disintermediation: The end game for retail, and how you can profit

It doesn’t make any sense for 50 merchants to be selling the (allegedly) same battery or memory card through Amazon. Most ship through Amazon or even commingle items, so the robot pulls your order from one shelf filled with all those merchants’ supply of the same item! The only way a seller can be much cheaper than everyone else is if it sells stolen, refurbished, or fake items.

Two things will happen.

  1. Manufacturers will sell direct through Amazon, getting rid of useless middlemen that add no value and only give them a bad reputation.
  2. Amazon Basics will expand. Last time I bought rechargeable batteries I didn’t waste an hour ignoring the 5-star reviews to read all the horror stories of dead fake repackaged batteries, I just ordered Amazon Basics and got working batteries in frustration-free packaging.

Also, there are thousands of Chinese manufacturers making good products desperate to make a name for themselves and escape the nightmare of contract manufacturing for once-mighty brands that are squeezing them to cut corners. Folks, learn Chinese and help Happy Dongfeng Best Factory market its products. “Here’s why our $6 USB charger is better than the others.”

I expressed these ideas a decade ago in my perspicacious “disintermediation” series of posts (ordering directAmazon should be/buy UPS , universal spiff). Yet Jeff Bezos still hasn’t contacted me to discuss them over a power breakfast…

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