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(The Atlantic)   It's the death knell for America's retail workforce as the business of selling stuff is becoming much more efficient. Otherwise known as the Amazon Effect/Walmart Effect   (theatlantic.com) divider line 83
    More: Interesting, Walmart Effect, Amazon Effect, Amazon, Walmart, music stores  
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1594 clicks; posted to Business » on 15 Apr 2014 at 1:17 PM (41 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2014-04-15 11:32:23 AM  
Walmart's retail process has never been efficient. Their wholesale operation...different story.
 
2014-04-15 11:57:58 AM  
otherwise knows as the "no i don't want to donate any money today, no i don't want to sign up for your credit card, yes i'm aware that i could save %20 today if i'm approved, no i don't want to give you all my personal information right now at the cash register,  oh good it won't scan and you lack the skills necessary to enter a sku manually. seriously i just want to buy this hammer, go home and bash myself in the head with it thanks." effect.
 
2014-04-15 01:18:35 PM  
Great now even the crappy retail jobs are disappearing.
 
2014-04-15 01:22:55 PM  
So civilization, on a long timescale what's the plan for these people? It's not as if they suddenly stop wanting to eat every other day when there aren't jobs for them.
 
2014-04-15 01:25:24 PM  
The Amazon method?

You mean charging $100 a month to shop, requiring shoppers to purchase $35 to exercise their $100 membership benefits on thousands of items, raising prices to the point where you're no longer competitive with other online sellers and direct manufacturer-sellers, packaging your items so poorly your customers take to ordering single items because they've grown tired of having multiple items busted up, working your warehouse employees to the bone, allowing (and actually aiding) sellers on Amazon.com to defraud customers, etc.?

You mean that Amazon effect?
 
2014-04-15 01:27:24 PM  

hungryhungryhorus: So civilization, on a long timescale what's the plan for these people? It's not as if they suddenly stop wanting to eat every other day when there aren't jobs for them.


Mars colonists.
 
2014-04-15 01:27:29 PM  

TheShavingofOccam123: The Amazon method?

You mean charging $100 a month to shop, requiring shoppers to purchase $35 to exercise their $100 membership benefits on thousands of items, raising prices to the point where you're no longer competitive with other online sellers and direct manufacturer-sellers, packaging your items so poorly your customers take to ordering single items because they've grown tired of having multiple items busted up, working your warehouse employees to the bone, allowing (and actually aiding) sellers on Amazon.com to defraud customers, etc.?

You mean that Amazon effect?


Smells like bullshiat!

/Show us on the doll where mean ol' Amazon touched you
 
2014-04-15 01:28:46 PM  

hungryhungryhorus: So civilization, on a long timescale what's the plan for these people? It's not as if they suddenly stop wanting to eat every other day when there aren't jobs for them.


I've got a modest proposal....
 
2014-04-15 01:29:08 PM  

TheShavingofOccam123: You mean charging $100 a month to shop


It's $89/year.  It makes Christmas shopping bearable.  It's totally worth it for me for that alone.
 
2014-04-15 01:29:46 PM  

tricycleracer: TheShavingofOccam123: You mean charging $100 a month to shop

It's $89/year.  It makes Christmas shopping bearable.  It's totally worth it for me for that alone.


$99/year.  Excuse me.
 
2014-04-15 01:30:12 PM  

Carousel Beast: TheShavingofOccam123: The Amazon method?

You mean charging $100 a month to shop, requiring shoppers to purchase $35 to exercise their $100 membership benefits on thousands of items, raising prices to the point where you're no longer competitive with other online sellers and direct manufacturer-sellers, packaging your items so poorly your customers take to ordering single items because they've grown tired of having multiple items busted up, working your warehouse employees to the bone, allowing (and actually aiding) sellers on Amazon.com to defraud customers, etc.?

You mean that Amazon effect?

Smells like bullshiat!

/Show us on the doll where mean ol' Amazon touched you


You pay $100/month just for the ability to shop on Amazon?
 
