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Amazon Hosts Invite-Only Events To Keep Sellers From Defecting To Walmart

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Like the guy in the office who tries to make up for the fact that he’s been a real jerk by taking everyone out to happy hour, Amazon is hoping that some meet-and-greets with under-appreciated third-party sellers will keep them from fleeing to Walmart.com or other rivals.

Bloomberg reports that Amazon is offering 1,500 sellers the chance to meet with executives and attend sales seminars at the company’s first ever seller meet-and-greet with merchants in New York today.

The event appears to be one way Amazon can placate seller concerns that the e-commerce company isn’t looking out for their best interests by providing seminars on how to access more shoppers and break into foreign markets.

“We know the seller appreciates a chance to meet with a face of Amazon and get answers to questions,” Senior Vice President Tom Taylor tells Bloomberg. “We want to make sure this event is valuable for the seller.”

Today’s event will likely serve as a way for Amazon to rally sellers and make them feel heard. Still, with more than two million third-party sellers calling Amazon home, inviting 1,500 merchants is a very small step.

In recent years, some of Amazon’s sellers have expressed displeasure with the recent flood of third-party sellers offering items for sale on Amazon, and finding it was hard to compete on a marketplace where tens of thousands of other sellers were offering the same or similar products.

As a result, some Amazon merchants looking for a bigger piece of the sales pie are heading to Walmart.com, a place they see as the Amazon of a decade ago, with a vast, untapped marketplace.

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