don’t think there’s going to be less. You WILL work your ■■■ off to be successful in this (and I’m sure you have no problem with that, which is why you can be successful at it) and deal with a ton of crap as well. Maybe the crap will be slightly more reasonable than Amazon’s crap (no morning emails like “your product has been deactivated at CVS”), but there’ll still be plenty of it. Maybe a store will take your product but put it on the bottom shelf. You want an eye level shelf or an endcap? They want money for that. They’ll also want money from you for marketing, products customers returned, etc etc. And some bean counter can always decide to drop your product (or just not accept it to begin with).

For most people trying to get into retail stores is only a pipe dream. You’re on track to do it because of connections you have from the past. If some random person goes around to retail chains trying to push their brand nobody will even talk to them.

Being in other company’s stores still puts you at the mercy of them deciding to carry your product. The benefit obviously is if you’re in 20 different chains and 1 or 2 of them drop you, it’s not big deal, but if you’re 100% Amazon and they suspend you, you’re screwed.

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We are paying someone to deal with the crap at retail. Yes, there are risks. I spent 20 years on the other side of this equation so I totally get it.

The only thing in life that might be easy is winning a billion $ powerball jackpot. That’s even harder to do from what I hear.

There’s a reason why most people work for someone else’s business. If it were easy, everyone would do it (owning a business).

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You can pay someone to manage your Amazon account too. But like the saying goes, if you want it done right you have to do it yourself. Even with whoever you hired I’m sure there’ll be no shortage of work and headaches there, at least at the beginning.

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