2014-04-15 01:30:55 PM  

TheShavingofOccam123: You mean charging $100 a month to shop


smuj.home.comcast.net
 
2014-04-15 01:38:51 PM  

TheShavingofOccam123: The Amazon method?

You mean charging $100 a month to shop, requiring shoppers to purchase $35 to exercise their $100 membership benefits on thousands of items, raising prices to the point where you're no longer competitive with other online sellers and direct manufacturer-sellers, packaging your items so poorly your customers take to ordering single items because they've grown tired of having multiple items busted up, working your warehouse employees to the bone, allowing (and actually aiding) sellers on Amazon.com to defraud customers, etc.?

You mean that Amazon effect?


You mean $100 a year, and the only complaint I have with Prime is that sometimes the item I want is cheaper elsewhere. But they (Amazon) tell you this.

So don't shop at Amazon.
 
2014-04-15 01:39:07 PM  

Driedsponge: Carousel Beast: TheShavingofOccam123: The Amazon method?

You mean charging $100 a month to shop, requiring shoppers to purchase $35 to exercise their $100 membership benefits on thousands of items, raising prices to the point where you're no longer competitive with other online sellers and direct manufacturer-sellers, packaging your items so poorly your customers take to ordering single items because they've grown tired of having multiple items busted up, working your warehouse employees to the bone, allowing (and actually aiding) sellers on Amazon.com to defraud customers, etc.?

You mean that Amazon effect?

Smells like bullshiat!

/Show us on the doll where mean ol' Amazon touched you

You pay $100/month just for the ability to shop on Amazon?


Shhhhhh.  I told him that was my friend's and family rate.
 
2014-04-15 01:43:17 PM  
I have yet to meet anyone who ever enjoyed working in retail, so no great loss.
 
2014-04-15 01:43:40 PM  
TheShavingofOccam123: The Amazon method?

You mean charging $100 a month to shop, requiring shoppers to purchase $35 to exercise their $100 membership benefits on thousands of items, raising prices to the point where you're no longer competitive with other online sellers and direct manufacturer-sellers, packaging your items so poorly your customers take to ordering single items because they've grown tired of having multiple items busted up, working your warehouse employees to the bone, allowing (and actually aiding) sellers on Amazon.com to defraud customers, etc.?

You mean that Amazon effect?


I"ve bought several hundred dollars worth of stuff off Amazon, but didn't have to buy a membership to do so....WTF are you talking about?

On a side note, amazing to me how some people see no problem whatsoever with Amazon's ruthless efficiency and labor practices, but Walmart is the devil's spawn for essentially the exact same things.
 
2014-04-15 02:03:48 PM  

chevydeuce: TheShavingofOccam123: The Amazon method?

You mean charging $100 a month to shop, requiring shoppers to purchase $35 to exercise their $100 membership benefits on thousands of items, raising prices to the point where you're no longer competitive with other online sellers and direct manufacturer-sellers, packaging your items so poorly your customers take to ordering single items because they've grown tired of having multiple items busted up, working your warehouse employees to the bone, allowing (and actually aiding) sellers on Amazon.com to defraud customers, etc.?

You mean that Amazon effect?

I"ve bought several hundred dollars worth of stuff off Amazon, but didn't have to buy a membership to do so....WTF are you talking about?

On a side note, amazing to me how some people see no problem whatsoever with Amazon's ruthless efficiency and labor practices, but Walmart is the devil's spawn for essentially the exact same things.


Easy answer - Walmart is a VISIBLE cause of small town retail business withering away.  Amazon's online and thus not a visible, physical presence.
 
2014-04-15 02:18:09 PM  
We must do away with the absolutely specious notion that everybody has to earn a living. It is a fact today that one in ten thousand of us can make a technological breakthrough capable of supporting all the rest. The youth of today are absolutely right in recognizing this nonsense of earning a living. We keep inventing jobs because of this false idea that everybody has to be employed at some kind of drudgery because, according to Malthusian-Darwinian theory, he must justify his right to exist. So we have inspectors of inspectors and people making instruments for inspectors to inspect inspectors. The true business of people should be to go back to school and think about whatever it was they were thinking about before somebody came along and told them they had to earn a living.
 
