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Thread: Another reason to buy your books locally

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    Default Another reason to buy your books locally

     

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    Default Re: Another reason to buy your books locally

    The tip of the iceberg.

    AMZ has avoided the true costs of running a retail business - They do not curate or assort fully validated products that they are willing to stand behind, and service accordingly.

    The policy of assorting everything, by default, makes it increasingly difficult to identify quality goods from quality sellers - as well as adding confusion re: delivery time - and adding endless 3rd party email asking for seller feedback and/or item feedback - without providing the ability for consumers to specify granular search preferences (e.g., 1st party only), granular communication preferences (no surveys, no feedback requests, no 3rd party seller communication, etc.).

    There are instances of commingled inventory, i.e., "genuine" products sold by real brands ("vendors"), commingled with inventory from 3rd parties ("sellers") - as a consumer you have no idea what you're getting.

    When consumers return products to Amazon for any reason, a significant percentage of returns are simply destroyed, however a large quantity of returns, particularly higher value items, are resold. A percentage of these returns are deemed new and resold by Amazon as new (illegal, but it can be hard to document this activity). Another percentage is resold as open box in "Warehouse Deals". That's fine, and there are some very good deals in there. A further percentage of those products are actually defective yet resold anyway because AMZ does not inspect or validate returns with any rigor, which in turn leads to another consumer return - no problem, Amazon makes it easy to return stuff! And yet another percentage of this stuff is liquidated by Amazon to secondary markets - which frequently leads to 3rd party sellers who resell the same stuff at, you guessed it, Amazon. Where the returned goods can commingle with new vendor inventory, yet again.

    Some of these comments may seem anecdotal or speculative, but this activity absolutely happens. The frequency depends on how individual items are distributed in the larger market, how they are sold to Amazon, the relative scarcity/supply of the item, and endemic return rates.

    It is possible to negotiate non-commingled terms with Amazon - for a fee. It is also possible to use Amazon tools such as Brand Registry to report trademark and counterfeit violations.

    However as a consumer you're better off simply buying the item at a retailer that doesn't operate a 3rd party marketplace. Best Buy, Target, CVS come to mind.

    New Egg, Rakuten, and increasingly Walmart - all operate marketplaces like Amazon. It's the wild west, and unless you take care during the checkout process, you may or may not be buying genuine merchandise directly from the apparent retailer...

    I don't think this genie is going back in the bottle any time soon, because Amazon is no longer a retailer - AWS dwarfs the retail business in terms of global scope, impact, margin - you name it.

    However consumer perception is key - and consumers will start to notice all the ways that Amazon and other marketplace operators are not, in fact, service oriented - or quality oriented - or even particularly efficient for that matter.

    At some point the street will figure out that retail is a massive drag on Amazon's overall business, and I for one will not be surprised when major changes come to Amazon's retail business.

    Buyer beware.

    As Steve said, shop local whenever possible.

    The "Prime" appeal is strong, but it comes with costs that has been largely overlooked so far.

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    Default Re: Another reason to buy your books locally

    Quote Originally Posted by TTX1 View Post

    However as a consumer you're better off simply buying the item at a retailer that doesn't operate a 3rd party marketplace. Best Buy, Target, CVS come to mind.
    Yes, but i think most consumers buy with some form of the risk/reward concept in mind.

    For general household items, the risk is so small that you will get counterfeit items or whatever that it's simply "worth it" to shop based on price alone, and their return situation is so easy, there is practically zero risk, other than timing if you need it now.

    If you are making a significant purchase, the risk is larger and the increased cost from buying from a trusted vendor is easier to justify.

    If you are a doctor, and making medical decisions based on the books in your library - you would have to be a little looney to shop for such tools on a lowest cost basis.

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    Default Re: Another reason to buy your books locally

    I'm in BFE, AZ (Kingman) and live on Prime. My alternatives are Walmart and Walmart. I could drive an hour to a Target in Bullhead City or 90 minutes to Henderson, NV or two hours to Flagstaff.
    Weight Doper

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    Default Re: Another reason to buy your books locally

    It may be difficult to go backwards. The convenience of amazon is unrivaled as is the selection. Same day delivery on about 80% of the items I purchase. 1-2 delivery on the other items. The reviews provide more insight than any unmotivated high school kid could. Returns are a block away at the Amazon locker, same for the ups store for items from 3rd party sellers.

    Less driving, more convenience, better pricing......I can hardly wait until amazon figures out how to do the same for groceries.
     

