September 22 2006

A new twist in the Amazon saga

The other day I talked about the new restructuring of third party selling on The most important bit is this:

So, why does this effectively shut me down? As most of you know, I sell imported products from Japan, they do have UPC codes, which are required to create Amazon Detail Pages, so I shouldn’t have a problem. Well, when I try creating a detail page, I enter the UPC code and I get a message from Amazon saying that you can’t create a page for that item because there is already a page created for that item…IN JAPAN! It seems all of Amazon’s sites run off the same database and if there is already an entry for that UPC code on any of their sites, anywhere in the world, you can not create a duplicate entry for that item. No Product Detail page also means that you can’t sell the item via Marketplace because those items have to be associated with a Detail Page.

Well, look what I found. Yep, this is an item I sell, and it just so happens to be the item I tested the ability to list on. The interesting part is it’s listed by Target, so it would seem if you’re a big enough retailer, Amazon will find a workaround for you. Always feels good to be appreciated!

Now, I’m sure you’re asking yourself, or not, “Sean, if the page exists, why not just make a Marketplace listing like you discussed the other day?” Because Amazon charges too high a percentage for Marketplace orders and for me to recoup the difference I would have to price myself out of being competitive. Also, Marketplace listings don’t get to set the shipping price, Amazon determines it for you.

Long story short, I’m still leaving Amazon, but I’m a bit disappointed in their lack of willingness to help a smaller business who pays their Amazon dues just like anyone else.

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