Is Amazon Becoming Irrelevant?

amazonThis is just a quick post.  I just read an interesting article about Amazon, and since the big ‘Zon is always on the indie author mind, I thought it was worth sharing.  Basically, the article discusses Amazon’s fee hikes for sellers, and how it’s making the sellers look elsewhere.  You can read the article here.

Basically, Amazon says that the fee hikes are because of rising gas costs, and they’ve had to invest in changes to get products to customers quicker.  Now that last comment strikes me funny…not because Amazon said it, but because I’ve heard so many indie authors say that it doesn’t cost Amazon anything to list ebooks.  As I’ve said before, think again.  It costs money for servers, employees (with all their benefits), for programmers to write the code so your book page displays properly, and for the great search engine that Amazon is, and much, much more.  I wonder when Amazon will start charging authors to list books…it could happen.

Here are some interesting pieces from the article:

If they increase fees too much, some sellers will decide to not sell there anymore, said Niraj Shah, chief executive of furniture retailer Wayfair, which uses Amazon, eBay and Wal-Mart’s online marketplaces, as well as its own websites.

That’s against Amazon’s plan, which is to get as much selection as possible on their site, Shah added.  The vast majority of Amazon sellers are perfectly happy to go to any marketplace offering meaningful volume.

Holy crap! 8% to 15%?! Goodbye good deals from 3rd party sellers on Amazon in the electronics section.

Amazon just pulled a fast one, the seller wrote.  Now that Amazon has all the power, they’re imposing increased fee hikes to all those cozy sellers who have supported Amazon since Day 1.

What I found interesting were the comments from those who read the article.  It would seem that many do not see Amazon as the great place to buy, or sell, anymore.

I have actually been kind of moving away from Amazon. In the past they had great prices and they fulfilled quickly. Lately though their prices aren’t much better than just going to a brick and mortar and getting it the same day.

I notice I’m starting to have to pay state taxes on my orders. Never had to before, this sort of reduces the reasons to buy from Amazon.

Once again corporate greed is cutting the head off the goose that laid the golden egg.  The burning desire for short-term profit, will cost Amazon in the long run as it opens the door for competition.

With the upcoming state sales tax collections, Amazon becomes less relevant.

High gas prices is such a bogus answer.

What does higher gas prices got to do with it; products are shipped by the advertiser to the customer; Amazon gets a cut of not only the sale price but the shipping cost;
Amazon’s just greedy.

… which is why, whenever possible, I try to purchase from real-life independent stores in my neighborhood.

Amazon on its path to irrelevancy. Used to be their prices were better than most, don’t see that so much anymore. Only thing they have going for them is variety, where you can get the cheaper “non-namebrand” stuff for a fraction of the cost.

And my thought was when will more changes come in the publishing side of things?  Who knows?  Obviously Amazon is not going to be irrelevant anytime soon (it’s a catchy title, though :)).  But it pays to stay informed…

Best of luck in your writing endeavors!

About Renée Pawlish

Award-winning author Renée Pawlish writes the bestselling horror book, Nephilim Genesis of Evil, the Reed Ferguson mystery series, short stories and non-fiction ghost stories.
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8 Responses to Is Amazon Becoming Irrelevant?

  1. Jack Durish says:

    Fascinating. I’m sure there are entrepreneurs reading this who are salivating at the opportunity to pick up thousands of indie authors and small publishers who will welcome a replacement to Amazon if the giant decides to start charging for product placement. Amazon already collects millions (billions?) in taking a percentage of everything sold through their website. Would they really kill the goose that laid the golden egg?

    • Renée Pawlish says:

      It is interesting. I wonder just how many vendors will leave Amazon, enough to make Amazon take notice? Who knows, but I agree with the folks who say competition is good. As for the indie publishing side, I’d love to see another vendor give Amazon a serious run for its money.
      Thanks for the comment.

  2. Ester says:

    Greed is everywhere. A certain well known ebook site has hiked its ad costs to a degree beyond most indie authors pockets. They take a 40% cut of every ebook sale and then make a killing from the same authors who want to advertise their work on the site. It basically means that ebook publishing is heading the same way as mainstream publishing with only those who have big marketing budgets being able to afford to grab even a tiny share of the limelight. Literally the ad fees on this site have gone from a range of $25 – $250+ to $75 – $3000+ That is one hell of a hike in prices. Talk about taking advantage.

  3. MP McDonald says:

    Amazon isn’t doing any of this for free. The 30-65% they take out of each sale is what pays for the servers, technicians, and all of the other necessary things. On top of that, on books in the $2.99-$9.99 price point with the 70% option, Amazon also charges for the file transfer.

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