Is this type of packaging lower the cost of FBA?

Hi,
There is a competitor in my niche who sells a similar product as other dozen sellers, but he sells it at our cost :open_mouth:. The product is similar but not exactly the same. Each seller has his own patent, me included. In the beginning, I thought that he sold his product at cost to gain rank and would later raise the price. It has been two years. He never raised the price even though 3-4 months ago, his listing rose up to the top 5. Since he sells at the cost of everybody, he has gained the marketshare of other dozen sellers. I was curious how he could sell at cost for so long. So I ordered his product. It came in a weird packaging. See below:

Never seen this kind of packaging before. I almost thought that he was FBM, but the listing has a Prime badge. The bag has the word amazon.com (see green arrow). Also Amazon crossed out all of his negative seller feedbacks because Amazon fulfills the order. So I’m pretty sure that he’s FBA. I wonder if FBA charges lower fee by using this kind of packaging? Any idea? Thanks.

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No I don’t believe so, but Amazon charges Trolls for the packaging. It’s just another income source for Amazon

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We have ordered items that came in promotional packaging like that before and the items were from various sellers and Amazon. Just like Amazon Prime Video self promotions, I got boxes with that “ugly” man Alan Ritchson, playing Jack Reacher.
Stupid marketing makes my wife light headed for some odd reason.
eating-jack-reacher

15 posts were merged into an existing topic: :lock_with_ink_pen: The Junk Drawer

FBM Sellers who have Seller-Fulfilled Prime (SFP) eligibility and use SFP will have the Prime badge (I did, when I used SFP). So a Prime badge alone does not rule out FBM. But if you click on the listing and it says “Shipped by: Amazon” then you know that it’s FBA.

With Amazon-branded and partnered packaging, I do assume that this is FBA.

:thinking: Could it be your actual supplier, selling DTC but at wholesale cost?

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What is DTC? I designed this product by myself and filed a patent with the USPTO. I found a factory in China to mass produce it. So I’m not a wholesaler. I don’t know his exact cost but it must be very close to mine and other sellers in that same niche. It’s just weird that he has kept his price so low for so long. BTW he’s a Chinese seller. I’m sure that making a profit of $0.50 per unit could sustain his life in China, but not mine (in the US :frowning: )

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“DTC” is an acronym which stands for “Direct To Consumer” in terms of the Sales Industry (there are several other unrelated uses of the same acronym for different terms).

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Are they infringing your utility patent? If so, you might want to consider APEX

If they’re an overseas seller they most likely won’t represent themselves and you will win by default and their listing will be pulled.

If it’s a design patent you’ll need a court order to take down the listings.

As for their costs, if they’re making the products themselves you have no idea what their cost basis is. For all you know they could be making the products in a work camp.

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This is an excellent gold nugget. Thank you! I’ll have to check. Frankly his product is more like another product (let’s call him A). A is also my competitor and is known for using his utility patent to kick out competitors. He actively kicked out new sellers who copy his products. Perhaps he doesn’t know about this APEX gold nugget. I should let him know. So he could kick out this guy who is selling at our cost ruining the entire market niche.

You’re right. I think I could guess his cost because most likely my product also comes from the same Chinese work camp :grin:

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Why would you think their cost must be very close to yours? I sourced products and did inspections overseas for many, many years. What you pay and what someone else pays for the exact same thing can be very different. That’s before you start looking at the quality of the products.

You can make something that looks identical for half the cost depending on what materials are used. There are different material grades for pretty much everything. This is why all the Alibaba folks ask you for your target price. They will figure out how they can make the product to your price, not to your expected quality level.

Good Luck,

TJB

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At least Alan Ritchson is Jack Reacher :wink: #tomcruiseisnotjackreacher

You’re got a good point. I never give out my “target price” to Alibaba folks. I feel like being asked by a used car salesman “how much do you plan to spend”. Never a good thing would come out of that :slight_smile:

Unless your primary goal is to bring the price down, in which case (as long as it’s somewhat reasonable) they’ll figure out what corners to cut to get the price there.

If you contact another seller make sure you do not involve Amazon whatsoever in contacting them.

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Ya but Alan Ritchson could not do the bus stop scene from the movie. Takes more than a hat to cover all that up. Someone would need to be carrying a full size couch upright on the bus to hide him.

We prefer the good old fashioned bid opportunity to vendors/manufacturers. We tell suppliers they must submit a bid, even if we know we are using them anyway. The results have been impressive from time to time.

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Thank you for the tip. I plan to contact him through a direct message from “Ask seller” button in the product page. Is that a bad idea (because it’s through Amazon product page)? If so, why? If I cannot contact him that way, I’ll have to dig through his product to find the way to contact outside of Amazon.

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You’re colluding with another seller to take down a competing seller who’s selling at a lower price than you 2. There’s ways that could be viewed unfavorably by Amazon.

While you would not have any issue in a court of law (as the basis for the takedown is IP infringement), you could have serious issues in Amazon’s kangaroo court if they have any evidence of your actions.

Every seller has an address listed now so you don’t have to do a ton of digging to contact them. If you can’t get a phone number to call them, send them a letter (use priority mail or fedex to get their attention) and ask them to call you.

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You’re right. Thanks for your smart and prudent advice. :+1:
“kangaroo court” hahaha :joy: very true

Thank you. I forgot about that.

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Hi @HumbleWarrior, just stepping to clarify that a Seller using Amazon’s Buyer-Seller Messages to communicate with another Seller for any reason is specifically prohibited by Amazon, even if one Seller is “disguised” with a Buyer account (but is not making a legitimate Buyer inquiry).

From Buyer-Seller Messages FAQ:

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