Well, that particular example is maddening to me because the prices are identical and go for PAGES. I don’t see how my copy would ever sell. Just glad it isn’t actually worth much.
I was watching the stores of those PA sellers for a while last year, and came to the same conclusion. They not only had close to the same number of listings, but the actual titles carried were almost identical and in virtually the same order. And batches of new, identical listings would appear in all the “group” stores within a few hours.
About a year and a half ago, some remainder houses appeared to shift from directly listing on Amazon to setting up dropshipping arrangements for groups of sellers they enlisted to handle the listing/customer service chores. When was the last time you saw a BookCloseOuts listing, for example?
(To all) I appreciate the responses/info; thanks.
I would like a definitive answer from Amazon as to what is going on here. These violations, if violations they be, are so egregious that some explanation is certainly called for, and a reason that these sellers are being allowed to proceed in this way, when I am not, needs to be given. You want to make an exception for megasellers, fine, but these “Book Company” sellers are tiny, and the PA sellers not exactly huge either. What is up, Amazon?
Absent an explanation I see no reason (other than my enjoyment of having a livelihood) that I should not start up bungabunga1, bungabunga2, bungabunga3, and so on . . .
I think the best explanation goes to Marilyn. Amazon has an “unofficial” two-layer policy system. All the average and low-volume sellers have to abide by the standard policies, with no exceptions. All the large volume sellers get to do whatever they want, because they generate lots of $ for Amazon.
I’m sure they’ll actively deny that, but that’s how it works.
Very true…I just ran across a situation where all sellers were removed and restricted from selling some DVD titles except for one seller…this ONE seller has 30,000 feedbacks and is now the ONLY seller on those catalog pages.
Meanwhile I had to recall all of my stock from FBA for these titles…going through them all today to request reimbursement for costs associated with these FBA returns…they add up over time and I’m not letting Amazon off the hook for allowing me to send in merchandise only for them to suddenly (and without notice) pull the listings and hold my merchandise ‘indefinitely’ while they accumulate storage fees…I now go though my FBA inventory every few days to see which titles become restricted and thus have to be recalled.
This has been discouraging me from sending any significant title of ANYTHING to Amazon FBA. It would make sense to LEAVE FBA STOCK UP FOR SALE and restrict only new attempts to send in more stock, but this is Amazon and they don’t always do the logical thing, although I have had good luck recouping return fees on items that were previously in their FBA warehouses and that subsequently became restricted.
What’s the definition of “large volume seller”? I’d like to know where we fit in. Since we don’t, I can tell you, appear to get to do “whatever we want” I’m tempted to say we’re not a large volume seller.
spoony, good luck getting Amazon to reimburse you for those costs. Of course I agree with you wholeheartedly; it’s rather like when my wife fervently insists that I invite someone to a party at our house, then at a future date regarding another party and with equal fervor insists I not do so . . . “But you’re the one who wanted me to invite them in the first place!”
I can attest to the fact that the 30,000 limit is not in effect (not even a 300,000 limit) and to be honest I question if that was ever the case. The way most of these companies get away with this is they have “multiple locations”. Some like thriftbooks legitimately have 10 locations where they warehouse and ship books. If they have a listings from each account you can order from each and you will get them.
Than you have other companies such as winter ventures:
Quality Bargain Mall
(they might have more who knows)
All of the items ship from the same warehouse, why do they need 4 accounts? Maybe they have a legit reason, I would assume its simply to increase sell through.
Wonder why no one from amazon has weighed in on this, would be interesting to hear.
Also why does amazon not treat multiple locations from same group as a they do a single seller with multiple listings, show the lowest price item and then hide all of the rest in back.
If I had to guess, sales in excess of $10M might get you on the big kids radar. Anything less is mid sized. (I know a husband and wife team that do almost $1M just by themselves. $1M is barely midsized in Amazon s world ). A $250K is a small potatoes seller.
In the early days there absolutely was a back end limit (we are talking back in 2003, when it was only books that 3P sellers could sell). Like I said, many moons ago.
C’mon Nelson, other Amazonians, how about something from Amazon on this? I wasn’t just asking to hear myself talk; it’s a serious question. It affects our sales when six, or fifteen, “different” sellers billboard a listing with the same item at the same price. Also I thought doing that kind of stuff, and for that matter having multiple seller accounts, was against the rules. How about some clarification?
