Author Topic: How can people not shop at Amazon?  (Read 4896 times)

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Offline ChuckM

  • Posts: 1190
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: 1804
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: 749
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: 1888
  • 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: 1256
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: 1096
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: 185
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: 1190
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: 1190
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: 1256
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.
-----
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Offline six-point socket II

  • Posts: 1032
  • 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: 530
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: 530
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: 1032
  • 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: 197
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: 6078
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: 1032
  • 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: 321
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: 1986
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: 6078
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
TSOproducts.com

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Offline DeformedTree

  • Posts: 559
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: 559
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: 1256
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.
-----
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Offline ChuckM

  • Posts: 1190
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: 540
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: 1986
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: 559
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: 1986
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: 1190
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.