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Author Topic: Amazon  (Read 860 times)

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Online Lord of the Dance

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Amazon
« on: January 10, 2020, 10:53:33 AM »
Department stores are becoming dinosaurs and going extinct. I can order products on Amazon and they'll arrive same or next day.

It really is remarkable that they're able to do that. As much as I hate to turn my back on local business, Amazon has now become so convenient that it's hard to resist ordering whatever I need right on my tablet and having it arrive the next morning. And as a member of Prime, the shipping cost is most often nil.
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Offline Manny

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Re: Amazon
« Reply #1 on: January 10, 2020, 11:03:39 AM »
Department stores are becoming dinosaurs and going extinct. I can order products on Amazon and they'll arrive same or next day.

It really is remarkable that they're able to do that. As much as I hate to turn my back on local business, Amazon has now become so convenient that it's hard to resist ordering whatever I need right on my tablet and having it arrive the next morning. And as a member of Prime, the shipping cost is most often nil.

You pay for it though. It costs us about 20% of the gross to sell on Amazon if we fulfill (officially 15% but real cost is 20%*). My own sites are cheaper for the same items.

*Generous return and other policies have a cost; and that cost is passed on to the customer on Amazon.

On items that aren't exclusive, it's simply a case of who will work for the least profit (or pay Amazon the most) gets the buy box. On many regular items, Amazon makes way more profit than the seller on the item. Amazon has many insidious practices and is damaging to business as a whole.
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Online BillyB

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Re: Amazon
« Reply #2 on: January 10, 2020, 11:15:25 AM »
Amazon makes way more profit than the seller on the item. Amazon has many insidious practices and is damaging to business as a whole.


Not much different than Walmart. Walmart has lots of locations and lots of customers that give them more negotiating power. So if Duracell batteries want to sell their product in Walmart, they have to sell their product to Walmart for less than they would to Kmart. Product manufactures must meet Walmart's demands if they want their product sold to Walmart customers in many locations. Walmart makes a lot of profit and their customers benefit paying less for the same products sold elsewhere.

On most products, Amazon is cheaper than stores. With delivery being free and I save on time and cost of gas, Amazon is an appealing place to shop. I would not buy clothes online since I like to try them on before buying.
"Billy, go read. You don't need to be an 'expert' to read. Billy, again read stuff. Even if this disease ends up being serious, in a few months it will be gone. That's how these things work." quote by forum epidemic and virology expert Andrewfi Jan 28, 2020 on the coronavirus


Offline Confederate

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Re: Amazon
« Reply #3 on: January 10, 2020, 11:22:00 AM »
Department stores are becoming dinosaurs and going extinct. I can order products on Amazon and they'll arrive same or next day.

It really is remarkable that they're able to do that. As much as I hate to turn my back on local business, Amazon has now become so convenient that it's hard to resist ordering whatever I need right on my tablet and having it arrive the next morning. And as a member of Prime, the shipping cost is most often nil.

You pay for it though. It costs us about 20% of the gross to sell on Amazon if we fulfill (officially 15% but real cost is 20%*). My own sites are cheaper for the same items.

*Generous return and other policies have a cost; and that cost is passed on to the customer on Amazon.

On items that aren't exclusive, it's simply a case of who will work for the least profit (or pay Amazon the most) gets the buy box. On many regular items, Amazon makes way more profit than the seller on the item. Amazon has many insidious practices and is damaging to business as a whole.

I hate Amazon. They destroyed shopping malls and they’re destroying small businesses.

And just wait until they are the only choice.
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Online BillyB

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Re: Amazon
« Reply #4 on: January 10, 2020, 11:55:48 AM »
I hate Amazon. They destroyed shopping malls and they’re destroying small businesses.


People used to say that about Walmart

And just wait until they are the only choice.