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    Default Re: Another reason to buy your books locally

    Quote Originally Posted by TTX1 View Post
    .....There are instances of commingled inventory, i.e., "genuine" products sold by real brands ("vendors"), commingled with inventory from 3rd parties ("sellers") - as a consumer you have no idea what you're getting.

    When consumers return products to Amazon for any reason, a significant percentage of returns are simply destroyed, however a large quantity of returns, particularly higher value items, are resold. A percentage of these returns are deemed new and resold by Amazon as new (illegal, but it can be hard to document this activity). Another percentage is resold as open box in "Warehouse Deals". That's fine, and there are some very good deals in there. A further percentage of those products are actually defective yet resold anyway because AMZ does not inspect or validate returns with any rigor, which in turn leads to another consumer return - no problem, Amazon makes it easy to return stuff! And yet another percentage of this stuff is liquidated by Amazon to secondary markets - which frequently leads to 3rd party sellers who resell the same stuff at, you guessed it, Amazon. Where the returned goods can commingle with new vendor inventory, yet again.

    Some of these comments may seem anecdotal or speculative, but this activity absolutely happens. The frequency depends on how individual items are distributed in the larger market, how they are sold to Amazon, the relative scarcity/supply of the item, and endemic return rates....
    I have been burned by the "commingled" inventory several times and as a result I return the items. I have called customer service and their standard answer is "place another order". After a few cycles of this nonsense over a few months, I received a nasty email form Amazon stating that my return rate was too high. When I explained that it was because they kept sending me counterfeit or damaged third party products even though I chose Amazon as the seller, they simply told me that if I do not lower my "purchase to return percentage" that they will close my account.
     

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    Default Re: Another reason to buy your books locally

    Quote Originally Posted by Dallas Tex View Post

    Less driving, more convenience, better pricing......I can hardly wait until amazon figures out how to do the same for groceries.
    Amazon bought Whole Paycheck, quality of items is down, some better quality stuff has disappeared completely,
    now I have to add another stop to the Saturday shopping loop.

    Amazon is the New Ma Bell, I'll let Ernestine explain.....

    Ernestine: A gracious hello. Here at the Phone Company, we handle eighty-four billion calls a year.
    Serving everyone from presidents and kings to the scum of the earth.
    So, we realize that, every so often, you can’t get an operator, or for no apparent reason your phone goes out of order,
    or perhaps you get charged for a call you didn’t make. We don’t care!

    Watch this… [ she hits buttons maniacally ] We just lost Peoria.

    You see, this phone system consists of a multibillion-dollar matrix of space age technology that is so sophisticated
    — [ she hits buttons with her elbows ] even we can’t handle it. But that’s your problem, isn’t it?
    So, the next time you complain about your phone service, why don’t you try using two Dixie cups with a string?
    We don’t care. We don’t have to. We’re the Phone Company.
     

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    Default Re: Another reason to buy your books locally

    The damage is done. Difficult to find good deals now. They will keep raising prices and customers will have no options.
     

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    Default Re: Another reason to buy your books locally

    Quote Originally Posted by NYCfixie View Post
    I have been burned by the "commingled" inventory several times and as a result I return the items. I have called customer service and their standard answer is "place another order". After a few cycles of this nonsense over a few months, I received a nasty email form Amazon stating that my return rate was too high. When I explained that it was because they kept sending me counterfeit or damaged third party products even though I chose Amazon as the seller, they simply told me that if I do not lower my "purchase to return percentage" that they will close my account.
    Next time you speak with someone, ask to escalate to a supervisor or manager. Do not take no for an answer.

    Their dronebots don't go off script easily.

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    Default Re: Another reason to buy your books locally

    Quote Originally Posted by TTX1 View Post
    Next time you speak with someone, ask to escalate to a supervisor or manager. Do not take no for an answer.

    Their dronebots don't go off script easily.
    Or just tell them to pound sand. Nothing on Amazon can't be found somewhere else, either online or at a bricks and mortar.
     

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    Default Re: Another reason to buy your books locally

    Quote Originally Posted by Matthew Strongin View Post
    Or just tell them to pound sand. Nothing on Amazon can't be found somewhere else, either online or at a bricks and mortar.
    And often at lower prices. I am still amazed that most household products (i.e. toilet paper, bath soap, laundry detergent) are still cheaper locally (i.e. CVS, Stop and Shop) even before one uses coupons. Unlike many, Amazon and Prime have not necessarily made our lives easier and saved us any real money, if at all.

    I have found Amazon (or eBay) helpful as third party marketplaces for obscure things that I might need such as an SSD hard drive cage for an HP Folio 9470m laptop because I wanted to have both an M.2 "SSD on a card" as well as a larger 2.5" SSD all within the laptop.
     

