Author Topic: How can people not shop at Amazon?  (Read 3926 times)

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Offline ChuckM

  • Posts: 1019
How can people not shop at Amazon?
« on: April 26, 2019, 12:07 AM »
I had to report a loss of shipment even though the tracking showed the gift was "hand delivered to a resident". Within 10 minutes (online chat near midnight, eastern time), I received a full refund. Such a "no questions asked" refund process was new to me (as I had never experienced any Amazon shipment loss).

If it were a credit card refund, I might still be waiting on the line for someone to take my call after 10 minutes. Ebay as well as Paypal usually takes 7-9 days to complete a refund request, as a comparison.

This is what I would call hassle-free sales service.
« Last Edit: April 26, 2019, 10:20 AM by ChuckM »

Offline Svar

  • Posts: 1698
Re: How can people not shop at Amazon?
« Reply #1 on: April 26, 2019, 12:13 AM »
I had similar experience. Lost shipment, return, etc. The service has always been outstanding.

Offline Jiggy Joiner

  • Posts: 310
Re: How can people not shop at Amazon?
« Reply #2 on: April 26, 2019, 03:04 AM »
I also had something from Amazon go missing, and it was dealt with very quickly and without fuss.

Offline Don T

  • Posts: 1879
  • Phoenix, Az
Re: How can people not shop at Amazon?
« Reply #3 on: April 26, 2019, 04:44 AM »
Same experience here. Package showed delivered but wasn’t, they shipped another and it was here in 2 days.
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Offline Bob D.

  • Posts: 1010
Re: How can people not shop at Amazon?
« Reply #4 on: April 26, 2019, 04:49 AM »
From Amazon's policy I surmise two things:

1. A business model that ensures the customer is always satisfied and
    that a positive perspective in the eyes of their customer base is maintained
    above all else.

2. Enough profit margin to absorb the cost of this category of loss
    and it shows as barely a blip on your bottom line.

Not saying these are wrong, but #1 is only possible if #2 is true. Which
means we all pay to cover the cost of those 'lost' items for which there
is little if any way to verify they actually were lost or stolen.


I have only had one item that never showed up, and I believe that was because it was delivered to the wrong address, and the item was not packaged in such a way as you could not tell what it was. So I believe based on the photo they showed me where they tried to say they left it on my porch (and clearly wasn't when you look at the photo) that it was indeed delivered to the wrong address, and that person decided to keep it since they could see what it was (an RC toy for my grandson). I understand the desire to save packaging, shipping costs, etc. but I wonder how many times this has attributed to something being stolen off a porch.

I really think if Amazon were to greatly increase the number of Lockers they have they could stop a lot of this from happening. It seems it would be easy to set these up at popular places frequently visited such as shopping malls, supermarkets, even Post Offices. If you had a locker located outside at each PO then Amazon could make use of the USPS, UPS, and whoever else they wanted to use to ship items, and people would have a spot they could pick up their items 24/7 with less worry about them disappearing. Of course there are larger items that this would not work for and other situations where it would not make sense but I bet for the majority of items shipped by Amazon it would.

Sometimes it seems the customer is always right, even when they are
dishonest, and I am speaking generally, not in regard to the events in
this thread.
   
« Last Edit: April 26, 2019, 05:07 AM by Bob D. »
-----
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Offline JD2720

  • Posts: 1080
Re: How can people not shop at Amazon?
« Reply #5 on: April 26, 2019, 07:33 AM »
I have never had a problem getting items replaced by Amazon. I have not had the problem of packages not being delivered. Most of my problems were either missing items from the package or damaged items.

Recently I purchased a Solid State hard drive. When it arrived & I opened the package. I discovered that the SSD was missing. In it's place were pieces of rubber. I am guessing the rubber was to make up for the weight of the missing drive. I had no way of proving that. Amazon shipped out a replacement. 

I am sure they have a policy for people that continuously ask for replacements & refunds.

Offline pixelated

  • Posts: 172
Re: How can people not shop at Amazon?
« Reply #6 on: April 26, 2019, 09:14 AM »
I don't use Amazon because of a bad experience with them years ago. But they aren't the only retailer that offers very good customer service. For example I had a problem a few months back with a shipment from Lee Valley, which was  handled in the same no-nonsense, easy way.


Offline ChuckM

  • Posts: 1019
Re: How can people not shop at Amazon?
« Reply #7 on: April 26, 2019, 10:20 AM »
Lee Valley Tools also handles returns in a "no questions asked" manner, even when the receipt is lost.

Offline ChuckM

  • Posts: 1019
Re: How can people not shop at Amazon?
« Reply #8 on: April 26, 2019, 10:27 AM »
Snip.
Not saying these are wrong, but #1 is only possible if #2 is true. Which
means we all pay to cover the cost of those 'lost' items for which there
is little if any way to verify they actually were lost or stolen.

Same thing for free shipping. We as consumers all pay for the goods and services we receive whether as an individual or as a group. Still, the Amazon prices are competitive compared to those which do not have a customer-friendly returns or lost shipment policy.  Amazon made a PROFIT of $3.6 billion in the last quarter, and so the costs of processing refunds and returns must be nothing to its operation in comparison.

Compare the cost of running a refund process that takes 10 minutes versus that of a 7-day process, and I would say Amazon's costs less to complete the same kind of transaction. If every merchant empowers their front-line staff to handle issues or process refunds (up to a certain dollar limit) before a supervisor or a manager is involved, their transacational costs could be lower, and customers will be happier.

As I read today's newspaper, Amazon announced it is going to spend $800 Mn to make one-day shipping a standard for Prime users.
« Last Edit: April 26, 2019, 10:35 AM by ChuckM »

Offline Bob D.

  • Posts: 1010
Re: How can people not shop at Amazon?
« Reply #9 on: April 26, 2019, 11:04 AM »
Amazon truly is amazing, to the detriment of local stores. They just can't compete. WalMart had the same affect. Between the two of them plus HD and Lowes they will pretty much kill off local retailers in most markets. I don't know how our local hardware stores remain in business. One is a True Value franchise operated by the local lumber yard but the other is a ACE hardware dealer. The closest big box stores are just over 15 miles away so that is all that saves them I think. Their prices can be slightly higher as they save the cost and time of driving 30+ miles round trip to "get it cheaper" from the BORG.
-----
It's a table saw, do you know where your fingers are?