2014-04-15 02:26:07 PM  

TheShavingofOccam123: The Amazon method?

You mean charging $100 a month to shop, requiring shoppers to purchase $35 to exercise their $100 membership benefits on thousands of items, raising prices to the point where you're no longer competitive with other online sellers and direct manufacturer-sellers, packaging your items so poorly your customers take to ordering single items because they've grown tired of having multiple items busted up, working your warehouse employees to the bone, allowing (and actually aiding) sellers on Amazon.com to defraud customers, etc.?

You mean that Amazon effect?


Membership is $100 a year and there's no minimum to receive 2-day shipping.
 
2014-04-15 02:28:26 PM  

some_beer_drinker: We must do away with the absolutely specious notion that everybody has to earn a living. It is a fact today that one in ten thousand of us can make a technological breakthrough capable of supporting all the rest. The youth of today are absolutely right in recognizing this nonsense of earning a living. We keep inventing jobs because of this false idea that everybody has to be employed at some kind of drudgery because, according to Malthusian-Darwinian theory, he must justify his right to exist. So we have inspectors of inspectors and people making instruments for inspectors to inspect inspectors. The true business of people should be to go back to school and think about whatever it was they were thinking about before somebody came along and told them they had to earn a living.


As long as they can provide for themselves and whatever familial situation they get into, fine with me...
 
2014-04-15 02:29:47 PM  
The epitome of flower-child writers was the poet Richard Brautigan. He once wrote a shamelessly utopian, anti-Luddite poem titled, "All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace" where he imagines that the effect of industrialization and cybernetics would be to free men from labor.

[insert picture of politicians laughing]
 
2014-04-15 02:33:46 PM  
I pay $100 a year for Amazon Prime.

Let's look at the last  item I bought on eBay instead of buying on Amazon, as I used to more frequently than I do now.

Munton's Ale Yeast.

Using my Prime membership gives me two choices on Amazon.com

1. $6.66 with free shipping. Sold by a third party seller and fulfilled by Amazon.com. This means Amazon probably keeps this item in a warehouse waiting for it to be sold. No idea of how old the item is and whether it was stored properly.

2. $5.20 for an Add-on Item. Sold by the same third party seller and fulfilled by Amazon.com. I would have to spend 19.80 to get free shipping on this item.

I paid $3.12 including shiping for my Munton's Ale Yeast on eBay.

Now people will say "you have no guarantee about storage or product pull date on your eBay purchase either". True but all you have to do is look at this kefir link to understand Amazon doesn't care what sellers ship to their customers.

Negative reviews for Cultures for Health Kefir grains

For four years customers have been complaining about the quality of Cultures for Health kefir grains being sold on Amazon.com. Only problem is Amazon.com allows sellers to intentionally misrepresent their home-grown kefir grains as Cultures for Health kefir grains. CFH makes wonderful, safe products. Amazon.com participates in defrauding their customers by allowing the sale of counterfeit items.

http://www.amazon.com/Cultures-for-Health-LLC-Grains/product-reviews /B 003JO0VV2/ref=cm_cr_pr_hist_1?ie=UTF8&filterBy=addOneStar&showViewpoin ts=0&sortBy=bySubmissionDateDescending
 Do I use my Prime Membership? Sure do. I just bought the Liam Neeson episode of Life's Too Short for $1.99. The scene with Neeson, Gervais, Merchant, and Davis was probably worth my $100 annual fee alone. But I'm buying more and more off of Amazon than I ever have before. Mostly, I'm tired of busted up merchandise because Amazon scrimps on packing materials. I don't mind paying a premium for service but if they won't even bother packaging the items safely, it says a great deal about how Amazon's attitude towards their customers has changed.
 
2014-04-15 02:35:03 PM  
oops.

I'm buying more and more off of sites other than Amazon.com

YMMV.
 
