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(Slate)   Amazon's new same day delivery service goal sounds awesome, but of course some Debbie Downer has to claim there's a dark side. But still, SAME DAY DELIVERY   (slate.com) divider line 33
    More: Cool, Debbie Downer, Amazon, use tax, tax collectors, metropolitan areas by population, smoke alarms, Rite Aid  
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16110 clicks; posted to Main » on 13 Jul 2012 at 1:37 AM (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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Archived thread
2012-07-13 12:13:13 AM
5 votes:

Grables'Daughter: My mom bought an HDMI cable from Walmart last year.

I hate Walmart, by the way.

Anyway, she paid $40 for a six-foot cable.

I found one on Amazon for her.

It was 71¢.

Yep. Plus $3 shipping, but still. 71¢.


To be fair, the $.71 cable probably isn't anywhere near the quality (in terms of workmanship/longevity) as the $40 cable. You'd need to buy one of the $3 cables to do that.
2012-07-12 11:01:33 PM
5 votes:
My mom bought an HDMI cable from Walmart last year.

I hate Walmart, by the way.

Anyway, she paid $40 for a six-foot cable.

I found one on Amazon for her.

It was 71¢.

Yep. Plus $3 shipping, but still. 71¢.

/also, I'm a pretty big Amazon customer
//virgule virgule
2012-07-12 11:08:16 PM
4 votes:

jaylectricity: Having items in my hand before I buy them is not obsolete. So many times I'd like to see what it is that I'm buying before I commit to something based on pictures.


Sure - I get that. But there's buying a new couch and popping off to Staples for more printer ink. Most things we buy are familiar.
2012-07-12 10:46:14 PM
4 votes:
99% of the time I'd rather save the sales tax money, given a choice. But yeah, even adding sales tax to Amazon won't save the brick-and-mortar retailers. Shopping is a hassle.
2012-07-13 01:50:50 AM
3 votes:
Local retail can bite my ass. It's getting to the point where a trip to the store is frustrating because simple things just aren't in the store any more.

For example, my wife uses Woolite for hand washing her delicates, and she's bought it for years with no incident. Suddenly, EVERY local retailer isn't carrying it any more. Not Target, not Fred Meyer, not the local grocery. All they have is the big bottles laundry detergent designed for HE machines, and there isn't even a tag on the shelf to indicate it is out of stock. After a fruitless trip around town trying to figure out who still sells it, we eventually just wound up buying a case of 4 bottles of it at Amazon.

If the retail stores aren't selling basic stuff like that any more, what is the point of them? I can understand something hard to find, but it shouldn't be an adventure to try to find damn Woolite.
2012-07-13 12:20:42 AM
3 votes:
"Physical retailers will be hosed."
Good

blah blah small, local, blah blah blah

I like amazon and this idea because LESS people will be clogging the road for shopping.
Trucks delivering items to peoples' houses are tons more efficient than million of people going to the store.
TADA - less pollution, less accident risk to me, more time to me for other stuff, less time in stores with morons, and so on.

And if you don't like it, you dont need to shop there, same as wal-mart, buy-more, whatever.
2012-07-13 05:31:43 AM
2 votes:

Hoopy Frood: Arcanum: Which is more useful?

Feeling the product in your hands, or reading 75 reviews from people who used the product for its intended purpose for a while?

People with smartphones can do both.


Or, read the reviews, go to a big box store to check out the two or three models that you've narrowed your choices to, go back home, and order your choice at a reputable online retailer at a much cheaper price than the big box store. You get your item cheaper, and the big part for me, is that you don't have to deal with the employees who are desperately trying to meet quota on store credit cards and over priced extended warranties.

FYI: If an employee at Best Buy goes a few shifts without a store credit card application, they are fired. They MUST push the store credit card at every sale.
Employees at Staples have to sell extended warranties on computers. They are well known to tell customers that a model is out of stock if they turn down the extended warranty.

O.K. CSB time: Last time I bought a computer at Staples that was actually a good deal because it was on clearance, I told the employee that I wanted the extended warranty. He went in back, got the computer, and then at check out I said I changed my mind about the warranty. He literally threw the paperwork down and stormed off; the employee checking me out looked at me as if I was Hitler. Had I not told the employee that I was going to take the warranty, odds are very high that I would have been told that they were out of stock.

