More than half of Amazon’s sales aren’t from Amazon

Angus Kidman 11 January 2018 NEWS

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Amazon makes billions every year selling other people's stuff.

A timely reminder from Amazon this morning that its status as a globe-straddling online retail behemoth crushing all competition is not solely a result of stuff sold by Amazon itself.

Much of Amazon's success comes from Amazon Marketplace, where other businesses can choose to list their products on Amazon. Just how much success? A media update spells it out:

Half of the items sold on Amazon worldwide are from small and medium-sized businesses that offer their products through the Amazon Marketplace.

In many cases, those businesses also use Fulfillment by Amazon, where the goods to be shipped are stored in Amazon warehouses rather than by the retailer themselves. That's a handy little side earner.

"Entrepreneurs and small business owners are succeeding on Amazon – they sell half the products that Amazon customers buy, and more than 140,000 small and medium-sized businesses surpassed $100,000 in sales on Amazon in 2017," Amazon's Marketplace VP Peter Faricy said in the release.

Amazon noted that 300,000 US businesses joined the scheme in 2017. It didn't break out separate figures for Australia, which isn't altogether surprising. While Amazon's launch in Australia late last year was basically driven by Marketplace sellers, the consumer reaction was somewhat underwhelming, with shoppers decrying the lack of range and the largely non-competitive prices.

That doesn't necessarily matter. Amazon is in a state of continuous launching, so we can expect to see more improvements for Australians over 2018.

We've already been promised that Amazon Prime and Amazon Echo will launch in Australia this year. In the meantime, we can expect Amazon to keep courting local businesses to sign up. (If you're tempted, check out our guide to selling on Amazon.)

Angus Kidman's Findings column looks at new developments and research that help you save money, make wise decisions and enjoy your life more. It appears regularly on finder.com.au.

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