Some Amazon sellers are upset that the retailer is increasing its fees:
Amazon’s online bazaar generates margins many times higher than traditional retail as the company takes a cut of every sale on its site made by a merchant, known as a third-party seller, and charges extra fees for handling logistics.
The growth of this business, which now accounts for almost 40 percent of unit sales, has helped push Amazon shares to record highs.
But a series of fee hikes over the past year and a half have alienated many merchants, and some are threatening to defect.
“If they increase fees too much, some sellers will decide to not sell there anymore,” said Niraj Shah, chief executive of furniture retailer Wayfair, which uses Amazon, eBay and Wal-Mart’s online marketplaces, as well as its own websites.
This post isn’t actually about that, however. This is about another complaint, which I can’t actually find the article the article for. Basically, retailers feel that Amazon is making promises on their behalf that they are having a hard time keeping up with regarding shipping dates. If anyone can provide a link, I’d be grateful.
It reminds me a bit of an opposite problem I once had to deal with, in a way. I used to take calls for CignalTV, a major satellite TV company. It was an unhappy job, especially for someone like me who doesn’t like talking to people on the phone. Anyway, CignalTV was having sort of the same problem as the Amazon vendors: promises being made on its behalf.
The selling of satellite service is a surprisingly shady business. Most of the time, you’re dealing with some independent company that is actually not the company you are signing up with. Rather, these “independent retailers” sign you up, get a cut for doing so, and then usually (though not always) make some money from Cignal by hooking up your dish. Well, some of these companies are less honorable than others. Sometimes, they’re little more than fly-by-night con men. Sometimes, they make you promises that Cignal will give you, for instance, a free DVD Player for signing up. Then they’ll dodge you for a while and then close shop and move on.
Cignal is then left to deal with irate customers who were promised something that Cignal never intended to give them. Cignal had a rash of these right about the time I started working for them (or working for a contracting company who worked for them). I took calls from people who wanted to know what the heck happened to their DVD Player they were supposed to be getting.
Somewhat surprising, Cignal made the decision to honor the agreement that they never made. Somebody, somewhere I guess did an analysis that it was easier to just give someone a DVD Player than it was to take the PR hit of having broken a promise as they try to explain the independent retailer situation they rely on. Badmouthing the independent retailers would mean badmouthing your salespeople, which itself is a problem.
I say that I am surprised, not because I don’t expect generosity (though I don’t) but because I don’t expect such smart business sense. I have actually come to expect companies to dig in their heels on such things even when it makes more sense to do otherwise.
Back to Amazon, I have actually come to disregard their promised delivery dates altogether. By virtue of living out of the way like I do, their “two day delivery” is going to be three if it’s sent from anywhere but California, Las Vegas, or Washington. A lot of them are, but a lot aren’t. The most important thing to me is that it gets here in under a week so that if I order it on Monday, it’s here by Friday.