• Hey, guest user. Hope you're enjoying NeoGAF! Have you considered registering for an account? Come join us and add your take to the daily discourse.
  • Hey Guest. Check out the NeoGAF 2.2 Update Thread for details on our new Giphy integration and other new features.

Jeff Bezos can’t promise Amazon employees don’t access independent seller data

godhandiscen

There are millions of whiny 5-year olds on Earth, and I AM THEIR KING.
Mar 15, 2007
15,077
3,714
1,740
This was hilarious and I watched it live. Bezos looked like an scared child compared to the other CEOs:

“Let me ask you, Mr. Bezos, does Amazon ever access and use seller data when making business decisions?” Jayapal asked.

Bezos highlighted the company’s policy banning the practice, but said, “I can’t guarantee you that that policy has never been violated.” He continued, “We continue to look into that very carefully. I’m not yet satisfied that we’ve gotten to the bottom of it, and we’re going to keep looking at it. It’s not as easy to do as you would think because some of the sources in the article are anonymous.”

 

haxan7

Volunteered as Tribute
May 9, 2016
8,218
19,058
885
h*ck
Right now amazon provides a huge platform for third party sellers. Amazon takes a 30% cut and handles all the logistics and warehousing. The concern is that Amazon analyzes what’s selling well for their third party sellers and uses that info to sell similar products cheaper, or even worse just straight up manipulate the algorithm to favor Amazon brand products.
 

HoodWinked

Member
Jun 30, 2010
6,424
1,846
960
Earth
The concern is that Amazon analyzes what’s selling well for their third party sellers and uses that info to sell similar products cheaper, or even worse just straight up manipulate the algorithm to favor Amazon brand products.

I'm quite conflicted about this because it is their store so it's also their prerogative to be able to do so. but also one corporation dominating in this kind of manner of copying and undercutting is shitty but also this does benefit the customer so its technically a net positive.
 
  • Like
Reactions: zombrex

MrMephistoX

Member
May 18, 2007
6,335
3,683
1,410
Why is this considered unethical?

Look at it this way I used to work at yahoo’s Shopify-esque division Yahoo! Stores. If you are a mom and pop online retailer you can sell direct and do your own SEO and SEM to attract an audience which is a ton of work and user acquisition costs are high and that eats into your COGS and profit. Or you could list your catalog on Amazon and sell with minimal effort and investment. But what happens if you become a serious profit center? Amazon takes notice and then contacts the factories Producing your products, starts selling them direct and cuts your mom and pop shop out as a middleman by undercutting you on price.

Like everything in Trump’s America is it legal? 100% yes. Is it unethical or amoral also yes. But again if society doesn’t like it laws should be passed to explicitly prohibit the behavior but until then there’s no incentive to “do the right thing” when it’s legal to behave unethically.
 
Last edited:
Oct 26, 2018
17,482
24,327
795
Look at it this way I used to work at yahoo’s Shopify-esque division Yahoo! Stores. If you are a mom and pop online retailer you can sell direct and do your own SEO and SEM to attract an audience which is a ton of work and user acquisition costs are high and that eats into your COGS and profit. Or you could list your catalog on Amazon and sell with minimal effort and investment. But what happens if you become a serious profit center? Amazon takes notice and then contacts the factories Producing your products, starts selling them direct and cuts your mom and pop shop out as a middleman by undercutting you on price.

Like everything in Trump’s America is it legal? 100% yes. Is it unethical or amoral also yes. But again if society doesn’t like it laws should be passed to explicitly prohibit the behavior but until then there’s no incentive to “do the right thing” when it’s legal to behave unethically.
Sounds no different than manufacturers selling products at stores, and the store making a knock off product a year later with packaging and colours that even resemble the original.

That's the way business works.

As you said, if mom and pops or even corporations don't like it, then open up your own store or do 100% online orders from your own warehouse.
 
