Wednesday, November 28th, 2012

Selling on Amazon

Karen

Thank you all for your comments about selling on Amazon.  They are interesting to read – pro and con.  Thank you so much to the person who originally wrote to us asking to sell on Amazon – it got a good conversation going.  Click here to read the original post.

To give you some background:  we have been approached by Amazon multiple times through calls, email messages and visits at trade shows.  We were getting several calls a month from various Amazon employees who wanted to do business.

Amazon was eager to take our entire line of Rhodia products–something none of our current retailers does. That in itself was appealing, because we always get calls and emails requesting references online retailers don’t stock.  Like any other stores, online retailers tend to cherry-pick what their customers want or what they think will sell.  That makes sense for them, but sometimes presents issues for us and the random consumer who can’t find what they want.

The Amazon representatives wanted Rhodia, but also expressed interest in Clairefontaine. I have to say it is an intriguing prospect – it would make it very easy for consumers to find us and buy. It will also give our brands exposure to potentially millions of new customers.  Several of our retailers sell product on Amazon, including Rhodia, Quo Vadis and others.  It seems they do pretty well, but I also know Amazon isn’t their only outlet.  Other than their own prospecting via the web and shows, I suspect Amazon buyers called us because “Rhodia” or “Rhodia notepads” appeared enough in their Search bar to prompt the contact.

We ultimately decided not to sell on Amazon for these reasons:

1) It would severely impact our online retailers–especially those who market and support us with their customers

2) Since Amazon is driven on lowest price – ultimately we may not be able to sell them them (and survive) on the price they demand

3) We will not agree to Amazon’s returns policy

The door to selling on Amazon is not nailed shut, since we don’t know what the future will hold.  But we are not contemplating selling through them at this time.

Thank you again for your thoughtful and sincere comments, which I have passed along through Exaclair and onto France as well.

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26 thoughts on “Selling on Amazon

  1. Ultimately the consumer will always choose the best quality/price tradeoff. Without access to many Rhodia products online at Amazon, it is likely that sales of Rhodia, in the intermediate to long term, will suffer. Amazon’s great product review feature is one reason that I purchase (where else can you get dozens of reviews of the product in one place?). Many local merchants have sales staffs that are untrained and know less about the product than I do. I’ll bet that Rhodia will be on Amazon shortly.

  2. Ultimately the consumer will always choose the best quality/price tradeoff. Without access to many Rhodia products online at Amazon, it is likely that sales of Rhodia, in the intermediate to long term, will suffer. Amazon’s great product review feature is one reason that I purchase (where else can you get dozens of reviews of the product in one place?). Many local merchants have sales staffs that are untrained and know less about the product than I do. I’ll bet that Rhodia will be on Amazon shortly.

  3. I’d echo the comments of Bex, and Jen (among others). I can get Rhodia at local stationers, and at places like thewritingdesk.co.uk, and I’m happiest supporting them, and glad that Rhodia/Clairefontaine supports these excellent sellers too.

  4. I’d echo the comments of Bex, and Jen (among others). I can get Rhodia at local stationers, and at places like thewritingdesk.co.uk, and I’m happiest supporting them, and glad that Rhodia/Clairefontaine supports these excellent sellers too.

  5. I too opted out of Amazon, as it did not let me list my product, as it required barcode number for the same. The requirement of having a barcode on each product is very discouraging to small traders like me.

  6. I too opted out of Amazon, as it did not let me list my product, as it required barcode number for the same. The requirement of having a barcode on each product is very discouraging to small traders like me.

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