Amazon is "Price Fixing" now!?


#123

That was a LOT of words that said nothing as to why Amazon should care about the wants of 3P sellers.


#124

I agree that they’re trying to enforce their local laws. However, many times the item purchase originates from another state and therefore local laws typically can’t be enforced. There is no federal price gouging law. I’m sure there will be one soon once Congress decides it wants to govern again. But until then, Amazon will continue to police themselves while the states try to sue. You can read the laws for each state. They’re abusively vague, short and riddled with loopholes caused by the lack of language.

That being said, individual sellers could be fined, and some have. They’ve sold product within their own state, so AGs have been successful in fining local online sellers who complete sales to local customers. So I guess I should amend my original statement to include that caveat.

Of course, I’m not a lawyer and I could be completely wrong. But being that Amazon hasn’t been adversely affected yet tells me that my intuition and comprehension is close to correct.


#125

Just a little education for you. If you are a direct/authorized dealer, the MSRP price cannot EVER go under that price per our agreed upon, signed, dated and legally bound agreement with the manufacturer. The purpose is to stop the crap of people UNDER bidding other dealers who do not have the same amount of discounts, as let’s say, Amazon… Should you do so? You will receive a certified letter from that manufacturer’s attorney, giving you 3 business days to fix this pricing error and should it occur again? Loss of your right to sell their product.

So whether you believe it is SUGGESTED? It most certainly is NOT allowed to go under that MSRP. EVER. NOT BY ONE PENNY.

But Amazon? They violate the MSRP agreement daily. They have items listed that (1) violate the MSRP agreement by selling the product LESS than allowed (2) Lowering the price that is much lower than the third party sellers cost until that third party seller can longer afford to sell on their platform. That is what is called a monopoly.

I see that the United States House Committee of the Judiciary Subcommittee on Antitrust, Commercial and Administrative Law who recently received their responses from Amazon on 9/14/ 2020 is interested in all these matters as well.

Perhaps if some sellers on here actually were real distributors and had valid signed legally binding contracts with these manufacturers’ and their items they sell online, they would understand the monopoly Amazon is creating by violating the MSRP. But I guess when you go to your local Marshalls, TJ Maxx, Goodwill, to sell junk to people online, you’re not really worried about that huh?

It is a direct violation of a signed contract, which will end any and all business with that manufacturer for violating this terms of the signed agreement.

You are correct when you say it is not illegal to “suggest” a retail price. Where you knowledge ends on the matter is there is a lot of items taken into consideration when forming a suggested retail price. From the cost of production, straight down to your partners, their discounts given, and how that “partner” can make money as well. Hence, MSRP is created. Anything below that? 95% of the companies partnered with the manufacturer would not be able to make any money on the item they want those “partners” to sell on their behalf. What this would cause? Is third party dealers not willing to work with the manufacturer and their items not getting sold.

Who wants to work for free? Seems like Amazon wants their third party sellers to work for free, give all their products away for free, and to pay their ridiculous over-charging commissions as well, but that’s not a monopoly right?

Just my two cents on the matter. Not that it matters.


#126

I HAVE YOUR ANSWER!

instead of crying about your business partner Amazon, just leave!!! after all your not happy and it’s Amazon’s business they allow you to sell on.


#127

She said Price Fixing … not the same as Price Gouging.


#128

You would be incorrect …

Otherwise, I wouldn’t have had dozens of listings closed during the recent pandemic. Amazon doesn’t want to be a party to potential price gouging so their solution was to close ALL listings from ALL the sellers that sold certain pandemic needed items (hand sanitizer, toilet paper, hand soap, masks, etc). Except Amazon sold items, of course. Amazon was still selling their brand selling hand sanitizer … meanwhile, I’m fighting to have “body wash” and “shower gel” listings reopened because AMZ automatically closed anything that could be related to HAND SOAP. It’s ridiculous. So during a pandemic, so many people were looking for hand sanitizer, but sellers such as myself were not permitted to sell it. The very same items I’ve sold for years prior to this one. Makes a lot of sense … Not.


#129

I sell books and dvd’s. Every time I reprice I find that Amazon is selling another dvd for less than any other new listing. Often for less than half the price of any other new listing. I have always believed that this was more about setting a maximum price than about Amazon making money off sales. Obviously you can’t price higher than Amazon!


#130

Amazon is a ‘Service Provider’ - Professional Sellers pay a monthly fee for that service. Amazon is no different than, say, an Internet Service Provider or a Laundromat.

On each Sale, Amazon is paid a “Commission”. No different that one would pay a ‘Commission-basis Sales Person’. And, there are other Amazon ‘fees’ for various other services.

So, from a Professional Sellers’ perspective, Amazon can be considered a ‘Service Provider’ that needs to keep up their ‘Services’ as per their TOS.


#131

Why do I get the sense that you are trying to argue with me, the tone of your two statements is hostile. Please do not use a hostile tone with me. I am not Sam Walton, I am not stealing anyone’s customers. Yes, they are Amazon’s customers, that is why we pay Amazon fees, precisely for that reason, to have access to their customers so we can sell their customers our wares. Did I say something wrong?

