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Author Topic: Amazon.com == AMAZING!  (Read 7305 times)
Josh
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« on: March 03, 2010, 02:04:18 PM »

I just wanted to start a short topic to say how thoroughly impressed I am with Amazon.com for so many reasons.

The top two which stick out are the following:

AMAZON PRIME: This is a fantastic idea for someone who does a lot of shopping online. For 79 a year, USD, you get free 2nd day shipping on items that are prime eligible with an optional upgrade of 3.99 per item for next day air. This is awesome and has saved me a ton of money. I recently placed an order for 1300 dollars worth of gym equipment and found that I only paid shipping on the floor mats which were not sold by amazon in any way shape or form. This is an awesome deal. This included 320lbs of weights which were prime eligible.

Second:

Pre-order price guarantee: This just hit me today. I ordered where the wild things are on blu-ray and paid 23.49 for it at a pre-order price. Well, the disc delivered yesterday and today I got notice of a refund coming my way for 3.50 USD as the price had lowered to 19.99.

These are just two of the latest examples of why I love amazon.com and will continue to shop there. I have had no hiccups with them and every experience has been positive, even with their marketplace merchants.

Just had to share.
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mouser
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« Reply #1 on: March 03, 2010, 02:16:28 PM »

I am also a long time and big fan of amazon.com; wherever possible i order from them.

Their shipping (especially prime) is extremely fast, and their return policy is excellent.

I do think josh is going too far in talking about the savings of free shipping when ordering heavy items; when you order something from an online-only store, and they are willing to give you free shipping on a very heavy item, you can bet that heavy items are already priced to include most of the shipping costs.  The only sensible way to compare the savings when using amazon prime (which is like $79 a year) is to look at how much you would pay if you ordered through amazon, but without Prime.

Amazon Prime is, however, great for impatient people since you do get free upgrades to 2 day delivery and cheaper overnight delivery].
« Last Edit: March 03, 2010, 02:46:58 PM by mouser » Logged
JavaJones
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« Reply #2 on: March 03, 2010, 02:18:39 PM »

They also have good return policies that, in my experience, are honored without fuss (e.g. I returned a $1000 dSLR simply because it turned out to not be what I wanted). I'm a relatively big fan of Amazon in general, and have been pleasantly surprised at the effectiveness of their expansion into non-book items (and now that they sell so much non-book stuff, it's those items I purchase in the majority). I'm not so happy about some of Amazon's treatment of patents related to what they do, and there are a few other issues like e-book policies, and on-demand print publishing restrictions (you kind of have to use their vendor, who is more expensive than the competition). But on the flip side is leadership in DRM-free MP3s and pricing.

So yeah, Amazon is pretty cool. That being said I don't trust them to always stay that way, and I won't get too complacent with them as one of the better retailers.

P.S. Prime is great for last-minute shipping of gift items, hehe.

- Oshyan
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Josh
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« Reply #3 on: March 03, 2010, 02:40:05 PM »

When comparing prices of the items I ordered, the weights, etc, with other sites, Amazon was by far the cheapest, on the weights by $75 USD. As such, even if they included shipping there, which I don't know that they would as that varies with every freight company, it is still a fantastic deal.

BTW Mousey, thanks for shooting me down ;-) Now I will make sure your back never stops hurting!
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« Reply #4 on: March 03, 2010, 03:19:06 PM »

I'm a big Amazon fan too.  I can almost always find something that meets my needs and comes with the free Super-Saver shipping option.  The extra couple of shipping days isn't normally a problem.
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Carol Haynes
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« Reply #5 on: March 03, 2010, 03:37:50 PM »

I use Amazon a lot (in the UK) and have a Prime subscription (£49 in the UK but is next day delivery). It is pretty good value and even heavy items are mostly better priced at Amazon than other online retailers even without taking shipping into account.

