Amazon delayed or stopped orders from many of its smaller direct vendors this week, according to reports and some car audio vendors.
Many smaller companies that sell wholesale to Amazon (Vendor Central) are apparently being asked to become Seller Central vendors that open a Marketplace store on Amazon and stock and ship their own product. So instead of Amazon buying the product and taking the risk of selling the inventory, the vendor now sells on Amazon for a commission and fulfills its own orders.
Amazon has not confirmed it is shifting smaller vendors to Seller Central, but many companies received notices from Amazon to that effect.
TJI Research said some customers received the following notice this week: “I would like to inform you that our internal team have reviewed your business with Amazon and strongly believes that Amazon customers would be better served if your products were made available through Seller Central. As we are constantly looking for ways to improve the customer experience we recommend you to setup Seller account to continue your business with Amazon.”
Digiday, a marketing publication, said tens of thousands of companies selling under $10 million in goods to Amazon were impacted starting Monday.
We spoke to two car audio companies who affirmed privately, they did not receive their typical purchase order on Monday. But other car audio vendors said they were experiencing business as usual with Amazon.
One car audio industry member said he knew of close to a hundred small car audio vendors who did not receive their typical purchase order this week.
One 12 volt vendor said he was not impacted but he was deluged with emails and calls this week from independent Amazon consulting companies that help vendors make the switch from a wholesale vendor to a Seller Central seller.
Jenna Zwick, a consultant at one such company, Cart Logic, told us “Amazon has not said anything definitively, but I talk to vendors and our clients and some people have been directly told they will not be filling purchase orders.” She said the companies received an email from Amazon, such as the one above, claiming they would be better off switching to Seller Central.
A third option is that a company can switch to Seller Central and then pay a fee (on top of other commissions) for Amazon to fulfill orders under its FBA program.
From speaking with car audio industry members, it is believed that some smaller car audio vendors will shutter their doors, or will stop doing business with Amazon, but that others will switch to become Seller Central vendors or will move their business to eBay or Walmart.com.