What is the greatest danger selling on popular platforms like Amazon or eBay? It is not a a rise in commissions or listing fees.
It is being dependent on these companies for your sales and income
If you are a small business, sites like Amazon are great. The company has a huge customer base, a great and easy to use platform for sellers, and the commission is fair. But what happens if you become depended on your business for personal income and bills and all your sales come from a website like Amazon or eBay? You could be putting yourself in a dangerous position. Amazon at any moment can cancel your account for any reason they want. One of the top ten emails I get from new companies is that Amazon cancelled their account and what to do about it. The company can cancel your account for many reasons, from selling counterfeits, or having horrible seller metrics. Metrics such as shipping time and customer service.
It is important to diversify your sale channels. South Korea’s military and defense network is heavily reliant on the United States. The countries military falls under US command in times of war, and all their weapons and training come the US too. This is a position you do not want to be in if your a country. To be dependent on someone else. The same goes for any company. You do not want to rely on someone else who has the power over you. Israel’s military too has come out many times saying their country needs to stop being dependent on the US.
I know many people who started to sell online, but since they were new sellers they did not understand the strict Amazon rules, and they got their account banned after a few months. One of them who sold coins and other currency was banned because of his slow ship times. It was his fault, but he was making enough money to quit his job, which he was about to do before Amazon banned him. One of my friends had a app on Google Play, and after a competitor spammed his reviews, Google automatilly took down his app, killing 95% of his revenue. It was a full time job for him, so when Google banned him, it hit hard. It took over 2 months to get back on the platform, but I could only imagine what would have happened if he had no savings. That is why I always say you should have a money reserve. You never know what can happen. This is just not a online problem. Many companies become to reliant on a single channel of sales, such as TV.
How to protect yourself
Fortunately this is both easy and hard. There are so many channels to sell on: eBay, Amazon, Etsy. If you sell apps, you got only two choices unfortunately, Google and Apple. If you are selling products, I would encourage you to sell on as many websites as you can, so if you do get banned on one, you still are able to sell. The problem with this is that each website is different, and sales change dramatically between different websites. Amazon’s customer base is the largest, eBay is second. Etsy is a whole different world. Plus the platform is used mostly for “hand made” items. So even if you do diversify the websites you sell one, and get banned on lets say Amazon, you may still have a huge decrease in sales as I doubt eBay or Etsy can cover the loss in sales since they are so much smaller in terms of customers.
Make sure you always keep money on the side in case you do get banned and it takes a month or two to get back.