My only very minor gripes with Amazon are:

  • They have introduced a new feedback system in the UK which means if you leave honest feedback the seller can trash you with no ability to respond or have the offending item removed. For example I gave a seller a 3 star neautral rating because it took them 2 weeks to get round to posting the item and 5 days after that to get it delivered. In response I got a feedback as a buyer of 1 star "Awful" even though my only contact was a request for information. Amazon were unhelpful in the extreme.
  • They sometimes use a courier for quick delivery which is admirable but the delivery options are non-existent and I can't afford to wait in all day to receive a cheap DVD. The courier refuse to leave items (even when they fit through the letter box) with someone signing for the item and they won't accept a pre-signed sticky label. Amazon don't offer any help with this. Personally for cheap items I would rather have the option to opt out and wait an extra day for the normal post.
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« Reply #6 on: March 03, 2010, 03:41:04 PM »

If only these cool deals where available to Norway Sad

But whenever I've used Amazon, delivery time and everything has been excellent. Would use it more if shipping was better, but that's not a complaint, it's quite understandable.
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« Reply #7 on: March 03, 2010, 11:57:10 PM »

There is so much pilfering at our Post Offices, that Amazon charges a very hefty fee for delivery here.... A R100  DVD costs R500! Yikes... ohmy
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« Reply #8 on: March 04, 2010, 09:42:39 AM »

I use Amazon quite often, for CDs and books only, but...
Amazon-Visa, Prime, and MP3s cannot be purchased from outside of USA/UK.
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« Reply #9 on: March 04, 2010, 02:50:55 PM »

Wow, I guess I am the only dissenter here....

I can't stand Amazon.  I used to love them for many of the same reasons you choose, but I have since learned to hate them for the following reasons:

  • Few, if any, items they sell are actually sold by Amazon.  Instead, they are a gateway for other stores, not unlike Ebay.  They do not, however, generally make this obvious or well known.
  • Frequently when I tried to order something that is supposedly in stock, I get confirmation, then, a few days later a cancellation because the object wasn't in stock.  I realize this isn't directly Amazon's fault since they are not the store, but it is problematic when you are trying to find and buy a specific item - I mean not so much as an email asking how to proceed, just a flat out cancel!   thumb down
  • Lastly, if you are looking for information about something, particularly technical or specific details, you might as well go somewhere else - you won't find it here.  It is a search to find something that *might* fit, then another search (via google) to find details, then a search back at Amazon just to buy it from someone else.  For all that annoyance, I will just go to the manufacturer, find exactly what I want, then Bing or Fruggle it to find the best price.  If Amazon happens to be it, good for them, but I am no longer looking there.

Enough of my rant though, I do see what many see in them, particularly for books and/or music.  However, I rarely buy these items and if I do, it is rarely online.  Those are impulse buy types of things for me.  So as for me, adios Amazon....
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Carol Haynes
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« Reply #10 on: March 04, 2010, 03:32:49 PM »

Wow, I guess I am the only dissenter here....

I can't stand Amazon.  I used to love them for many of the same reasons you choose, but I have since learned to hate them for the following reasons:

  • Few, if any, items they sell are actually sold by Amazon.  Instead, they are a gateway for other stores, not unlike Ebay.  They do not, however, generally make this obvious or well known.
  • Frequently when I tried to order something that is supposedly in stock, I get confirmation, then, a few days later a cancellation because the object wasn't in stock.  I realize this isn't directly Amazon's fault since they are not the store, but it is problematic when you are trying to find and buy a specific item - I mean not so much as an email asking how to proceed, just a flat out cancel!   thumb down
  • Lastly, if you are looking for information about something, particularly technical or specific details, you might as well go somewhere else - you won't find it here.  It is a search to find something that *might* fit, then another search (via google) to find details, then a search back at Amazon just to buy it from someone else.  For all that annoyance, I will just go to the manufacturer, find exactly what I want, then Bing or Fruggle it to find the best price.  If Amazon happens to be it, good for them, but I am no longer looking there.

