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Amazon - Third party sellers are killing the deals!

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Showing 651-675 of 872 posts in this discussion
In reply to an earlier post on May 30, 2012 7:28:24 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 30, 2012 7:34:49 PM PDT
edfan says:
Funny thing - Ebay reported seeing folks DISAPPEAR from the site after a few searches like that. is quieter but has begun to vet sellers of some items such as Christmas toys. I'd bet they can think up ways to keep good sellers who made a typo or who are simply pricing per market demand - from the folks who repel buyers right out of the site.

In reply to an earlier post on May 30, 2012 7:29:13 PM PDT
DisplacedMic says:
and you missed the point entirely

In reply to an earlier post on May 30, 2012 7:30:07 PM PDT
edfan says:
Duckles, check how the percentage of sales formats at Ebay have been shifting the last five years.

By the way, there are sites which track whuzzup with Ebay and their seller pool. Check Google. Some have been around since Paypal was called

In reply to an earlier post on May 30, 2012 7:34:11 PM PDT
edfan says:
Shiloh, I guess I could point out that Rodeo Drive is not the same buyer pool as but really, that isn't a basic enough explanation. A huge, more relevant difference is that those store owners on Rodeo Drive are in charge of their own unique sales propositions. Third party sellers are STRANGERS to, who rent space in the windows and maybe a little stall. has allowed them access to's most precious resource. It's appropriate to stop even invited guests from puking into the pool.

In reply to an earlier post on May 30, 2012 7:54:19 PM PDT
Ebay and Amazon, besides being two completely different business models, attract two completely different types of both sellers AND buyers, but it's always amusing how everyone seems to want to compare the two when ebay allows the buyer to 100% completely control exactly how much they want to pay, via bidding, whereas Amazon has a "fixed-price" approach to their marketplace. It's especially amusing to see how many people think that there are only two places in the entire world that they can shop at.

In reply to an earlier post on May 31, 2012 8:35:09 AM PDT
DisplacedMic says:
Edfan, i've noticed that you've been posting this same consistant theme of posts here for years - so obviously we're not going to change your mind on the economics.

I think the general theme of what you are trying to say is that Amazon would be well within their rights as a public company to fix prices however they see fit. Obviously they would need to answer to their shareholders but otherwise i agree: their company, they can do whatever they want. I think if you look back through my posting history you'll see I have even made that same claim myself.

However the fact remains that the same economic laws and principles that suggest this practice is not good fiscal policy on the state level apply to why it's not good fiscal policy on a "private" level either.

I think your mistake is in thinking that the majority of Amazon customers (either buyers or sellers) would like to see this practice put into place.

It really is very simple - if something is priced above what you want to pay for it, don't buy it. Assuming no coercion or otherwise illicit behaviours, no sale happens unless both parties would rather have what the other guy has than what they have to trade for it.

Sometimes that's money, sometimes it's something else.

If i have a dollar and you have a glass of lemonade a sale only happens if you would rather have my dollar than your lemonade and i would rather have the lemonade than my dollar.

If you would rather have $2 than your lemonade but I would rather have my $2 then no sale happens until something changes - supply, demand or buyer/seller expectations. In other words, there is no market.

There has been no rip-off, no price gouging and nothing other than the freedom for both of us to buy and sell freely. If some agency forces you to sell that lemonade to me for $1 then you have been cheated out of that dollar. More to the point you have forced to ostensibly donate $1 to my purchase. That is the exact opposite of freedom.

Especially if someone else valued that lemonade at $2. That other individual has been cheated out of that lemonade and more importantly YOU have been cheated out of $1.

We have lost sight of the variable nature of value. Big chain stores typically "fix" prices internally and just absorb the manufacturing and distribution costs that are constantly in flux. As a result we have gotten away from thinking what a box cheerios is worth to me right now and now think a box of cheerios is worth X, and that's it.

No - a box of cheerios is worth whatever you are willing to pay for it. This is the same in every decision we make - even financial ones.

How much are you willing to pay to rent a beach house in February vs July?

Value is subjective and constantly changing - even within an individual. How could we even begin to determine a fixed value of what an item is worth of ourselves let alone someone else? More importantly, who makes that decision? Me? You? The government? No, of course not.

The bottom line is that there is no fair way to "fix" prices that doesn't violate the freedom to buy and sell freely other than allowing the market to determine prices. Violating the right to buy and sell freely is an infringement on our civil rights - every bit as egregious as a violation of free speech or the freedom to practice whatever religion you choose.

Posted on May 31, 2012 9:06:44 AM PDT
edfan says:
If it were true that saw no harm in the practices which have been discussed in this thread, would not have begun to take steps to remedy what so many see as a problem complex which endangers AMAZON.COM itself. I can say honestly that is far more important to me than any individual Marketplace seller they host.

