It has been nearly a week since marketplace sellers in Australia were informed to be ready for a “soft launch” of Amazon.com.au.
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But in the last week, the site has been devoid of any signs of life to allow the general public to purchase from a large selection of Amazon and third-party marketplace seller products.
Even links to select HP and other products we found just a few weeks ago have gone missing!
So What is Going On?
No one really seems to know! In a story by Alana Mitchelson of The New Daily, she talked with numerous marketplace sellers, including YellowOctopus, that was invited to be part of the Amazon soft launch.
According to her report and quotes by Matt Lawry, marketing manager for YellowOctopus, only about eight or nine of the company’s products live, and they have had trouble adding more.
“We tried to list as many products on the Amazon catalogue as possible, however it is a hugely involved process. Despite having hundreds of products on the database, come [soft] launch, only a handful of products – seemingly totally at random – went live and nothing has really changed since then. We were expecting probably a larger cross-section of our 4000 products, if not close to the real thing.”
Matt Lawry, YellowOctopus Marketing Manager
He also stated that some out of stock items appeared briefly on the site. Lawry also said the listing process is more complicated than eBay as more items have to be categorized.
Sellers already familiar with Amazon Marketplace know that there is a considerable difference between eBay and Amazon. But eBay outside of Australia has also been tightening down on categorization and item specifics, and eBay Australia is far laxer than eBay.com or most eBay sites in Europe.
To be fair to Amazon, the unfamiliarity may have caused some issues, and that was to be expected. Despite the problems, Lawry is still pretty upbeat about the future on Amazon.
Another seller in the article stated that Amazon had been in regular contact before the original launch date, but suddenly stopped. Now some sellers claim they are being told it could be as much as 6 weeks!
Contact with Sellers a Culture Problem at Amazon?
It seems this is the second time in just a month or so that Amazon just clamps up when there are problems.
Earlier this month, Amazon in Europe had issues getting payments to sellers and provided little if any details on when to expect a fix or what the problem might be.
For a company that prides itself on customer service and technological bleeding edge eCommerce operations, they seem to clam up when something is not to plan.
It’s a bit of a shame, and it seems they have adapted a bit of the old guard eBay mantra that we can do no wrong, and you should be happy to be on our marketplace.
Now, look at eBay trying to change that decade of seller neglect!
It would seem a more open communication policy with its sellers and the public could go a long way to smooth out launch issues.
Eventually, Amazon in Australia will be fine. But Jeff Bezos who takes pride in Amazon being always on Day 1, it all seems a bit strange… Maybe Jeff Bezos needs to have a bit of a heart to heart with some of his managers?
What do you think might be happening? Drop us a line in the comments section below.
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