Enough of my rant though, I do see what many see in them, particularly for books and/or music.  However, I rarely buy these items and if I do, it is rarely online.  Those are impulse buy types of things for me.  So as for me, adios Amazon....

Must be a different Amazon to the one I am used to ...

Every listed product says "Sold by ..." near the top of the page and I would say that 95% of products I have looked at (that are still in production) are sold by Amazon (at least in the UK).

I much prefer Marketplace Sellers on Amazon to eBay simply because Amazon actually do support the customer if something goes wrong (rarely in my experience and you look at the seller ratings). I have used the A-Z guarantee on a few occasions (over the last 10 years) when something hasn't turned up in the quoted time frame and Amazon have refunded the money without question usually within 24 hours and with a grovelling apology.

No shop site has 100% accurate information on every product but I do find Amazon has a reasonable description and technical info on products and if they get something wrong it is pretty straightforward to get it corrected.

I am not an apologist for Amazon but I do find Prime delivery in the UK is pretty impressive (eg. I ordered a box set of books yesterday at 7pm, it was delivered today at 2.30pm - 19.5 hours from placing the order to getting it in my hands). They are also the only seller I have ever come across that will send out a replacement for a faulty item whilst waiting for the damaged item to be returned (damage usually caused in transit or the fault of the manufacturer - eg. I bought a laptop and the touchpad didn't work - I had the replacement within 24 hours and they sent a courier to collect the faulty goods on a day of my choosing).

They aren't perfect by any means but they make a good stab at it and are prompt with customer support (even calling you back within a few minutes when you ask them to online).
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« Reply #11 on: March 04, 2010, 03:45:39 PM »

Quote
Frequently when I tried to order something that is supposedly in stock, I get confirmation, then, a few days later a cancellation because the object wasn't in stock.  I realize this isn't directly Amazon's fault since they are not the store, but it is problematic when you are trying to find and buy a specific item - I mean not so much as an email asking how to proceed, just a flat out cancel!

Over hundreds of transactions, that has never happened to me.  Not once.


Quote
Lastly, if you are looking for information about something, particularly technical or specific details, you might as well go somewhere else - you won't find it here.  It is a search to find something that *might* fit, then another search (via google) to find details, then a search back at Amazon just to buy it from someone else.  For all that annoyance, I will just go to the manufacturer, find exactly what I want, then Bing or Fruggle it to find the best price.  If Amazon happens to be it, good for them, but I am no longer looking there.

You can often get lots of useful information from the extensive reviews on Amazon.


I usually research what I want first, then look for it on Amazon to take advantage of (usually) low prices, (often) free shipping, and (always) reliable service.
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« Reply #12 on: March 04, 2010, 03:49:25 PM »

I do shop at Amazon quite a bit. I think of Amazon as the Walmart of the online world (without all the obese ladies in electric carts). I say that because I can get almost anything at that one site.

I shop online as much as I can because I avoid taxes that way. I know that soon, the states will start collecting taxes for online purchases but I dread that day.
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Josh
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« Reply #13 on: March 04, 2010, 04:24:29 PM »

While I do understand the frustration with out of stock items from their marketplace sellers, there is a way to identify only items sold by amazon and those are "Prime eligible". Essentially, prime eligible items are items that are stocked in their warehouses and adequate stock control is maintained. Again, I understand the frustration with this, but I also agree with you in that it is not wholely amazons fault for not maintaining the stock levels of marketplace sellers. You can usually identify problem sellers that cancel orders like that through the feedback left about them. That is how I judge many of the marketplace sellers I deal with.