Last edited:

godhandiscen

There are millions of whiny 5-year olds on Earth, and I AM THEIR KING.
Mar 15, 2007
15,077
3,714
1,740
Sounds no different than manufacturers selling products at stores, and the store making a knock off product a year later with packaging and colours that even resemble the original.

That's the way business works.

As you said, if mom and pops or even corporations don't like it, then open up your own store or do 100% online orders from your own warehouse.
Yes but in this case no single physical store business has a monopoly on distribution channels. In your example, the manufacturer can use a different distributor, and the physical store business will struggle to replace all of the products the manufacturer offered.

Meanwhile, AMZ accounts for 49% of all US online spending. With the data they collect from successful manufactures on their platform, they can price their products low enough to steal the customers away from the manufactures. The manufacturers cannot go anywhere else as no other store has such an audience.
 
  • Like
Reactions: haxan7

MrFunSocks

Banned
Jul 9, 2020
3,018
5,445
645
Of course he can't guarantee that lol. They've got a database and they've got people that can access that database.

People just trying to find something to be outraged about.

Right now amazon provides a huge platform for third party sellers. Amazon takes a 30% cut and handles all the logistics and warehousing. The concern is that Amazon analyzes what’s selling well for their third party sellers and uses that info to sell similar products cheaper, or even worse just straight up manipulate the algorithm to favor Amazon brand products.
It's their platform and they don't have a monopoly so I don't see a problem tbh. Shops don't have to sell on amazon, and of course amazon want metrics on what sells. Amazon can put whatever they want first in the search results.
 
Last edited:

nbcjr

Member
Jun 13, 2007
610
201
1,170
He also can't guarantee that the delivery drivers stay under the speed limit and stop properly at every red light.
totally unrelated. If bezos wanted, such data could never be accessed. All it takes is a change of the algorithm and higher permissions needed to access such data.
 

oagboghi2

Member
Apr 15, 2018
11,723
19,765
705
totally unrelated. If bezos wanted, such data could never be accessed. All it takes is a change of the algorithm and higher permissions needed to access such data.
That wouldn't change anything.

It's not as if Bezos himself is accessing this data. Higher permissions will still mean the data is open to some people. It would just be. Smaller pool of people.
 
Last edited:
Dec 25, 2018
3,877
3,751
770
Manchester, England
Amazon doing an ALDI tactic and getting Critiqued for it. :LOL:

Jeff should just admit that they do look into the data and "Copy the Competitors products because Imitation is the greatest Flattery and besides...it is either we do it on American Soil or the Chinese do it and you see no Taxes at all!"

That will go down well....probably. :LOL:
 

supernova8

Member
Jun 2, 2020
1,717
2,387
420
Right now amazon provides a huge platform for third party sellers. Amazon takes a 30% cut and handles all the logistics and warehousing. The concern is that Amazon analyzes what’s selling well for their third party sellers and uses that info to sell similar products cheaper, or even worse just straight up manipulate the algorithm to favor Amazon brand products.

In order to correctly invoice third party sellers for that 30% cut and handle logistics/warehousing (where applicable) it makes sense that they need all of that data. I think to expect Amazon (as a large tech company) to not leverage that data (ie give it to the accountants and the logistics folk and leave it at that) is very naive. If Amazon didn't, someone else would probably do it.
 
  • Thoughtful
Reactions: haxan7

moose fatcat

Banned
Apr 2, 2017
48
47
170
What I don't understand about Amazon, Google — hell, set the bar lower, frankly; any company valued at a billion or more — why is there not more widespread agreement that these should be public utilities?

Teddy Roosevelt seems like one of those consensus POTUSes that everybody still loves, and breaking up corporate monopolies was kinda his whole thing besides, like, national parks and boxing grizzly bears.

All the things like this, to me, are examples of what happens when power is consolidated -- it obviously leads to corruption, and abuse of power, with big and small examples everywhere.... idk why we allow it?