2014-04-15 02:39:09 PM  

Gary-L: I have yet to meet anyone who ever enjoyed working in retail, so no great loss.


Beats the alternative, that's why they are working retail.

And trying to force me to scan and bag my own groceries doesn't mean an operation is more efficient.
 
2014-04-15 02:44:27 PM  

TheShavingofOccam123: The Amazon method?

You mean charging $100 a month to shop, requiring shoppers to purchase $35 to exercise their $100 membership benefits on thousands of items, raising prices to the point where you're no longer competitive with other online sellers and direct manufacturer-sellers, packaging your items so poorly your customers take to ordering single items because they've grown tired of having multiple items busted up, working your warehouse employees to the bone, allowing (and actually aiding) sellers on Amazon.com to defraud customers, etc.?

You mean that Amazon effect?


And the people in the Amazon warehouses are treated worst than Walmart employees.  The Total Fark left ignores this though as they want to keep shopping with them. It is their right, but it makes their nerd rage against Walmart kind of shallow.
 
2014-04-15 02:45:05 PM  
My boombox buying experiance this weekend perfectly illustrated the benefit and limitation of online retail.  I wanted an inexpensive boom box that had a radio, cd player and a 3/8 jack for the garage.  The weather was beautiful Sunday and I wanted to listen to something while I started cleaning the garage and the boom box I was using died in the cold.  Sound quality was also on my list but since I couldn't find anything that played CDs at the local big box stores I dropped sound quality from my list and was able to find something with the other features quickly on line.

The advantage of online shopping is that you can always find something that have the features you're looking for.  The disadvantages are you can't compare quality of the item and you have to wait for deliver.

I think online retail is going to dominate the big-box store.  I think it will also be an asset for the high end retailer, the audio shop that caters to the high end audiophile or the photo shop that caters to the true photographers.  Online will take over the low end where questionable quality is a given but availability is more important.
 
2014-04-15 02:54:28 PM  

Muta: My boombox buying experiance this weekend perfectly illustrated the benefit and limitation of online retail.  I wanted an inexpensive boom box that had a radio, cd player and a 3/8 jack for the garage.  The weather was beautiful Sunday and I wanted to listen to something while I started cleaning the garage and the boom box I was using died in the cold.  Sound quality was also on my list but since I couldn't find anything that played CDs at the local big box stores I dropped sound quality from my list and was able to find something with the other features quickly on line.

The advantage of online shopping is that you can always find something that have the features you're looking for.  The disadvantages are you can't compare quality of the item and you have to wait for deliver.

I think online retail is going to dominate the big-box store.  I think it will also be an asset for the high end retailer, the audio shop that caters to the high end audiophile or the photo shop that caters to the true photographers.  Online will take over the low end where questionable quality is a given but availability is more important.


While I agree with you to some respect, the one thing that online can't beat, and it's prefectly illustrated in your own scenario, if I'm cleaning the garage this Saturday morning and decide that need/want a boombox right then, I'm a 10 minute drive away (or less) from several different brick and mortar retail outlets that carry at least a dozen different ones that will fit the bill.  I don't care how many drones or whatever other delivery processes they implement, Amazon can't provide that.
 
2014-04-15 03:08:25 PM  

chevydeuce: some_beer_drinker: We must do away with the absolutely specious notion that everybody has to earn a living. It is a fact today that one in ten thousand of us can make a technological breakthrough capable of supporting all the rest. The youth of today are absolutely right in recognizing this nonsense of earning a living. We keep inventing jobs because of this false idea that everybody has to be employed at some kind of drudgery because, according to Malthusian-Darwinian theory, he must justify his right to exist. So we have inspectors of inspectors and people making instruments for inspectors to inspect inspectors. The true business of people should be to go back to school and think about whatever it was they were thinking about before somebody came along and told them they had to earn a living.

As long as they can provide for themselves and whatever familial situation they get into, fine with me...


