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Fri May 10 2024 22:33:19

Amazon Invites Strategic Sellers to Exclusive Summit

By: Ina Steiner

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Amazon invited certain "strategic" sellers to an event being held in conjunction with its 5th annual Accelerate seller conference that's taking place this year on September 17-19 in Seattle. Service provider ASGTG, which also hosts events for Amazon sellers, obtained a copy of the invitation and published the following excerpt on Twitter:

"I wanted to personally reach out and invite you to join us at the Executive Seller Summit, which we're hosting in Seattle this year from September 17 to 19!

"The Executive Seller Summit is an invite-only program that's designed for a special cohort of Amazon's most strategic selling partners who we're excited to work more closely with. With ample networking opportunities, candid conversations with Amazon executives, and a catalog of exclusive content offerings, the Summit offers a unique forum where you can directly connect with businesses of similar size and some of Amazon's most senior leaders."

A seller responding to ASGTG's tweet wondered how big a seller had to be to merit an invitation to the exclusive event in September. ASGTG said the seller who shared the invitation did "north of 30M per year."

An Amazon spokesperson confirmed the event, telling EcommerceBytes, "During Accelerate, our annual seller conference, a number of Amazon teams and partners take advantage of sellers being in town to run smaller, individual sessions or summits alongside the event, and the Executive Seller Summit is one of these summits."

Another seller responding to the ASGTG tweet wrote, "Whoever is going, please ask them to stop increasing the fees." 

The issue of fees is bound to come up during the Accelerate conference. This week, Bloomberg reported on complaints over the increasing cost and growing complexity of Amazon fees in "Amazon's New Fees on Sellers Likened to 'Kick in the Gut'", and it reported that revenue from seller services, which includes FBA, increased at a faster rate than fulfillment expenses in each of the past seven quarters. 

An Amazon spokesperson provided EcommerceBytes with the following statement in response to our inquiry about seller concerns: 

"On average, the 2024 fee changes are significantly less than those announced by other major fulfillment services, and many sellers will see a decrease in the average fees paid to Amazon per unit sold. When we announced our new 2024 fee changes in December of last year, we estimated that sellers will on average see an increase of $0.15 per unit sold, which is significantly less than the average fee increases announced by other fulfillment service providers. As sellers are adapting to these changes we have seen that the actual impact is even lower and many more sellers are seeing a decrease in the average fees that they are paying to Amazon. This is driven by decreases in our Apparel referral fees for low price products, decreases in our outbound fulfillment fees, more sellers choosing to pay reduced or no fee by sending inbound shipments to multiple locations, discounts for items that ship in their own product packaging, as well as several other discounts in our fees.

"However, we also realize that some sellers are seeing an increase in their fees where they are choosing services or options that are more costly for Amazon to provide. As always, we continue to listen to seller feedback and are working with our selling partners to ensure they understand the updated fees and the choices they have, and to make adjustments where appropriate. 

"In particular, we have provided more options for how sellers inbound inventory to Amazon and how they manage inventory levels with different or even no fee based on the options sellers choose. These options and the associated fees better reflect the underlying costs for Amazon to spread inventory across our fulfillment network so we can deliver products faster and increase sales for our selling partners."

In the earliest days of ecommerce, sellers learned that building a business on an online marketplace could be lucrative, but they lacked control over key aspects such as fees and policy changes - and that remains true to this day.

What message would you want sellers attending conferences this year to pass along to marketplaces executives?

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Sat May 11 23:34:47 2024

“I don’t want to belong to any club that would accept me as a member.”
- Groucho Marx

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