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New Amazon Competitor?
Old 01-30-2015, 07:35 AM   #1
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New Amazon Competitor?

Interesting concept - a competitor to Amazon that combines a membership fee with online shopping for discounted merchandise. A difference from Amazon is that they use the combination of items in your order to shift the actual fulfiller to the one with lowest shipped price. And the emphasis is on cheap as opposed to quick.

For my email address, I got a 6 month free membership. I'll be interested to see if it flies. Amazon vs. Jet.com: Marc Lore Aims to Beat Bezos - Bloomberg Business
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Old 01-30-2015, 12:16 PM   #2
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After the introductory offer you have to pay $50/year, and you still don't get free shipping?

Pfft. I think I'll wait.
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Old 01-30-2015, 12:44 PM   #3
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Looks interesting. I like the concept of matching things up to reduce shipping costs (and environmental impact!), and possibly getting some 'reverse-auction' action on my purchases.

As they say, there really is no such thing as 'free' shipping, you pay for it one way or another, so it'll be interesting to see how well they can compete, and make the $50 fee work for a lot of people.

So it looks like you have to Feb 6 to sign up for a free 6 month trial? Hmm, does the 6 months start then, or does it start when they come on-line, which looks like 'soon'....

I currently have a free Amazon Prime trial, so I'd prefer to wait until that is over (mid Feb).

Competition is good, I hope they can pull it off.

ETA: The environmental impact is a somewhat negative for Amazon Prime, IMO. Seems Amazon is so focused on 'instant gratification' over all else. I recently bought something, I was in no rush (it's been sitting on my table now most of the week, I only opened it to verify it worked), and they delivered it on a Sunday! I didn't see the delivery truck (it was USPS), but I can't imagine that was as efficient as delivering on the following Monday on their normal rounds. Although I do see Amazon has an option to decline the 2 day shipping (for a $1 rebate on music or something), but I don't really think about that much when I order.


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Old 01-30-2015, 01:05 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ERD50 View Post
As they say, there really is no such thing as 'free' shipping, you pay for it one way or another,...
Yes, that is true. However, Amazon is very up-front about it. Notice in this screen capture: "Note: Available at a lower price from other sellers, potentially without free Prime shipping." And if you click on the Link you will find that 9 times out ten, Amazon's (hidden) shipping charge is very competitive since the final price is still lower. (This is from my Wish List):

Amazon.JPG

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IThe environmental impact is a somewhat negative for Amazon Prime, IMO. Seems Amazon is so focused on 'instant gratification' over all else. I recently bought something, I was in no rush (it's been sitting on my table now most of the week, I only opened it to verify it worked), and they delivered it on a Sunday!
Yes, this is another of those "Keystone Kops" maneuvers that the USPS is making to cut costs and become competitive. It has nothing to do with Amazon except that the USPS won the bid to deliver that item.
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Old 01-30-2015, 01:18 PM   #5
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It will be tough to take much market share from Amazon: They've got some very expensive physical and network infrastructure in place, they have tremendous name recognition, they do a lot of volume--and they still end up making little/no profit.

Anybody beating them will have to do it with some smart targeting of Amazon's customer base --apparently this new effort is targeting price-sensitive customers. But if Amazon is barely able to keep their heads above water even with the "need it now and don't care about the price" crowd, it seems an uphill battle to make money by selling to the cheapskates. Jeff Bezos has proven to be a wily competitor, he'll respond quickly if this startup starts to win market share he's spent billions to acquire.

From the WSJ the other day: Walmart makes more earnings in 35 days than Amazon has made in its history.
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Old 01-30-2015, 01:43 PM   #6
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Yes, that is true. However, Amazon is very up-front about it. ...
A quick look and the first few items on my wish list did have a cheaper non-prime seller for about half the stuff.

They are upfront about it with that note though. I wish that were the case when I do a search on Amazon and sort by price. Unless there is another way, I keep getting these ridiculously low prices, but with high shipping costs, so the net cost is not the lowest. Makes the sort by price almost useless.



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It will be tough to take much market share from Amazon: .... Jeff Bezos has proven to be a wily competitor, he'll respond quickly if this startup starts to win market share he's spent billions to acquire.

