Amazon discounts other sellers' products as retail competition stiffens
Moving beyond its standard method of discounting items it sells directly, Amazon.com Inc. is cutting prices of products from third-party sellers on its website.
The “discount provided by Amazon” applies to products including board games and technological gadgets offered by other merchants as the holiday season approaches. The retailer has been trying to compete aggressively on some items to win sales and draw customers away from low-priced rivals like Wal-Mart Stores Inc.
The move allows Amazon to sell the products at lower prices while still giving full price to the sellers.
“When Amazon provides a discount, customers get the products they want at a price they’ll love, and small businesses receive increased sales at their listed asking price,” an Amazon spokeswoman said in an emailed statement, noting that businesses can opt out at any time.
Marketing the items at lower prices, however, risks angering Amazon’s third-party sellers, who instead could list their products elsewhere online. The move has drawn attention within Amazon Services’ seller forum.
Some merchants have criticized Amazon in the past for discounting and, they say, devaluing their products.