Also, every item page clearly identifies the seller of the item you are purchasing it from right below the item title.
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JavaJones
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« Reply #14 on: March 04, 2010, 06:04:40 PM »

I agree with Carol and Josh. But I do want to mention that I am not a big fan of Amazon's search system. The best search function I've seen yet is Newegg's "Power Search". I almost always know either exactly what kind of thing I want (but obviously not the specific name or I'd just search that), or I at least have a strong idea of the specific criteria. The Power Search at Newegg allows me to be as specific or as general as I like, across every given variable for most products (e.g. search by memory size, type, speed, etc. within the laptop category, excluding specific manufacturers, and all between $400 and $1000). Amazon (and most other retailers) have more simplistic "drill down" searches that are essentially hierarchical categories where you can opt to filter starting with one top-level criteria, then filter on successive criteria further down. The problem comes when you want results for say Acer *and* Dell *and* Toshiba laptops (but not Gateway, Compaq, etc.), *and* you want it to be under $500, *and* you want it to have Windows 7, etc. Most search sites, Amazon included, along with Tiger Direct (my favorite electronics retailer), simply can't handle those kinds of complex searches. Newegg has it nailed. So that's my one major complaint about Amazon. Consequently I do often use other sites like Newegg (in the case of electronics anyway) to find what I want, then use Amazon to buy.

- Oshyan
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« Reply #15 on: March 07, 2010, 12:38:06 AM »

I love Amazon and have shopped there since the start - my first purchase there was in 1997!! Being pretty much housebound virtually all my shopping is done online, and most of it is from Amazon. Overall they have done a pretty amazing job, but they have caused me a fair share of annoyances...  One of them being their horrible search feature. I relate one such instance that for some reason caused me to boil over. I sent an email about it to Amazon but first - as I try to always do when I'm a little spun up over something - I wrote it out in a note first and then cleaned it up and smoothed it out before sending it! Here is the "first blurt! I typed before editing. Well, I did edit this a little so I guess that makes it a "second blurt"! Language is a little off so mods - please whack away at will if needed.

Jim

Quote
Amazon's Fucked-up Search Function:

I searched for "indoor thermometer" at Amazon.com. First page shows 16 items. I want to sort by "Best Rating", but I can't; Amazon insists that I first select a department before I can sort at all. So I give up right there and go to look for the item at other web sites.

Why is selecting a department a problem? Here is a breakdown of the Amazon departments that contain the 16 items on that page:

Electronics - 3
Home & Garden -    4
Home Improvement - 1
Health & Personal Care - 1
Sports & Outdoors - 1
Books    - 1
Toys & Games - 1
Automotive - 1
Office Products & Supplies - 1
Jewelry - 1
Everything Else -1

All of the above departments have indoor thermometers? Jewelry? Toys?? Apparently Amazon allows the individual vendors to select what department they want a product to appear in. Also apparent is the fact that the individual vendors don't have a fucking clue!

How many shoppers do you think look for thermometers in Jewelry? Or Books? And yes - all results were actual thermometers. Oftentimes books will show up that are about the product but in this case the page actually shows a thermometer in the Books department. What marketing genius made that decision?

Amazon - get your act together!
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« Reply #16 on: March 07, 2010, 07:46:10 AM »

That is an unfortunate setup.
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« Reply #17 on: March 07, 2010, 11:14:30 AM »

I am an Amazon prime user as well. In general I like Amazon, but you need to pay attention when buying stuff as prime user because Amazon jacks up the prices to compensate for prime shipping. At least in some instances I have experienced it.
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Carol Haynes
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« Reply #18 on: March 07, 2010, 12:19:57 PM »

When you say jack up the price do you mean they generally increase prices (not my experience almost everything is about at the lowest price I can find) or that when you log in as a Prime user you experience higher prices?
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« Reply #19 on: March 07, 2010, 01:00:15 PM »

I am an Amazon prime user as well. In general I like Amazon, but you need to pay attention when buying stuff as prime user because Amazon jacks up the prices to compensate for prime shipping. At least in some instances I have experienced it.

I have seen items where this does seem true. Could be coincidence though I don’t believe much in them.

Another frustrating thing is when Amazon sells a product at Prime but the product requires other parts like filters, vacuum bags, steam cleaner solution, etc. and that is only sold by other vendors there with sky high shipping costs.