Nobody can - or has to - "fix" human nature. Yet we have vast marketing campaigns which try to get us to floss our teeth, wear our seat belts, stop smoking, etc. Maybe it's just a part of human nature to want to trust the people we deal with. Marketing studies consistently report that's customers trust it more than they do most companies. needs to keep that in mind when they make policies which allow strangers in the house access to that pool of trusting customers. doesn't owe anyone access to those customers. Surely folks who are so intensely focused on property rights should not object to obeying the rules of civility laid down by their hosts -- who, after all, own the place. is not a public park or naturally beautiful scenery. It is provate property of enormous value. It is not at all excessive for the owners to make rules of behavior designed to preserve its own prosperity. Ayn Rand wouldn't object, do you think?

In reply to an earlier post on May 31, 2012 10:03:27 AM PDT
But again, what evidence do you have to suggest that somehow a third party is somehow affecting the level of "trust" in Amazon by setting their own price on items they own?

Is your faith in the ability of an individual to be able to see the difference between Amazon and a third party so minimal?

Additionally, how does a price, set by a third party have anything to do with the reputation of Amazon as a whole? As Displaced said, no one is being "ripped off", "gouged", "gauged", "taken advantage of", or anything else. As such, how can Amazon's reputation suffer in the slightest?

Displaced is correct that Amazon can indeed set a maximum price (or even a minimum) for anything on their site. When that happens, Amazon's stock prices will plummet tremendously as sellers flock in droves to other sites that allow them the freedom to determine how they price their items. When Amazon's stock plummets, you will be very happy that that item you wanted for Little Jimmy is no longer available, because the third party sellers all left. (why will you be happy? Because you can't be gauged or gouged by the evil third party sellers who are all out to steal from you.) However, Amazon is unhappy, because their shareholders, who ultimately, Amazon is responsible for, are unhappy, because revenue from third party sellers has plummeted due to your efforts to make sure that only the one penny sellers remain.

After that, then you can focus on your efforts to close down ebay and prevent anyone from posting auctions there, because everyone on ebay is similarly out to rob you, steal from you, gauge you, gouge you, and otherwise rip you off.

In reply to an earlier post on May 31, 2012 10:20:07 AM PDT
quietguy. says:
No one's twisting your arm to buy from these third party sellers... You have a choice, use it.

In reply to an earlier post on May 31, 2012 10:36:47 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 31, 2012 10:38:43 AM PDT
DisplacedMic says:
What are you talking about?
I am not convinced you fully understand what we mean by the word fix in the context of this discussion.

Nobody is saying we shouldn't "obey rules of civility"
but that is a subjective term. in fact that's a perfect example of an appeal to emotion over logic argument.

What you define as "uncivil" is probably different from what others define as uncivil. See my point above about the only real way to be fair about it.

Amazon is not private property - it is a public company beholding to its shareholders. Sound fiscal policy is a must. Fixing prices (forcing sellers to price their goods below the market value) is not not sound fiscal policy.

A public park is completely different. A public park represents what economists like to refer to as an externality. If you do not support Amazon's business practices, you are free to not enter into business with Amazon. However if Amazon is polluting your park you have no hope to control that. That is where a government agency should step in and extend regulations to protect something that is outside of any mutually agreed upon market.

Pollution is a perfect example of where government should be regulating behaviours. They should NOT be regulating behaviours that do not violate the rights of others - such as choosing how we want to spend our money.

Someone pricing a good higher than you value it is not in any way violating any of your rights.

In reply to an earlier post on May 31, 2012 1:28:51 PM PDT
Richard A. says:
I have to agree with you- all these people bickering & complaining about inflated prices for name brand toys that their kids absolutely MUST HAVE. THAT is what is truly ridiculous. How about teaching your kids the "true" meaning of Christmas? My family adopts a family for Christmas every year & the kids enjoy shopping for a less-fortunate family whose wish lists don't include "name brands". Our kids know what they're buying is not for them & they're okay with it. Sure, we get them 1-2 gifts so they'll know the joy of opening a present, but they don't NEED any of this ridiculous "overpriced" junk that all these people love to complain about & turn around and buy up, anyway.

In reply to an earlier post on May 31, 2012 3:00:24 PM PDT
shiloh sales says:
This question was directed to those that think many prices on Amazon are over inflated and none of those people replied to it.

"If you think the price is too much, why don't you go out and find a source for that item and resell it on Amazon at a price you think is fair?" It is really easy to do !!!!

In reply to an earlier post on May 31, 2012 3:05:28 PM PDT
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In reply to an earlier post on May 31, 2012 4:39:35 PM PDT
duckles says:

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 1, 2012 8:45:12 AM PDT
"Jesus created competition in America for a purpose."

I know this is an old comment, but that comment just popped off the screen and smacked me in the face with its ridiculousness...

Toy scalpers SUCK (and if being "American" and "Patriotic" means being a JERK, no thanks!)

