Amazon's continued growth as a retailer virtually everything has been impressive, but some major brands – including Apple – have long complained about the sale of knockoffs and otherwise unauthorized products through the Amazon Marketplace. Now that the dust has settled on an agreement that will make Amazon an official Apple retailer, the consequences for independent marketers have become apparent. Their Apple products will be blocked from Amazon, January 4, 2019, a change that forces some small sellers to move to rival eBay, cNet reports.
On the one hand, an agreement between Amazon and Apple feels long. As with previous holdouts Nike, Nintendo and Sony, Apple's broken relationship with Amazon has led to both spotty availability and reports of counterfeit Apple accessories ̵
On the other hand, the agreement means that the Amazon Marketplace will stop listing Apple products from sellers who are not authorized Apple retailers. Amazon and other authorized dealers will apparently be the only ones who are allowed to sell new products through the Marketplace, and Amazon will continue to offer "Renewed" products from major reusers with million dollar sales volumes.
According to the report, the agreement was to cut out everyone else, including used combine harvesters, smaller renovators and repair shops – including respected merchants who individually sold hundreds of thousands of dollars in Apple goods and paid tens of thousands of dollars in Amazon sales fees. Any inventory left in Amazon's warehouse as of January 4, will be returned to sellers at Amazon expense.
The situation illustrates how Amazon actually appreciates its smaller and larger partners: It boasts about its network of 2 million independent sellers, but suddenly cuts them off to win large-scale participation. Practically speaking, such choices are reasonable to give customers wider access to authorized, legitimate inventory, but they can harm smaller businesses and restrict their customers access to used or older products.
eBay intends to win over displaced Amazon Marketplace merchants by offering them promotional listings and other support as part of the auction site's strategy to offer products "of all generations and prices, from sellers of all sizes." Like Amazon prior to this deal, eBay contains listings from a large number of Apple product vendors if the products may or may not be legitimate, while giving buyers some protection against "not as specified" transactions to reduce the risk of being tricked.