Amazon Is Slashing Marketplace Prices This Holiday Season

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Julie Clopper /

Expect to see lower prices on Amazon this holiday shopping season — and not just because it is among the retailers that have already unveiled Black Friday deals.

Reuters reports that Amazon is cutting prices on certain products offered by third-party sellers on Amazon’s website. This “discount provided by Amazon” is being applied to items ranging from board games to tech gadgets.

Reuters reports that this comes as Amazon has been trying to compete with low-cost rivals like Wal-Mart Stores, which owns Walmart and Sam’s Club.

This particular discount enables Amazon to reduce third-party sellers’ prices but still give the full price to those sellers. In other words, Amazon is covering the cost difference, the Wall Street Journal reports.

The newspaper notes that this approach marks a departure from Amazon’s standard price-cutting practices. In the past, Amazon has generally stuck to discounts on items that the company sells directly to shoppers.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Amazon has reduced prices on items sold by third parties by as much as 9 percent in recent weeks. Two examples:

“On Amazon this week, a Boots No7 Instant Illusion Wrinkle Filler sold by kn9ght was marked down 6% to $19.99, matching the same price offered online by retailer Ulta Beauty Inc. Amazon discounted a Risk Legacy board game sold by VirVentures by 6% to $43.92, 3 cents less than at Wal-Mart. ‘This item is sold by a third-party seller. The discount is provided by Amazon,’ Amazon says on listings with the new tag.”

For more ways to save money on Amazon, whether you’re buying direct or from third parties, check out “10 Strategies to Save Big Bucks on Amazon.”

The Amazon Marketplace

In addition to being a retailer that sells items directly to shoppers, Amazon serves as a platform that enables independent merchants to sell items online. This platform is known as the Amazon Marketplace, and it’s open to third-party companies as well as individuals like you and me.

Sellers who plan to sell more than 40 items per month, which Amazon calls “professional” sellers, pay $39.99 per month plus other selling fees to post items on the Amazon Marketplace. Sellers who plan to sell fewer than 40 items per month, called “individual” sellers, pay $0.99 per sale plus other selling fees.

The Amazon Marketplace has been around since 2000. Today, Amazon reports, more than 40 percent of the website’s total unit sales are by third parties.

To learn more about how you can make money on the Amazon Marketplace and competing platforms like eBay, check out “How You Can Make Extra Money Buying Locally and Selling Globally.”

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