Author Topic: The Pros and Cons of Amazon  (Read 3682 times)

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Offline dlu

  • Posts: 158
The Pros and Cons of Amazon
« on: November 06, 2018, 01:37 AM »
After vacillating a bit I decided to order a DW735 from Amazon - the price difference was small and I'd seen enough reports of machines that arrived in poor shape to value Amazon's return policy. That may have been a good move...

The first planer arrived without obvious signs of damage – until I opened the box. The styrofoam cradle for the planer was badly broken and the cardboard boxes for the extension tables were punctured by the ends of the tables. The spare set of blades was missing altogether. I'm guessing either the box was dropped, hard, or something was dropped on it. It wasn't a good sign, but the wasn't any outward sign of damage. I called Dewalt and they walked me through inspecting the planer and I discovered that head elevation control wouldn't go up. The corner of the planer came up instead and the handle just sat there at 9 o'clock. The tech at Dewalt thought it was probably a bent column given the shape of the packing materials and suggested that I send it back. Called Amazon and they arranged for cross shipping a new planer for next day delivery. Nice.

Planer number two arrived at 6:50 this morning in a nice clean looking box – except for a bit of a wrinkle near a bottom corner. Opened it up and the styrofoam was pretty much in one piece (well two pieces – but intentionally two pieces). Pulled it out and it came out kind of hard – very different from the first one, I was starting to feel hopeful. Then I put it on the bench and noticed that one of the corners of the base was smashed – seems like that wrinkle may have been where the blade of a forklift hit. So back on the phone with Amazon. This time there are none left in stock – actually there appear to be plenty, but the price has gone up, and they want to cut their losses and give me a refund. Not pleased this time…

I'm starting to wonder if the DW735 is really hard to ship by itself or if I'm just having spectacularly bad luck or what. I still want a planer, but I'm starting to doubt Amazon's ability to deliver. Any thoughts?

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Offline lwoirhaye

  • Posts: 245
Re: The Pros and Cons of Amazon
« Reply #1 on: November 06, 2018, 02:33 AM »
Anything that heavy and prone to damage from dropping is prone to shipping damage through common package carriers.  Workers don't know what they're dealing with when they see a box of a given size and heavy stuff gets manhandled as a result.


Offline kevinculle

  • Posts: 282
Re: The Pros and Cons of Amazon
« Reply #2 on: November 06, 2018, 08:19 AM »
Unless I could save at least 15% I would buy a large and heavy item like this locally rather than from Amazon. Your time is money and dealing with shipping damage issues takes time. At a dealer's store you can open the boxand check that everything looks good before carting it home.

Offline ChuckM

  • Posts: 1008
Re: The Pros and Cons of Amazon
« Reply #3 on: November 06, 2018, 10:40 AM »
Snip.

"but I'm starting to doubt Amazon's ability to deliver. Any thoughts?"

The weight itself will cause a delivery problem not just for Amazon, but for any vendor who relies on a courier service.

I will bite the bullet and buy from a local vendor even if there is a big price difference for any heavy and big machine. The SawStop, for example, was delivered to my door and rolled into my garage on a pallet. I would not trust Amazon or eBay or any online vendor for such a delivery job...and imagine the trouble of trying to return the 400lb machine later. Of course, some are not as lucky and have no local suppliers to deal with for some machines.

Offline Sparktrician

  • Posts: 3756
Re: The Pros and Cons of Amazon
« Reply #4 on: November 06, 2018, 11:30 AM »
My DW735X was delivered by UPS.  I met the truck at my driveway with my handtruck and all was good.  No damage whatsoever. 
- Willy -

 "Remember, a chip on the shoulder is a sure sign of wood higher up." - Brigham Young

Offline justaguy

  • Posts: 200
Re: The Pros and Cons of Amazon
« Reply #5 on: November 06, 2018, 11:36 AM »
UPS in my area tends to damage larger heavier items. I purchased a midi-lathe from Amazon and the first two were trashed. For the 3rd I upgraded to next day shipping which is typically FedEx for me. They delivered the lathe in pristine condition.

