By Sarah Perez
Following Amazon's (AMZN) end-of-the-year announcement touting its record-breaking holiday sales, the company today released figures for its third-party sellers marketplace, which also saw record sales growth. Although Amazon declined to provide hard figures, it says that sellers' sales were up 40% year over year from 2011, and that sellers on Amazon sold "hundreds of millions of units worth tens of billions of dollars."
The Amazon Marketplace allows business customers to sell on Amazon, tapping into the e-commerce giant's worldwide reach for a monthly subscription fee plus a selling fee when the item is purchased. According to today's release, there are now over 2 million of these third-party sellers on Amazon, reaching the company's 188 million active customers around the world, including the 50 U.S. states.
Amazon previously reported that 2012 was its biggest holiday season ever with over 26.5 million items ordered worldwide on its peak day, which is a record-breaking 306 items per second. Also on its peak day, Amazon's worldwide fulfillment network shipped over 15.6 million units across all product categories. Third-party sellers apparently benefitted from the boost as well. One longtime electronics seller, Amazing Deals Online, who has been on Amazon for 12 years, reported a record holiday with an over 70% increase in sales from last year.
Unfortunately, instead of releasing data by category (like electronics or apparel, for example), Amazon put out some rather fluffy numbers about the number of products sold, noting that it sold enough "Santa Hats" for Santa to change his hat daily for the next 137 years and enough "mustache pacifiers" to give one to every baby born in Washington State next month. Funny, but not very useful data.
In terms of third-party sellers, Amazon still faces tough competition from eBay (EBAY), which now has over 100 million active members, and whose marketplaces saw growth in Q3 2012 -- up 11% year over year to $16 billion.