....

True, Amazon could always start a 'value' option, and do much the same thing. (ETA) I don't plan on buying stock in this start-up, but I might 'invest' $50 if it looks like they can deliver on their promise.

Funny thing though. For all this talk of Amazon size/efficiency, I keep getting little things I ordered in boxes much larger than the product. They don't fit in a standard mail box, so the USPS driver has to come up the driveway, get out of the truck and walk it up to my door. I would think Amazon would have a stock of 'fits in a mailbox' sized boxes.

-ERD50
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Old 01-30-2015, 01:52 PM   #7
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A quick look and the first few items on my wish list did have a cheaper non-prime seller for about half the stuff.
After their shipping costs were included?

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Originally Posted by ERD50 View Post
They are upfront about it with that note though. I wish that were the case when I do a search on Amazon and sort by price. Unless there is another way, I keep getting these ridiculously low prices, but with high shipping costs, so the net cost is not the lowest. Makes the sort by price almost useless.
Yeah, I use Amazon as a secondary "price check" source but your point is well taken.
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Old 01-30-2015, 01:52 PM   #8
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........ Jeff Bezos has proven to be a wily competitor, he'll respond quickly if this startup starts to win market share he's spent billions to acquire............
Actually Amazon already sunk this guy's mail order diaper business by selling diapers at a loss, then bought him out. But, I love to see competition and innovation. If anyone had told me a few years back that I'd be paying Costco to shop there, I'd have said they were nuts.
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Old 01-30-2015, 01:57 PM   #9
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Funny thing though. For all this talk of Amazon size/efficiency, I keep getting little things I ordered in boxes much larger than the product. They don't fit in a standard mail box, so the USPS driver has to come up the driveway, get out of the truck and walk it up to my door. I would think Amazon would have a stock of 'fits in a mailbox' sized boxes.
The new UPS pricing structure will put an end to that -- they are going to charge by the size of the container and well as by weight. I am sure the other carriers will follow suit.

I am happy about this change. It is very irritating to get a 24"x36"x18" box with a 3"x2" item and tons of packing material.
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Old 01-30-2015, 01:58 PM   #10
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After their shipping costs were included?
Of course. Here's the first two examples out of the first 4-5 I tried:

Amazon.com: Logitech Harmony 350 for Universal Control of Up To 8 Entertainment Devices: Electronics

http://smile.amazon.com/dp/B005H3AXF...I12CJVHEMHGS45

Prices may change fast, but at the time I posted, a bit cheaper with included shipping.

For the logitech:

Price: $40.57 Free Shipping for Prime Members
$37.95 + Free Shipping Sold by: Fox Deals

For the Intermatic:

Price: $38.56 Free Shipping for Prime Members
$36.75 + Free Shipping Sold by Wholesale Electric Supply
In stock. Usually ships within 4 to 5 days.

Of course, you are not getting 2 day shipping, but that rarely matters for me. I'm just not excited to pay $79/$99 for Prime, and then see others selling it lower if I don't need the fast shipping. For the few times I need fast shipping each year, $79/$99 would be a high price I think.

-ERD50
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Old 01-30-2015, 02:05 PM   #11
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Of course. Here's the first two examples out of the first 4-5 I tried:

Amazon.com: Logitech Harmony 350 for Universal Control of Up To 8 Entertainment Devices: Electronics

Intermatic ST01A Heavy Duty In-Wall Timer with Astronomic Feature, Almond - Wall Timer Switches - Amazon.com

Prices may change fast, but at the time I posted, a bit cheaper with included shipping.

For the logitech:

Price: $40.57 Free Shipping for Prime Members
$37.95 + Free Shipping Sold by: Fox Deals

For the Intermatic:

Price: $38.56 Free Shipping for Prime Members
$36.75 + Free Shipping Sold by Wholesale Electric Supply
In stock. Usually ships within 4 to 5 days.

-ERD50
That is why I always check but I don't often find that many "better" choices.

There is another issue I just thought of and that is "I trust Amazon." Sometimes (rarely, but it does happen), I am just a little suspicious of promised 2-day delivery and the couple extra bucks aren't enough to buy me off. <chuckle>.
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