Amazon Price Parity - Bullying?

Discussion in 'Ecommerce Forum' started by edmondscommerce, Jan 30, 2012.

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  1. sirearl

    sirearl UKBF Legend Free Member

    29,807 6,644
    Amazon have broken the law hence the UK government should chuck them out of the country and allow people to purchase for cheaper prices.

    Not going to happen as there is a distinct lack of Bollux in governments.

    No good saying UK jobs will go most of there depots are fully automatic and employ very few people.

    Last edited: Jan 30, 2012
    Posted: Jan 30, 2012 By: sirearl Member since: Apr 23, 2007
  2. TotallySport

    TotallySport UKBF Legend Full Member - Verified Business

    6,949 1,025
    lol, they have just given them a grant to open a distribution center in scotland so that aint gunna happen soon,
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2012
    Posted: Jan 30, 2012 By: TotallySport Member since: Jul 18, 2007
  3. sirearl

    sirearl UKBF Legend Free Member

    29,807 6,644
    yup more example of corruption ,one law for the rich and hundreds for the less well off.

    I wonder if they have tried this in the US with there stricter laws ( alleged ):|

    Posted: Jan 30, 2012 By: sirearl Member since: Apr 23, 2007
  4. kulture

    kulture UKBF Legend Staff Member

    8,088 2,229
    Whilst I agree with you sir earl, I bet that their lawyers have made sure that the wording is just within the law.
    Posted: Jan 31, 2012 By: kulture Member since: Aug 11, 2007
  5. profscooter

    profscooter UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    84 13
    Tried Amazon Marketplace myself once, waste of time. The 15% fee wipes out any profit unless you price higher to counteract. And indeed you are not able to link out to your own site either. I'll be interested to see if this does have any effect on the off-Amazon products of my competitors who want to remain with Amazon as well. Meantime for the products I sell I beat Amazon in Google listings for the main keywords at least, and do get occasional click-throughs from Adsense ads on Amazon too. Ultimately if you can compete on price Amazon is fine but for me I'd rather compete on service.
    Posted: Jan 31, 2012 By: profscooter Member since: Jan 23, 2012
  6. edmondscommerce

    edmondscommerce Magento + PHP Expert Full Member - Verified Business

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    The main point here I think is the fact that entrepreneurs running their own businesses are being forced to do things with their business that they do not want to do on pain of losing the amazon sales.

    Yes they can do this, no it probably isn't breaking the law but it is aggressive, domineering and perhaps even bullying. And I suspect it is a taste of worse to come.
    Posted: Jan 31, 2012 By: edmondscommerce Member since: Nov 11, 2008
  7. SillyJokes

    SillyJokes UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    4,504 598
    Meanwhile, the more you sell on Amazon the less your business is worth if you ever wish to sell it
    Posted: Jan 31, 2012 By: SillyJokes Member since: Jul 26, 2004
  8. Hedgie

    Hedgie UKBF Ace Free Member

    2,310 305
    Thats why I refuse to sell via Amazon. All my stock is sold through my own site and half the time it is cheaper than Amazon anyway.
    Posted: Jan 31, 2012 By: Hedgie Member since: Aug 17, 2007
  9. paretowasright

    paretowasright UKBF Enthusiast Free Member

    671 98
    Posted: Feb 5, 2012 By: paretowasright Member since: Jan 2, 2009
  10. kulture

    kulture UKBF Legend Staff Member

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    I am confused, what has Tesco selling on amazon cheaper than on their own site got to do with amazon stopping sellers undercutting them. Tesco, by being more expensive on their own site, have not breached amazon's rules.
    Posted: Feb 5, 2012 By: kulture Member since: Aug 11, 2007
  11. krupuk

    krupuk UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    14 3
    Not if you're Amazon!!!<BR>They seem to have the OFT in their pocket judging by their decision on Amazon's takeover of bookdepository which increased their maket share of UK online book sales to 75%. An educated guess would be that they're applying some grease to the wheels that are supposed to regulate them.<BR>They already have this policy in the US where it seems to have been unchallenged for quite a while.
    Posted: Apr 24, 2012 By: krupuk Member since: Apr 23, 2012
  12. krupuk

    krupuk UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    14 3
    Write to the OFT - they're already investigating it but will probably find in Amazon's favour if they don't get enough complaints that give detailed information about how Amazon manipulates everything to its advantage, trying to stamp out competition.
    Posted: Apr 24, 2012 By: krupuk Member since: Apr 23, 2012
  13. krupuk

    krupuk UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    14 3
    It may not be illegal to have different prices across different selling channels but if you do have different prices and you sell on Amazon it will be in contravention of your legally binding agreement with them. So actually they can dictate the price you sell at elsewhere because you agree to make it their business by agreeing to their terms for selling on Amazon (which of course they can change at any time).

    This is being investigated by the OFT but sellers will have little chance to be represented in that process. Amazon will be represented by big shot lawyers who get paid huge amounts of money because they have a proven track record of being able to do things like, for example, getting the OFT to believe that there's nothing anti-competitive about price parity even though it would be plain to a five-year-old thats its an attempt to stitch up the market.
    Posted: Apr 24, 2012 By: krupuk Member since: Apr 23, 2012
  14. krupuk

    krupuk UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    14 3
    That's a form of price fixing. They want to be able to dictate the price that you sell elsewhere rather than allowing you to set prices according to the cost of the marketplace you are selling in. Market dominance requires a lot of marketing/advertising investment. That should be a downside, but Amazon want to remove that downside by forcing you not to pass on savings that you make on a cheaper marketplace to the customer.

