eBay Accuses Amazon of Foul Play

A report in The Wall Street Journal has detailed alleged foul play between the two marketplaces, with eBay reportedly calling Amazon out on contacting its sellers through its messaging system.

Late last month, eBay reportedly discovered that Amazon staff were contacting a number of sellers on its marketplace through its built-in messaging system. At the time, eBay warned it would take “appropriate steps” to protect itself against Amazon’s dirty tactics.

The company has since sent a cease and desist letter claiming  Amazon had concocted a “troubling scheme”, demanding its competitor to stop poaching its merchants immediately.

Further investigation into the matter has revealed that approximately 50 Amazon employees have sent more than 1,000 messages to eBay sellers, where the employees have allegedly told the merchants to leave the platform in favour of Amazon’s competing marketplace.

If proven, Amazon’s actions could prove damaging to the business, as the alleged poaching contravenes eBay’s user agreements and could be regarded as foul play under Californian law.

This isn’t the first time Amazon and eBay have gone head to head, with the two global e-commerce players competing heavily with each other in the Australian market earlier this year.

Since Amazon launched in Australia in 2017, eBay has amped up its own local activities, running a competing Prime Day event, establishing its own customer loyalty scheme, as well as a new national delivery service that’s not unlike Amazon’s own FBA.

The two companies are fighting for control of the global e-commerce scene, with Amazon taking out the top spot in the US, but eBay still reigning supreme down under. The latest figures from Roy Morgan show that 70 percent of Australians (14 million people aged 14 and above) visit online shopping and auction sites on a monthly basis.

After conducting face-to-face interviews with 1,000 Australians each week (more than 50,000 over a 12-month period), the market researcher concluded that eBay is still the marketplace of choice for Australian consumers.

Smaller marketplaces like Kogan.com, LivingSocial and Catch are also popular among Australian consumers.

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