Amazon has told its local marketplace partners it plans to launch its Australian offering this Thursday at 2pm, according to sources familiar with the matter.

Which-50 understands only a limited number of products will be available to a limited group of customers, allowing the ecommerce giant to test its systems before launching more broadly.

The soft launch means not everyone will be able to see or buy products when they visit — but marketplace sellers will begin receiving orders and fulfilling them through their existing distribution networks.

Which-50 has reached out to Amazon for comment and will update this story if we receive a response.

Last week at Amazon’s seller summit held in Sydney, Amazon Australia’s country manager Rocco Braeuniger said the company would be launching its retail offer and its third-party marketplace at the same time. However, he failed to name a date.

“We are very close to launching with our retail and marketplace offer,” Braeuniger said.

It has been widely speculated that Amazon would launch by November 24th to capitalise on Black Friday.

Australia will be Amazon’s 13th marketplace globally and is believed to have 500 sellers ready to go on the platform. Currently, Amazon’s marketplace is “invitation only” which means it is able to vet merchants before they begin selling through Amazon’s marketplace.

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