We believe Amazon is bad for consumers.
We are presently considering leaving Amazon as a third party seller. There are a number of reasons for wanting to do so, but the current impetus is because Amazon are requiring biometric information now in order to “validate” our account. We sell on eBay and Etsy, among others, and neither of those companies is demanding biometric identification.
As part of this process we have removed our multi-packs of the Carton Caddy XL from the Amazon site and will now only sell those discounted packs on our web site. Consequently, we have also increased the discounts as we no longer have to pay Amazon a 30% commission for those sales.
The fact is, we’ve had the account for over 10 years. When it was first created Amazon required various bank information and a principal’s social security number. They are now demaning a government issued photo ID with biometric information and we believe this has nothing to do with verifying the account and everything to do with tracking and selling personal information. We believe they will use this information to track individuals in stores and other locations using facial recognition.
While this currently only affects third party resellers like ERA, we also believe that they will shortly be insisting all of their customers provide the same biometric information. The excuse is that it is always for your own protection, we believe this is dishonest and invasive.
Costs. While the above invasion of privacy is providing the current impetus, selling on Amazon increases the cost of our product by almost 35% to our customers. We provide exactly the same, return policies for sales on our web site as we do on the Amazon site. We also provide the same warranty on eBay. We sell our products on our own web site at a small discount to the price on Amazon. Were we not selling on Amazon we would be able to reduce our prices. We believe Amazon is bad for consumers.
Payment. We current use PayPal, and Amazon Pay, for payment. Even though our web site is secured with SSL, we do not accept credit cards directly on our site, only through PayPal, where the information is secured. We receive and store no payment information at all. We are also going to add Square as a payment processor in the near future. Regardless, your information is secure.
We believe Amazon is bad for consumers to the point that we limit our own Amazon purchases to the degree humanly possible, and there are always alternatives. We canceled our own Prime membership more than 3 years ago and changed our selling and shipping policies to emulate those of Amazon, as much as we could, while containing costs. Everything we do, we do in the best interest of our customers.
We recognize that while we believe Amazon is bad for consumers, not everyone will agree. Consequently, we have kept the Carton Caddy XL single pack available on Amazon and, if we find customers do not wish to purchase multi-packs from our web site, we may well be forced, in the interests of our customers, to re-list the multi-packs on Amazon.