New Lower Prices - and why we left Amazon & Faire

New Lower Prices - and why we left Amazon & Faire

Discouraged by charging higher prices, and facing lower profits, I have decided to make a big change and lower our prices 10-15% nearly across the board. With so much talk about how everything has gotten more expensive, how is it that we can do this? We made the hard decision to leave third party selling platforms and focus on the direct connection with our wholesale and retail customers.

When I started this business I was committed to selling quality products at fair prices, and to use Minnie and Moon to support other small businesses and my local community. Those values haven't changed, which is why the way we do business needs to. That we have had to raise our prices to pay large fees to corporations on many of our sales has left me wondering about the origin of the high prices we are all experiencing.  And lead to the decision to leave Faire and Amazon and lower prices to all our customers.

I'll share a few anecdotes about our experience on these platforms to give a bit more context. It's important to note that, despite the high fees they charge, these companies require that sellers offer the same prices across all selling platforms. As a seller we are unable to build the fee into our price on a specific platform to make it work.

I had been reluctantly on these platforms for a while, but a few things made me finally take the leap, the first was the introduction of advertising on Faire. For those who don't know,  Faire is a wholesale marketplace where shops source wholesale products. I had historically done really well on Abound, another wholesale marketplace that closed a year or so ago. The loss of Abound hit hard and when I was accepted to Faire I felt I had to take the opportunity. But I also wondered how any company could absorb such high fees on wholesale margins.  I had no choice but to bump up our prices to make it work. I've been questioning this choice from the beginning, but we needed to try to replace the lost business. Then I received an email that Faire will also be selling advertising for placement on the site. There was no way we could absorb any additional fees from them, our profits on the platform were already painfully low on our higher retail prices.

Another moment that gave me pause was hearing an advertisement from Amazon that 60% of purchases on the platform come from small businesses. Amazon takes a LARGE percentage of each of those sales. Far more if it is fulfilled by Amazon - which would be most Prime orders. Like Faire, Amazon requires the seller to have the same price across platforms, and you won't really sell anything on Amazon if you charge a customer for shipping, so sellers need to  absorb that. Not to mention the required free returns.

The decision to leave Amazon is long overdue, working with the platform is awful. But it's scary to leave and let go of the sales, even if they are low profit ones. I'll leave you with just one of the many stories I could share to give you a glimpse of life as an Amazon seller:

One of my absolutely best selling products on Amazon is one that I had specifically made for my company here in the USA. Then sales just stopped coming in. I went online to find another vendor had changed the entire listing - instead of a natural, USA made product, it was a listing for a computer router made in China. The description and bullet points had changed, but the large number of five star reviews, specifically mentioning my product, remained. Despite numerous attempts to change it back to my original content, both online and through a number of calls with Amazon, the service reps said we didn't have the authority to change the listing we created for our product.  I tried to leave Amazon at that point, but the sales were high enough that we couldn't have sustained the drop in sales. Though we never regained traction on that item with the new listing we created and sales plummeted. 

So, there is a small glimpse into what lead to this decision. I honestly don't know if Minnie and Moon will make it through this transition. If we don't, at least we will have tried to make a bit of change in the world along the way.




Back to blog

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.