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It’s been a chaotic week for vendors and sellers doing business on Amazon. To catch you up:
- Last Monday, tens of thousands of vendors found out their regularly scheduled purchase orders had been terminated, and that they could move their business to Amazon’s third-party marketplace instead.
- Then Amazon walked that back. On Saturday, the majority of these vendors received an email from Amazon that their purchase orders would be reinstated, but that the vendors had 60 days to enroll in Amazon’s Brand Registry, which verifies brand trademarks and opens access to counterfeit protection. If a vendor was not the brand owner or an authorized seller, Amazon pushed them to open a Seller Central account in that 60-day period instead.
- On Monday night, changes hit Seller Central. Axios reported that Amazon would stop prohibiting third-party sellers from selling products elsewhere at a lower price than they’re sold for on Amazon.
This pricing policy put limitations on sellers while ensuring Amazon’s marketplace always had the best, most competitive pricing for products online. It restricted not just pricing on other marketplaces like eBay, but also how sellers could operate their own direct e-commerce sites: A brand that also sold third-party on Amazon couldn’t run promotions for its own customers without also marking down prices for Amazon’s customers, too.
Essentially, it helped establish Amazon as the leading retail force in e-commerce.