Why We Closed Our Amazon Store

Posted by Jeremy Clifford on

They say that if you are going to sell online that you need to go where the consumers are. Well, Amazon is the world's largest online marketplace. So we went there. We made A LOT of sales. However, we made very little money. Over the course of 1 year Amazon increased their "take" of every sale about once every 3 months. To compensate we started drop shipping pop-culture merchandise like T-Shirts, Caps, etc. But then Amazon starting increasing their take on those items as well. Here is a cost breakdown to give as an example:

Diamond (a distributor) takes 60% of the cover price of every comic book we buy to sell, and they also charge us for shipping. So, a DC comic book that retails for $2.99 we buy from Diamond for $1.80 + shipping. Shipping is about $40 per box of comics so that comes out to about $0.20 / book. So we pay, in total, $2 for that book we sell for $2.99.

Amazon charges a minimum per item fee of $1 PLUS they take 15% of the sale price.

So we are essentially paying Amazon $0.44 to sell our DC books and therefore selling at a loss.

Marvel books at $3.99 are a little bit better. We only pay Amazon $0.19 to sell Marvel books and we make zero.

Combine that with daily threatening emails from Amazon telling us to ship faster or our account will be at risk. Daily emails telling us to lower our price to beat out competitors. Daily emails telling us to offer free shipping. Twice Amazon closed our Amazon store until I wrote a letter of apology explaining why we shipped in 3 days instead of 2, how it will never happen again, how we promise to do a better job - I felt like Bart Simpson writing on the chalkboard, "I promise to never ship in less than 2 days ever again" 500 times. Ridiculous that a marketplace thinks they can treat another business like a child.

Amazon demands too much for what little a retailer gets. It may be great in the short term for consumers. But it is actually terrible in the long term for our economy. The model they have setup is literally a race to the bottom. I am not interested in racing to the bottom. We have already seen that race. Walmart did it with Rubbermaid. Eventually the only companies that will be able to meet Amazon's expectations and still be profitable... will be only the Chinese or Indian Manufacturers. Jeff Bezos already knows this as is evident in his visits to China and India.

Consumers need to reset their expectations.

Amazon employees are LITERALLY dying in order to meet outrageous consumer demand of "give me the best thing, for the cheapest price, and get it here tomorrow". Amazon employees are working too fast with deadly consequences. Just to meet those ridiculous consumer expectations.

Consumers need to speak with their dollars. Don't support a company that values 2 day shipping over human life.

I encourage everyone to stop shopping on Amazon. Sure, go to Amazon to find the product you want. But instead of actually buying on Amazon, just google the name of the seller. They will have a website. Buy from that website instead. Use Amazon as a directory... but buy direct from the seller to insure that the seller is getting your money and not Amazon. Support the businesses and not the monopoly being created by Amazon.