Fact: 55 percent of all online product searches start with Amazon.

Fact: There are more than 550 million products for sale on Amazon.

Fact: 3,500 new anonymous 3 party (3P) sellers join the Amazon marketplace everyday.

This last stat is a real doozie: By virtue of their anonymity, 3P sellers can wreak havoc with pricing, branding, customer experience, warranties, and distribution. If brands are not managing this channel, they’re giving away money and risking brand integrity. And even if they are, the anonymous aspect can make it feel like an unwinnable, unfun whack-a-mole game.

Combatting the biggest threat, part 2

In this special podcast series, SNEWS partnered with Kristin Carpenter-Ogden, founder of Verde Brand Communications and the Channel Mastery podcast to explore all sides of this all-important issue.

Jon Rockefeller Petzl in black short with hands folded

“From the creation of the product all the way through to the retail price point, there is only so much margin inside that entire chain,” says Rockefeller in this podcast.

In our first episode, we spoke with David Howell, who investigates and ultimately snuffs out anonymous 3P sellers on behalf of his brand clients, and Terry Lee, founder of Gear Coop, the most established authorized 3P seller of outdoor gear on Amazon.

In this episode, we hear from Jon Rockefeller, managing director of the sport business for Petzl America and a 30-year veteran of the outdoor industry and Fred Dimyan CEO of Potoosolutions.com, a firm that specializes in protecting brands on online marketplaces.

By the end of this episode, you will understand how and why anonymous 3P sellers are such a big threat to your business and you’ll have an understanding of your options for moving forward to clean up your Amazon channel.

Fred Dimyan CEO of Potoosolutions.com in blue button-down shirt

Getting off Amazon is not the solution. “Offer consumers the option they want," says Dimyan. "Consumers don't like Amazon; they love Amazon.”

The 5 big takeaways from this podcast

1 - Creating an experience’ is retail and branding 101. Remember that the channel is not only part of the experience, it may be the most influential part.

2 - The goal of channel management should be a “healthy” industry. This doesn’t necessarily mean perfect or always fair.

3 - The complexity of this problem can’t be overstated, but it needs to be understood. Fred identifies several key elements that increase the complexity: counterfeits, price parity, direct factory brands going to Amazon (online-only brands), marketing and merchandising for online first (not brick and mortar),

4 - One reason this is such a tough topic is because consumers love Amazon. Consumer-centric strategies suggest brands need to be there. Anonymous 3P sellers erode brand integrity, but the consumer doesn’t know until there’s a problem (with warranty, with counterfeit product, etc.).

5 - Potential solutions: Brand presence on Amazon (taking control of your catalog and make it look like your website), ensuring products are Prime, outsourced enforcement of anonymous 3P sellers, industry wide campaign education campaign around counterfeiting and where to buy, evolution of price acceptance across the entire supply chain.

Channel Mastery podcast logo, green and black

The Channel Mastery podcast, presented by Verde Brand Communications, offers new episodes every week on Tuesdays. You can download the episode from www.verdepr.com, www.channelmastery.com or from iTunes, Stitcher, Google Play, Spotify and other podcast hosting platforms. 


Footwear wall and clothing racks in Alpenglow Sports

Special series: The biggest threat to outdoor specialty retail, Part 1

Rich Hill, president of Grassroots Outdoor Alliance is fired up. Anonymous 3P sellers on marketplaces – especially Amazon – are the single-biggest threat to the health of the specialty outdoor industry ecosystem in 2019, he told his members at the Grassroots Connect Show in ...read more

blonde woman shopping on amazon on her laptop, which shows a backpack

What's your Amazon strategy?

Successfully producing outdoor gear used to be such a simple endeavor: Make great product, then sell it through retail partners, or directly through a catalog or your own store. These days, the formula has become a lot more complicated. With the option to distribute through a ...read more

exterior shot of GearHeads at night. Blue and red neon sign says GearHeads Free Filtered Water, Hike, Bike, Camp, Climb

Podcast: A very special gear shop

Aside form world-class mountain biking trails and spectacular scenery, Moab, Utah, has another gem: GearHeads Outdoor Store. Founded 22 years ago by Doug and Greg Kennedy, and now run by younger brother Steve, this quirky shop has become a Moab institution thanks to its vast ...read more

episode 116 Kiri Masters Founder Bobsled Marketing and The Marketplace Institute, long-haired smiling blonde woman in black sleeveless top

We're launching a new podcast series

For your listening pleasure, we’re stoked to announce a new partnership with Kristin Carpenter and Channel Mastery podcast. SNEWS readers voted Channel Mastery their favorite outdoor podcast in 2019. We’re kicking things off with conversation with Kiri Masters, the founder of ...read more

Kristin Carpenter in podcast room

Celebrating 100 episodes of Channel Mastery

When Kristin Carpenter started the Channel Mastery podcast in October 2017, there was no blueprint for navigating outdoor specialty retail. One hundred episodes later, there still isn't. But through her interviews, Carpenter has answered many of specialty's biggest questions, ...read more

Text reading episode 125 special episode, crisis communication for your business during the covid-19 outbreak. Blonde woman in white sweater and jeans leaning against a door

Podcast: Crisis communication, part 2

Last week we shared an important 20-minute podcast about coronavirus crisis communication. (Listen here.) Little did we know at that time that things would change so incredibly fast.  “Even if you haven’t gone out to {communicate with} anyone yet, it’s time to start. If you ...read more

Outdoor Retailer Playbook curation

The art of curation: Why it's everything in outdoor specialty retail

Everyone in this industry knows the problem by now: The rise of online shopping has turned the traditional outdoor marketplace on its head. Consumers now turn to the internet first when they need new gear; brands seize the chance to sell it directly through their own websites or ...read more

Skis and snowboards lined up on a rack at a resort

The golden opportunity for specialty outdoor retailers

From electronics to apparel, dog food to toilet paper, consumers are turning to e-commerce avenues for their convenience and speed. And with product reviews at their fingertips, price comparison capabilities just a click away and two-day shipping that’s often free, why wouldn’t ...read more

The Outdoor Brand Playbook Part 4--Leki at Walkabout Outfitter, close up

Special series: The Outdoor Brand Playbook, Part 4

Successfully producing outdoor gear used to be such a simple endeavor: Make great product, then sell it through retail partners, or directly through a catalog or your own store. These days, the formula has become a lot more complicated. With the option to distribute through a ...read more