Amazon is "Price Fixing" now!?




Jumping in late, but jumping nonetheless. This ‘pricing error’ issue is out of hand.

Recently listed a used book, very good condition. Only one competitor, at 32.61 at Good condition. I reasonably price my very good copy at 39.99. Not outrageous for an OOP book.
Immediately I get a pricing error.
I reduce to price match at 32.61. Rejected again.
Today I look on Amazon, find the book listed at 780 Used.

I can’t even begin to fathom the logic behind this and have to conclude there is none.

Another instance I was the only listing for an OOP book on a high demand topic for some alternative lifestyle communities. Listed at 74.99. No problem for a couple months. Suddenly I get a pricing error, and come to find that Amazon is now selling the book new, at 16.99, where they were not in the game before.

Since I read a book about JB (The Everything Store) and researched a bit about his affair with a married woman and his texting of pictures of his junk to her, I have been edging toward the door. I cannot follow a leader with those morals, or lack there of. With all the random crap that goes on here, the way the company treats its people and its third party sellers, I’m thinking the price is too high. Not to mention I make about minimum wage with my little side business. This holiday season will probably be my last.


I don’t even bother with trying to fix price alerts anymore. If I cannot create my own listing, I move it over to other selling venues, where surprisingly, they sell.
At least I won’t have to deal with price alerts, supressed- missing product information, (which 50% of the time it is NOT fixable), restricted products or POSSIBLE copyright infringement.
Too many other places to sell now without all tha hassels.


Price fixing technically is forcing the minimum price up, not the maximum price down. I would guess that Amazon has every right to do what they deem necessary to appear competitive in the eyes of their customers. When they start giving instructions of you needing to raise your price that might, might, be construed as price fixing. If you can’t prove you are making money on the item, buying from a source that they consider to be valid, then they can still restrict your sale of the item even on the low side.


I am a brand owner. I am in the brand registry. I have had my branded listings (no other sellers on my listing) lose the Buy Box or get deactivated for “price” reasons.

Playing by all the rules does not protect you from poorly programmed bots or Amazon employees who do not know the rules.

(The only hard and fast rule about Amazon is that if you think there is a hard and fast rule about anything, you are wrong.)

So, if a listing gets harassed by Amazon, rightly or wrongly, then I don’t sell it on Amazon. I am diversified across enough channels that I can prioritize my mental health as more important than Amazon :smile: :sunny:


Amazon and Walmart do use each other’s prices to deactivate listings. I believe Walmart deactivates them faster, however Walmart automatically reactivates the listing when competitive channel prices change.

Since I am a brand owner, the only way I can solve not driving my own prices up or down is to simply not offer the same items on both Amazon and Walmart.


Price gouging is:

Findlaw: The definition of “excessive” or “unconscionable” pricing is generally determined by looking at average prices in the affected area over a given look-back period prior to the emergency, typically six months or so. If prices are 10 or 15 percent higher (some states have different thresholds), then it may be determined that price gouging has occurred.

Unless the OP is offering an item which is related to emergency (could include virus filter masks or hand sanitizer, for example, or power generators before a hurricane hits…) then price gouging would not apply.


It is not Congress’ job to enforce the price fixing law. That would be the role of the executive branch(DOJ). If the law needs to be changed, so DOJ can enforce, therein lies Congress’ job.

A whole bunch of non lawyers, screaming about price fixing, is an entertaining read, but does not mean it is a violation of law.


Even if it gets noticed Amazon does not care about anyone or anything but themselves.


Check the Manufacturer Suggested Retail Price (MSRP). I don’t think the system will allow you to price above MSRP. If it’s your listing (brand owner), you may be able to raise the MSRP and then raise your price unless if Amazon determines you may be attempting price gouging in which case nothing will work unless you come down to the established acceptable price. If you’re not the brand owner, you may not have access to the MSRP and your price may have gone above the price set by the brand owner. Good Luck.


Which is why I stated that it was up to Congress (to enact a law that protects 3P sellers).


Its price “fixing” which falls under the conspiracy laws.


This is ridiculous! I think Amazon has got to be LOSING some sellers to eBay!


Who would be price fixing? Are you saying it would be Amazon?


Amazon controls their marketplace and can choose the definition of what they consider price gouging despite what anyone reads from a dictionary or a website. It is called hypocrisy, and we should all be used to seeing it, reading it and understanding it during an election year.


We have several items that this has happened on. We’ve opened cases with no luck.

Our items are under MAPP (Minimum Advertised Pricing Policy), so we cannot go lower without risking our partnership with our manufacturers.

We end up taking the items out of Amazon and sell them in our retail store.

Still, this should not be allowed to happen. Amazon is controlling the price that we can list an item on. Even though the item is exactly at MSRP from the manufacturer. Something seems amiss.


You said they were price fixing, probably illegally. If it is illegal, then that is DOJ’s job.

That is not what you said. And I have no idea what price fixing legally is. Manufacturer’s do it all the time with MAP, i guess that is legal price fixing.


Yes perhaps, but why would Amazon care, being their core focus is buyers, not sellers. It is blatantly obvious that a huge chunk of sellers should not be on Amazon in the first place.
Amazon is not for the retail and online arbitrage sellers, that’s what ebay, garage sales, and flea markets are made for. Time and time again we read about sellers with IP complaints unable to provide a simple commercial invoice, thinking their Wal-Mart clearance bin receipt is proof of a IP supply chain.
Let those sellers go to Ebay, and let the professionals do their job.


I sell 10 to 20 times the volumes for the same item on Amazon compared to EBay, Ebay is nice, but Amazon is the big daddy.


Lol. So many people have strong opinions of how football should be played, yet most have never put on a helmet.