Since then I've been paying the Prime upgrade to next charges for larger and expensive items. I've not had an issue with FedEx deliveries.

Offline dlu

  • Posts: 158
Re: The Pros and Cons of Amazon
« Reply #6 on: November 06, 2018, 11:44 AM »
UPS in my area tends to damage larger heavier items. I purchased a midi-lathe from Amazon and the first two were trashed. For the 3rd I upgraded to next day shipping which is typically FedEx for me. They delivered the lathe in pristine condition.

Since then I've been paying the Prime upgrade to next charges for larger and expensive items. I've not had an issue with FedEx deliveries.

That's a trick worth remembering – I didn't even look to see what the upgrade would cost. I'll try it out and see who the carrier is around here.

Offline RustE

  • Posts: 354
Re: The Pros and Cons of Amazon
« Reply #7 on: November 06, 2018, 11:50 AM »
UPS in my area tends to damage everything...

Corrected it for you.

Offline Koamolly

  • Posts: 79
Re: The Pros and Cons of Amazon
« Reply #8 on: November 06, 2018, 11:54 AM »
I don’t know how they could make money on it giving me free freight to Hawaii, but I ordered the same planer from Amazon and it arrived in perfect shape.   I suspect most do otherwise Amazon would quit selling them.  Check reviews to see if many people have shipping issues.  I have ordered a few items that broke through the bubble envelopes and only received the envelope.  Amazon sent me new items. 

I ordered two Systainers of assorted dominos which didn’t arrive on time.  Amazon credited me back the cost of one for inconvenience.  When they didn’t arrive in another week, they credited me back for the other one also.  I paid for new order which they sent 2 day air.  Told me I could keep original order if they ever arrived.  I asked if they did arrive could I send new order back for refund, they said of course.  Turns out all four boxes arrived two days later.  They took back last order and refunded amount.  Needless to say I am happy with Amazon.

It seems Amazon's pricing has crept up a bit lately and now they charge tax, so need to check around a bit, or wait for a sale.  When I bought my Domino 700 from Toolnut, they had no tax and free shipping about a year ago.  Then switched to 10% shipping charge for Hawaii.  Now won’t ship to Hawaii.  So basically Amazon is about my only choice for free shipping on heavy items.  Or local, which Woodcraft is my only option.

Offline RussellS

  • Posts: 245
Re: The Pros and Cons of Amazon
« Reply #9 on: November 06, 2018, 03:24 PM »
It seems Amazon's pricing has crept up a bit lately and now they charge tax, so need to check around a bit, or wait for a sale.  When I bought my Domino 700 from Toolnut, they had no tax and free shipping about a year ago.  Then switched to 10% shipping charge for Hawaii.  Now won’t ship to Hawaii.  So basically Amazon is about my only choice for free shipping on heavy items.  Or local, which Woodcraft is my only option.

You ain't gonna get too much sympathy for having to suffer in Hawaii with tool deliveries.  The HIGH temp is about 40 for me today.  And going to get colder later this week.

Offline RussellS

  • Posts: 245
Re: The Pros and Cons of Amazon
« Reply #10 on: November 06, 2018, 03:28 PM »
I had a 60 inch LED TV delivered ten or so years ago.  Box was about 10 inches thick and about 6 feet diagonal.  100 pounds.  No problems with UPS wheeling it into my garage.  So I'd say its kind of luck of the draw whether big heavy packages are delivered right or wrong.  Irregardless of who is delivering.

Offline Sparktrician

  • Posts: 3756
Re: The Pros and Cons of Amazon
« Reply #11 on: November 06, 2018, 06:13 PM »
UPS in my area tends to damage larger heavier items. I purchased a midi-lathe from Amazon and the first two were trashed. For the 3rd I upgraded to next day shipping which is typically FedEx for me. They delivered the lathe in pristine condition.

Since then I've been paying the Prime upgrade to next charges for larger and expensive items. I've not had an issue with FedEx deliveries.