We'll just give them all a job in the Reeks and Wrecks
 
2014-04-15 03:14:03 PM  

some_beer_drinker: We must do away with the absolutely specious notion that everybody has to earn a living. It is a fact today that one in ten thousand of us can make a technological breakthrough capable of supporting all the rest. The youth of today are absolutely right in recognizing this nonsense of earning a living. We keep inventing jobs because of this false idea that everybody has to be employed at some kind of drudgery because, according to Malthusian-Darwinian theory, he must justify his right to exist. So we have inspectors of inspectors and people making instruments for inspectors to inspect inspectors. The true business of people should be to go back to school and think about whatever it was they were thinking about before somebody came along and told them they had to earn a living.


*pops popcorn*
 
2014-04-15 03:22:34 PM  
Becomes more efficient? Why am I always standing in farking line for 20 minutes then?
 
2014-04-15 03:50:07 PM  
chevydeuce:
On a side note, amazing to me how some people see no problem whatsoever with Amazon's ruthless efficiency and labor practices, but Walmart is the devil's spawn for essentially the exact same things.

Amazon isn't the worlds largest private employer.  Walmart is symbolic.  Your amazement states more about you and your post than the (likely) non-existent people you describe.
 
2014-04-15 03:50:15 PM  
At some point, some intelligent engineer will come up with a way to automate shelf stocking in brick and mortor stores. The current supercenter model will then have to adjust and shed even more workers.

Some of this can be accomplished by building design. If you have ever been in an Aldi store, you will notice there is never more than four people working at any one time. The way the freezers are installed, 80% of them can be stocked from the rear using roll carts, eliminating pulling items out of boxes.  This is the way of the future.

Whether you like it or not.
 
2014-04-15 03:52:21 PM  

Clever Neologism: chevydeuce:
On a side note, amazing to me how some people see no problem whatsoever with Amazon's ruthless efficiency and labor practices, but Walmart is the devil's spawn for essentially the exact same things.

Amazon isn't the worlds largest private employer.  Walmart is symbolic.  Your amazement states more about you and your post than the (likely) non-existent people you describe.


Also, while Amazon is a biatch to work for, they do pay much better than Wally in every employment category.
 
2014-04-15 04:05:04 PM  

tricycleracer: hungryhungryhorus: So civilization, on a long timescale what's the plan for these people? It's not as if they suddenly stop wanting to eat every other day when there aren't jobs for them.

Mars colonists.


So, how exactly do you plan on making Mars habitable for human life?
 
2014-04-15 04:14:09 PM  

Nemo's Brother: TheShavingofOccam123: The Amazon method?

You mean charging $100 a month to shop, requiring shoppers to purchase $35 to exercise their $100 membership benefits on thousands of items, raising prices to the point where you're no longer competitive with other online sellers and direct manufacturer-sellers, packaging your items so poorly your customers take to ordering single items because they've grown tired of having multiple items busted up, working your warehouse employees to the bone, allowing (and actually aiding) sellers on Amazon.com to defraud customers, etc.?

You mean that Amazon effect?

And the people in the Amazon warehouses are treated worst than Walmart employees.  The Total Fark left ignores this though as they want to keep shopping with them. It is their right, but it makes their nerd rage against Walmart kind of shallow.


Worse than walmart?

You must work there, I mean you have to, you wouldn't just be talking out your ass on the internet.

Snice you're an insider you can answer me this:

why is it when amazon offers to pay these people thousands of dollars to quit and go work elsewhere, (which is their policy) they almost never do?

Go offer a Walmart employee 3 grand to quit. See what happens.
 
2014-04-15 04:15:09 PM  

llortcM_yllort: tricycleracer: hungryhungryhorus: So civilization, on a long timescale what's the plan for these people? It's not as if they suddenly stop wanting to eat every other day when there aren't jobs for them.

Mars colonists.

So, how exactly do you plan on making Mars habitable for human life?


Now THAT is begging the question.
 
2014-04-15 04:23:54 PM  

evilmrsock: llortcM_yllort: tricycleracer: hungryhungryhorus: So civilization, on a long timescale what's the plan for these people? It's not as if they suddenly stop wanting to eat every other day when there aren't jobs for them.