People used to say that about Walmart.....until Amazon came along. The only way for a company to become the only choice is for them to offer ridiculously low prices. The moment they raise prices, another company comes along to beat them. Americans demand lower prices. If we don't get it, companies that don't comply like ma and pa businesses go out of business.
"Billy, go read. You don't need to be an 'expert' to read. Billy, again read stuff. Even if this disease ends up being serious, in a few months it will be gone. That's how these things work." quote by forum epidemic and virology expert Andrewfi Jan 28, 2020 on the coronavirus

Online yankee

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Re: Amazon
« Reply #5 on: January 10, 2020, 11:58:10 AM »
I like short grain rice such as Calrose.  Local stores here in central florida do not stock it.  I buy from Amazon.

Very convenient.
What is worse than not being able to get what you don't even want?

Online Lord of the Dance

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Re: Amazon
« Reply #6 on: January 10, 2020, 12:45:00 PM »
I like short grain rice such as Calrose.  Local stores here in central florida do not stock it.  I buy from Amazon.

Very convenient.

My mom has done the same thing with various foodstuffs. At first I actually thought she was joking, but lo and behold, some spaetzle showed up in an Amazon box one day and I was introduced to green beans and spaetzle.

I’ve also noticed a lot more delivery vehicles (and tractor trailers for that matter) with the Amazon livery. It would appear they’re breaking into the shipping business.
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Offline NS1

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Re: Amazon
« Reply #7 on: January 10, 2020, 12:47:18 PM »
I buy a few things online, but becareful with that.
When all the stores, in area close down and all those people don't
have jobs your local taxes will go up to help pay for the short fall
of those people not paying taxes.

A bit like self check outs, I never use them, I don't work at the store :)
There is nothing permanent except change.

Offline Manny

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Re: Amazon
« Reply #8 on: January 10, 2020, 01:25:42 PM »
They destroyed shopping malls and they’re destroying small businesses.

And just wait until they are the only choice.

Exactly that.  :nod:

I sell there but I buy very, very little. A) because you can almost always buy cheaper elsewhere, and B) because I dislike the methodology they use.

On most products, Amazon is cheaper than stores.

They do that by screwing the little guy in many ways.

Batteries were mentioned, as good an example as any. Imagine if you have a sweet deal with Duracell, you spend X a year and get X discount, you create an Amazon catalogue entry for a particular battery package, and you are doing well on that listing making 20%. Others will creep onto your listing and you'll be down to 10%. It happens, thats business.  :biggrin:

Then Amazon will offer some sellers rate reductions on that listing so they drop the price (it expires after a month and you must manually increase the price when it does or it will stay the same and you'll lose money). You want to keep your spend up with Duracell to keep your discount so you match the pricing - Amazon give you software to keep the buy box. Race to the bottom now. Now you are making 3%. Add in the dishonest returns (people returning their worn out batteries claiming they are 'faulty') and now you are working for nothing.

That listing is on fire with several sellers competing. People are buying cheap batteries and only Amazon are making profit now.

At this point Amazon puts you in 'verification', saying buyers say you are selling fakes, they demand an invoice to prove you are not and freeze your account and cash till you give it them. You do, and now they know your supplier. They then contact your supplier, place a bigger order than you, get bigger discount, hijack the listing themselves and make it Prime, and you are off the buy box and gone from that listing you created. If you can and do compete by whatever means, they'll freeze your account, suspend all your listings, and sit on your cash for months while you deal with their dire 3rd world 'seller verification' drones who just sit there ticking boxes while you lose money day by day.

The Amazon forums are full of people screaming in the dark telling variants of that story.

To cap it all, Amazon domiciles in multiple tax havens and pays almost no taxes. The animal constantly feeds but they give nothing back.

And another corner hardware store closes because his batteries were 50c more expensive than Amazon........

You can make money on Amazon if you know how and have the sharps to run several accounts (so you can flick another on when they do the cash grab and account freeze once or twice a year), but you need your own products and branding (not rebadged products of others unless you combine them in a bigger package that can't be copied).

Amazon may be convenient, some think cheap, but it isnt without cost. They are why all the mom and pop stores are vanishing from your neighbourhood. That in turn destroys communities. Which breeds crime and unrest, etc.
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Online BillyB

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Re: Amazon
« Reply #9 on: January 10, 2020, 01:46:11 PM »
When all the stores, in area close down and all those people don't
have jobs your local taxes will go up to help pay for the short fall
of those people not paying taxes.


