With access to detailed information and data on each seller, Amazon is able to lend quickly and effectively while mitigating risk to its marketplace sellers. But SMBs on the platform are complaining over Amazon's exclusivity terms, data control, and capricious decisions.
One footwear seller wishing to remain anonymous noted how Amazon booted them from the platform for no particular reason. “We felt they kicked us off the platform for no reason whatsoever, and it seemed we had little recourse,” he said. This led to an arbitration case between the seller and the tech giant, which was eventually dropped. The same seller obtained multiple loans with Amazon Lending, hoping that borrowing from the company would keep them on good footing. “We figured it would ingratiate us with Amazon,” the seller said. “Amazon would be less likely to kick us off the platform because we owed them money.” Amazon runs a marketplace with 2.5 million sellers, 24,000 of which had more than $1 million in sales on the platform in 2018. These sellers represent the potential customer base for the company’s lending model.