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    Default Re: Another reason to buy your books locally

    If I skip a local retailer, it's straight to the maker or to an online retailer who actually knows what they sell. Amazon is evil. Banal, but still evil, because it's a race to the bottom, and our obsession with "cheap" is feeding a monster that makes life incrementally easier for those of us with money, but monumentally worse for those who aren't as fortunate to have their hard work rewarded.
     

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    Default Re: Another reason to buy your books locally

    Quote Originally Posted by ericpmoss View Post
    ...because it's a race to the bottom, and our obsession with "cheap" is feeding a monster...

    Walmart is who brought "cheap" Asian sourced goods to this country in bulk and Americans could not get enough of it. Unfortunately those very same people that are buying those cheap goods are also the ones complaining that manufacturing jobs are going (or have gone) overseas. I know this is very much an oversimplification of the issue but cheap goods can only be made in countries with cheap labor and that is why we are in this predicament.

    Amazon is the one who is trying to make everything more "inexpensive" whether a quality item or a "cheap" one. This is cutting margins even further for everyone and why many employers, Amazon included, cannot offer their employees benefits or even a living wage. Again, I fully understand that I am oversimplifying a more complicated and nuanced issue (and some might say that corporate greed is a bigger factor in all of this but corporate greed has been around forever yet Amazon is relatively new when you consider retailing in this country).

    *None of this is meant to be a political statement
     

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    Default Re: Another reason to buy your books locally

    I don't think you are oversimplifying at all. The #1 thing for both Walmart and Amazon is cutting margins. Walmart treats truckers like absolute hammered shit, just to cut a few cents off. Even that Nazi Henry Ford knew that one should pay a living wage if one expects to have a decent society.

    Edit: as for "political", I only take issue with rank partisanship, not statements about underlying issues.
     

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    Default Re: Another reason to buy your books locally

    Quote Originally Posted by NYCfixie View Post
    Walmart is who brought "cheap" Asian sourced goods to this country in bulk and Americans could not get enough of it. Unfortunately those very same people that are buying those cheap goods are also the ones complaining that manufacturing jobs are going (or have gone) overseas. I know this is very much an oversimplification of the issue but cheap goods can only be made in countries with cheap labor and that is why we are in this predicament.
    Yup. Its not an oversimplification. My radar goes off when I hear 'oversimplification, its more nuanced.....' Read Elizabeth Warren's 'Economic Nationalism' paper if you have an interest in this sort of thing. Its fantastic.
    Glenn Thompson
    "More Frame, less Seatpost"

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    Default Re: Another reason to buy your books locally

    Quote Originally Posted by Dallas Tex View Post
    Read Elizabeth Warren's 'Economic Nationalism' paper if you have an interest in this sort of thing. Its fantastic.
    Is this it? A Plan For Economic Patriotism by Team Warren

    TH
     

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    Default Re: Another reason to buy your books locally

    Quote Originally Posted by thollandpe View Post
    YES. Iím not a one issue voter, but if i were THIS IS IT. Please read & comment. I wish EVERY candidate & our current president were on this same page.
     

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    Default Re: Another reason to buy your books locally

    Quote Originally Posted by Dallas Tex View Post
    It may be difficult to go backwards. The convenience of amazon is unrivaled as is the selection. Same day delivery on about 80% of the items I purchase. 1-2 delivery on the other items. The reviews provide more insight than any unmotivated high school kid could. Returns are a block away at the Amazon locker, same for the ups store for items from 3rd party sellers.

    Less driving, more convenience, better pricing......I can hardly wait until amazon figures out how to do the same for groceries.
    Unfortunately I think this is exactly right. We're not going back. I believe social media has really greased the wheels of the old "keeping up with the Joneses" principal, driving our insatiable desire for more crap at rock bottom prices. There is enormous social pressure to appear to have all the things deemed appropriate for your age and demographic, and it's all a click away. It's a sickness and it isn't going to end well at this rate.
     

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    Default Re: Another reason to buy your books locally

    I think that train left the station. Big money is not going to let that happen.
    The attacks are already out there.
     

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    Default Re: Another reason to buy your books locally

    Quote Originally Posted by thollandpe View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Dallas Tex View Post
    YES. Iím not a one issue voter, but if i were THIS IS IT. Please read & comment. I wish EVERY candidate & our current president were on this same page.
    I believe we are having a ďfuck yeahĒ moment.

    Itís not a question of more government or less government. Itís about who government works for.
    Last edited by thollandpe; 3 Weeks Ago at 07:19 PM.
     

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