The Amazon Diaries

Amazon Marketplace Seller: ‘One Mistake is Enough to Kill Your Career’

Selling on the Marketplace can leave vendors feeling like ‘indentured servants.’

Brendan O'Connor
Published in
9 min readApr 1, 2019


Illustration: Glenn Harvey

Valued at nearly $1 trillion, Amazon is one of the most powerful companies in the world. The Seattle-based retail giant employs over 600,000 people and operates 100 sortation and fulfillment centers in North America, sometimes sending out as many as 1 million items per day. But Amazon does more than retail. Much more. Amazon publishes its own books and comics, finances TV shows and movies, operates a Texas wind farm, builds robots, streams music, delivers prescription meds, and operates web services for everyone from Medium to the CIA. And that’s not even counting its high-profile acquisitions, which include Twitch, IMDB,, and Whole Foods.

What’s it like working from inside the beast? OneZero has been talking to workers at every level of the Amazon empire to find out. Welcome to The Amazon Diaries.

InIn September, Democratic presidential candidate and senator Elizabeth Warren criticized Amazon’s position as both a marketplace and a retailer, which she said grants it a “special information advantage” that it could use to wipe out other businesses. The implication is that Amazon’s…