Friday, July 13, 2012

Columbia Journalism Review: "The Goldman Sachs of online retail" (Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap)

From the CJR's The Audit blog:

The FT with a good look at Amazon’s Marketplace platform
The Financial Times is running a good series this week on Amazon, one of the country’s most fascinating and frustrating companies. This piece on how Amazon has transformed itself from an online book retailer into a retail and outsourcing giant is particularly interesting.

The Wall Street Journal reported a couple of weeks ago that some of Amazon’s third-party Marketplace vendors are complaining that the company is unfairly using its inside knowledge of their sales to compete against them.

The FT’s piece delves deeper into how Amazon is turning itself into a third-party logistics company that lets other companies outsource much of their operations to it. You can start up a business now and pay Amazon to handle your shipping, warehousing, payments, Web hosting—basically everything but figuring out what to sell. And its Marketplace has grown so fast that it’s become something lots of online vendors can’t afford to ignore....MORE