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Third-party marketplaces allow Walmart and Amazon to expand the range of goods they offer and give customers more choice, which, in turn, breeds loyalty. Or at least that’s how it works in theory.
But giving real estate to independent sellers comes with risks. We caught a glimpse of this when Walmart.com was listing pro-gun shirts in the wake of store shootings and an investigation by the Wall Street Journal found Amazon was selling nearly 4,200 unsafe products, which the report defined as deceptively labeled products or products deemed unsafe or banned by federal agencies and regulators.