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Multichannel eCommerce Software
Amazon Amazon Price Parity Warning Email

Published on February 16th, 2012 | by Matthew Ogborne

16

Amazon Gets Aggressive With Price Parity

This is a follow up article from the original posted a few days ago regarding Have You Received a Price Parity Policy Warning from Amazon? and its not pleasant.

If you’ve not read the earlier article yet or the comments, then this won’t make much sense to you just yet and obviously key parts of the email have been removed. This is the first sign that Amazon really means business with its sellers when it comes to Price Parity and makes for sick reading

Greetings From Amazon

Greetings from Amazon,

We are writing to let you know that we have suspended your selling privileges and placed a temporary hold on any funds in your Amazon seller account.

As stated in our earlier warnings, we generally require that sellers do not charge customers higher prices on Amazon than they charge elsewhere through their other online sales channels. This is critical to preserve fairness for Amazon customers.

It has come to our attention that some of your listings, such as those listed below still do not abide by this policy.

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

We encourage you to take appropriate steps to resolve any pending orders.

Before we can consider reinstating your selling privileges, you must provide us with a detailed plan to ensure compliance with our policies. We will then review your plan and determine whether to reinstate your privileges.

For information on creating and submitting your plan of action, search for “Appeals for Suspended or Blocked Accounts” in seller Help.

We look forward to hearing from you.

Regards,

Seller Performance Team

Appeals for Suspended or Blocked Accounts

I did find it odd that there was no link to the help section in this email, which is at http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/help/customer/display.html?ie=UTF8&nodeId=200380450

What I am curious about is whether this page is updated to include a new example around the price parity topic…

Not pleasant reading and thankfully (for the businesses I work with) this came in from a 3rd party earlier this morning. Even still it wasn’t nice reading and I really do feel for this business as Amazon can account for a huge majority of sales volume for some eCommerce businesses.

Amazon, if it was a human, it would be a woman and she would be a ……….. (But I love her none the less).

So those parity emails, ignore them at your peril!





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16 Responses to Amazon Gets Aggressive With Price Parity

  1. #Amazon Gets Aggressive With Price Parity – http://t.co/DgYndgzl

  2. #Amazon Gets Aggressive With Price Parity – http://t.co/tqSkmXVF

  3. CT says:

    We do about 40k a month on Amazon, but I’m ready to drop them. It’s my company not theirs. If a whole bunch of merchants would stick together they would back down on this issue. It’s not healthy to rely on another company to this extent.

    Amazon sales are good but there are a lot of hidden costs. They get data on your best sellers and could become your competitor, for one. You make less profit than selling directly. We have also noticed a much higher return rate on Amazon versus our own website. Finally at least some of this 40k in orders (not all of course) is from our regular sales moving to Amazon.

    • Howdy CT,

      But it is an entirely new audience that you are reaching with Amazon and its a CPA model, so you essentially pay when an item is sold. Frankly I do not think anyone will stand up to them, mainly because they cannot, they’re too big and you cannot out Amazon, Amazon ;-)

      With regards to the returns, you should not try eBay thwn, the loss & returns rate is much, much higher with exactly the same services.

      Matt

      • Geoff says:

        Hi

        I sell in the Jewellery section of Amazon with the 28% fee – do the same rules apply in relation to price parity ? If they do then as I cannot afford to lower prices, it means my ebay customers are about to get a very nasty price rise.

      • Howdy Geoff,

        Yes, I would have thought so, its the same contract you agree to for all the categories.

        Ouchy,

        Matt

  4. Pingback: Amazon Just Made it REALLY Difficult for 99.9% of UK Businesses | Amazon Shipping

  5. Jason says:

    Hey Matt

    How is the price calculated if shipping is included in the price on amazon, but charged separately on our website. Is the price parity calculated on item price, or on the total cost to customer once shipping has been included on our website?

    • Hi Jason,

      They’re doing the checks manually. So they’ll find an item that might be out and then try it in your website cart for postage values.

      Is the price parity calculated on item price, or on the total cost to customer once shipping has been included on our website?
      Its the total price.

      Hope that helps

      Matt

  6. Bryn says:

    Anyone know if they have hit anyone for prices on eBay yet or just individual websites?

    Cheers

    • Hi Bryn,

      Yes, this question was pushed to Amazon a few days back, after some waffle on Amazon’s part, they came back with the confirmation that this appears to all sales channels, which includes eBay.

      Matt

  7. Rik Powell says:

    Hi Matt. Hope you are well and keeping busy!

    Just a quick one – There will always will be two sides to the story. However, FYI:

    We sell on Amazon and yes in many ways the customers are Amz customers – we pay Amz 15% for the privilege. Just have to price this commission fee into our final prices. Keep our www prices the same and then when we supply a direct www customer we earn more margin. I can see Amz’s point of view and I can see merchants point of view for pricing less on their own www as no “15% overheads”.

    Amazon have spent £??millions on building their site. We get good customers from Amz and as we price in the 15% cost – I think it gives us very good return / value for money. In many ways I would rather price my items accordingly and pay Amz 15% and get sales as opposed to not paying them and sell a lot less.

    Maybe a workaround is:

    1. price all item prices the same on all channels
    2. offer multiple live special offers on your own www at all times so this gives the customer (visitor) on the www major incentive to purchase on your www

    Would that be ok do you think?

    Laters!

    • Howdy Rik,

      I’m well thank you. Harbouring a stellar hangover from the Brightpearl eBay & Magento launch party last night.

      I totally agree with you on the viability and worth of Amazon as a sales channel, in many ways its superior to eBay and the motivations behind the price parity policy. They’re looking out for their customers and that’s of course brilliant.

      For your suggestions:

      Maybe a workaround is:

      1. price all item prices the same on all channels
      2. offer multiple live special offers on your own www at all times so this gives the customer (visitor) on the www major incentive to purchase on your www

      Its looking like that #1 might be forced upon businesses wther they like it not, but you’re right special offers might be a viable solution, I’m actually thinking that this is even more reason why a eCommerce business needs an active mailing list, so that they can promote items that are not normally indexable.

      Matt

  8. Amazon Gets Aggressive With Price Parity: This is a follow up article from the original posted a few days ag… http://t.co/3nah0596 #in

  9. Amazon Gets Aggressive With Price Parity: This is a follow up article from the original posted a few days ag… http://t.co/3nah0596 #in

  10. Amazon Gets Aggressive With Price Parity: This is a follow up article from the original posted a … http://t.co/E1AoO18i @lastdropofink

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