Offline six-point socket II

  • Posts: 906
  • aka @the_black_tie_diyer
Re: How can people not shop at Amazon?
« Reply #10 on: April 26, 2019, 11:12 AM »
I'm not shopping with Amazon anymore.

Amazon tracks an awful lot of data. And I'm not talking about the obvious stuff they need to fulfill your order but everything else: Which site you came from, which site you leave to, where you place your cursor/rest, where you click, how long you interact with a certain page, how often stuff gets loaded when you scroll, what products you look at, (...), and much more.

A civil right activist, Katharina Nocun used GDPR to force Amazon to give here all of that data and with help of a friend, analyzed/"decrypted" much of it. This is a real eye opener: https://media.ccc.de/v/35c3-9858-archaologische_studien_im_datenmull#l=eng&t=0  (Should be in English, if not you can switch by using the gear)

Original article (in German): http://kattascha.de/datenauskunft

https://github.com/Letty/amazon

Katharina Nocun has also written a fantastic book on the collection of data. https://kattascha.de/worum-geht-es-im-buch-die-daten-die-ich-rief/

--

I stoped using Amazon long before this, because I think they are way to powerful and I fear that - kinda like with big chain super markets - in future you will buy online meaning whatever store front it is, you buy from Amazon - or you buy local and no matter the store front it's only one big supply chain. I'm not ready for this, I don't want it.

Something that I found really disturbing is how Amazon wastes resources. One of my last buys long ago was a larger DVD Box. Since I was a prime subscriber it should have been delivered the next day. When it didn't arrive even after 2 or 3 days and the tracking results were inconclusive - I contacted Amazon. I got the afore mentioned "royal treatment" - they send me a new box, charged me for it, refunded the old order. In a matter of minutes.

Obviously the next day, BOTH DVD boxes arrived. I contacted Amazon again, asking for a return label. They told me to trash it - or do with it as I please. Now if it was a sale item, single dvd for a few bucks I'd understand that returning the item would cause more resources to be used than it's worth. But a 50/60 USD DVD-Box? Luckily I knew one of my friends would appreciate the box, so it didn't go to waste. But in the end we all pay for "stunts" like this.

I'm also not in favor of how Amazon treats it's employees, there's a lot of wrong stuff going on there.

I still have an Amazon account because I bought some of their streaming content, but I haven't bought anything in years. And I won't in future if I can somehow help it.

Obviously that's just my personal opinion. Anyone should do as he/she sees fit. :)

Kind regards,
Oliver

Kind regards,
Oliver

Offline elfick

  • Posts: 527
Re: How can people not shop at Amazon?
« Reply #11 on: April 26, 2019, 11:43 AM »
I stoped using Amazon long before this, because I think they are way to powerful and I fear that - kinda like with big chain super markets - in future you will buy online meaning whatever store front it is, you buy from Amazon - or you buy local and no matter the store front it's only one big supply chain. I'm not ready for this, I don't want it.

Something that I found really disturbing is how Amazon wastes resources. One of my last buys long ago was a larger DVD Box. Since I was a prime subscriber it should have been delivered the next day. When it didn't arrive even after 2 or 3 days and the tracking results were inconclusive - I contacted Amazon. I got the afore mentioned "royal treatment" - they send me a new box, charged me for it, refunded the old order. In a matter of minutes.

Obviously the next day, BOTH DVD boxes arrived. I contacted Amazon again, asking for a return label. They told me to trash it - or do with it as I please. Now if it was a sale item, single dvd for a few bucks I'd understand that returning the item would cause more resources to be used than it's worth. But a 50/60 USD DVD-Box? Luckily I knew one of my friends would appreciate the box, so it didn't go to waste. But in the end we all pay for "stunts" like this.
When fear is a motivator, progress is often the first casualty. I'm not saying all progress is inherently good, but I think history has shown that useful progress has be stymied by fear often enough that we should consciously consider it.

When dealing with that return, there's more than just the person's time generating the label and the cost of shipping it back, which is often higher than the cost to ship it to you. There's also the cost of having to pay someone to receive it, inspect it, and re-bin it. And the cost of human error resulting in mis-binned items. Someone calculated all those average costs and decided if an item is less than some amount, it's cheaper to just write it off.

I'm not sure how "we all pay for those" comes into play when Amazon's prices are still competitive or better than many other options.

Offline elfick

  • Posts: 527
Re: How can people not shop at Amazon?
« Reply #12 on: April 26, 2019, 11:51 AM »
I really think if Amazon were to greatly increase the number of Lockers they have they could stop a lot of this from happening. It seems it would be easy to set these up at popular places frequently visited such as shopping malls, supermarkets, even Post Offices. If you had a locker located outside at each PO then Amazon could make use of the USPS, UPS, and whoever else they wanted to use to ship items, and people would have a spot they could pick up their items 24/7 with less worry about them disappearing. Of course there are larger items that this would not work for and other situations where it would not make sense but I bet for the majority of items shipped by Amazon it would.

I'm sure those lockers have a cost associated with them so there would have to be a balance between loss and locker costs. I'm guessing in many areas it simply isn't cost effective to use more lockers. Additionally, lockers require that the recipient goes to the item. Some of the benefit of shopping online is that the item comes to you. I'd also suspect that the quantity of lockers matches population density and prevalent living quarters style. In an area that is mostly single family homes, it wouldn't make sense to put lockers. In an area that is mostly apartments or dorms, you'll find quite a few. Before I recently moved from an apartment to a house, I had 6+ lockers convenient to me. Now I think I have one. Near the university then actually have a permanent post office styled location with an employee that goes into the back to retrieve your package for you.

Offline six-point socket II

  • Posts: 906
  • aka @the_black_tie_diyer
Re: How can people not shop at Amazon?
« Reply #13 on: April 26, 2019, 12:02 PM »
I stoped using Amazon long before this, because I think they are way to powerful and I fear that - kinda like with big chain super markets - in future you will buy online meaning whatever store front it is, you buy from Amazon - or you buy local and no matter the store front it's only one big supply chain. I'm not ready for this, I don't want it.