Stores have closed in America yet the economy is roaring and the average American makes more. Unemployment is extremely low. The Dow has jumped up over 50% in 3 years since Trump became President. When the trade wars are over, the economy will get another boost. When Walmart and Amazon became giants, it hasn't hurt our economy. When prices are low, everybody benefits since it keeps more money in our pockets. With products costing less we also pay less taxes on those products.

One good thing about Amazon is they create a competitive atmosphere within their own selling platform so they'll never achieve a true Monopoly. Of course Amazon sells many of the products listed but Ma and Pa operations are allowed to sell at Amazon and continue to exist. Google and Walmart have recently created their own online selling platforms and are trying to copy what Amazon is doing.

Amazon puts you in 'verification', saying buyers say you are selling fakes, they demand an invoice to prove you are not and freeze your account and cash till you give it them. You do, and now they know your supplier. They then contact your supplier, place a bigger order than you, get bigger discount, hijack the listing themselves and make it Prime, and you are off the buy box and gone from that listing you created. If you can and do compete by whatever means, they'll freeze your account, suspend all your listings, and sit on your cash for months while you deal with their dire 3rd world 'seller verification' drones who just sit there ticking boxes while you lose money day by day.
 

It can be unfair to sellers with the aggressive policies they have but one reason Amazon is extremely successful is because they protect the buyer extremely well and in turn the buyer trusts Amazon enough to continue business with them. Ebay has been around longer than Amazon. Ebay has a reputation for sellers selling fakes. There's plenty of fakes sold there now but truth is, most sellers and their products are real. But over the years people eventually lost trust in Ebay and Ebay lost many customers that they'll never get back. It's been a learning experience for Ebay and Ebay has improved on protecting customers. If a buyer buys something out of China and files a claim that it's fake, the seller must pay for return shipping and refund the customer 100%. The sellers money will be frozen until that happens. Of course the Chinese seller will not provide a pre paid shipping label because shipping costs more than the fake item so Ebay will in turn refund the customer if the problems aren't resolved within a certain time period. The customer gets money back and keeps the item for free. Happy with the result, the customer will continue to do business on Ebay and recommend them to friends and family. If customers aren't happy with Ebay, they will lose customers along with their friends and family.

I once bought a product on Ebay and it arrived damaged and I filed a return. The company out of California sent me a prepaid shipping label, I sent the damaged product back and over a week later, my replacement item comes in. I bought a similar product off Amazon and surprisingly, it was delivered by the same company I bought off of Ebay. The item arrived damaged. I filed a return. My replacement item shows up two days later before I was able to send off the damaged item. It's apparent to me Amazon forces sellers there to perform better than they would elsewhere. If a seller wants their money, they must perform. Of course there are going to be some unfair rulings by Amazon from time to time for sellers but they are almost always going to favor buyers.
"Billy, go read. You don't need to be an 'expert' to read. Billy, again read stuff. Even if this disease ends up being serious, in a few months it will be gone. That's how these things work." quote by forum epidemic and virology expert Andrewfi Jan 28, 2020 on the coronavirus

Offline NS1

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Re: Amazon
« Reply #10 on: January 10, 2020, 03:19:30 PM »
bet your taxes have gone up, while all this is happening too.
There is nothing permanent except change.

Offline Confederate

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Re: Amazon
« Reply #11 on: January 10, 2020, 03:40:54 PM »
About 6 months ago I wanted a book and I purchased it at a small local book store. Supported the local economy instead of some internet crook.

Out of curiosity looked at Amazon’s price after the purchase. Their price was almost $5 higher!

I think people get tricked into believing Amazon is always lower.

Billy is probably also okay with Bezos support for CIA crooks at the WA Post and whatever other newspaper he supports.

I’m not. I only use Amazon sparingly.

How much low priced crap does a person really need?
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Offline Manny

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Re: Amazon
« Reply #12 on: January 10, 2020, 04:36:22 PM »
Out of curiosity looked at Amazon’s price after the purchase. Their price was almost $5 higher!