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 1, 2012 8:59:44 AM PDT
DisplacedMic says:
read the thread, you might learn something.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 1, 2012 9:14:22 AM PDT
Oh, I am a doll collector, I know all about scalpers.

What is ridiculous is the invoking of "Jesus" and references to patriotism. Jesus created competition? REALLY? Reminds me of when football players thank god for that 1000th yard rushing/playoff win.. like suffering children or pandemic disease might not warrant divine intervention...

And if you haven't figured out that I am an atheist from my comments, please refrain from a response, as it will be a pointless one.

"Jesus" doesn't have anything to do with TOY SCALPING. And you don't have to be a heartless jerk to be patriotic either. Free market does not have to equal predator. Look what that did to the mortgage industry!

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 1, 2012 9:18:04 AM PDT
rhny says:
If this continues, I will shop elsewhere. They may have to learn the hard way by losing half of their customers. Who can trust them if they allow this?

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 1, 2012 9:23:23 AM PDT
DisplacedMic says:
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In reply to an earlier post on Jun 1, 2012 9:24:26 AM PDT
DisplacedMic says:
that's the beauty of a free and open market - if you find it from a more preferable source then by all means buy it there! As you say, how else will they learn if not by the hard way?

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 1, 2012 9:37:21 AM PDT
shiloh sales says:
Who can trust who if they allow this, are you refering to Amazon? If so, how can they stop it? How can Amazon determine the maximum price a seller charges for an item? There are manufacturers that do not have an MSRP for their products. Many retailers mark an item up from what it cost them and do not pay attention to any kind of MSRP.

Do you have a solution on how "they" can stop it?

Personally I do not care what a seller prices an item for, if I don't like the price I move on, look for a better price from another seller or go to the manufacturers website to see where I can find the product or I get in my car and drive to a retailer in the mall or shopping center.

Amazon will not lose customers over it, they have record revenues and record profits ands huge increases in customers shopping this site.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 1, 2012 9:38:40 AM PDT
shiloh sales says:
At what price does one become a scalper?

Posted on Jun 1, 2012 10:02:18 AM PDT
I think if a person is getting over 50% on a markup, that could be considered scalping. ESPECIALLY if the demand is driven by scarcity caused by said scalpers depleting inventory before "normal" people can get to stores. (These people hunt down trucks, are there before stores open, sometimes work at stores where the inventory doesn't even make it to the shelves)

I don't have an issue with charging a fair price for a hard to find toy. I paid $50 for a Monster High Gil doll that retailed for $17... this is a hard to find toy in earnest, as they were selectively distributed and not in all case assortments. SCALPERS charge $150 for that doll.

As for Amazon, I think that displaying the retail price along side the marketplace price is a GREAT idea! It would A) inform the buyer, who may not be aware of MSRP and B) act as a deterrent to those who might feel ambivalent about charging the "going rate" if it is excessive (like I do, which is why I don't sell my Monster High dolls on here, but exclusively to other collectors. I don't want a scalper buying my Toralei for $25 and selling it on here for $75! I could never charge $75, but on here, Amazon says "Hey, look how much money everyone ELSE is making, how much money do YOU want to make? Look at this conveniently displayed list....." It's encouraging the seller to charge what others are charging. Even if it's messed up that the sellers charge insane prices.

Posted on Jun 1, 2012 10:52:42 AM PDT
duckles says:
If those sellers can actually GET $75 for that doll, why don't you like getting at least a little more money? As for MSRP, if the original person who created the selling offer knew that figure he had the OPPORTUNITY to include it in the listing. Unfortunately most of them don't.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 1, 2012 11:22:50 AM PDT
DisplacedMic says:
50% markup of what? some arbitrarily defined MSRP?
What YOU happen to think something is worth?

Demand isn't driven by scarcity. Demand is driven by demand.
Supply and demand is the relationship between the quantity demanded and quantity sold at a given price. This relationship will settle at an equilibrium price: the market rate. Changing price does NOT change that market rate. Raising the price above that rate will reduce the amount sold and reducing the price will increase the amount sold.

If someone buys an item, the supply is reduced by 1 - but so is the demand.

As for an arbitrary limit on profit - What about 49%? or 51%?
Who decides where to draw the line? you? me? the government? no, of course not - it's the market.

Who decides what a "fair price" is?

The only overpriced item is the item that doesn't sell.
Why do you care if someone values item X more than you do?
No sale happens unless BOTH parties would rather have what the other person has than what they currently have.

and so on and so forth.

seriously - you should read the thread. or any of the ones like it. This has been covered & it's first semester economics.

As i have said - i can understand the frustration with this practice to some extent when we are discussing a brick and mortar store. however there is literally zero barrier to purchasing an item somewhere else on the internet. If "Scalpers" are charging to much here on Amazon, google the item and buy it somewhere else.

if there is no more supply, then it doesn't take milton friedman to understand why that might drive price up.

If something cost more than you value it, don't buy it.
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