How Apple and Amazon’s New Partnership Helps Consumers, Hurts Small Businesses

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Earlier this month, Apple and Amazon announced a new partnership in which the Mac-maker would make a range of its high-end products — including the iPhone XR, 2018 iPad Pro, Apple Watch Series 4 and more — available on Amazon’s website. That partnership officially kicked-off today.

But while the deal is poised to benefit consumers in the U.S., U.K., France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, and Spain by making new Apple products easier to find on Amazon’s website — it ultimately comes at the expense of potentially thousands of small businesses, which have up until now relied on the e-commerce giant to help them reach customers around the world.

As CNET notes in its report, the new partnership will make Apple (and a select few of its authorized third-party resellers) the exclusive suppliers of brand-new Apple-branded products on Amazon’s website. 

But, Cupertino’s increased presence on Amazon is also poised to force out a number of smaller, independent retailers — such as Page Weil’s — whose Amazon store was at once thriving off the sales of used and refurbished Apple merchandise, the publication reports.

“It was really a great thing for our family,” Weil noted of his early success.

The 35-year-old engineering consultant from Colorado pointed out that his business helped him pay off medical bills, student loans and much more, generating over $300,000 in revenue during the last year alone. 

But, Weil lamented to CNET, Amazon has now effectively resigned from offering additional support to owners of shops like his — even though the company promised it would ship back to him the remaining Apple products (an estimated $50,000 worth) being stored for him at its facilities.

Some businesses, including those currently selling millions of dollars worth of Apple products per year, may qualify to partake of the company’s exclusive Amazon Renewed sales program — but, with such steep competition and a deadline that’s rapidly approaching, CNET notes that the latter majority of “hundreds or even thousands” of businesses are on the line, and may be forced to try and move their remaining stock on other sites like eBay or WikiBuy.

Weil noted that any of the unsold merchandise Amazon ships back to him will be liquidated on his eBay Store.

While Cupertino insists that its new partnership merely amounts to a matter of “working with Amazon to improve the experience for Apple customers on their site,” it’s clear the transition won’t manifest without its fair share of economic repercussions for all these hard-working small business owners.

Customers can expect to start seeing Apple merchandise show up on Amazon’s storefront starting today! It was previously rumored that products wouldn’t begin showing up until after the company’s self-imposed January 4, 2019 cut-off date. But Amazon, as of this afternoon, is now selling the company’s latest 2018 iPad Pro — and offering up to $380 off the MSRP of a mid-2017 model.

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