It must be. Billy talks about service levels that deliver replacements before you even sent returns. Or the need not to. If everyone was honest that would be OK, but all people aren't. 10% +/- of your returns are fraud. Amazon will refund them anyway as it's a numbers game. And they are playing with sellers money, not their own.

Giving two items away for the price of one doesn't matter if the item costs $1 and the selling price is $10. But when you make $7 on a $40 item you can't make a habit of that.

I think people get tricked into believing Amazon is always lower.

Absolutely.

If I buy an item for $100 and I want to make $25 I want $125 returning per sale and no returns. If I sell that to you on the understanding that the sale is final, I can sell it for $125. Everyone is happy.

Enter Amazon: People dont read listings and wallow in 'free returns' to compensate them for not reading, being stupid or buying drunk, etc. Let's assume a 10% return rate and an unsellable item thererafter (they returned a brick, a broken item or something else - all happens). And Amazon forces us to pay for that return, so the item now is 15% more. So I now need a net of $144 to cover that. But sometimes Amazon gives spurious complainants eight months later free money and lets them keep the item (think blokes like Moby), so I need really $160 per item back. I need to ship it, say $10. But I must offer 'free shipping' so I need $170 now. And they charge 15% to sell there so I need to charge $200 on Amazon to get a $170 net and make the same $25 I would make by selling it to you at $125.

So yes, the item is $200 on Amazon from me, but on my site it is $150. When you call up to ask why, I'll tell you. When I have established you know what the item is and we agree no returns, I'll sell it to you for $125 + $10 shipping. You saved $65.

That $65 is Amazon fees and the cost of other people's choices and/or stupidity.

But apparently, some people think Amazon is cheaper.  :whist11:

The numbers tilt differently on big volumes and FBA, and that is where Amazon works for the seller. So we can sell hundreds of a given line a month with Amazon storing, shipping and doing customer service and we only see the net money. But it's about half of retail price. So if you buy an item at $2 and sell at $10 you will see a $3 per item profit back. OK if you sell 1000 a month as there is no CS. $3k per month less fraud so $2500 gross profit on one line that way including the buyer fraud.

That's nice till they freeze your account for selling "fakes" of your own branded item (just takes two idiots to click "doesn't seem authentic") and then reply emails in Spanish. Welcome to Planet Amazon. :chuckle:

The vast majority of small sellers work their arse off on Amazon for almost no profit. You need big margins or big volumes to make any money there. The next time you buy something on Amazon, know that Amazon are trousering between 15% and 60% of what you spend, may not pay the seller for many months and pay almost no taxes. Ask yourself if you want to feed that animal.
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Online andrewfi

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Re: Amazon
« Reply #13 on: January 10, 2020, 05:25:33 PM »
Lowest price isn't always the best value.

I absolutely see Manny's point and agree with it.

Amazon is doing a great job of moving the value proposition away from lowest price but right now I think many vendors are not seeing that benefit. They are still, as Manny pointed out, shooting for lowest price.

But here's a thing. I often don't mind paying a higher price in order to get what I want. Amazon is streets better than eBay in this. Almost every time I try to use eBay I am left disappointed. Almost every time I try to use eBay the value proposition is firmly on low price.

In Estonia we have no local Amazon. No local eBay. We have localised auctions and flea market sites of course.

Local retailers seem to have managed to integrate online and B&M outlets in a manner not so widely seen in the UK and US. It seems to me that Amazon and eBay have created some market distortions where they operate.

One can see a future where everything is purchased and supplied through The Amazons and I am sure we'd suffer if that happened. I am of the opinion that online shopping is a displacement activity that covers up for a shortage of money in many families. Not too long ago the number one family pastime in the UK and US was shopping. No longer. Now people buy the same or similar stuff online but without the associated costs of a mall visit. Hence the Death, especially in the US, of B&M retail and malls.

I am interested to see the next stage - what happens when families can't even afford online shopping?
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Online BillyB

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Re: Amazon
« Reply #14 on: January 10, 2020, 05:28:22 PM »
Out of curiosity looked at Amazon’s price after the purchase. Their price was almost $5 higher!

I think people get tricked into believing Amazon is always lower.

