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Craig explains third-party sellers on Amazon and why it is not all it is being made up to be and why?

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Automated Machine-Generated Transcript:

Craig Peterson: [00:00:00] You’ve probably been shopping online and some of these retailers include some of the biggest ones out there have been price, gouging, us, and shipping defective products. We’ll talk about who and why and what you can do.

Hey, welcome back everybody. Craig Peterson here, he listening to news radio 98.5 FM and AM 560 thanks for joining us today. You might also be listening online@craigpeterson.com and you can find me on most major podcasting platforms out there.

So welcome. Welcome. So glad to have y’all here.

Online shopping, right? It’s a pretty big deal.  It has been growing a lot. I’m looking at some stats here, statistics and in 2014 online shopping accounted for about 1.3. trillion dollars in sales. That’s a lot of money, isn’t it, online? So that was six years ago. Last year, it more about tripled to $3.5 trillion. And 2020 is expected to be $4.2 trillion. So, up about what, 20% from last year, it might even be higher than that. I think just because so many of us are shopping online, and it’s probably going to hit about 7 trillion within the next three or four years. It’s absolutely amazing.

We’re talking about 2 billion online shoppers. There are roughly almost 8 billion people in the world and just over a quarter of them are online shoppers, almost 5% of people shop online at least once per month. Some great stats here, put together on sleek note.com, I am running through. 63.3% of shopping journeys start online. We’ve known that for a long time. So no matter whether or not you have a hard goods store or not, most people, 63% are starting online, and then they’re going into the stores.

About half of eCommerce sales are made through mobile devices this year, about half 49.2%. 54% of eCommerce sales are going to be made through mobile devices as of next year. Mobile devices are at, by the way. It’s why, if you have a business website, you need to make sure you are mobile-first in this day and age, not desktop first. But look at who’s going to your site, like my site at Craig Peterson.com. My statistics show me that most people, 60 to 70% are going to Craig peterson.com from their desktops, not from mobile devices.  I’m still a desktop-first kind of website, but you have to account for those mobile users.

Amazon accounts for almost half of all US eCommerce sales this year, 47% and it’s going by next year. It’s going to account for about half of all of us sales. 80% of online shoppers and 63% of mobile shoppers think that new technologies and innovations will improve their experience. Online shopping, I don’t think anyone can deny is a very big thing. If you’re a business and you don’t have a great online presence, you got to pull up your socks.

 I’ve got to say, I do not have a great online presence and I am in the process of pulling up my socks. Okay. I have been working pretty hard on redoing it and I had hoped I have the new site up by last weekend, but it wasn’t.

I’m not going to promise it’ll be up this weekend either. Everything takes longer. We just had some of the other things going on. We’ve got a new customer out there right now, and we’re busy with them. Multiple installations and multiple sites here. Try and tighten up their security. So cobbler’s kids.

What we’re going to talk about right now are price gouging and defective products.

Did you know that about half of the products that are being shipped out right now through Amazon are from what’s called Amazon Marketplace? The Amazon marketplace is third party companies that are selling using Amazon’s technology. So Amazon will charge them a percentage. Amazon will stock their product and charge them for the inventory, the space in the racks, et cetera. Then Amazon will try and sell it to you and then ship it to you. You may not be aware of that, but the problem that we’re seeing right now is that many of these third-party marketplace companies are bad actors, is what Amazon calls them. And that’s true.

They are bad actors, according to Amazon. In a corporate blog post, they said we have suspended more than 3,900 selling accounts in our US store alone for violating our fair pricing policies.  We’ve been partnering directly with law enforcement agencies to combat price gougers and hold them accountable.

Between May and August, Public Citizen found that ordinary antibacterial hand soap, which usually sells for around a buck and a half was going for $7. That’s how almost a 500% pricing increase for antibacterial hand soap. They also found instances of markups of a thousand percent or more on things like disposable face masks, they were selling for $40 instead of $4.

Cornstarch selling for $9 instead of 90 cents. So it’s a big deal here, but the report is also saying something interesting. It’s troubling that so much effort was put into blaming third-party sellers, but so little effort was made to stop the price increases including on the product sold by Amazon directly.

Amazon is not merely a victim in the price gouging on its marketplace, it is a perpetrator. Interesting report.

There are other reports. There’s one that was released this week by US PIR G found that erratic pricing for staples, things like paper towels, Kleenex, flour, bleach is still persisting over there on Amazon. So you’ll find that@uspirg.org. I’m not actually sure what that stands for, but they are watching consumer pricing and trying to protect consumers according to their website. So it’s really interesting what’s going on.

Now, personally, I don’t have as much of a problem with what they’re calling price gouging as other people do. If the demand goes up, the price goes up. If the price goes up, the profit goes up over the profit goes up. More people are going to get into that business, which is going to drive the price down. That’s just the way it has always worked. Now they call it capitalism, but it’s been the way that people have interacted with other people since the Dawn of time, when someone traded a rock for another rock, or a leg off of a lamb for a few chickens. It’s just the way it has worked and always worked.

So I would rather, for instance, these guys and gals and have generators. If I’ve been storing generators for two or three years, and I have them and they’re not being sold very quickly because nobody needs them. But now there is a massive power outage. I have these generators, but it’s cost me money to store them. Or let’s say I have to ship them up from Florida. So now I have to pay the trucking costs. Plus the higher cost of the generators in Florida. Why should I not be able to pass that along to the consumer? If I can’t pass along to consumers, guess what? I’m not shipping generators up from Florida or water down to Florida after a hurricane, from New England, because I can’t recoup my costs. This is a difficult thing. So keep an eye out when you’re shopping online. Even at Amazon, compare it with Walmart.com.

They’re trying to make a huge hit against our friends over at Amazon and they’re doing a good job.

All right, we’re going to talk about ransomware.

You’re listening to Craig Peterson right here on WGAN.

We’ll be right back.

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