And yes, I am as opposed as you or anyone else is to my prices being rejected for being too high, however, what we have here is a bunch of cowboys and indians who attempt to get away with all kinds of tricks, every trick in the book, plus some new ones that didn’t make it into the book, so I see clearly that the Amazon policies are devised to contend with these characters, who try to see what they can get away with.

I have seen current, meaning not collectible in any way, coloring books, listed for nine thousand dollars. It makes a site look like a circus. It turns their billions in investment that they are obligated as management to protect the value of, into a joke. They needed to stop that, to correct that. And as a result, as we have seen SO MANY TIMES, all of us suffer the consequences of the few bad apples, the few wise guys who cannot play by the rules of decency.

What is squeezing out the smaller sellers, as you complain is happening, is not the inability to price gouge, its the inability to have a far playing field where everyone on every listing is up against the same costs and constraints. When I am competing with Amazon to sell a pencil case, and I am paying Amazon 3.65 in fees, and they are not paying themselves 3.65 in fees, and they can sell for 6.99 and I need to be at 9.99, that is what is “forcing me out”. This is a game of cat and mouse, learning to be where the cat isn’t, so I can poke my head in, make a fair dollar, and ship the item. The minute they get the item, the opportunity is greatly reduced. To make it even worse, they have all the data, so they can see if something that they aren’t in on is selling too good, and they can use your or my sales, their sales data, to decide to compete.

Nice talking to you.


#132

See NO LOGIC to Amazon actions nor expect any quick fixes from the cases you open.

Here is my experience with the “listing deactivated because the price is too high” issue.
All of a sudden, one of the listings got deactivated for the above listed reason. This made no sense to me .The price was the MAP price set by the manufacturer and I have a dozen other listings for the same (!) item in a different sizes listed with no issue.
So I opened a case.
Got a quick standard BS response about " Amazon’s Marketplace Fair Pricing Policy protects our Customers from unfair, excessive, and misleading prices."
I reopened the case, got another quick standard BS response about “we detected that your listings have errors or violate our policies.”
I reopened the case, got another quick standard BS response about “You can update your price via Fix Price Alerts under Pricing Section or by going to Manage Inventory (MYI) page”
I reopened the case, got a response “We’re investigating your issue and we’ll update you”. Then I got “Please re-update the price for your ASIN and then reactivate your listing. This will remove the suppression.” - and the issue was resolved.
It only took 10 days and handful interactions with Amazon support. No explanation was ever given why the listing was deactivated in the first place.


#133

Enlighten us with a few things from the TOS that Amazon does not do for you. Please be specific what commitments Amazon made to you as a seller. What “services” are not being delivered to you or other sellers?


#135

This is where a little ingenuity comes into play, and not selling the same items as Amazon and everyone else. Stop butting heads with the other sheep for the same blade of grass.
Sellers that simply buy other peoples brands and wonder why in 5 years they are priced out of Amazon, thanks to the race to the bottom consumer mentality, should have evaluated the point of being in business on Amazon in the first place.
Amazon is a sociopathic greed machine. If a sellers products are not unique and their own, sellers are just more meat for the grinder.


#136

We have a dozen listings in limbo right now due to Amazons price fixing. I used to bow down and heed Amazons…ahem…advice (if you can call it that) and drop the price until the system finally accepted it. That price was usually what the retail price on the book was. I now refuse to go down on price or to downgrade the condition to “Used, Like New”. I just list it on Ebay instead. I don’t personally care if Amazon loses the money for the sale or not.


#137

lol I was giving an example, did you not read what I said. People seem to be chomping at the bit here a little too much lately, I might need to take a break from the hostility and know it alls that can’t read a full sentence before they start giving me a three paragraph lecture. Uncle Charlie


#138

They removed 8 of my listings last night, several of them out of print books and I had the only copy listed. Wonder which website they are comparing prices with to say my listings are a potential high pricing error? And if we are the ONLY listing, how do we decide on a price that pleases the AZ bots? This is a real PITA that AZ keeps messing with our listings but lets the Chinese frauds have a free ride,


#139

Woke up this morning to 7 listings deactivated due to potential pricing errors. The first one I had, book in good condition listed for 9.99. I checked the other listings and there was only one other book listed and it also was listed as good but for 26.99. I’m so tired of the games they’re playing. If they’re going to deactivate mine, they need to do them all.


#140

@Baylee no deactivation of my books yesterday, but this morning see there are 5 low priced paperbacks deactivated. I can’t price them any lower, so will list them elsewhere and delete them here.


#141

Now there are 2 more making it 7 deactivated. All 7 are paperbacks


#142

That’s insane.We moved away from that because in the end all we were doing was scrambling to make $.25-$.50 an order. If you are doing hundreds of similar orders a day I can possibly understand if you had people just sit there and fill envelopes non-stop. But even so, after 100 orders all you walk away with is $50. Amazon makes more off those sales than you.


#143

The OP assumed it was price fixing of some sort when their listing was denied. I was pointing out that it could be blocked because of price gouging rules as well. At that time we had no information at all about the issue other than the listing was blocked when the price was too high.