NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Amazon (AMZN) is reportedly adapting its Prime policy to let more third party sellers onto the platform and increase the number of products available for Prime members.
The policy changes were first reported by Re/Code, and have been confirmed to us by multiple sources familiar with the changes. Amazon has been beta testing the program with select third party sellers.
Amazon could not be immediately reached for comment.
Until now, Amazon has made only about 10% of its products Prime eligible, allowing only products that were stored in Amazon warehouses to be "Prime'd," as the company calls it internally. Because Prime-eligible products have to be shipped within two days, it was difficult for third party sellers to meet this demand on their own, so they could either store inventory with Amazon or forfeit Prime eligibility.
But now things are changing, with Amazon loosening the reins a bit. Sellers will still be required to meet the two-day shipping requirement, but they will be able to do so on their own without storing in Amazon warehouses.
The sellers are responsible for any extra cost it takes to expedite shipping, though they will have access to Amazon shipping rates, which are lower than the standard. In addition, the sellers will have the option to sell to specific zip codes which are more cost effective to them, according to one seller who is part of the beta program.
And even if sellers are forced to shell out some extra shipping costs, they are also entering an ecosystem that will likely pay off, according to ChannelAdvisor Executive Chairman Scot Wingo.