Many chains separately incorporate every one of their stores.
Every corporation is legally an individual, why should Amazon treat them any other way? They have unique bank accounts, unique computers, unique internet. More likely to pass muster than Mom and Pop selling theri collections or household goods.
I think you are focused on the wrong books. If HPB has them in quantity, they are going to be tough to make money on, in any venue.
Only one of those six listings displays in “price order” on the offers pages; the other five are dumped on the final pages of listings. When that one listing sells, it will be replaced by one of the five “waiting in line;” when that one sells … etc, etc, etc.
The problem with that particular book isn’t that one seller’s six listings. The problem, as Lake said above, is that it’s a “penny book” with over 250 offers – including 5 full pages of offers under $1. And all the additional cheap copies “waiting in line” will eventually appear on the first few pages of offers.
Current offers: 36 new from $3.97; 241 used from $0.01; 4 collectible from $5.99
It’s not an inventory pool, it’s an ocean.
If we’re talking about HPB, their central purchasing office buys hundreds of copies of each title and divides them among their 50+ stores. So while there’s an ocean of books, each B&M location has its own puddle that it lists online. (The individual stores also buy used books from the public; I don’t know if those get listed online as well.) The result isn’t much different than 50 independent sellers who buy from the same wholesaler, except for the lack of price competition.
If my theory about the PA sellers is correct, there is probably an ocean of books at the wholesaler/dropshipper, but each of the seller accounts is only listing one or two copies at a time.
I have no idea how the Thrift Books grouping handles inventory.
>>I think you are focused on the wrong books. If HPB has them in quantity, they are going to be tough to make money on, in any venue.
Well, I’m not sure that me asking about these sellers means we are “focused on” these books, does it? These are anomalies I’ve noticed. I do peruse the site.
>>Every corporation is legally an individual, why should Amazon treat them any other way? They have unique bank accounts, unique computers, unique internet.
The uniqueness of those factors is irrelevant, and your emphasizing them tells me you are missing (or ignoring) the important point – that these sellers are selling from the same inventory pool. Or are you arguing that I should be able to incorporate, say, 150 separate companies, all listing the same inventory pool, and list each item 150 times? At what point does that logic break down?
>>Only one of those six listings displays in “price order” on the offers pages; the other five are dumped on the final pages of listings.
Interesting point. However it also looks very much to me like the reason there are 25 pages of entries for that book in the first place is multiple related sellers listing it multiple times each. Surely that is a bad thing.
I have noticed that the HPB stores’ prices – at least for the more scarce books – are different. Sometimes to a remarkable degree.
Sometime last year Better World Books took a page from Thrift and set up multiple accounts with the same coy state names. I doubt the reason was they hit a wall with their number of listing. Sadly, this new regime no longer prices juicy books at a penny.
Over at Half dot com the Thrift stores always have another entity which duplicates the listing which nudges competitors down. But I digress.
I strongly suspect – due to my buying – that more than a couple of sellers are “linked”. Buying from both generally triggers a cancellation from one or the other. And they both duplicate their offers as both “New” and “Like New”. While I think this is deceptive I’m not from the planet Fair.
>>The result isn’t much different than 50 independent sellers who buy from the same wholesaler, except for the lack of price competition.
I suppose there’s some middle path, but what you’re saying here sounds an awful lot like their POV would be (a) we are independent companies and can therefore have separate independent Amazon accounts, but also (b) we are all the same company and therefore our failure to compete against each other when selling is not price-fixing. Can both be true simultaneously? I really don’t know.
With faith (and Amazon’s permission) all is possible.
On a barely-related note: I sell on multiple venues, and once, the same person bought my copy of an expensive book on two different sites about 3 minutes apart. Of course, I had to cancel one of the sales with an apology. But I thought the buyer was pretty dumb. The seller name, description and price were identical on both sites. You’d think she might think, “oh, I bet this is the same copy.” Happily, she was fine with the cancellation. (I wish I HAD had two–nice ROI.)
Edited by: deadmandancing on Oct 27, 2013 9:57 AM