What Amazon’s Apple Deal Means for Sellers

for the last 11 years, many retailers have been using Apple products to resell within their business, but it’s been much harder in recent years for third-parties to sell new or used iPads, iPhones, and even Apple Watches.  A new deal is about to make this harder too, and it might be the final blow for resale and repair shops online.

There is a new agreement that lists the newest Beats and Apple products when they come out, with the Xs and the XR, and in return, Amazon will remove any third-party sellers not authorized to sell Apple products on their platform. It will begin later this year and will apply to sales in the US, UK, Japan, India, Spain, France, and Germany.  Amazon will sell and ship these Apple products directly from Apple and also will list products from some resellers.

Some sellers just recently found out about this change, and they have until January 4, 2019, in order to sell their existing stock before amazon removes them.  Amazon did recommend contacting apple if they wanted to be an authorized reseller.

In truth, this is an assault on third-party resellers, since they want it so that others can go through Apple directly.

Those that are approved though have to buy a minimum of it each year, but that doesn’t make sense for the smaller sellers since most do them immediately after an Apple product is released in September or March, which is when inventory is scary and demand is high.  They can stock up on new devices they day they’re released and rush to fill that void Apple doesn’t fill on Amazon.

Other small businesses that deal with refurbished devices, such as buying them and fixing them up will have to be approved by Apple, and they’ll have to be Apple service providers as well, and they’ll need to have a commercial space where customers can walk in, and only use Apple products and parts.

Any unauthorized companies can still sell on Craigslist and eBay, and through their own sites, but many do it directly through Amazon, and it also products those sellers from fraud as well. Amazon dominates the online retailers, dwarfing even the closest competitors.  It is trailed by eBay, but they make a measly 6% of sales when Amazon does about 49.1% of all sales online.  Apple is also the third largest e-commerce site. Amazon is trying to enhance customer experience constantly, and they increase the selection of products that they want.

Of course, this isn’t the first time they’ve done it since they did it with Hasbro in the past, where they needed documentation from manufacturers.  There was a 2013 supreme court ruling that allowed people to resell any items they’ve purchased legally, but Amazon has control of who can sell what.  It even uses it against competition, where Amazon has blocked Crhomecast and other speakers and streaming devices. Even with this deal, they won’t sell the HomePod as well, since it’s a competitor to Echo.

Now, the latest change won’t put some out of business, because they constantly watch for the phasing of sales. But for other smaller online retailers, it can be a big problem, since some depend on Amazon for their livelihood.