I would be much more likely to buy at a Big Box store if the employees were actually helpful and knowledgeable. Instead, they are pushy, desperate, and actually get hostile if you don't want to sign up for store credit or buy the extended warranty. In that case, why would I use them as anything other than a place to physically look at the stuff I'm going to buy online?
2012-07-13 03:00:32 AM
2 votes:

skinink: "All of the people doing the actual work in the warehouses are being paid near minimum wage and told to keep up productivity or they'll lose what little income they have. That keeps things moving quickly. Plus, just about anyone can actually do the shipping jobs with little to no training, so turnover isn't a huge issue, and in fact might be a bonus since long-term employees getting raises and wanting benefits won't be such an issue.

/Just remember that every time you want something cheap, quick and free, it still has to be done by a person, who would like to eat some time this month."
You think people working at Target, Wal-Mart or Best Buy are paid any better? It's retail. If you don't want to work in any of these places then plan your future. I don't understand this "Amazon or Target are evil!!!" because they pay minimum.
I don't know if the threats your talking about is true, but I suppose there's not many jobs you can slack off at. No company shouldn't mistreat their employees, but I can't get upset at any company who wants to pay minimum wage, and people take it. No one forces them to take the job.


Are there no prisons?

Just so you know, many people are "forced" to take a job, usually by the electric company, bank, landlord, need to feed their children...
2012-07-13 01:58:11 AM
2 votes:
Amazon is so much more convenient than shopping in person. I don't need to wade down aisles of crap I don't want to find the thing I do want. The suggested impulse purchases are at least things that some algorithm figured I'd be interested in. No parking lots. No waiting in line for the privilege of paying.

And it's more democratic. I sell stuff on Amazon. It's super easy. I actually think it's better than ebay, though you can't sell nearly as many things.
2012-07-13 01:49:38 AM
2 votes:
Sadly, I suspect the people working in all those new warehouses will continue to be treated like crap.
2012-07-13 12:55:02 AM
2 votes:
I've had a couple of surprise next-day deliveries using Amazon Prime. I ordered some coffee beans last Friday and my options were free delivery on Tuesday, $4 delivery on Monday, or $9 delivery on Saturday. I opted for the free Tuesday delivery but it arrived on Saturday anyway.

I don't see same-day delivery from Amazon as the death of the local, indie record store but I do see it as the death of Best Buy. I will not mourn the death of Best Buy.
2012-07-13 12:23:38 AM
2 votes:
shopping offline isn't really "instant"-it takes time to get in the car, go to the store, find what you want, stand in line, and drive back home. Getting something shipped to your house offers gratification that's even more instant: Order something in the morning and get it later in the day, without doing anything else. Why would you ever shop anywhere else?

Because I like clothes that fit?
Because I don't want to buy pancake syrup by the case lot?
Because IKEA has meatballs?
2012-07-12 11:37:53 PM
2 votes:

Grables'Daughter: My mom bought an HDMI cable from Walmart last year.

I hate Walmart, by the way.

Anyway, she paid $40 for a six-foot cable.

I found one on Amazon for her.

It was 71¢.

Yep. Plus $3 shipping, but still. 71¢.

/also, I'm a pretty big Amazon customer
//virgule virgule


I replaced a physically broken HDMI cable for dad. He's the kind of guy who really doesn't understand or care what's going on behind the TV/sound system as long as it's expensive and working.

I was given instructions to pick up the same or similar high dollar cable. I bought a generic one on Amazon (monoprice is also good) for $2.53, and it wasn't even the cheapest one. I never asked for a reimbursement of what he thought was probably $70 and he didn't mention it because he figured he had already spent enough money feeding my ass for 18 years.The switch was made almost two years ago, and I've yet to receive a phone call wondering why it doesn't match the rest of his rat's nest of overpriced crap purchased at Best Buy after getting a decent deal on the actual AV gear. I've sort of been waiting for the call, but it never comes.

I know this isn't an HDMI cable thread, but I'm drunk and feel like ranting about these rip-offs. Something tells me that when he finds out he'll invent some story about how he noticed the lesser quality all along, but couldn't put his finger on it.

