In this episode of PriceSpider Ecommerce Connected we’ll talk about the Big news from Amazon and how your brand will be affected and benefit from it as they make all third party sellers on their marketplace public. There are three challenges outlined below…listen to the Podcast as we explore these challenges and discuss key strategies to solve them as our experts dive into what this means for ecommerce brands.
3 Challenges with Amazon’s Seller Database
Amazon recently made a big announcement: starting in September, they’re giving brands access to their third party seller database. For brands, this means you’ll finally have access to Amazon’s information on third party sellers—who have always been notoriously difficult to track down.
But if you’re expecting this to solve all your problems with rogue sellers and MAP violations…it won’t. (And that’s not Amazon’s fault.)
On this episode of PriceSpider Ecommerce Connected, PriceSpider’s Anthony Capozzoli sits down with Jack Gail and Romina Zamanpour from Sales Team Six to talk about three big challenges brands still have after getting access to Amazon’s seller database.
1. It relies on self-reported data
Amazon’s third party seller database only includes the information sellers have provided them: a person’s name, the seller name, perhaps a different business name, and maybe a mailing address.
What you’re not going to find are the phone numbers and email addresses you need to actually communicate with unauthorized sellers.
If a seller doesn’t want to be contacted, they’re not going to be very forthcoming with their contact information—even with Amazon. They’re going to give Amazon a P.O. box, or the address of the carrier they shipped their products through.
The fact that Amazon’s database relies on self-reported data means that it’s not going to be very useful for learning more about sellers who don’t want to be found. And unfortunately, those are the sellers you need help finding—because they’re the ones who feel most comfortable violating your policies and misrepresenting your brand.
2. Amazon likely won’t be able to verify it
It’s tempting to think Amazon has the resources to take this self-reported data and verify it before handing it off to brands. But Amazon’s marketplace gets more than enough 5,000 new sellers a day. Verifying all that information would be a monumental task.
It’s also worth noting: they’ve already publicized seller data in Europe and Mexico, and they just gave brands access to this self-reported information, without any verification. So there’s little reason to believe they’re going to take on this challenge now.
3. Sellers can have multiple aliases
In Amazon’s seller database, you’re going to find the seller name you can see publicly listed on Amazon.com, the business name they provided to Amazon, and the name of the individual who registered. In theory, you could use this information to identify them on another marketplace, like Walmart.
But there’s a problem. Unauthorized sellers tend to have multiple aliases. Maybe they have other business names that they’re doing business as (DBA), or other names they use to register in these other marketplaces. They aren’t obligated to give Amazon all the names they use, and again, Amazon is just giving you access to a seller’s self-reported information.
If you want to track down who’s who and find out where else an unauthorized seller is selling your products, you’re going to have to cross reference them with state business registrations, Better Business Bureau reports, and other lists you have access to.
The real problem with unauthorized sellers
It’s tempting to blame Amazon when you can’t identify an unauthorized seller. But it’s not their fault. Someone is getting ahold of your product in bulk. And that means there’s a hole in your distribution chain. One of your retail partners is letting someone else in. And Amazon is just the place where these problems come to light.
Listen to Anthony’s conversation with Sales Team Six to learn more about this problem and some of the strategies you can use to solve it.