Just the opposite experience here.  UPS has done a great job as has FedEx Air, but FedEx Ground in this area is handled by a contractor that could screw up a steel ball with a rubber hammer.  They regularly go to the wrong address, then return the shipment to the origin, or don't even show up when they say they will.  It's so bad that I have to ask shippers to choose any method other than FedEx Ground, just to have some level of assurance that I'll actually get the delivery. 
- Willy -

 "Remember, a chip on the shoulder is a sure sign of wood higher up." - Brigham Young

Offline DeformedTree

  • Posts: 467
Re: The Pros and Cons of Amazon
« Reply #12 on: November 06, 2018, 10:10 PM »
Amazons business model was/is the classic of get them on the cheap (sell at loss) kill competition and or get folks so used to defaulting to them without looking at others.    The shipping has now what really bothers me.  Amazon is nearing loosing 10 billion a year in shipping since they don't charge what it cost to ship.  They want to get people hooked.  Yet it comes at human cost of workers, but also just bad service.  I bought a disconnect box recently thru them.  It was just tossed in a ziplock bag, nothing else, packaging that should be there gone, and then they tossed it loose in a box with other stuff I bought that isn't really stuff designed to travel with 5 lbs of steel bouncing around with it.  Also now even when you select the ~5day shipping, things are showing up  the next day,  even on weekend, order saturday and sunday some random van is tossing it at your house.  This is such a waste and needs to stop.  There is no need to waste such resources to get something here the next day.

Online shopping used to work on durable goods where you had no need to look at in person to inspect, you knew what it was. You might pay a lot for shipping, but if you couldn't get it local, it was just the way. On the plus side, it didn't get tossed thru the warehouse and shelves of the local store for the past 18 months.   But now as places try to speed up the shipping and cut the cost, even when you don't ask for that,  you have no idea how it might show up.

I'd like Amazon to even give an option where you demand they ship it normal shipping thru UPS/Fedex etc.  Not have it shipped in the back of a 15 year old hatchback by someone getting paid effectively less than min wage leaving in front of your door at 2am.

Offline Cheese

  • Posts: 5912
Re: The Pros and Cons of Amazon
« Reply #13 on: November 07, 2018, 01:16 AM »
...but FedEx Ground in this area is handled by a contractor that could screw up a steel ball with a rubber hammer.

LOL...

Offline dlu

  • Posts: 158
Re: The Pros and Cons of Amazon
« Reply #14 on: November 08, 2018, 10:44 PM »
Third time is a charm - Amazon kindly didn't push back too hard on my request that they honor the initial price and they sent out a third DW735. This one survived the journey...

I now have some extensive experience with the (semi) natural variation of DW735. This will be the only one that I have actually run wood through – it didn't feel right to use ones that I knew I was going to return. Bit it is interesting to me how much variation there was in the height adjustment mechanism. Adjusting this one will actually be a pleasure, the second one was adjustable, but it was a chore, and the first one didn't adjust. I'm wondering now if the second one also had misaligned posts.

Now, off to figuring out dust collection!

Offline grbmds

  • Posts: 1880
Re: The Pros and Cons of Amazon
« Reply #15 on: November 09, 2018, 02:36 PM »
I know places like Woodcraft get a bad rap sometimes. However, I have one within an hour of my house that has never let me down. When it comes to buying equipment like the 735 or an 8" jointer or a bandsaw, they are always my first contact. Sometimes I do have to pay more but, in the end, if there is a problem they are always there to support me if something is wrong (which it rarely is). I still find it the best to see the piece of equipment before you actually buy it, but then I'm "old" and that is the way I bought everything until the internet came along. I have bought all my Festools from this Woodcraft store with the exception of a few I bought from Bob Marino (but then he is a step above many online retailers). Price is a big thing but not everything. If I had to replace my 735 after 10 years of use, I'd almost certainly go to Woodcraft in Madison, Wisconsin and buy there. That way I could actually see it before I bought it.
Randy

Offline harry_

  • Posts: 1264
Re: The Pros and Cons of Amazon
« Reply #16 on: December 27, 2018, 07:03 PM »
Last year I purchased a Bosch miter saw stand via Amazon. Loved it so much I bought one for my other saw.

