Amazon third-party sellers saw 40% increase in sales

Amazon's best ever holiday season lead to record growth for sellers

Financial trends and news by Steven Loeb
January 2, 2013
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We already know that Amazon had its best holiday season ever in 2012, selling selling 306 items per second at its peak. But there was no word on how Amazon's third party sellers did, and if they were able to take advantage of Amazon's record breaking year.

Now we are getting some more data and, fortunately for those sellers, Amazon's success trickled down to them too.

Amazon's two million third party sellers experienced record growth this year, increasing sales by 40% year-to-year, it was announced Wednesday.

A big part of the reason for this, Amazon points out, was an increased adoption of Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA). FBA is Amazon’s fulfillment service, which allows sellers to choose to have Amazon ship their products directly to customers and offer Amazon Prime benefits, FREE Super Saver Shipping, simple exporting to customers around the world, and simple returns for orders placed on

Sellers also took advantage of Amazon's other service, including the Amazon Webstore platform, which they used to run their shopping sites; Amazon Payments, which they used to have customers pay for their purchases; and Products Ads, which drove traffic to seller stores. Amazon says that the businesses that used these services "set records in sales volume, traffic and services performance."

One of these businesses was Amazing Deals Online, which has been using the Amazon platform for 12 years and saw a 70% in sales this year. 

"We attribute the boost in orders to our confidence, and customer trust, in Amazon’s FBA program. Without FBA our current infrastructure would not have allowed us to fulfill the orders we generated on Amazon throughout the holiday season. Our typical holiday season selling period ends on December 15th due to the time needed for processing and shipping orders, but with the FBA program, we were able to extend our selling period until December 21st and still have our customers receive their packages in time for Christmas," Eli Silver, president of Amazing Deals Online, said in statement.

“We value the breadth and depth of selection that businesses selling on Amazon offer our more than 188 million active customers worldwide,” Peter Faricy, VP for Amazon Marketplace, said in a statement.“The entire Amazon Seller organization is focused on helping third-party businesses succeed and grow on Amazon. We do this by creating a dynamic marketplace platform that helps every seller deliver the best possible selection, service and prices to all Amazon customers.”

Unfortunately, Amazon did not provide any hard numbers on what sales looked like for the sellers this year, giving out jokey statstics, including that enough smartphone and tablet screen protectors were sold to cover the field of every NFL stadium, four times over. And that third-party sellers sold enough guitar picks to give one to every attendee of Woodstock.

The growth in third party sales comes after Amazon announced that it had a record setting holiday season, with over 26.5 million items ordered worldwide on its peak day of November 26. That means that the company was selling 306 items per second. Over 15.6 million units were shipped across all product categories that day alone.

The best selling items for Amazon this season were its tablets: the Kindle Fire HD, the Kindle Fire, the Kindle Paperwhite and the Kindle held the top four spots on the Amazon worldwide best seller charts since launching. Sales of apps and games during the holiday period were up more than 250% year-to-year.

Amazon also  topped Foresee's Holiday E-Retail Satisfaction Index for the eighth straight year. For the second straight year, Amazon wound up with a score of 88, the highest ever attained.

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