Amazon is allowing Russian sellers to continue selling on its marketplace, while other platforms like Etsy, eBay, PayPal, and Shopify have suspended or restricted Russian sellers. Companies worldwide have taken steps to impose significant and (mainly) voluntary sanctions on Russia in response to its invasion of Ukraine.
More than a thousand sellers based in Russia are active on Amazon. Many more are incorporated in the U.S. Amazon has announced that it will no longer accept new Russia and Belarus-based sellers. However, Amazon’s spokesperson confirmed that the company had not taken action against existing sellers.
eBay and Etsy each had tens of thousands of sellers from Russia. Both companies have suspended all those sellers. Etsy has “suspended shops in Belarus and Russia,” and eBay “suspended all transactions involving Russian [to and from] addresses.” PayPal stopped accepting new sellers and suspended PayPal services in Russia.
Shopify has not suspended Russian sellers but has stopped processing payments on their stores and will not accept new sellers. “We will not be accepting new merchant sign-ups in Russia and Belarus, and Shopify’s checkout will be disabled for existing merchants in Russia and Belarus,” a Shopify spokesperson said.
Ukraine is a hub of e-commerce sellers - the country is in the top 10 on Amazon in the U.S. There are three times more sellers from Ukraine than Russia and Belarus combined. More than from Germany, Japan, and Mexico. Ukraine is also home to dozens of agencies and software firms supporting Amazon sellers worldwide. Thousands of Amazon experts are available on freelance platforms like Upwork and Fiverr.
Many of the Ukrainian sellers reached out directly to say, “Amazon keeps doing business with Russian sellers and Russia, where they send biweekly payments from Amazon customers all over the world. All while many of those customers donate money to support Ukraine directly and have no idea where their money spent on Amazon can end up.”
Collectively Russian sellers represent a minuscule percent of Amazon’s GMV. But suspending them would show that Amazon stands with Ukraine.