What did they ship? A crib/day bed.

Worked out the return/replace online. painless.

What did they ship? The identical crib/day bed.

Searched high and low for a customer service phone number so I could speak with a human. Finally managed it. Was told they would ship from a different distribution center. Eventually I got what I ordered and they did give a 'sweetener' (can't recall what it was) to make up for the error(s).

All in all, since there was no real urgency on my part I found the ordeal to be more humorous than painful. As I always have the same UPS driver, we both got a good laugh out of this since it took 4 trips to get me the right product. (I happened to be home when the when the 2nd day bed was to be delivered which I refused, and when the actual stand was delivered)


To touch on a couple things from upthread:

I realise that the folks working in the RDC's handle countless boxes in a day, but it seems to me that it should have been painfully obvious that what was being shipped was not what was ordered. The shipping label CLEARLY  said "Bosch Saw Stand". The box CLEARLY said "crib/day bed".

If you don't pay the help well enough to care, they certainly won't.

Woodcraft: My local one is 45 minutes away. Which is not bad but I rarely head in that direction or journey that far when I do. When it comes to Festool, and they are getting better, but they usually don't have in stock what I went in there for. ALWAYS willing to order it for me but will not drop ship. The franchisee really needs to work this out with corporate. As I ALWAYS tell them no. I am fully capable of ordering something and I will get is at least a week sooner if I do. The store (presumably) needs to wait until they place their regular order, then I have to hope that their RDC has it in stock, else they (meaning I) have to wait until they have enough to order from Festool.  If the store does the ordering, I will get it in no less than a week, ever. Usually well into the third (sometimes fourth) week.
Disclaimer: This post is for educational and entertainment purposes only. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead is purely coincidental. Void where prohibited. Some assembly required. Batteries not included. Contents may settle during shipment. Use only as directed. No other warranty expressed or implied. This is not an offer to sell securities. May be too intense for some viewers. No user-serviceable parts inside. Subject to change without notice. One size fits all (very poorly).

Offline TealaG

  • Posts: 109
Re: The Pros and Cons of Amazon
« Reply #17 on: January 01, 2019, 11:44 AM »
Man...I love Amazon.  But I've had my run ins with them.  I bought a 'slightly damaged' drill press table.   They sent a router table.   I explained "DRILL PRESS TABLE", not "router table".   They said, no problem.   I then received a router table again.   I told them "Look, you've sent me a router table again...I asked for a drill press table".  They said "No problem, we'll have them inspect carefully this time".   So, what did I receive?   A router table with a huge label that said "router table".   I didn't bother opening it because I didn't want to repack it.   I gave up and decided that they must have never had a drill press table...they only had router tables.   No wonder there were so many returns...

I bought a refurb Bosch Miter saw.  You know, the huge, heavy one with "robot" arm?   You should have seen how badly that was packed.   Luckily, it's been working fine, no problems.    I'm convinced that these products are not packaged for individual shipping.   They are intended to be palletted and brought into a store.   So yeah, it's no wonder that so many arrive damaged if you buy one at a time. 

I admit that I did buy a Jet drill press on Amazon, but it was brought on a truck with a lift and the dude rolled it to the garage on a pallet.   That worked out just fine, no regrets.   But if you're having UPS/Fedex bring it by...who knows.


Offline ilovesunshine

  • Posts: 82
Re: The Pros and Cons of Amazon
« Reply #18 on: January 09, 2019, 07:54 PM »
Amazons business model was/is the classic of get them on the cheap (sell at loss) kill competition and or get folks so used to defaulting to them without looking at others.    The shipping has now what really bothers me.  Amazon is nearing loosing 10 billion a year in shipping since they don't charge what it cost to ship.  They want to get people hooked.  Yet it comes at human cost of workers, but also just bad service.  I bought a disconnect box recently thru them.  It was just tossed in a ziplock bag, nothing else, packaging that should be there gone, and then they tossed it loose in a box with other stuff I bought that isn't really stuff designed to travel with 5 lbs of steel bouncing around with it.  Also now even when you select the ~5day shipping, things are showing up  the next day,  even on weekend, order saturday and sunday some random van is tossing it at your house.  This is such a waste and needs to stop.  There is no need to waste such resources to get something here the next day.

