Why Eme Posaterie will never work with Amazon
Everybody knows who Amazon is; we also know that they have lately been in the news over their imaginative views on how taxes should be paid.
To begin with, I completely agree with Mr. Andy Street, the Managing Director of John Lewis who stated in The Telegraph that multinational companies that do not pay their fair share of national taxes, will “out-invest and ultimately out-trade” their competitors within each respective nation.
As a private individual that has been an Amazon client; I would like to take this criticism a little further, and extend the above observation to include “total lack of transparency and trade ethics”.
Having recently bought a cover for a tablet. The cover was paid for, but the cover never arrived. I complained to Amazon, and found that not only was the product supplied directly from a company in Hong Kong, but Amazon also took the time to inform me of their position:
“Orders on the Marketplace platform are strictly between the buyer and the Seller and Amazon.co.uk isn’t directly involved in these orders and isn’t an agent on behalf of either the Seller or buyer. We can only confirm the delivery method of a Marketplace order by e-mail.”
However, on the Amazon website, it states something completely different:
“You can buy with confidence anytime you purchase products on the Amazon.com website. That is why we also guarantee purchases made within the Amazon.com Marketplace. Both the condition of the item you buy and its timely delivery are guaranteed under the Amazon A-to-z Guarantee.”
Either Amazon works as a charity, which I doubt; or receives a commission/royalty on the products sold, which I believe is closer to the truth.
But there is another point that I would like to make. From the above statements it would seem that Amazon is not legally bound to protect their clients interests when they buy products (from 3rd parties) through their web site. While John Lewis is!
In my case, I did not see the “Dispatched from and sold by” notice; I was more interested in the price and customer reviews. But this whole story did make me reflect on how major website operators work.
We have a company like John Lewis that pays taxes, creates jobs, and goes to great efforts in guaranteeing the source of their products, through the SEDEX organisation which has become an integral part of the John Lewis supply chain (*)
At this year’s trade fairs atAmbiente and Macef, we did have visits from Amazon. They were not interested to visit our factory, or for that matter a meeting of any kind. Their only interest was for Eme to complete a suppliers spread sheet, and to start work as soon as possible. After much reflection, I refused to comply. I cannot say how many companies Amazon representatives visited during the fairs, but speaking to my colleagues, I would say a lot. NOTHING TO LOSE, ALL TO GAIN.
Almost any company (if not every company) can sell through Amazon Marketplace or Pro-Merchant Seller, and it would seem that no controls are in place to check for infringements of human rights within the manufacturing chain of their suppliers (I leave it to Amazon to prove otherwise – I could find no information on this subject on their web site).
There is one other important point to be made. Eme Posaterie exports to 5 Continents. As export manager, I have the pleasure in dealing with some great people; some of which I have known for many years. The common denominator is that they are people, and not a computer web page; and as such, we communicate together, and work together. Working for a mutual common good. I would never put this arrangement at risk for an organisation like Amazon.
I have never been a great supporter or believer in the “global market”, and it seems that I may have been right. But Amazon is a global company operating within a global market, and writing the rules as they go. You cannot pretend to stay at the best hotel in town, and not pay for the services!
(*) Sedex, the Supplier Ethical Data Exchange, is a non profit membership organisation, dedicated to driving improvements in responsible and ethical business practices in global supply chains. Sedex’s core product is a secure, online database which allows members to store, share and report on information.
Models Supplied to John Lewis: