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Amazon seller marketplace accounted for 2 billion sales last year

07 January 2015 - 10:33 by Mike Price

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E-commerce giant, Amazon, may be a major retailer in its own right, but according to the Wall Street Journal, it is also reaping the benefits of allowing third party sellers to harness its site.

Over the course of 2014, a reported 2 billion items were sold through Amazon’s channels by third parties, equating to 40 per cent of the total items sold across the site as a whole. This is double the amount sold in the preceding 12 months, a statistic that is made all the more impressive because the number of third party sellers actually remained static last year.

The relationship between Amazon and its army of third party vendors is mutually beneficial, since the former provides the infrastructure and reliable branding for safe shopping online, while the latter are capable of offering a wider array of items than would be available from a single retailer alone.

Because each of the 2 billion items sold last year nets Amazon a small commission, it is making huge amounts of cash, thanks to its marketplace scheme. And the rise of third parties using FBA (fulfilment by Amazon) has meant that even more customers with Prime memberships have been able to access products sold by outsiders.

Some analysts even believe that Amazon makes more profit from its third party sales than those it makes directly, which suggests that it may continue to push to increase the number of its customers that shop online, using its channels to purchase from independent vendors.

Events like Black Friday and Cyber Monday were a big help to third parties using Amazon, especially in the instances where they offered their own special deals to shoppers. So the big boys and the small fish are learning to get along together.