Amazon Fined For Misleading Pricing Practices
Amazon Canada was fined $1 million last week by a Canadian agency for the prevalence of deliberately inflated and misleading list prices that create the appearance of a significant discount when compared to the actual sales price.
Though Amazon may not be doing this with their own private label products, they were penalized for allowing third-party sellers to input fraudulent prices themselves without any verification or oversight on Amazon’s behalf.
How will Amazon respond to the fine? A $1 million for a company of Amazon’s size is just a slap on the wrist, but Amazon has actually been acting on this issue within the past year by removing list prices altogether for certain products, as reported in July by the New York Times.
It’ll be interesting to see whether Amazon scales up this effort or takes any action against guilty sellers in the year ahead.
How To Handle False Infringement Claims
Amazon has continued to face heavy criticism for not stepping up its verification process when sellers submit infringement claims.
As noted by WebRetailer, “Amazon scarcely has any process in place to vet disputes over sales rights or to filter counterfeit claims from alleged rights owners.”
And because Amazon gives these claims just a cursory look without any meaningful investigative process, unscrupulous sellers have started submitting illegitimate claims in an attempt to take down their competitors’ listings.
The article is worth bookmarking in case you ever find yourself at the wrong end of one of these claims, as it includes a great guide on what to do if your listing is targeted.
How A Trump Presidency Might Impact Your Business
How will a Trump presidency affect the Amazon universe? This remains to be seen, but the administration’s proposed import tariffs of up to 20% would certainly have a measurable impact on the physical product businesses of American sellers who import their products from overseas.
As noted in this Investopedia article, “Amazon offloads the cost of importing onto sellers on its site. In effect, the sellers are responsible for sourcing and shipping goods to Amazon’s fulfillment centers.”
This could put even more pressure on sellers who are already in a market where competition is rising while profit margins are decreasing.
And for new sellers in the States, sourcing products domestically may become an increasingly attractive option.
Navigating The Year Ahead As A Physical Product Seller
Of course, wherever there’s change and uncertainty, there are huge opportunities for whoever can best adapt to the new landscape.
In this episode of Ryan Moran’s Freedom Fast Lane podcast, he and his guest Ezra Firestone discuss what this new landscape looks like and how to best take advantage of it.
Plenty of great tips here from two sellers who have pulled in huge revenue while limiting their dependence on Amazon.