Something that I found really disturbing is how Amazon wastes resources. One of my last buys long ago was a larger DVD Box. Since I was a prime subscriber it should have been delivered the next day. When it didn't arrive even after 2 or 3 days and the tracking results were inconclusive - I contacted Amazon. I got the afore mentioned "royal treatment" - they send me a new box, charged me for it, refunded the old order. In a matter of minutes.

Obviously the next day, BOTH DVD boxes arrived. I contacted Amazon again, asking for a return label. They told me to trash it - or do with it as I please. Now if it was a sale item, single dvd for a few bucks I'd understand that returning the item would cause more resources to be used than it's worth. But a 50/60 USD DVD-Box? Luckily I knew one of my friends would appreciate the box, so it didn't go to waste. But in the end we all pay for "stunts" like this.

When fear is a motivator, progress is often the first casualty. I'm not saying all progress is inherently good, but I think history has shown that useful progress has be stymied by fear often enough that we should consciously consider it.


When dealing with that return, there's more than just the person's time generating the label and the cost of shipping it back, which is often higher than the cost to ship it to you. There's also the cost of having to pay someone to receive it, inspect it, and re-bin it. And the cost of human error resulting in mis-binned items. Someone calculated all those average costs and decided if an item is less than some amount, it's cheaper to just write it off.

I'm not sure how "we all pay for those" comes into play when Amazon's prices are still competitive or better than many other options.

Actually a lot of the so called progress these days is bad, very bad. Maybe I should have written I'm cautious about it.

Of course you can "create" nice tables and diagrams that show trashing products is cheaper than re-stocking them. But gladly I don't need to agree with it let alone like it.

Prices will increase once Amazon can do so -> once most of the competition is gone.

Google, Facebook, Amazon, (...) are not our friends.

Kind regards,
Oliver
Kind regards,
Oliver

Offline rmhinden

  • Posts: 146
Re: How can people not shop at Amazon?
« Reply #14 on: April 26, 2019, 12:03 PM »
I continue to use Amazon.   It's very convenient, reading the reviews is helpful, returns are easy, they have a broad selection, and prices are usually good.   For some things they are not the cheapest.  We have purchased a range of products from tools (including Festool), household products, and regular shipments of cat food.   

I do still purchase things at local stores or other online merchants.   Just yesterday, I bought a new foster bit and some CA glue, at my local woodcraft.   I talked to the people there about the different types of CA glues.

I understand that Amazon is close to a giant monopoly with too much power over vendors, but it does work well.   It's my understanding that a lot of the overall business comes from the Amazon Web Services (AWS), and I think this may be now bigger than their retail business.   

I do wish they would take back the cardboard boxes and reuse them.  I recycle them, but seems like a big waste.   

Bob

Offline Alex

  • Posts: 5937
Re: How can people not shop at Amazon?
« Reply #15 on: April 26, 2019, 01:00 PM »
Now if it was a sale item, single dvd for a few bucks I'd understand that returning the item would cause more resources to be used than it's worth. But a 50/60 USD DVD-Box?

The reality is that that 50/60 USD DVD-Box hardly costs a dollar to produce. Trashing it is cheaper than sending it back.

Offline six-point socket II

  • Posts: 906
  • aka @the_black_tie_diyer
Re: How can people not shop at Amazon?
« Reply #16 on: April 26, 2019, 01:15 PM »
Now if it was a sale item, single dvd for a few bucks I'd understand that returning the item would cause more resources to be used than it's worth. But a 50/60 USD DVD-Box?

The reality is that that 50/60 USD DVD-Box hardly costs a dollar to produce. Trashing it is cheaper than sending it back.

That might be true for whomever produces/presses these, but I doubt Amazon gets licensed/IP stuff at "production/pressing cost".

Then again, one way or another - I don't even care to be honest. Amazon will not get any more business from me.

Kind regards,
Oliver
Kind regards,
Oliver

Offline dicktill

  • Posts: 317
Re: How can people not shop at Amazon?
« Reply #17 on: April 26, 2019, 01:38 PM »

Actually a lot of the so called progress these days is bad, very bad. Maybe I should have written I'm cautious about it.

Of course you can "create" nice tables and diagrams that show trashing products is cheaper than re-stocking them. But gladly I don't need to agree with it let alone like it.

Prices will increase once Amazon can do so -> once most of the competition is gone.

Google, Facebook, Amazon, (...) are not our friends.

Kind regards,
Oliver

Amen Oliver!

I stopped using Amazon years ago, except as a last resort (when I can't get it anywhere else). I don't want to support a monopoly, and besides, their packing has been very bad on many occasions.

And I definitely agree on the data collection of "Google, Facebook, Amazon, (...)"; really bad stuff.

-Dick

Offline Paul G

  • Posts: 1978
Re: How can people not shop at Amazon?
« Reply #18 on: April 26, 2019, 03:03 PM »
I’ve mostly had good service from Amazon, but some rough spotsfor sure whereI had to press hard for them to do the right thing. Most trouble though had to do with the third party sellers, where Amazontried to distance themselves from beingpart of the resolution. I often find better prices elsewhere though. If anything they have raised the bar overall. But I stay away from their Echo/Alexa products, bad enough all the tracking they do online, they are not at all welcome to listen in on the private conversations in my home.
+1

Offline Alex

  • Posts: 5937
Re: How can people not shop at Amazon?
« Reply #19 on: April 26, 2019, 03:32 PM »
That might be true for whomever produces/presses these, but I doubt Amazon gets licensed/IP stuff at "production/pressing cost".

I have an incling that when you sign a contract with Amazon you get a book of clauses bigger than the bible. There's probably something in there that covers these cases.

Offline TSO Products

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Re: How can people not shop at Amazon?
« Reply #20 on: April 26, 2019, 10:29 PM »
Have any of you ever thought about how AMAZON handles the Cost of the returned or lost item?
Talk to some of their suppliers and ask them about the word "backcharge". . .  to find out who actually takes the hit.

As consumers, we ultimately reap what we sow.

Hans

PS: TSO sells direct and through a few select dealers but does not sell through AMAZON
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Offline DeformedTree

  • Posts: 467
Re: How can people not shop at Amazon?
« Reply #21 on: April 26, 2019, 10:39 PM »
It's not that Amazon functionally doesn't work that stops people from doing anything with them or very limited.  I'm in the very limited mod.  The problem is everything else about them.  From the killing of businesses, the environmental aspects, privacy privacy privacy, etc.