Thanks!

Jim
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« Reply #20 on: March 08, 2010, 12:00:46 AM »

I use Amazon a lot and have done so for many years. Their customer service is top notch and is something to consider when picking a merchant.

Recently, I had ordered a couple of books and was told to expect delivery on a particuar date. On that date, I checked with "where's my stuff" and learned that it was "out for delivery."  Later, in the evening and noting they still had not been delivered to me, I checked again only to find out that the package had already been delivered. Thinking that one of my neighbors had taken delivery, I asked them about it and, no, none of them received the package.

I called Amazon's service department and it was eventually determined that UPS had mistakenly delivered the package to another part of town. Amazon's response was to send out a duplicate expedited order which I received two days later - at no charge!

I'd call that exceptional service.
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« Reply #21 on: March 09, 2010, 02:31:25 PM »

I am also a long time and big fan of amazon.com; wherever possible i order from them.

Their shipping (especially prime) is extremely fast, and their return policy is excellent.

I do think josh is going too far in talking about the savings of free shipping when ordering heavy items; when you order something from an online-only store, and they are willing to give you free shipping on a very heavy item, you can bet that heavy items are already priced to include most of the shipping costs.  The only sensible way to compare the savings when using amazon prime (which is like $79 a year) is to look at how much you would pay if you ordered through amazon, but without Prime.

Amazon Prime is, however, great for impatient people since you do get free upgrades to 2 day delivery and cheaper overnight delivery].
FWIW, I ordered from ROADRUNNERsports via Amazon, the item price was less than other googled sources, it weighed 32 oz., and shipping to Hawaii was via Priority Mail and free.  I think all items from them ship free.  Perhaps this instance will help other sports fans.  I have no ties to Amazon or ROADRUNNERsports.
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« Reply #22 on: March 10, 2010, 09:03:32 AM »

  • Few, if any, items they sell are actually sold by Amazon.  Instead, they are a gateway for other stores, not unlike Ebay.  They do not, however, generally make this obvious or well known.

This doesn't make sense to me. Every item next to the price it specifically spells out who is selling the item. The choices are "This item is sold and fulfilled by Amazon", "This item is sold by xxx, but fulfilled by Amazon", and "This item is sold by xxx". I think each of these statements is very concise and makes it clear who you are giving your money to and who will be shipping your item. Of course, another way to make sure you are buying from Amazon themselves is only buy items that are labeled "This item qualifies for FREE Super-Saver Shipping" or however it is worded.

Quote
  • Frequently when I tried to order something that is supposedly in stock, I get confirmation, then, a few days later a cancellation because the object wasn't in stock.  I realize this isn't directly Amazon's fault since they are not the store, but it is problematic when you are trying to find and buy a specific item - I mean not so much as an email asking how to proceed, just a flat out cancel!   thumb down

If it's not directly Amazon's fault then don't stop using Amazon. Stop buying anything from the vendor on Amazon who let you down.

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« Reply #23 on: March 10, 2010, 09:06:51 AM »

I am an Amazon prime user as well. In general I like Amazon, but you need to pay attention when buying stuff as prime user because Amazon jacks up the prices to compensate for prime shipping. At least in some instances I have experienced it.

This is something to watch for with Amazon regardless of whether or not you are a Prime member. Amazon uses an on-demand pricing system and the price will fluctuate, sometimes several times in the same day. Their algorithm takes into consideration such things as time of year, stock on hand, how soon more stock will arrive, demand for the product that day, and other factors. Amazon having the best price on something when you wake up in the morning doesn't necessarily mean they are still going to be the best price that evening when you are ready to order.
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Carol Haynes
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« Reply #24 on: March 10, 2010, 09:57:40 AM »

They also do price matching with other internet companies. In the UK you can almost guarantee that Amazon products will be 1 penny cheaper than play.com.
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