It’s a retailing 300lb guerrilla, or a retailing elephant. Hmmm, no a retailing juggernaut…..You get my drift. Who hasn’t purchased from Amazon.com yet?
I’m sure there’s some old guy in rural Alabama for whom the internet is some vague foreign entity who’s saying “Amazon, isn’t that in the rain forest? Why would I shop there???”
A business as successful as Amazon is going to attract it’s detractors. I almost used ‘attract it’s haters‘, but that’s so overdone, like, why would I be so, like predictable….
I enjoyed reading this great article at Smart Money about the Ten Things Amazon Won’t Tell You. Articles like this are fun to read. So tongue in cheek.
Amazon is such a smart marketing company, they’re probably right now hiding in Jeff Bezos’ basement doing opposition type research about their own company. I promise there is no chance they’ll be confessing their shortcomings on The View anytime soon.
I thought it’d be fun to check out this list of 10 things Amazon won’t tell you, with a little commentary from little old me, and a bonus. Drawn from my own extensive experience shopping at Amazon.com, of course.
In the spirit of full disclosure, I do sell my book on Amazon. And one day, I’m going to take the time to get it ready for a Kindle version….
10 Things (plus one) Amazon doesn’t want you to know, highly edited….
- Customer reviews: Amazon gets criticized for reviews that may trend towards the favorable. I’m very skeptical of reviews, ’cause what are the chances that my tastes in books or products will match another customer? I read them for specific comments about products or books-did it deliver as promised? Just the thing some people may hate, may make me love a book or product. I read the reviews and then make my own judgement whether to purchase. If in doubt, I check out reviews at other sites.
- Kindle Fire customers are unhappy-Having bought two Apple products in the past 12 months, it’s understandable that many Fire customers move up to the Apple product when they can afford it. Don’t buy either one unless you have all your financial ducks trained to quack when you say jump, or whatever. You know what I mean. All tablets are a luxury, though they can improve your productivity when you are doing non-productive stuff. (yes I know I’m funny….)
- You’ll spend more on ebooks if you own an e-reader. Duhhh. Ebooks are tough to read without an e-reader, so….of course you’ll spend more on them. Bu,t will you spend more on ebooks than you did on old fashioned books? It certainly is easy to do, you gotta give Amazon credit. That one touch purchase thing is cool for us time starved professionals….But I haven’t spent more. I’ve read the hell out of free ebooks though. Just finished Dicken’s Bleak House, which has a lot of wonderful things to say about lawyers and the legal system in mid 1800′s. It’s amazing how some things haven’t changed in 160 years…. I bet Bezos would agree with that.
- Free shipping makes you spend more. Again, if you are a spendaholic, anything that makes it easier to spend money may contribute to your addiction. As long as you compare prices with and without shipping at several online sites and at your local retailer, go for it. If you’re are a shopping addict, Amazon will certainly help you make your poor choices faster….
- Misleading “list” prices. All retailers highlight the top price they can find when they discount or put something on sale. It’s been done since I worked in retailing 40 years ago, and probably was done in Dicken’s time. Don’t be fooled. Spend a moment to find the best price and buy only what you need. Then the word “discount” doesn’t matter.
- Amazon hurts Mom and Pop stores. Big box book stores and Wal-Mart hurt mom and pop stores well before Amazon started hurting Best Buy and Borders. That’s called competition. If you value a local store, go there, buy there and don’t complain there about the high prices. But if you aren’t willing to spend extra yourself to keep mom and pop open, quit whining.
- Poor working conditions: What do Apple, Amazon and Wal-Mart have in common? A big Target on their back for anyone who wants to pick on them.
- Amazon knows a lot about you. Yep, this is a big surprise! not. You buy books, electronics, and most anything else you can think of through their site, they will know more about you than your spouse. I would expect no less, especially if I was a stock-holder. I think they are smart enough to use that information judiciously. If not the same people that call them out about #7 will let us know loud and clear.
- Their “recommendations” sometimes suck: Well do they know everything, or don’t they? I suspect as soon as they can figure out an algorithm that will predict when we go to the bathroom or need to brush our teeth, they’ll use it. Until then, they’re just guessing. Good guesses though, because of #8.
- Amazon doesn’t have the best prices: Whew, there is a reason for retailing to continue. Until Amazon beats every price every time, there remains a reason for the other retailers of the world to get out of bed.
- They don’t sell enough The Millionaire Nurse books. This probably should be reason #1, but because I’m humble, I left it down here. I’m sure when they read this they’ll call with a new marketing campaign. I’m ready to be on The View any time…
Do you like Amazon? Do you buy more eBooks than you bought real books? Do you think we really landed on the moon?
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