What's funny is that I am kind of an audiophile douchebag (yes, I listen to jazz...on vinyl!). I believe in quality equipment and would rather not listen at all than to hear it through sh*tty gear. But cables? Especially digital ones? C'mon, man.

/will probably be timed-out for threadjacking, sorry
2012-07-12 10:59:33 PM
2 votes:

Triumph: Shopping is a hassle.


Having items in my hand before I buy them is not obsolete. So many times I'd like to see what it is that I'm buying before I commit to something based on pictures.
2012-07-13 12:24:16 PM
1 votes:

Grables'Daughter: TheGreenMonkey: Not a big fan of Walmart myself, but why in the world would any one buy an HDMI cable for that price? Probably could have gotten it from any number of online retailers, even with next day shipping, for cheaper than 40 bucks.

Because it's my mom.

She's not as familiar with Amazon as I am.



If all the brick-and-mortar stores (Best Buy, Wamart, Target, Staples) together all charge ~$40 for the same cable, there is no reason to think it might be had for elsewhere cheaper, since it's the exactly same price everywere she's looked so far; therefore, it must be "the price". It's as if I'd discovered I could get a loaf of bread at bread.com for five cents. No one before has tried to sell a loaf of bread to me for five cents, so I would have had to reason to try to do that before.
2012-07-13 11:53:30 AM
1 votes:

No Such Agency: Mr. Chainsaw:
I would totally pay the money for Amazon Prime, but the two-day shipping is UPS and I'm almost never home when UPS makes it to my place for delivery, so I usually have to end up picking it up at the warehouse.

Couriers are absolutely the WORST way to send anything to a human. By the time you get home from work, their office is closed and can't even answer the phone to reroute the delivery to your work*... so the god damn truck drives to your house again the next day and leaves you another notice (this system may have improved in the last few years). If I have to drive to the warehouse, which I can't since I don't have a car, my package might as well be on the farking moon.

* and if I order it to my work the mail room will take a couple of extra days to get it to me... the result is again slower than the post office. Assuming I'm allowed to receive personal mail at work at all.


The last time I hired a courier, it was a nightmare. It was a valuable package that needed personal attention, traveling 40 miles from Primm to Vegas. He ended up getting shot in the head and the package was stolen.
2012-07-13 11:17:41 AM
1 votes:
Good job, politicians. You just removed the one thing that was stopping Amazon from putting itself right in the heart of your commercial districts. They have no reason no to drain every last dollar from your local stores.

You would sooner take a nickel today than a dollar tomorrow. Nice work as always.
2012-07-13 08:55:31 AM
1 votes:

To The Escape Zeppelin!: No Such Agency: alwaysjaded:
If you're troubleshooting a living room audio setup, it's pretty handy being able to shoot off to a store for the required part rather than waiting two days to find out if the part you ordered is really what you needed.

VERY true. The downside is, buying things locally so often seems like a screw job. That whatzit you could get off ebay for a few bucks is like $40 at the local (locally located chain, not even locally-owned mom-and-pop) store, IF it's even available.

I really want to like buying from the local hardware store rather than online or at Home Depot but there's a reason small stores have gone out of business. When they have the parts I want they cost 50% more than elsewhere and when they don't have them they can order them at an ever larger markup and a week wait. I can buy them online myself for less hassle.


It isn't just the price, it used to be that you went to your local store to get advice on the best products and how to use them. Now, all the good information, advice and how-to-doit videos are on the net and your typical Best Buy store is just all about low paid employees pushing an extended warranty on you. So I find that shopping and researching and ordering products is actually much easier on the web; if I go to the store I have to stand there like a dork with my phone googling the products on the small screen while fighting off the attack of the extended warranty know-nothings.
2012-07-13 07:54:49 AM
1 votes:

Mad_Radhu: Local retail can bite my ass. It's getting to the point where a trip to the store is frustrating because simple things just aren't in the store any more.

