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What Jeff Bezos Can Do Now To Remove ‘The Amazon Mask’


Amazon has built an incredible business system predicated on a relentless customer-centric focus. But, recently the major brands are checking out of doing business with Amazon. Why? Let’s explore the issue.

Most brands have spent decades building their businesses and reputations. Their products, policies, and reputations are all out in public for consumers to see. Brands will go to great lengths to adjust, invest, and change to do the right thing for today’s consumer. Today’s headlines are full of positive and negative news when brands live up to or fail in their public duties. Then along comes Amazon Marketplace…

The Amazon marketplace can be an incredible tool for consumers to enjoy products from anywhere in the world. But there’s a downside – 3rd party sellers, those entities that sell brand-name products outside of the control of the Brand, can undercut a Brand’s reputation to consumers. Amazon has made it easy for anyone to begin selling any product on the marketplace. Sellers can leverage a Brand’s reputation, product images, descriptions, etc., and it can all be done without the 3rd party seller ever revealing its identity, company registrations, or reputation.

How is this in line with a consumer-centric focus?

Some brands have spent untold resources trying to understand consumer sentiment and guard their reputation damage caused by 3rd party sellers. We have all seen the big headlines about everything from warranty issues to counterfeits, but those are just the most egregious examples. Brands’ reputations pay the price for 3rd party sellers’ bad practices.

What would happen if Amazon required the 3rd part seller to remove "the Amazon Mask” and reveal its full identity and policies? How many 3rd party sellers would remain in good standing with the public? Shouldn’t Amazon demand that kind of transparency? After all, the best brands are held to this standard daily.

Here’s how Amazon could address this issue, by taking just a few steps in the right direction:

  • 1.Require every 3rd party seller to list its EIN number, officers, and parent company
  • 2.Allow easy access to recent news related to the 3rd party seller
  • 3.Allow the Brand to designate if a 3rd party seller is “certified” by the Brand

In 2020, consumers deserve an open and transparent marketplace. With one action, Jeff Bezos can “tear down the wall” that gets in the way of transparency, and invite Brands back into the marketplace with a renewed focus on the customer.

Ron Spencer

Ed. Note: Ron has been a C-level executive with several successful brands. His profile can be found at


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Articles & Opinions February 4, 2020
  • Guest Contributors Ron Spencer
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