Mars colonists.

So, how exactly do you plan on making Mars habitable for human life?

Now THAT is begging the question.


Maybe I'm missing the joke, but how?  The word colonists implies that they'll live up there, so making sure they won't die seems like an important mission.  Unless "let em die" is the joke.
 
2014-04-15 04:38:17 PM  

tricycleracer: Mars colonists.


correct.

evilmrsock: Now THAT is begging the question.


you will find out soon enough :-)

llortcM_yllort: Maybe I'm missing the joke, but how?  The word colonists implies that they'll live up there, so making sure they won't die seems like an important mission.  Unless "let em die" is the joke.


It is important, and I won't let them die...not by a long shot
 
2014-04-15 04:42:35 PM  
First draft of intro to my novel:  Mulching Mars

"To all shall see these presents...Greetings.
{wait for applause}
To terraform Mars.
    That was the simple goal from the beginning. The reasons, however, to terraform Mars were much more complicated. 
    Way back in the year 2012, the world was in chaos. Perpetually high unemployment, horrible economies, civil liberties being eroded away by spy organizations, and protests and riots all across the planet. The people on Earth were losing hope. Something had to be done. Something had to change.
    Then one day that year, a man had a dream. A vision of the future. An unexplainable insight into the Nature of Man. Over the next two years he wrote that book, The Nature of Man, and his vision for the future.  
    He published it in 2014. 
    The book explained how mankind's use and intrinsic value of money, in the form of fiat currencies, was nothing more than a proxy for the aggregate sum of all human values. It was the conflicting, individual, human values that were the root of all problems. He stated if a group of individuals could agree on a simple overall set of principles and a tangible, but large, goal then those people would be happy and could achieve that large goal.

In it, he made the case on how mankind's problems could be solved by creating a new country with one specific goal: Let's Terraform Mars."
 
2014-04-15 04:50:53 PM  

MurphyMurphy: Nemo's Brother: TheShavingofOccam123: The Amazon method?

You mean charging $100 a month to shop, requiring shoppers to purchase $35 to exercise their $100 membership benefits on thousands of items, raising prices to the point where you're no longer competitive with other online sellers and direct manufacturer-sellers, packaging your items so poorly your customers take to ordering single items because they've grown tired of having multiple items busted up, working your warehouse employees to the bone, allowing (and actually aiding) sellers on Amazon.com to defraud customers, etc.?

You mean that Amazon effect?

And the people in the Amazon warehouses are treated worst than Walmart employees.  The Total Fark left ignores this though as they want to keep shopping with them. It is their right, but it makes their nerd rage against Walmart kind of shallow.

Worse than walmart?

You must work there, I mean you have to, you wouldn't just be talking out your ass on the internet.

Snice you're an insider you can answer me this:

why is it when amazon offers to pay these people thousands of dollars to quit and go work elsewhere, (which is their policy) they almost never do?

Go offer a Walmart employee 3 grand to quit. See what happens.


I would guess that has more to do with the quality and intelligence of the respective companies employees.
 
2014-04-15 05:03:30 PM  

mr lawson: tricycleracer: Mars colonists.

correct.

evilmrsock: Now THAT is begging the question.

you will find out soon enough :-)

llortcM_yllort: Maybe I'm missing the joke, but how?  The word colonists implies that they'll live up there, so making sure they won't die seems like an important mission.  Unless "let em die" is the joke.

It is important, and I won't let them die...not by a long shot


So a point-blank shot?
 
2014-04-15 05:36:31 PM  

tricycleracer: TheShavingofOccam123: You mean charging $100 a month to shop

It's $89/year.  It makes Christmas shopping bearable.  It's totally worth it for me for that alone.


That's the thing. It depends on what you buy, when you buy it, and a few other things other than price alone.

Christmas shopping. Prime is excellent for that.

Furniture and other heavy things like appliances. Excellent for that considering the free shipping.  As numerous Farkers have pointed out, one delivery pays for the Prime membership. Plus free returns if there's a problem.

Staples. A family member has her crazy cat lady rations of kitty litter delivered. 40 lb boxes into a shopping cart, onto a register, back into a cart, out to the car, into the trunk, out of the trunk, into the house and onto a shelf is just too much work. And with subscribe and save prices are cheaper or at least competitive. I subscribe to enormous tubs of pitted greek olives. The last order Amazon didn't pack well enough. The seal popped and brine leaked. I called and got a 20% refund with no return.

I've always bought lots of small items I can't find anywhere or with reasonable shipping costs. And strange stuff that lots of other sites didn't carry. So with the Add-on Items changes and other changes, my experiences have gone downhill.

 
2014-04-15 05:48:45 PM  
As someone who works in retail, I can tell you that things aren't efficient. Corporate sends a bunch of shiat to your store that you can't sell. The only way to move it is to mark it down, cutting into your profit (assuming your store makes any money, my location's goal is to lose only x amount this year). That's assuming you can mark it down. A lot of seasonal things (back to school, xmas) just get packed away for the next year. We have highlighters going back to 2009. Having all that shiat brings up your carrying charge. They restructure store management and bring some employees down to the new max for their pay scale, yet the cashiers who have been around for 25 years are making more than you because they DON'T go down to their new pay max. Meanwhile your chain just bought out another small chain and is flying people out from around the country to train them on your systems, and the CEO gets another raise. And for the past three months we've been getting all the ad items right after the sale ends.
 
2014-04-15 06:02:26 PM  

Gary-L: I have yet to meet anyone who ever enjoyed working in retail, so no great loss.


I've met plenty of people who prefer it to panhandling in the street.
 
2014-04-15 06:13:31 PM  
Then some of the local stores don't help their cause either.

Short version - we went to a local hardware store instead of a "big box" to buy a leafblower. Local store, "we don't have that model & those are all more expensive". Not even the vaguest hint of giving a crap. Went home and ordered from Amazon at full retail just like I had intended to at the hardware store.

/and since it's NJ, I even got to pay the $21 sales tax
 
2014-04-15 06:23:15 PM  

TheShavingofOccam123: I pay $100 a year for Amazon Prime.


So you admit you don't pay $100 a month to use Amazon? Just maybe ~$100 a year and I don't think that price hike has even taken effect for most users yet. Non Prime shoppers still get free shipping, so it's not a necessary service by any means.

Let's look at the last  item I bought on eBay instead of buying on Amazon, as I used to more frequently than I do now.

Munton's Ale Yeast.

Using my Prime membership gives me two choices on Amazon.com

1. $6.66 with free shipping. Sold by a third party seller and fulfilled by Amazon.com. This means Amazon probably keeps this item in a warehouse waiting for it to be sold. No idea of how old the item is and whether it was stored properly.

2. $5.20 for an Add-on Item. Sold by the same third party seller and fulfilled by Amazon.com. I would have to spend 19.80 to get free shipping on this item.

I paid $3.12 including shiping for my Munton's Ale Yeast on eBay.

Now people will say "you have no guarantee about storage or product pull date on your eBay purchase either". True but all you have to do is look at this kefir link to understand Amazon doesn't care what sellers ship to their customers.


Okay, so you also admit that you don't have to spend $35 on Add-On items with Prime. It is $25. Additionally, you are speculating about why Amazon would be a worse option for your hypothetical yeast purchase. I can speculate all day about ebay being worse based on my many experiences with the two websites (the first negative being the multiple hundreds of dollars in ebay shipping costs I've paid over single holiday seasons because my mother hates Amazon and irrationally loves used crap from ebay). If I get a piece of useless junk from ebay, I'm fairly certain most merchants make me eat the shipping costs for both delivery and return while they may refund me for the general purchase. That's why I rarely return things to ebay and I only purchase things from ebay users when I have no viable alternatives. Fortunately, I live in a big city and I have Amazon Prime, so that's an avenue of last resort when xmas shopping is not concerned. If I wanted fresh yeast and I had a bad experience with Amazon yeast (can't imagine why I'd buy such a thing from Amazon as food stuffs are one of the few things cheaper to buy at the grocery store), I would haul my butt down to a grocery store or gourmet market.
 
2014-04-15 06:24:28 PM  

MurphyMurphy: Snice you're an insider you can answer me this:

why is it when amazon offers to pay these people thousands of dollars to quit and go work elsewhere, (which is their policy) they almost never do?

Go offer a Walmart employee 3 grand to quit. See what happens.


Amazon isn't offering their warehouse drone workers thousand of dollars to quit, you nit.  That's for head office people.

More specifically, Amazon  doesn't technically have any warehouse drone workers.

Really, they don't.  They hire national logistics firms. Who bring in fresh meat every Tuesday from local temp agencies.  "Amazon warehouses" generally often don't have a single employee of "Amazon.com, LLC".
 
2014-04-15 06:25:34 PM  

some_beer_drinker: We must do away with the absolutely specious notion that everybody has to earn a living. It is a fact today that one in ten thousand of us can make a technological breakthrough capable of supporting all the rest. The youth of today are absolutely right in recognizing this nonsense of earning a living. We keep inventing jobs because of this false idea that everybody has to be employed at some kind of drudgery because, according to Malthusian-Darwinian theory, he must justify his right to exist. So we have inspectors of inspectors and people making instruments for inspectors to inspect inspectors. The true business of people should be to go back to school and think about whatever it was they were thinking about before somebody came along and told them they had to earn a living.


I would go a different direction with that thought.  Everyone should have to do their portion of work for society, but I think the notion of a 40 hour work week is outdated due to modern efficiency gains.  I'd bet that if we changed the full-time definition to 30 hours weekly and set a cap on overtime (even on salaried people) we'd see some of the unemployed brought back into the working population and we can all enjoy our efficiency gains.  It would be painful for a bit as prices adjusted to everyone's wages (unless also adjusted in proportion) but it would work out.  There is some fine tuning to be done but it's a solid scenario.
 
2014-04-15 06:34:55 PM  

rdnjr1234: some_beer_drinker: We must do away with the absolutely specious notion that everybody has to earn a living. It is a fact today that one in ten thousand of us can make a technological breakthrough capable of supporting all the rest. The youth of today are absolutely right in recognizing this nonsense of earning a living. We keep inventing jobs because of this false idea that everybody has to be employed at some kind of drudgery because, according to Malthusian-Darwinian theory, he must justify his right to exist. So we have inspectors of inspectors and people making instruments for inspectors to inspect inspectors. The true business of people should be to go back to school and think about whatever it was they were thinking about before somebody came along and told them they had to earn a living.

I would go a different direction with that thought.  Everyone should have to do their portion of work for society, but I think the notion of a 40 hour work week is outdated due to modern efficiency gains.  I'd bet that if we changed the full-time definition to 30 hours weekly and set a cap on overtime (even on salaried people) we'd see some of the unemployed brought back into the working population and we can all enjoy our efficiency gains.  It would be painful for a bit as prices adjusted to everyone's wages (unless also adjusted in proportion) but it would work out.  There is some fine tuning to be done but it's a solid scenario.


A cap on hours is something I might support. I like the idea.
 
2014-04-15 07:52:20 PM  

llortcM_yllort: evilmrsock: llortcM_yllort: tricycleracer: hungryhungryhorus: So civilization, on a long timescale what's the plan for these people? It's not as if they suddenly stop wanting to eat every other day when there aren't jobs for them.

Mars colonists.

So, how exactly do you plan on making Mars habitable for human life?

Now THAT is begging the question.

Maybe I'm missing the joke, but how?  The word colonists implies that they'll live up there, so making sure they won't die seems like an important mission.  Unless "let em die" is the joke.


Hmm.  Looks like somebody never read "The Marching Morans" in middle school.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Marching_Morons
 
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