For example, my wife uses Woolite for hand washing her delicates, and she's bought it for years with no incident. Suddenly, EVERY local retailer isn't carrying it any more. Not Target, not Fred Meyer, not the local grocery. All they have is the big bottles laundry detergent designed for HE machines, and there isn't even a tag on the shelf to indicate it is out of stock. After a fruitless trip around town trying to figure out who still sells it, we eventually just wound up buying a case of 4 bottles of it at Amazon.

If the retail stores aren't selling basic stuff like that any more, what is the point of them? I can understand something hard to find, but it shouldn't be an adventure to try to find damn Woolite.


Here's a nifty tip: The cheapest White Rain clear shampoo makes an excellent substitute for Woolite.
How do I know? I used to be Head of Wardrobe for a professional ballet company and a national touring musical.
2012-07-13 07:04:47 AM
1 votes:
So, in Idiocracy.....it wasn't Costco....it was Amazon!!

/loves Amazon, screw Best Buy.
2012-07-13 05:03:11 AM
1 votes:
Pretty much the only non-grocery thing I can picture myself buying in a store instead of online is a TV. I've gone almost completely online over the last few years, either delivery or in-store pickup (mostly the latter). I'm a movie fanatic. It's my job, my love, my passion. I love to see them in the best quality available to me. Fark those dipshiats that insist that their low bitrate, overly compressed Demonoid download or Netflix stream is just as good as Blu-ray. No, it's not and it never will be. Anyway, I buy tons of them. I have available to me in driving/BART distance: 7 Targets, 5 Walmarts, 4 Rasputins, 3 Frys, 3 Best Buys and an Amoeba. How often do they have what I'm looking for? Damn near never. Seriously, out of the last 100 DVDs and Blu-rays I've bought, maybe ten were local. Admittedly, some of those were available, but way cheaper online.

I recently decided to upgrade my first two Predator movies to Blu-ray. I walked in nearly everywhere, unavailable. The only place that had them was Best Buy and Frys. Both had the "Ultimate Hunter Edition" of Predator for $25 and $30 respectively. Amazon? $7. I decided to start upgrading my non-Blu Terminators since I'd budgeted $25 anyway. I figured I'd start with the first and get 2 and 3 later. Didn't need to. I picked up the newest Blu-ray of Predator, Terminator, T2 and T3 for just over $30. In store it would have totaled nearly $70. Plus, I qualified for free shipping and, since the South San Francisco warehouse had them all, I got them the next day.

Fark Brick 'n' Mortars. Even in the rare times that they actually have what I'm looking for, it's almost always far more than buying online, even if I have to pay for taxes and shipping.
2012-07-13 04:12:49 AM
1 votes:

Arcanum: Which is more useful?

Feeling the product in your hands, or reading 75 reviews from people who used the product for its intended purpose for a while?


People with smartphones can do both.
2012-07-13 03:00:57 AM
1 votes:

try fect taa daa: there's a source for everything and a smart shopper knows... monoprice, newegg, amazon, ebay for things where warranty isn't an issue...

went to best buy with the intention of spending a gift card i have. bastards were out of any speaker that would fit my truck. their demo board didn't represent what was actually available. nothing was priced... clusterfark. salesgirl was smokin hot though... i'll go to another BB in a few days and add as little cash as possible to whatever i buy on the giftcard. then--good riddance BB.


Best Buy has devolved into a total rathole. The few times I've bought stuff - it's the hard-to-screw up merch like Blu Ray movies or computer software. Even then, I buy on-line and use the in-store pickup. A couple of years ago, I bought a Garmin GPS cuz I waited too long and needed it for a particular trip.

Since I signed on to amazon prime last fall, BB is a distant memory. I look at the sale flyer most Sundays, but nothing really catches my eye. Going to the BB stores used to be fun. Now, it's slightly less painful than the dentist.
2012-07-13 02:40:45 AM
1 votes:
Interesting concept, though it's been tried before on a big scale and flopped. However, FEDEX had already developed a practice that Amazon is mimicking: supply hubs. For major shippers, say, like Boeing, FEDEX supplies nearby warehouses with a lot of inventory they'll need, so when ordered, they just pull it off the shelf and deliver it without having to go to the manufacturer of the part.

Postmasters, a defunct same day delivery service in the 80's, ran their butts off trying to service the continental US and flopped. They, however, did not have hubs with commonly ordered items but were servicing the general public.