Far as service and price, folks need to be aware, Amazon will just pull off a large scale version of Wal-Marts business model they had during their rapid growth phase.  Come into an area and buy out the competition locally or tell them if they don't sell out, they will run them into the ground. Create a need now that all the local businesses are gone, build store and have prices super low, kill any remaining businesses,  get everyone addicted.  Then over time raise prices, eventually to higher than they were before, but it doesn't matter as there is no competition.  By the time communities figured it out, it was too late.  It's when you move around and realize the price from one wal-mart to the next one can be double or more.  I haven't shopped at wal-mart in 15 years now.

Amazon will be the same, kill everyone off and get everyone so used to use them, threat as they ramp up prices and go more evil, folks won't notice and won't know what else to do.

The big issue right now is there really isn't much competition.  A lot of stuff you just can't find for sale anyplace but Amazon.

Offline DeformedTree

  • Posts: 467
Re: How can people not shop at Amazon?
« Reply #22 on: April 26, 2019, 10:48 PM »
Have any of you ever thought about how AMAZON handles the Cost of the returned or lost item?
Talk to some of their suppliers and ask them about the word "backcharge". . .  to find out who actually takes the hit.

As consumers, we ultimately reap what we sow.

Hans

PS: TSO sells direct and through a few select dealers but does not sell through AMAZON

Direct sales is the key.  What will give people a chance is direct sales. The good news is most new business work this way, and old ones do slowly learn. If only all companies would catch on and sell directly (and not charge 2x their retailers).   What kills me is companies who do their direct sales via amazon vs just selling from their own site.

I know we have many folks here who represent retailers, so the idea of all manufactures selling their stuff directly to folks isn't what they want, but that is the future, eliminate middlepeople (simplify/cheaper) and puts the burden of being good company with good product all on the manufacture. I think there will always be a place for retailers, but I want to be able to buy anything directly from who makes it too if I like.  Still dreaming of the day one can buy a car in the US from the manufacture.  For those outside the US, by laws in every state car makers can't sell you a car.  Tesla defied this and eventually got wavier specific to them to be allowed to sell cars in most states, but if you still live in a state like Michigan, you have to go to Ohio to buy a Tesla.

Offline Bob D.

  • Posts: 1010
Re: How can people not shop at Amazon?
« Reply #23 on: April 27, 2019, 07:16 AM »
"What kills me is companies who do their direct sales via amazon vs just selling from their own site."

Well, it would be difficult if not cost prohibitive for many businesses to duplicate the web services, online payment system, and the warehousing & distribution infrastructure that Amazon has.
-----
It's a table saw, do you know where your fingers are?

Offline ChuckM

  • Posts: 1019
Re: How can people not shop at Amazon?
« Reply #24 on: April 27, 2019, 07:21 AM »
Access to potential customers may also be a factor: Amazon Prime alone has over 100 million (over 10 million?) users. Those companies want to reach those potential consumers too.

Offline Bert Vanderveen

  • Posts: 517
Re: How can people not shop at Amazon?
« Reply #25 on: April 27, 2019, 07:50 AM »
@elfick wrote:
When dealing with that return, there's more than just the person's time generating the label and the cost of shipping it back, which is often higher than the cost to ship it to you. There's also the cost of having to pay someone to receive it, inspect it, and re-bin it. And the cost of human error resulting in mis-binned items. Someone calculated all those average costs and decided if an item is less than some amount, it's cheaper to just write it off.

Well, Amazon has outsourced the handling of returns (at least they do over here in the EU). There are specialised firms that will select what will be sold again by Amazon or disposed of in another way. The whole process sounds sustainable, but fundamentally Amazon is in the business of selling us stuff we don’t really need. Overconsumption is what will kill humanity.

Oh, btw: I was an early adaptor (eg Amazon client), on account of the non-availability of certain items, but I do not consider myself a customer anymore. I prefer to spend the few bucks I have at local businesses.
Cheers, Bert Vanderveen

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Offline Paul G

  • Posts: 1978
Re: How can people not shop at Amazon?
« Reply #26 on: April 27, 2019, 08:48 AM »
What kills me is companies who do their direct sales via amazon vs just selling from their own site.

Have you ever developed an ecommerce website complete with all the features todays consumer has come to expect? A site that never goes down and gets enough search traffic to generate enough sales to grow a business? Your comment suggests it is simple, but it is not.
+1

Offline DeformedTree

  • Posts: 467
Re: How can people not shop at Amazon?
« Reply #27 on: April 27, 2019, 09:37 AM »
What kills me is companies who do their direct sales via amazon vs just selling from their own site.

Have you ever developed an ecommerce website complete with all the features todays consumer has come to expect? A site that never goes down and gets enough search traffic to generate enough sales to grow a business? Your comment suggests it is simple, but it is not.

The don't have to do it 100% on their own.   I don't think many companies do.  Even the tiniest of 1 man outfits manage to do it just fine, large international companies won't have an issue.   The point is if you make stuff, and want to sell it, people should be able to complete the buying process via your website, the actual sales processing is very likely done via a 3rd party in the background where it is not seen.  But having no option to buy, instead you have to go search, just to have it only show up on Amazon and then it points out that it is sold from you is the madness.


Offline Paul G

  • Posts: 1978
Re: How can people not shop at Amazon?
« Reply #28 on: April 27, 2019, 09:54 AM »
The don't have to do it 100% on their own.   I don't think many companies do.  Even the tiniest of 1 man outfits manage to do it just fine, large international companies won't have an issue.   The point is if you make stuff, and want to sell it, people should be able to complete the buying process via your website, the actual sales processing is very likely done via a 3rd party in the background where it is not seen.  But having no option to buy, instead you have to go search, just to have it only show up on Amazon and then it points out that it is sold from you is the madness.

I’m confused here, you’re OK that people often use 3rd parties to help manage their ecommerce and fulfillment, but it is madness if Amazon is that 3rd party?
+1

Offline ChuckM

  • Posts: 1019
Re: How can people not shop at Amazon?
« Reply #29 on: April 27, 2019, 10:28 AM »
[quote author=Bert
Snip.
Overconsumption is what will kill humanity.

but I do not consider myself a customer anymore. I prefer to spend the few bucks I have at local businesses.
[/quote]
Overconsumption - absolutely. In fact, most hobby woodworkers who have the disposable income are overconsumers too, including many many Festool owners.

