U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou, who is under house arrest in Canada and facing extradition to America, is not a bargaining chip in the trade...Technologyread more
Arturo Estrella has a message for recession naysayers: It could hit sooner than you think.Marketsread more
Local governments commonly share single service providers, making many vulnerable at once. On top of this, ransomware has often been used to mask more targeted, malicious...Technologyread more
Fed Chairman Jerome Powell faces the tough challenge of presenting a unified voice on Fed policy from the most divided Fed in years.Market Insiderread more
Meanwhile, investors look ahead to Fed Chair Jerome Powell's speech at a yearly central banking symposium in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.Asia Marketsread more
The office has long been a breeding ground for budding romances. But actively going into business with your other half is another thing entirely.Successread more
Salesforce released its first earnings report since its $15.3 billion acquisition of Tableau Software, the company's largest deal ever.Technologyread more
Kudlow also confirmed to CNBC that he supported a tax cut proposal floated earlier Thursday by Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla.Politicsread more
VMware is following through on its proposal to buy Pivotal, a fellow Dell subsidiary, and expanding into cybersecurity with the acquisition of Carbon Black.Technologyread more
Google says it shut down hundreds of YouTube channels tied to misinformation around the Hong Kong protests.Technologyread more
It is a rare scenario where long-term interest rates suddenly fall below short-term interest rates.Real Estateread more
Three years ago, Amazon launched a program called Vendor Express to make it easier for wholesalers to get inventory onto the e-commerce site and avoid having to go through the company's invite-only Vendor Central portal.
It was a short-lived experiment.
Amazon said Monday that it's closing Vendor Express. The company told sellers in an email, which was obtained by CNBC, that it will stop taking orders as of May 21, and that the program will become "permanently unavailable" starting Jan. 1, 2019.
"We're constantly looking for ways to improve the selling experience on Amazon," the email said. "After careful evaluation, we've decided to retire Vendor Express and refocus the business on other selling programs."
Amazon confirmed to CNBC that it's ending Vendor Express and said the program's vendors will be "transitioned to alternative ways to sell on Amazon."
Vendor Express was launched in 2015 as a new channel for small businesses to sell products in bulk to Amazon, whether it was their own private label brand or other items that they wanted to unload. Unlike Vendor Central, which is targeted at large brands and sellers and requires a thorough vetting process for approval, Vendor Express offered a quick onramp for smaller merchants to have products listed under the tag, "sold by Amazon."
Amazon didn't say why it's eliminating Vendor Express. But according to Amazon sellers who spoke to CNBC about the program, it was fraught with counterfeits from its early days and likely failed to gain traction among high-quality sellers. One vendor, who asked to remain anonymous, said that although Vendor Express asked for samples and certain registration forms before placing large orders, the process wasn't strong enough to ensure authenticity.
"It might be that Amazon realized that the quality of brands was not there and the return on this program was not good enough," said Joe Kaziukėnas, CEO of Marketplace Pulse, an e-commerce research firm. "Amazon would rather have those sellers manage their own risk and sell as third-party sellers. "
In the email, the company encouraged merchants to instead sell their products on the Amazon marketplace, where they act as their own retailers and often plug into Amazon's logistics and shipping systems. Amazon's marketplace has grown rapidly in recent years and now accounts for over half of all products sold on the site.
Between the third-party marketplace and the invite-only Vendor Central program, Vendor Express was stuck in the middle without a clear benefit, sellers said.
Will Tjernlund, a managing partner at Goat Consulting, which helps Amazon sellers, said that the bigger brands are already wholesale vendors while smaller sellers prefer the marketplace, where they get to set the price and directly engage with customers. Additionally, the cost to vet less qualified sellers may have been too much to sustain, he said.
"It just took up too much support and time for something that generated very little revenue," Tjernlund said.
Here's the email in full: