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Amazon 3rd-Party Unit Sales Grow 60%

Marketplace reports strong first-quarter revenue.
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Third-party sellers on Amazon.com experienced a “meaningful” increase in the number of units sold during the first quarter, and now account for 39 percent of all units sold on the site, worldwide.

Amazon CFO Thomas Szkutak revealed the tidbit for the first time Thursday, during a conference call discussing the company’s first-quarter results, adding that third-party units sold grew 60 percent in the quarter.

“I can’t give you the GMV but, in terms of units, it’s meaningful”

Up to now, the company has been reluctant to give any insight into the third-party merchant program’s impact on its financials. Indeed, when asked, Szkutak declined to say what third-party sales were in terms of gross merchandise volume.

“I can’t give you the GMV,” he said. “But in terms of units, as it relates to our retail units, it’s 39 percent of total units, so it’s meaningful.”

He attributed the growth to “things that we have done to improve our experience with sellers,” such as Fulfillment by Amazon.

Amazon’s net sales for the quarter increased 34 percent compared to the first quarter of 2011, to $13.18 billion. However, profits were down sharply as the company continued to invest in new fulfillment centers. Net income for the quarter was $130 million, down 35 percent, year over year.

Sales in North America grew slightly faster than overall sales, with net sales of $7.43 billion increasing 36 percent, year over year.

About the author

Crista Souza
Crista Souza is founding editor of TheOnlineSeller.com. A journalism graduate of San Jose State University, she spent 13 years as a business and technology reporter in Silicon Valley. Crista has been writing about B2C and C2C ecommerce since 2008. Opinions expressed here may not be shared by The Online Seller and/or its principals.