I shop local or online depending on price, availability, physical size, etc. I get heavy, pricey tools from local retailers.

Offline Alex

  • Posts: 5937
Re: How can people not shop at Amazon?
« Reply #30 on: April 27, 2019, 12:24 PM »
Man, the things you learn from media like this. I didn't even know humanity was being killed. And progress is bad.

'mkay, I'll keep my eyes open.   [scared]

Offline six-point socket II

  • Posts: 906
  • aka @the_black_tie_diyer
Re: How can people not shop at Amazon?
« Reply #31 on: April 27, 2019, 12:39 PM »
"It's the end of the world as we know it, and I feel fine" ...



Have fun everyone!

Kind regards,
Oliver
Kind regards,
Oliver

Offline elfick

  • Posts: 527
Re: How can people not shop at Amazon?
« Reply #32 on: April 27, 2019, 02:02 PM »
Well, Amazon has outsourced the handling of returns (at least they do over here in the EU). There are specialised firms that will select what will be sold again by Amazon or disposed of in another way. The whole process sounds sustainable, but fundamentally Amazon is in the business of selling us stuff we don’t really need. Overconsumption is what will kill humanity.

So, are you saying that because it's outsourced there is no longer a cost associated with handling returns? Of course you aren't saying that, because that would be a ridiculous thing to say. So if there is still a cost associated with it and Amazon has determined that the cost, whether the function is outsourced or not, exceeds the value of the item, what is the point of your statement?

"... but fundamentally Amazon is in the business of selling us stuff we don’t really need."
I'll let you in on a little secret... The vast majority of businesses, large and small, exist solely to sell use stuff we don't really *NEED*. 100% of what Festool sells are things we don't *NEED*. Yet here we are. We can even take this a step further and point out that the vast majority, maybe everything depending on how you look at it, of what Amazon sells is made by other companies. That means that Amazon exists solely to sell you things you don't really *NEED* that are made by companies that exists solely to make things that you don't really *NEED*.

Mind. Blown.  [eek]   [jawdrop]

Welcome to consumerism?

I guess those that answered the OP's question of "How can people not shop at Amazon?" are all welcome to their own reasons.

Offline Alex

  • Posts: 5937
Re: How can people not shop at Amazon?
« Reply #33 on: April 27, 2019, 02:38 PM »
End of the world ... with emphasis on "as we know it".

The bane of every generation.

Offline six-point socket II

  • Posts: 906
  • aka @the_black_tie_diyer
Re: How can people not shop at Amazon?
« Reply #34 on: April 27, 2019, 02:43 PM »
Truth. :)

Kind regards,
Oliver
Kind regards,
Oliver

Offline DashZero

  • Posts: 99
Re: How can people not shop at Amazon?
« Reply #35 on: April 27, 2019, 02:51 PM »
I sold computers for a company that refused to sell mail order.  I kept selling for them and they refused to sell over the internet.  That company is out of business.  Good riddance.  I provide local and remote service to clients both in my home state and many states away, I could care less what best buy does with their flat rate, or the large company that poached one of my clients with a service contract that actual, has cost them three times the fees I used to charge.  My point is Amazon couldn’t and wouldn’t exist if it didn’t fill a niche that wasn’t being served.

I saw pawn shops complain about eBay was going to put them out of business, in fact I know some pawn shops that don’t even care about walk in customers anymore, they mostly online.

Whoever was shoeing horses or making wagon wheels when automobiles were invented either became more specialized and survived, or changed their business model.

What about all the mom and pop saw, hammer, shovel, screwdriver manufactures, that went out of business or got bought out or expanded.  There are three choices.

The customers I want are the ones that first determine the level of service they want then decide on me.  The ones that decide on me based on price first, I actually don’t want. Took a while to realize this.


Quote from: Bob D. link=topic=59417.msg577996#msg577996date=1556291095
Amazon truly is amazing, to the detriment of local stores. They just can't compete. WalMart had the same affect. Between the two of them plus HD and Lowes they will pretty much kill off local retailers in most markets. I don't know how our local hardware stores remain in business. One is a True Value franchise operated by the local lumber yard but the other is a ACE hardware dealer. The closest big box stores are just over 15 miles away so that is all that saves them I think. Their prices can be slightly higher as they save the cost and time of driving 30+ miles round trip to "get it cheaper" from the BORG.

Offline Holzhacker

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Re: How can people not shop at Amazon?
« Reply #36 on: April 27, 2019, 03:44 PM »
I live in Chicago, except for very rare specialty items Amazon sells nothing I can't go down the road and buy. If I buy from Amazon once a year I'd be surprised. I also shop online as little as possible.
A I don't need to living here; B I try not to because I prefer to support the local economy.
That said, if I lived in a lot of other places that don't have the resources that we have in Chicago I would probably have to shop Amazon or online a lot.
"The Code is not a ceiling to reach but a floor to work up from"

Offline DeformedTree

  • Posts: 467
Re: How can people not shop at Amazon?
« Reply #37 on: April 27, 2019, 05:08 PM »
The don't have to do it 100% on their own.   I don't think many companies do.  Even the tiniest of 1 man outfits manage to do it just fine, large international companies won't have an issue.   The point is if you make stuff, and want to sell it, people should be able to complete the buying process via your website, the actual sales processing is very likely done via a 3rd party in the background where it is not seen.  But having no option to buy, instead you have to go search, just to have it only show up on Amazon and then it points out that it is sold from you is the madness.

I’m confused here, you’re OK that people often use 3rd parties to help manage their ecommerce and fulfillment, but it is madness if Amazon is that 3rd party?

Do you seriously not understand what has been said?   The 2 things described are not the same thing.    Stores take credit cards, a store taking credit card does not setup it's own international credit card processing company.  Same for e-commercre, I don't think very many set up their own system.  Just like companies don't create there own internet ISP to get their office online, or code their own document created, spread sheet creation software, they buy it from someone else.   Selling something via Amazon is not the same as using a e-commerce software company for e-commerce on your own website, not even remotely the same thing.