Online shopping used to work on durable goods where you had no need to look at in person to inspect, you knew what it was. You might pay a lot for shipping, but if you couldn't get it local, it was just the way. On the plus side, it didn't get tossed thru the warehouse and shelves of the local store for the past 18 months.   But now as places try to speed up the shipping and cut the cost, even when you don't ask for that,  you have no idea how it might show up.

I'd like Amazon to even give an option where you demand they ship it normal shipping thru UPS/Fedex etc.  Not have it shipped in the back of a 15 year old hatchback by someone getting paid effectively less than min wage leaving in front of your door at 2am.

Well said and totally agree plus US govt gives $1.40 credit to amazon per order shipped via US mail - why?! This should stop too! I won’t use amazon. You’re spot on, lure people in, kill competition then raise prices all the while treating their workers despicably. I don’t generally like the BBC either but this is relevant 
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-25034598

Please all of you do all you can to avoid Amazon.


Offline JimH2

  • Posts: 765
Re: The Pros and Cons of Amazon
« Reply #19 on: January 17, 2019, 06:54 PM »
I can't get worked up of their costs or how their business model. I buy from their for several reasons: great customers service, quick shipping (no time wasted driving around), large variety and no hassle returns. Note that price is not on the list. There are times I have paid more for the convenience of not having to do anything to get an item.

The only issue I have ever had was with a Fuf ($100 gigantic bean bag except filled with foam) I bought as a gift. It comes in a 12" cube box with plastic strapping and is basically a slow release bomb. Once released that cubic foot expands to close to 4' x 4' x 3'. Within a few days the side blew out. I requested a return which they agreed to. I was hoping they would just ship me a new one which they did many years ago for a different damaged item. I use the online chat to plead to not have to ship it back as it was impractical, I made it clear there was no way it was going back in the original box or any box that I had in the house, as I had no way to compress it. I said I needed $20 to buy a box and packing materials which they credited my account for. I bought a wardrobe box from UHaul and nylon strapping tape. I got it in there and then with a lot of help was able to strap the box shut though it started to reshape itself into a giant football. Dropped it off at UPS and never looked back. New one arrived two days later.

Offline sparty

  • Posts: 5
Re: The Pros and Cons of Amazon
« Reply #20 on: January 17, 2019, 07:02 PM »
I read these experiences, then think about all the "verified Purchase" reviews on Amazon for Powermatic and Grizzly machines, and think ....how did they pull off that delivery?

As many have said, anything over 50-60 lbs in shipping weight, I buy locally, or see if I can get the shipped to store option. I bought a decent WEN drill press and a Hitachi 12" compound miter this way. Costs were within a few dollars of Amazon's then best price.


Offline RKA

  • Posts: 1570
Re: The Pros and Cons of Amazon
« Reply #21 on: January 17, 2019, 07:27 PM »
I read these experiences, then think about all the "verified Purchase" reviews on Amazon for Powermatic and Grizzly machines, and think ....how did they pull off that delivery?

As many have said, anything over 50-60 lbs in shipping weight, I buy locally, or see if I can get the shipped to store option. I bought a decent WEN drill press and a Hitachi 12" compound miter this way. Costs were within a few dollars of Amazon's then best price.

Completely different scenario when you’re talking about floor standing machines.  Those items are shipped via a freight carrier on a pallet.  If there is an issue, call Amazon and they will get a new machine out.  The incidence of damage is much lower than the usual suspects.  A miter saw though, that’s going via UPS, so yeah, flip a coin.  At a minimum the box will be damaged. 
-Raj