- After Amazon held its annual Prime Day event on October 13 and 14, the online retailer emphasized the success of third-party sellers.
- Third-party sellers surpassed $3.5 billion in sales during Prime Day this year, growth that Amazon said its own retail business hasn’t seen.
- Recently an antitrust report claimed that Amazon was copying products from third party sellers, which Bezos has denied.
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Amazon held its annual Prime Day sale on October 13 and 14, with discounts on electronics and other big ticket items. The next day, instead of promoting overall sales figures, the online retailer emphasized how successful the event was for third party retailers.
In a press release, Amazon said:
“Third-party sellers—most of which are small and medium-sized businesses—surpassed $3.5 billion in sales on Prime Day—a nearly 60% year-over-year increase, growing even more than Amazon’s retail business.”
The company also said that it designed this Prime Day specifically to support small businesses, with promotions like spending $10 on a small business before the event to get a $10 credit. Notably, Amazon avoided saying that it was the biggest sales day ever for the company, although a spokesperson confirmed to Business Insider that it was. Amazon has specifically called Prime Day its biggest sales day ever every other year since 2015.
Amazon framed this year’s Prime Day around third party seller just about a week after a House antitrust report said it found evidence that Amazon was copying data from popular products sold by third-parties, driving them out of business. Amazon has repeatedly denied this claim.
Third party products make up about 60% of Amazon sales, according to the company. In a 2018 shareholder letter, CEO Jeff Bezos acknowledged this, saying “Third-party sellers are kicking our first-party butt. Badly.” Over the past 15 months, Amazon has continually denied mounting accusations of using seller data to either copy products or buy directly from manufacturers to sell to consumers.
The House subcommittee gathered the evidence as part of a larger antitrust report on big tech companies that also includes Google, Apple, and Facebook.”We have heard so many heartbreaking stories of small businesses who sunk significant time and resources into building a business and selling on Amazon, only to have Amazon poach their best-selling items and drive them out of business,” subcommittee chairman David Cicilline said.
A former Amazon employee also told the subcommittee that anyone can access any third party data, comparing it to a “candy shop.” The report said it found that some employees used this data to set up their own third-party shops on Amazon.
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos addressed these accusations specifically while being questioned by Rep. Pramila Jayapal in July.”We have a policy against using seller-specific data to aid our private-label business…I can’t guarantee you that that policy has never been violated,” Bezos said.