Offline DeformedTree

  • Posts: 467
Re: How can people not shop at Amazon?
« Reply #38 on: April 27, 2019, 05:23 PM »
I sold computers for a company that refused to sell mail order.  I kept selling for them and they refused to sell over the internet.  That company is out of business.  Good riddance.  I provide local and remote service to clients both in my home state and many states away, I could care less what best buy does with their flat rate, or the large company that poached one of my clients with a service contract that actual, has cost them three times the fees I used to charge.  My point is Amazon couldn’t and wouldn’t exist if it didn’t fill a niche that wasn’t being served.

I saw pawn shops complain about eBay was going to put them out of business, in fact I know some pawn shops that don’t even care about walk in customers anymore, they mostly online.

Whoever was shoeing horses or making wagon wheels when automobiles were invented either became more specialized and survived, or changed their business model.

What about all the mom and pop saw, hammer, shovel, screwdriver manufactures, that went out of business or got bought out or expanded.  There are three choices.

The customers I want are the ones that first determine the level of service they want then decide on me.  The ones that decide on me based on price first, I actually don’t want. Took a while to realize this.


Quote from: Bob D. link=topic=59417.msg577996#msg577996date=1556291095
Amazon truly is amazing, to the detriment of local stores. They just can't compete. WalMart had the same affect. Between the two of them plus HD and Lowes they will pretty much kill off local retailers in most markets. I don't know how our local hardware stores remain in business. One is a True Value franchise operated by the local lumber yard but the other is a ACE hardware dealer. The closest big box stores are just over 15 miles away so that is all that saves them I think. Their prices can be slightly higher as they save the cost and time of driving 30+ miles round trip to "get it cheaper" from the BORG.

I think you lost the plot here,  yes, Amazon exist because there was a need,  really e-commerce, not Amazon  exist because of the things you mention. That is not the issue. The issue is when any single entity takes over to the level they have, it hurts everyone.  As it stands, no one could launch a competitor to them right now.  Amazon was allowed to take losses for over a decade. No company can do that now just to try and compete with them. Further you can't just avoid them, as Amazon has branched into so many things behind the scenes.  Even if you stopped using the internet (it's impossible for the most part to use the internet without touching Amazon since their webserver presence is such a large part of it), you still can't avoid them, Amazon is everywhere and in everything.  The world of Alexa just adds to the problem.  You have no idea if someone has such a device around you in hearing range.  Your local government, your place of work likely have something going on with some aspect of Amazon.  And to be clear, they are not alone on some of these issues (Google).   Our government went after Microsoft in the 90s for having the nerve to put a webbrowser in their operating system,  now we have systems that one company can be everything.

Filling a void created by bad businesses 25 years ago doesn't mean everything you do from that point on is just fine.  Google started out as the not-evil company, they were to protect everyone from MS evils.  Now I think most people would trust MS anyday over google, and few trust Microsoft at all.

When any company has the lion share of a market, that is very bad.  When people have no way to completely bypass a particular company in their lives there is a major problem.

Offline Alex

  • Posts: 5937
Re: How can people not shop at Amazon?
« Reply #39 on: April 27, 2019, 05:37 PM »
Selling something via Amazon is not the same as using a e-commerce software company for e-commerce on your own website, not even remotely the same thing.

Amazon's services might be more all-encompassing than just selling you software, but the basic idea is the same: help you sell your goods online.

Since all is happening online as letters on your screen, what does it even matter what company is behind it? What does it matter if it says Amazon, or Newegg, or Walmart or Toolsonline? It's all just letters on your screen.

It is not like you're dealing with actual people anymore like in a brick and morter store.

Most of the time it's Google where you start anyway. Then you click on a link and it brings you to a product page with some letters on it. A banner at the top. Some photos and a description of your desired product. A button to the shopping cart and finally a button to select your payment method. And then just sit back and wait for it to arrive at your doorstep.
 
All perfectly anonymous. They're just letters on a screen to you and you're just letters on a screen to them. So what does it matter what the letters say exactly? As long as you get the goods and they get the coin.

Offline Alex

  • Posts: 5937
Re: How can people not shop at Amazon?
« Reply #40 on: April 27, 2019, 05:41 PM »
When any company has the lion share of a market, that is very bad.  When people have no way to completely bypass a particular company in their lives there is a major problem.

Yes, that's very bad. But the solution there can only lie on the political level. Not the technological level. You're not going to stop this by not using Amazon.

Offline kevinculle

  • Posts: 283
Re: How can people not shop at Amazon?
« Reply #41 on: April 27, 2019, 06:55 PM »
Shopping at amazon is just a choice to be made.  I buy many things there but I generally check to make sure their price is best, fairly often I will find the local Home Depot has lower prices than amazon.  Amazon got where they did by investing in their growth, when many owners would have taken a fat profit stream Jeff Bezos was smart enough to leave the money in the business and let it grow.  Oh and by the way it's likely that if you live in a large city amazon IS a local business...a few thousand of your fellow citizens may work a their fulfillment center, local Fedex, UPS and USPS employees deliver the goods to you.  It's easy to imagine Bezos is a super entrepreneur, or an evil genius, or that he's building the Matrix...but he's just a smart guy who saw an opening and has masterfully filled it.  I don't know about you but getting something I need two days later at my door rather than trekking out in crummy weather is quite compelling.

Offline JimH2

  • Posts: 771
Re: How can people not shop at Amazon?
« Reply #42 on: April 27, 2019, 11:04 PM »
What kills me is companies who do their direct sales via amazon vs just selling from their own site.

Have you ever developed an ecommerce website complete with all the features todays consumer has come to expect? A site that never goes down and gets enough search traffic to generate enough sales to grow a business? Your comment suggests it is simple, but it is not.

The don't have to do it 100% on their own.   I don't think many companies do.  Even the tiniest of 1 man outfits manage to do it just fine, large international companies won't have an issue.   The point is if you make stuff, and want to sell it, people should be able to complete the buying process via your website, the actual sales processing is very likely done via a 3rd party in the background where it is not seen.  But having no option to buy, instead you have to go search, just to have it only show up on Amazon and then it points out that it is sold from you is the madness.


You cannot sell anything as well and as easy as you can on Amazon. Their infrastructure cannot be matched and the process is frictionless for the customer (no need to create an account or add a payment method or enter shipping info). For the manufacturer/reseller there is almost nothing to do to setup a store and absolutely nothing to do except balance your books as transactions happen. All the messy stuff is handled by Amazon.