To buy and maintain assorted hubs with the same merchandise is costly, unless you're like a major department store. So, I figure they'll do a sampling and stock hubs with goods folks most commonly buy and when you peruse their website, you'll be informed if same day delivery is available for your item.

However, I want to actually SEE and possibly TOUCH any big ticket item before I purchase it.

Haven't you learned your lessons from all of the infomercials, where you buy goods that quite often don't function like you saw on TV. (Remember 'eggies'? Those plastic, egg shaped containers you cracked eggs into, dropped in boiling water and PRESTO! Out came the perfect boiled egg. Great for parties, no laborious and often frustrating shelling and so on. They didn't tell you they each consist of 4 sections than can be tricky to assemble. Nor did they tell you that you MUST coat the inside with cooking oil -- not cooking spray, but oil. Plus, they can't hold an entire jumbo egg. Washing the things afterwards, even in a dishwasher, can be a real pain. Had you seen them in person, close up and been able to handle them, you probably would not have bothered.)

I recall a laptop I bought off E-bay that seemed real nice. It was, when I won the bid for $250. When it arrived, I discovered it had been a commercially used laptop, lacking several major programs that I normally use. I had to locate generic versions of the programs and download them.

Had I seen the thing in person, I would not have bought it.

I've bought key cap stickers, since I wear the letters off, and found that many are actually so cheap that after one day, the letters are wearing off. I bought some shake lights -- remember them? Turned out to be fakes. They didn't have magnets in the base to run through a coil to produce electricity, just lumps of iron and, the copper coils were connected to nothing. Power came from hidden hearing aid batteries wrapped up as the 'condenser'. I contacted the dealer and he was astonished and offered me my money back. He had bough a pallet load from China. He later pulled his E-bay listings.

I bought a nice stiletto from an online company. The spring loaded blade snaps out of the end of the handle. It looked cool. Until I got it, to find it is a 'safety' stiletto, meaning I the blade meets resistance as it springs out, it pops off it's track.

So, you can't just walk up to someone, stick the handle against them, push the button and have 4 inches of double bladed steel snap into them, push the button again and have it retract and keep on walking. No, the blade pops off to prevent that and you have to manually grab and reset the blade. The inside mechanism, I discovered, was a feeble plastic track instead of the good steel ones.

There are far too many ways to get screwed buying online unless you know the company.

However, going shopping in big discount stores can be a hassle. They're noisy, crowded, full of rude and often obnoxious people to lack common courtesy, can't control their kids and have no problem annoying everyone in the vicinity with their screaming infants. Plus, on hot, rainy days, you get to step around disposable diapers they drop into steaming puddles, full of kid poo, not wanting to stink up the interior of their rust buckets.

Most NEVER have enough cashiers. So you get to wait forever in line to check out, crammed in among people you'd probably walk on the other side of the street to avoid.

THAT alone makes same day ordering service sound sweet.

Then again, Walmart has men's pull over shirts on sale cheaply. They look nice. Yet the material is THIN! You don't know this until you touch them. Target has similar shirts on sale for about $1.00 more, in better colors and the material is thicker.

I like scented candles, but I prefer to smell them before buying. Depending on the maker, something like Apple-cinnamon can hardly have any aroma, but a big price, others can smell like the apples were rotten, some like they dumped in an entire cinnamon tree and others with thin, cheap wicks that burn a quarter sized hole right down through the center of the candle, leaving a lot of waste behind and producing little scent.

You can't tell this unless you actually pick them up and look and smell.

At the worst, the concept will flop, but only after managing to stay long enough to hurt major businesses, which will then lay off workers and close outlets.

If it succeeds, then the selection of good will, by necessity, be limited, meaning you'll still have to go shopping for stuff in person.