    Amazon want to have their cake and eat it. They are introducing a policy that they don't follow themselves. In media products such as books you will find Book Depository, owned by Amazon, selling in Amazon marketplace at prices far below Amazon's normal prices.
    Posted: Apr 24, 2012 By: krupuk Member since: Apr 23, 2012
  15. TheGeekestLink

    TheGeekestLink UKBF Regular Free Member

    369 23
    Amazon call me on a regular basis, even though I've told them not to bother on countless occasions.

    I'm not having them dictate to me what I can sell my own products for. That way craziness lies!
    Posted: Apr 24, 2012 By: TheGeekestLink Member since: May 4, 2011
  16. benjo132

    benjo132 UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    10 0
    I emailed the OFT after reading this forum and I was surprised that they got back to me and also arranged a conference call to get all the details from me.

    They said that they had a lot of complaints about this and were trying to decide whether the investigation needed prioritising or not.

    They were very helpful and sounded like they were on my side, but only time will tell. They did say that it is very important that anyone else being threatened with this policy gets in touch with them so that they have as much information as possible and are aware of the scale of the problem.

    Today however Amazon have suspended my account - obviously on the same day that payment was due so they can hold onto my money for another 2 weeks - and as I cannot afford to loose Amazon as a selling channel and cant afford to put prices down on Amazon (I would lose money) I have had to raise over 1000 prices on my website. How is that good for the consumer Amazon?

    I don't know what this is going to do to my website sales, or for my company in general so we will have to see how it goes. All I know is that I cannot afford to lose Amazon sales overnight or have my money tied up while we dispute it. Just a typical case of big retailers using their power to bully small companies and also using the thousands of pounds that they owe me as blackmail - they hold all the power.

    Please anyone worried about this email the OFT. (Contact us on their website)

    Posted: May 16, 2012 By: benjo132 Member since: Mar 30, 2008
  17. Dan Healthcare4all

    Dan Healthcare4all UKBF Contributor Free Member

    51 5
    We have now had 4 policy violations on Amazon for price parity but on the last 2 occasions the 3 examples they gave were questionable.
    On our website (which is what they were comparing to) there is a postage charge on orders under £50, and free shipping over £50. On Amazon we offer free shipping on all orders, so we have adjusted the prices so that the total price is the same (or slightly cheaper on Amazon) once the postage has been factored in.
    The 3 examples were all the same or cheaper once the postage was calculated. My interpretation of their rules (S-4 in the seller agreement) is that it's the total price that must be on par with the other channels.
    I feel we are walking a tightrope of being suspended therefore tried to contact Amazon Seller Performance (not an easy task). You can't communicate with that department directly and if you contact seller support they pass on the message. All I get back each time is a canned response (see below) which conflicts the other T&Cs.
    Can anyone offer their input on this?

    According to your seller agreement, both the item prices and total prices you charge customers for products that you choose to list on Amazon must generally be at least as favourable as the item prices and total prices you charge customers via other sales channels.

    - The "item price" of a product generally means the price of the product itself.
    - The "total price" of a product generally means the total amount payable by a customer for a product, including discounts, rebates, promotions, and shipping.

    For more information, please refer to Section S-4 ("Parity with your Sales Channels") of the Amazon Services Business Solutions Agreement, which is available in the Policies and Agreements section of seller Help.

    Our previous email was intended to bring this policy to your attention. If your listings comply with the terms of your agreement, no further action is required on your part.

    However, continued failure to abide by the terms of your seller agreement may result in the removal of your selling privileges.
    Posted: Oct 26, 2012 By: Dan Healthcare4all Member since: Sep 14, 2008
  18. SamStones

    SamStones UKBF Enthusiast Free Member

    1,053 134
    To me, it reads that they're saying that BOTH the item price and total price needs to be cheaper or the same on Amazon. This is fairly pointless, as 99% of customers will need delivery to be included. It sounds like you're being penalised for sticking with Amazons "free shipping" policy.
    Posted: Oct 26, 2012 By: SamStones Member since: Mar 1, 2010
  19. Dan Healthcare4all

    Dan Healthcare4all UKBF Contributor Free Member

    51 5
    But this is what it says in the S-4 section they are pointing us to:

    You will maintain parity between the products you offer through Your Sales Channels and the products you list on the a particular Amazon Site by ensuring that at the applicable Selling on Amazon Launch Date and thereafter: (a) the Purchase Price and every other term of offer and/or sale of Your Product (including associated shipping and handling charges, Shipment Information, any “low price” guarantee, rebate or discount, any free or discounted products or other benefit available as a result of purchasing one or more other products, and terms of applicable return and refund policies listed on such Amazon Site) is at least as favourable to users of such Amazon Site as the most favourable terms upon which a product is offered and/or sold via Your Sales Channels (excluding consideration of Excluded Offers);

    -- I interpret this as the total price needs to be the same. Confusing?
    Posted: Oct 26, 2012 By: Dan Healthcare4all Member since: Sep 14, 2008
  20. Esk247

    Esk247 UKBF Legend Free Member

    7,758 1,514
    Everything needs to be the same or cheaper on Amazon.

    e.g. with all taxes and postage as the total price of the product deliver to the customer.

    Amazon Price: £4.95 + free shipping

    Your Site Price: £3.95 + £1 shipping

    It needs to be at least that for them to stop hassling but you'd probably need the products at £4.25 + £1 shipping on your website.

    They're being a bit picky because we've not had this problem with them yet.
    Posted: Oct 26, 2012 By: Esk247 Member since: Oct 6, 2008
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