Offline Slowlearner

  • Posts: 45
Re: How can people not shop at Amazon?
« Reply #43 on: April 28, 2019, 08:18 AM »
The op talks about amazon collecting too much data etc. Use a smart phone or even and intwrnet connection? No different maybe just not as obvious. I know the phones listen to collect data and well as using camera. I look at it this way, who am i? A small fish in an extremely large pond. Im not running for prez so ill just keep ysing the conviences bc no matter what we do our data is getting collected. Only way to avoid this is to toatlly go off the grid..

Offline Paul G

  • Posts: 1978
Re: How can people not shop at Amazon?
« Reply #44 on: April 28, 2019, 10:28 AM »
Do you seriously not understand what has been said?   The 2 things described are not the same thing.    Stores take credit cards, a store taking credit card does not setup it's own international credit card processing company.  Same for e-commercre, I don't think very many set up their own system.  Just like companies don't create there own internet ISP to get their office online, or code their own document created, spread sheet creation software, they buy it from someone else.   Selling something via Amazon is not the same as using a e-commerce software company for e-commerce on your own website, not even remotely the same thing.

I think your contempt for Amazon is obscuring the point I was making. A person who developed a widget wants to sell to the world online. Developing their own ecommerce website involves everything from domain, hosting, platform development, SSL certificate, transaction and data security, arranging payment processing, order support options including phone, chat and email, SEO optimization, order fulfillment, and a bunch of other little things as well. There are very few widget sellers who can do these things on their own, so they use 3rd party services. Piecemealing the whole thing together is also not easy, hoping to get the right web developer to build things well, hiring and managing after hours support, getting payment processing that fits your needs, hoping the developer knows current SEO practices or working nicely with a SEO provider, building and staffing a fulfillment center or hiring that out as well. All these things have an upfront cost before selling a single widget. Along comes Amazon who will do most of it without the upfront cost. They have the platform, the marketplace, the payment processing, the fulfillment all available to the widget seller, not with a huge upfront cost but a cut of sales. For some widget sellers it is a no brainer way to get their product to market. Earning a living isn’t maddness. They would be wise though to reinvest those earning to develop other sales channels because Amazon can cut them off. Whether it is other online marketplaces like Ebay, direct sales via their own website, brick and mortar retail, not having all eggs in one basket makes a lot of sense. It’s just business, and Amazon is a viable option for many people both sellers and buyers or else it wouldn’t continue to succeed.

I understand there are reasons to dislike what Amazon does to grow their business. Some folks are unaware or just don’t care. Many of these things have been happening long before there was an internet. For example there used to be several lumber yards in my area who are now gone. It’s not that less lumber is being purchased, but they got destroyed by competitors who met the demands of the consumer. The dead ones refused to sell to the general public and closed at 5pm and closed weekends. Along came the big box home stores and gave people what they want, access to products and convenient shopping hours. There’s now several Home Depot and Lowes in my area and the few remaining lumber yards have extended hours and sell to the public, and are winning against the big box stores by offerring a wider variety of product in their niche, for example a wider variety of species, grades and cuts. Amazon is simply continuing that evolution online and competitors have to adjust. We may not like some of the change but it is what it is. Respond to the change in a way that suits you, and others will do so as well for themselves.
« Last Edit: April 28, 2019, 11:05 AM by Paul G »
+1

Offline grbmds

  • Posts: 1882
Re: How can people not shop at Amazon?
« Reply #45 on: April 28, 2019, 01:12 PM »
Lucky we live in a world that allows us to make the choice that suits us best. For some, I guess, that would be Amazon or an online company. For others, it is buying a product from a store in person which allows the opportunity to see it, touch it, and, many times, test it before buying. For screws, sandpaper, etc., the best choice, many times is online for the least price and because it's convenient. For larger tools, it might be online, but it also might be a place where you can see the tools and make decisions based on, not only information online, but how those tools fit your hand, maybe even work (if you can test). I'm not sure what the conflict is here. We all do what works for us individually.
Randy

Offline six-point socket II

  • Posts: 906
  • aka @the_black_tie_diyer
Re: How can people not shop at Amazon?
« Reply #46 on: April 28, 2019, 01:42 PM »
Hi!

I don't see conflict. I see a great discussion of different points of view.

But it still goes much deeper than the obvious question of to buy or not to buy at Amazon. Because Amazon offers/services go and affect many people way beyond that.

Ever heard of Amazon web/ cloud storage services, for example?

Germany's federal police is going to rely on it for storage of video material from their soon to be more widely used body cams.

-> https://www.telecompaper.com/news/german-regulator-says-using-amazon-web-services-to-store-police-data-risks-us-espionage--1288610


And Alex is absolutely correct/ spot on, the single decision of not using Amazon won't really help in the long run/ with the actual cause.

Kind regards,
Oliver

Kind regards,
Oliver

Offline Svar

  • Posts: 1698
Re: How can people not shop at Amazon?
« Reply #47 on: April 28, 2019, 03:15 PM »
Ever heard of Amazon web/ cloud storage services, for example?
Germany's federal police is going to rely on it for storage of video material from their soon to be more widely used body cams.
So, they'll store their data off site. Is it bad?
We outsource storage of our money to private banks, medical records to private doctors, etc. etc. I'm sure Amazon will not take over the world.
« Last Edit: April 28, 2019, 03:18 PM by Svar »

Offline six-point socket II

  • Posts: 906
  • aka @the_black_tie_diyer
Re: How can people not shop at Amazon?
« Reply #48 on: April 28, 2019, 03:23 PM »
It's a matter of trust to me.

I trust my doctor (although I have no idea who maintains his IT), I trust my health insurance (which documents I can access online, and are stored encrypted on German servers at least), I trust my Bank - partly.

I do not trust Amazon - for anything - at all. And I think such data should not be in their hands - although it is probably never going to affect me directly.

Kind regards,
Oliver
Kind regards,
Oliver

Offline Svar

  • Posts: 1698
Re: How can people not shop at Amazon?
« Reply #49 on: April 28, 2019, 03:25 PM »
It's a matter of trust to me.
I trust my doctor (although I have no idea who maintains his IT), I trust my health insurance (which documents I can access online, and are stored encrypted on German servers at least), I trust my Bank - partly.
I do not trust Amazon - for anything - at all. And I think such data should not be in their hands - although it is probably never going to affect me directly.
Kind regards,
Oliver
Do you realize that your data is more secure on Amazon server than on your own computer?

