retail news in context, analysis with attitude

• The Seattle Times reports that a number of merchants who sell on Amazon “are creating a trade association in hopes that a unified voice will force Amazon to take them more seriously … Organizers began pitching fellow merchants on the Online Merchants Guild last week at the Prosper Show, an annual Las Vegas conference that drew 1,900 Amazon sellers. The group is just getting started but has big ambitions, which include negotiating better terms with Amazon, pushing the company to respond more effectively to sellers’ complaints, and lobbying government officials to make sure merchants’ viewpoints are being heard.”

However, “even with an organized group, merchants could find it difficult to negotiate with Amazon, which typically resists collective bargaining. The e-commerce giant has had long-running disputes with the Author’s Guild and the Association of American Publishers over online book sales. And the company has managed to keep unions out of its U.S. warehouses.”
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