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Michael Dudley

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  • Posted on: 05/29/2019

    Amazon to set small suppliers adrift

    Manufacturers, brands, their lawyers and agents barrage Amazon every day with TM, IP, copyright and patent claims. 99% of these are false or frivolous and filed to control pricing and distribution by 3p sellers. Amazon is now saying to them. "You don't want to see 3rd party sellers selling your products on the platform?" "Ok, here you go, seller central, brand registry, transparency codes and project zero." "Run it yourself because your supply chain leaks are at the core of the problem." Brands divert, then have sellers remorse and Amazon is tired of it. Plus a few other things mentioned are partially correct.
  • Posted on: 06/01/2018

    Amazon/Whole Foods planning store pickup service from third-party retailers

    I concur with Gene. Your Amazon worldview is astute and intuitive. I'm among the largest 3rd party sellers on Amazon in terms of GMV. I interact with brands, manufacturers and entrepreneurs on the platform. I see way more fail than succeed. At a rate of 10-1. It's difficult when I speak with seemingly smart people who just can't get it. It's an entirely new paradigm. In astronomical terms, it's a universe where normal laws of physics cease to exist. As a consultant, I have recorded many billable hours simply listening to key decision makers resist. I no longer take clients like that. I've reached the conclusion that people that don't get it are never going to get it. Amazon is not a wolf in sheep's clothing, they are a wolf in wolf's clothing. What Amazon does is arbitrary, unilateral, unwarranted and unjustified and never explained. They compete savagely and enforce brutally. If you understand that while the above is true, you have to collaborate and navigate into that, and if you do, you can sell A LOT and make nice margins.
  • Posted on: 09/07/2016

    Will Amazon’s ‘brand gating’ put counterfeiters out of business?

    Having competed in most Amazon categories, it's my view that the counterfeit problem is overblown. Actually, a fraction of the perception. Consider the 2nd point made by David Kahn CEO of Birkenstock and in my view, the main reason for the decision. "A constant stream of unauthorized and unidentifiable sellers that display a 'blatant disregard' for Birkenstock’s pricing policies." And that is the real issue. Birkenstock can't control its supply chain. Birkenstock retailers can't compete with the price points on Amazon, so they buy less, or push for lower prices. Every shoe store selling a Birkenstock sandal for $150, when that same sandal is on Amazon for $109, they inform their potential customer, "You don't know what you are getting on Amazon." Amazon has also created this beast because every buyer who wants NO PUSHBACK from Amazon on a return knows by now that simply saying "It's a fake" is 100% guaranteed to get free return shipping and a full refund. It's out there in the buyer psychology ... You buy an item on Amazon, and it's perfectly fine, but for some personal reason ... buyers remorse, used once and did not not like, expensive dress for a special occasion, your kid broke the toy on first use, etc, etc. The word FAKE solves all those issues. Charging and blaming 3rd party sellers is simply the path of least resistance.
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