Now, for myself, I'd be happy if we could manage to get a Chinese restaurant around here that delivers, like pizza companies do.
2012-07-13 02:32:46 AM
1 votes:

Eps05: I am left wondering how all of this can even be profitable - not just to Amazon, but to the manufacturers and primary distributors, even though I know alot of electronic goods are overpriced (digital camera battery? 50 dollars at store. 20 dollars brandname online, 3pack for 12 dollars random Hong Kong dude)

Also in the crowd of those who like to "feel" some of the things i buy first. Purchasing a keyboard and mouse is one of those things I am fickle about.

csb
Upon wanting to replace my previous keyboard I went around half a dozen stores looking for the elusive perfect one. Didn't find it but settled on the Saitek Eclipse II. Fat finger syndrome means I need non-slip keys, deeper presses, empty space between keys, well defined and easy to reach F# keys. Also needed backlightning. Multimedia keys could be better though.


All of the people doing the actual work in the warehouses are being paid near minimum wage and told to keep up productivity or they'll lose what little income they have. That keeps things moving quickly. Plus, just about anyone can actually do the shipping jobs with little to no training, so turnover isn't a huge issue, and in fact might be a bonus since long-term employees getting raises and wanting benefits won't be such an issue.

/Just remember that every time you want something cheap, quick and free, it still has to be done by a person, who would like to eat some time this month.
2012-07-13 02:22:45 AM
1 votes:
media.tumblr.com

If this is how amazon's going to do deliveries, I'm ok with it
2012-07-13 02:08:01 AM
1 votes:
I am left wondering how all of this can even be profitable - not just to Amazon, but to the manufacturers and primary distributors, even though I know alot of electronic goods are overpriced (digital camera battery? 50 dollars at store. 20 dollars brandname online, 3pack for 12 dollars random Hong Kong dude)

Also in the crowd of those who like to "feel" some of the things i buy first. Purchasing a keyboard and mouse is one of those things I am fickle about.

csb
Upon wanting to replace my previous keyboard I went around half a dozen stores looking for the elusive perfect one. Didn't find it but settled on the Saitek Eclipse II. Fat finger syndrome means I need non-slip keys, deeper presses, empty space between keys, well defined and easy to reach F# keys. Also needed backlightning. Multimedia keys could be better though.
2012-07-13 01:54:00 AM
1 votes:

ShawnDoc: To be fair, the $.71 cable probably isn't anywhere near the quality (in terms of workmanship/longevity) as the $40 cable. You'd need to buy one of the $3 cables to do that.


Computer/TV cables really don't go bad under normal circumstances in my experience, unless you run over them with a vacuum or the cat gnaws on them.For the digital cables especially, either they work or the don't and once you plug them up you generally don't touch them again unless you are swapping things out, so quality of workmanship isn't really that big of an issue.
2012-07-13 01:47:35 AM
1 votes:

namatad: ShawnDoc: Grables'Daughter: My mom bought an HDMI cable from Walmart last year.

I hate Walmart, by the way.

Anyway, she paid $40 for a six-foot cable.

I found one on Amazon for her.

It was 71¢.

Yep. Plus $3 shipping, but still. 71¢.

To be fair, the $.71 cable probably isn't anywhere near the quality (in terms of workmanship/longevity) as the $40 cable. You'd need to buy one of the $3 cables to do that.

Or buy 10 of the 71¢ cables and throw out the cables as they go bad.


Welcome to America.
2012-07-13 01:43:38 AM
1 votes:
We have no sales tax in Oregon, so this is nothing but win for me.
2012-07-13 01:42:49 AM
1 votes:

pizen: I opted for the free Tuesday delivery but it arrived on Saturday anyway.


The delivery times can be faster than expected if you live near enough to one of their main distribution centers and it has what you ordered.
2012-07-13 12:50:59 AM
1 votes:

jaylectricity: So will wholesale prices go retail or vice versa?


You real question is how will this effect the poor little wholesaler?!! How will he survive if he cant jack up the prices to the retailer?!
2012-07-13 12:40:35 AM
1 votes:

ShawnDoc: Grables'Daughter: My mom bought an HDMI cable from Walmart last year.

I hate Walmart, by the way.

Anyway, she paid $40 for a six-foot cable.

I found one on Amazon for her.

It was 71¢.

Yep. Plus $3 shipping, but still. 71¢.

To be fair, the $.71 cable probably isn't anywhere near the quality (in terms of workmanship/longevity) as the $40 cable. You'd need to buy one of the $3 cables to do that.


Or buy 10 of the 71¢ cables and throw out the cables as they go bad.
 
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