Offline six-point socket II

  • Posts: 906
  • aka @the_black_tie_diyer
Re: How can people not shop at Amazon?
« Reply #50 on: April 28, 2019, 03:29 PM »
It's a matter of trust to me.
I trust my doctor (although I have no idea who maintains his IT), I trust my health insurance (which documents I can access online, and are stored encrypted on German servers at least), I trust my Bank - partly.
I do not trust Amazon - for anything - at all. And I think such data should not be in their hands - although it is probably never going to affect me directly.
Kind regards,
Oliver
Do you realize that your data is more secure on Amazon server than on your own computer?

I consider that a pretty bold claim. Which I can obviously neither disproof or proof.

That said, I don't believe that anything is secure in the hands of Amazon.

Kind regards,
Oliver
Kind regards,
Oliver

Offline RKA

  • Posts: 1571
Re: How can people not shop at Amazon?
« Reply #51 on: April 28, 2019, 04:48 PM »
Actually small businesses (accountants, lawyers, doctors, your local mechanic and even retailers setting up their online storefronts) are much more likely to be hacked.  Further, they may not know they got hacked.  I understand your mistrust for Amazon which is on a different level.  But the trust you might have for the little guy might be misplaced.  Here your problem may not be ill will or intent, just the fact that they don’t know what they don’t know.  They often hire out the minimum necessary to keep the lights on (desktop support, back ups and periodic software or firmware updates).  They have no way of knowing the third party did the job right and didn’t expose them to a breach.
-Raj

Offline six-point socket II

  • Posts: 906
  • aka @the_black_tie_diyer
Re: How can people not shop at Amazon?
« Reply #52 on: April 28, 2019, 04:59 PM »
Totally understand that Raj.

My concern is not Amazon (or myself, or anyone else) being hacked, exposed to a breach or whatever. My concern is that - in this instance - I don't trust Amazon to abide by any agreement. I don't trust them not to use every bit of data they have any kind of access to for the companies gain and profit.

Whereas I trust my Doctor not to sell my medical data - because unlike Amazon - he has not given me any reason to think of him that way. Maybe I get up one day and have to admit I was wrong for trusting him, but not Amazon. That would be life. I guess. ;)

Maybe thats a better explanation of where my mistrust with Amazon lies. (And Facebook, and Google)

Deep inside I mistrust Amazon in such a way, that I'm sure they would use footage from German federal police's body cams if it benefited Bezos Washington Post's reporting.

I'm prepared to go offline/off-grid once my ultimate hard limits have been reached.

Kind regards,
Oliver

« Last Edit: April 28, 2019, 05:04 PM by six-point socket II »
Kind regards,
Oliver

Offline DeformedTree

  • Posts: 467
Re: How can people not shop at Amazon?
« Reply #53 on: April 29, 2019, 09:07 PM »
If it is electronic (in a computer) it is not secure, to easy to duplicate and move someplace else.  If computer is connected to the internet, it's over.  This is why stuff that matters is not done on systems that connect to anything.  Thus why defense systems, secret/classified data, and things of that nature don't connect to the internet, they instead use things like CD roms, and even floppys to move data around. Hard to hack/steal stuff when you need to gain physical access to it, and put yourself at risk.

Your Dr's office, medical stuff is in no way secure, those are among the least secure systems out there.  Your doctor is a doctor, the person manning the phones is not an IT tech.  The lack of a proper federal system where all data goes is the problem. It's the the rare place where a big database is needed.  Medical offices, hospitals have near no IT/security on your data. This is why you do everything you can to prevent them from having it. Even worse is they have decades of bad ideas and mis-understanding. Look how many have "forms" and want things like your Social Security number, not only do they have no reason for it, they can't go asking for it, but many demand it (never give it to them).  Many will swear they need to make a copy of your drivers license, that too is illegal and based on a mis-understanding of a law, even after congress and the supreme court clarified  both they do not need to make copies, it's also against the law, they still do it.   That said, the one small bit of hope is they do understand not sharing it, not giving it out, not selling it.  But the issue remains their systems are famously in-secure.

Again, soon as anything is online in a computer, it has no security.  Beyond that your are basically dependent on what people are going to target. A lot of places simply are not on the radar of anyone looking for info, so luck can be on your side.  Amazon is a target, as are all big companies.  They harvest, mine and curate massive databases on you, it makes them a huge target.  Plus they are the ones using it for bad. Amazon doesn't need to be hacked to do you harm.  Also you don't have to be involved with a company for them to have stuff on you and put you at risk.  People saw this with the credit reporting hack. Those who have never done anything associated with that reporting company had files because they had created one of you anyway. Or facebook, they have files on you, even if you have never had a facebook account or any involvement with facebook.

Never trust anyone with your information. Amazon makes money based on data on you.  They are "hacked" by design.  Most e-retailers learned long ago, people don't want accounts, logins, etc.  They aren't needed, just like you don't have those things at the corner store.  Let people make a purchase with as minimal information as possible. Amazon is one of the few retailers left that demand you create an account.

The US desperately needs to catch up to the EU, on this. But it's still a battle that is unclear if it can be one. Amazon and others can/could blackmail everyone in congress, so good luck expecting change there.

At least a large chunk of the population has had enough.  Retailers in New Jersey were trying to eliminate cash sales, the state came back and passed a law requiring they take cash.  Retailers had no ground to stand on since use of cash for payment is on the rise. Folks have had enough, data breeches did a lot for this. While I'm not full cash, there are retailers now I only use cash with, they showed they can't be remotely trusted.

Offline RKA

  • Posts: 1571
Re: How can people not shop at Amazon?
« Reply #54 on: April 29, 2019, 09:32 PM »
Just to clear something up, officials aren’t objecting to cashless because a tide of people are turning to cash in fear of identity theft.  They are objecting because a significant portion of the low income population would be excluded from doing business in any establishment that didn’t accept cash.  It becomes a form of discrimination, and THAT is why legislators reacted.

And please, don’t follow with an expression about how you feel about that...politics don’t belong here.  I’m just clarifying the reasons they did this.
-Raj