2 quick Amazon news items: Buy.com says buy-bye and Amazon’s mobile app now has barcode scanning

October 14, 2010

ChannelAdvisor ChannelAdvisor By ChannelAdvisor

Two quick news items out today from Amazon:


First, in the September issue of Internet Retailer Magazine, the cover story (you can read it online here) paints a pretty clear picture that buy.com with new parent Rakuten plans to take on Amazon and eBay.  The cover is pretty funny with Neel Grover, buy.com’s CEO, ‘checkmating’ in chess with the headline: “buy.com takes aim at Amazon and eBay”.



Wellllll… looks like their might have been some fallout from that story.  We keep pretty close tabs on top sellers on both Amazon and eBay and our system flagged today that buy.com no longer appears to be selling on Amazon as a third party seller.  When you go to the buy.com store on Amazon, there are zero listings to be found as illustrated here:


We have no idea of knowing if Buy.com made this decision or Amazon, but my bet is someone (Bezos?) at Amazon read this article and basically said: “Wow these guys want to compete with us, why are we letting them sell on our site?”

Meanwhile over on eBay, Buy has over 1m products listed and is generating > $3m/m in sales, which makes them the largest seller second only to Chris Riggs (who gives eBay TnS the finger and is soon to be mayor of NYC apparently).   It’s well documented that buy markets pretty aggressively to the eBay buyers it acquires off the platform, so it will be interesting to see if eBay continues to let them keep selling while they are simultaneously talking about crushing eBay.


Amazon tweaks the mobile app

Amazon’s iPhone app added a bar code scanner when it updated this week, so it joins the ranks of Red Laser, ShopSavvy and Google Shopper which have bar code/UPC scanners.

Here are a couple of screen shots from a Snapple test I just did:


Which yields->


Nothing earth shattering here as this has been done before.  One interesting thing I did notice, is that the Amazon bar code lookup has a higher error rate than ShopSavvy/RedLaser.  For example, I scanned some hand sanitizer and Amazon came back with a pair of Motorola headphones?  I’m sure they will tweak this over time and make improvements.



SeekingAlpha Disclosure – I am long amazon and google, eBay is an investor in ChannelAdvisor.