Billy is probably also okay with Bezos support for CIA crooks at the WA Post and whatever other newspaper he supports.


There's no trick. Everybody is free to shop around for the best price. Most of the stuff I need to buy online, I buy at Ebay because it's cheaper, but one thing Amazon has everybody beat on is the fast free shipping on many products. Here are the last two items I bought on Amazon. I don't know what they smelled like but they were cheap enough to give it a try. 4 pack of Speed Stick deodorant for $4.28 and Axe body wash for $2.79. Both items delivered in less than 24 hours.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07895W8W8/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00AO4E9L8/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o02_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

BTW, I don't like Bezos politics or the WA Post he owns.

It must be. Billy talks about service levels that deliver replacements before you even sent returns. Or the need not to. If everyone was honest that would be OK, but all people aren't. 10% +/- of your returns are fraud. Amazon will refund them anyway as it's a numbers game. And they are playing with sellers money, not their own.


I've done a lot of selling on Ebay. There are scammers looking to steal. No different than thieves trying to walk out a store without paying. Have to factor in costs due to theft. Fortunately I've always had Ebay rule in my favor on disputes. Some people claim they never got the item or they got the item and complained to their credit card they didn't order it to get their money refunded by their credit card company while keeping the item. As long as I show proof of delivery, Ebay backs me up while they fight the credit card company who gave money back to the holder of the card. I've never had a return where the box is empty or the contents is a brick. I know the weight of the products I sent. If sent back with a much different weight or too different of a box size, I would show proof the return was a scam. Don't know how Ebay would rule on that but seems Amazon rules in the buyers favor if they show proof of return which usually is a tracking number. When buying and selling, there are scams. As long as the good outweighs the bad, I'll continue to buy and sell on the internet.

Items breaking during shipment is another cost sellers have to eat. I've tried buying insurance for high dollar items in the past but the shipping company almost always denies the claim. Not worth appealing so I don't buy insurance and if one out of a hundred items I sell get smashed during shipment, I can afford to eat the cost of the damage.
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Offline dcguyusa

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Re: Amazon
« Reply #15 on: January 10, 2020, 06:18:07 PM »
An uninformed opponent is a dangerous opponent.

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Offline Confederate

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Re: Amazon
« Reply #16 on: January 10, 2020, 07:28:40 PM »
Manny wrote:

“Ask yourself if you want to feed that animal”

Not too much. I used it two years ago to send stuff out of state to a relative.

If she had been close by I would have purchased local.

I believe shopping malls are still very important for people as a gathering place.

I liked the world better before the internet.
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Re: Amazon
« Reply #17 on: January 10, 2020, 09:34:59 PM »
I liked the world better before the internet.


People said they liked the world before the phone was invented. Before the phone you had to get out of your house to go talk to people face to face. With all this advancing technology, we don't get out of the house as much. Americans will continue to get fatter.
"Billy, go read. You don't need to be an 'expert' to read. Billy, again read stuff. Even if this disease ends up being serious, in a few months it will be gone. That's how these things work." quote by forum epidemic and virology expert Andrewfi Jan 28, 2020 on the coronavirus

Offline Manny

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Re: Amazon
« Reply #18 on: January 11, 2020, 12:20:58 AM »
I've done a lot of selling on Ebay. There are scammers looking to steal. No different than thieves trying to walk out a store without paying. Have to factor in costs due to theft. Fortunately I've always had Ebay rule in my favor on disputes. Some people claim they never got the item or they got the item and complained to their credit card they didn't order it to get their money refunded by their credit card company while keeping the item. As long as I show proof of delivery, Ebay backs me up while they fight the credit card company who gave money back to the holder of the card.

I do eBay too, and I agree they look after sellers better as you describe. Also their fees are a little cheaper.

Amazon are very good at giving sellers money away like confetti, eBay dont do that. I buy a lot more on eBay than Amazon. But I often seek out the sellers own online store from either platform to check the price there as its often cheaper.
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Re: Amazon
« Reply #19 on: January 11, 2020, 02:16:25 AM »
As someone who uses Amazon - at lot ... when paying stuff that is needed pronto - I GET it's benefit ..

In the UK we pay £8/ month and get the movies, prime delivery and if one lives in a village - it is CHEAPER to buy from Amazon than doing 20 - 30 mile round trips in the car and a FAR more efficient use of time.

Ebay is often cheaper and YES - the seller's fees are less .. but I sell more on Amazon than ebay ?!

People order from Amazon when they want it next day

I can often order a cable / electronics part that is ten times cheaper on ebay - from China - but I can order it at 11pm and get it at breakfast time, next morning ..

It's successful for a reason - its customers ..
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Offline Manny

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Re: Amazon
« Reply #20 on: January 11, 2020, 06:27:54 AM »
I sell more on Amazon than ebay ?!

Yes, there is more disposable income in the Amazon demographic. I do higher values on Amazon.
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Re: Amazon
« Reply #21 on: January 11, 2020, 09:31:21 AM »

One good thing about Amazon is they create a competitive atmosphere within their own selling platform so they'll never achieve a true Monopoly. Of course Amazon sells many of the products listed but Ma and Pa operations are allowed to sell at Amazon and continue to exist. Google and Walmart have recently created their own online selling platforms and are trying to copy what Amazon is doing.

BillyB, sorry but Amazon does not create a normal competitive atmosphere but a vicious unpleasant fight between the sellers with their Rules and Policies.

I agree with most of the comments Manny has made regarding Amazon and for many years I have bought nothing there. I prefer the E-Bay platform where I never had any problem buying or selling from competing sellers with better individual page.

As you already know I have been selling my Cookery Book since 1996 and I have had bad experience with their rules and policies. Amazon permits other people and companies to sell the same product on the same account and as usual everybody is trying to get hold of the sell button by offering cheaper prices. That does not happen in E-Bay.

Three years ago, 3-4 big sellers started competing on my page and were reducing the price and I noticed that my sales started going down but was receiving some orders from time to time. So was obvious these people offering cheaper prices for used copies. For their Bad luck….my printer told me he was retiring and he discovered around 300 copies of good quality originals and some, around 30 with bad ink, dirt or not in perfect condition and gave them to me for Free. So I played them around and always send them the used quality… At the same time I stop selling my book. Ebay was free to advertise…. I started selling there my book keeping an eye on their selling prices and I was selling my book at E-Bay for Double their selling prices at Amazon. Soon they realised what I was doing and gone away from my Page in Amazon. I also kept an eye on their own sites…..and increased my prices in E_bay.  Soon all gone and I started selling again my book.

One seller did not like what I did to them… so he posted a couple of bad reviews. Complained to Amazon for what was happened and their abuse but Amazon done nothing!     

I have to say that Amazon never offered me any protection despite I proved the Abuse from the Large book sellers, to steal my button.  :smokin:


Offline Confederate

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Re: Amazon
« Reply #22 on: January 11, 2020, 10:08:42 AM »
I sometimes purchase auto parts on EBay and both the price and customer service have been excellent. Like some others I prefer EBay.
Giving money and power to government is like giving whiskey and car keys to teenage boys. P. J. O'Rourke

Offline NS1

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Re: Amazon
« Reply #23 on: January 11, 2020, 10:40:28 AM »
My wife and I went to a store and each bought a few things today.
I know so 19th  century. one has to get up, get dress, make self look presentable.
Go to store, look at stuff and decide then buy, drag it all the way back home.

Instead of sitting in front of PC and doing, most here likely need the exercise lol.
Other wise, just keep going up a size when ordering online.
There is nothing permanent except change.

Offline Confederate

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Re: Amazon
« Reply #24 on: January 11, 2020, 10:51:06 AM »
My wife and I went to a store and each bought a few things today.
I know so 19th  century. one has to get up, get dress, make self look presentable.
Go to store, look at stuff and decide then buy, drag it all the way back home.

Instead of sitting in front of PC and doing, most here likely need the exercise lol.
Other wise, just keep going up a size when ordering online.

Bravo! Be a real human being!
Giving money and power to government is like giving whiskey and car keys to teenage boys. P. J. O'Rourke