Thursday, May 31, 2018

Is overrated or is it really useful? 2-on-1 06/01/2018

This week's topic - Is overrated or is it really useful? was my suggestion. I have been an avid Amazon customer for many years. Last week I was looking for a USB 3.0/Ethernet adapter and so I decided  to check out Amazon's offerings as well as what else the Web has to offer.

Amazon is rather unique in their attitude and business strategy. They re in it for the long haul so they constantly play a long game. Immediate profitability is not critical to Amazon as long as they grow their market share. Toward the end of my career at RadioShack I worked for The VP in charge of .com was a fellow named Dave Goyne. I recall several conversations with Dave regarding Amazon and their rapid growth. His comments were always that Amazon was a benign company - never profitable and not a threat to the multi-billion dollar RadioShack. Dave had no vision and at the end of his time we were very far behind companies like Amazon in web development. I hope he is enjoying his retirement - he wanted to farm nuts (I do not recall what kind - Almonds and Pecans both stick in my mind). The Shack is no more save for a few independent dealers and a web presence that is ludicrous at best. Thousands upon thousands of people lost their livelihood due to the bad decisions made by Goyne and the rest of senior management.  Jeff Bezos - the Amazon CEO is now arguably the wealthiest man in the world. Not bad for a guy that started the business selling books online. He and Amazon changed the publishing industry.

Amazon now is the clear leader in online sales. They are developing a robust brand of their own products like Fire tablets, cabless, Echo, Prime and more. Prime offers video streaming like Netflix with a growing list of original material, free 2-day shipping and more. For a nominal fee of $12.99 Kindle owners can read an unlimited number of books - last year I read 78 under the Kindle Unlimited plan.You may not find the latest best-sellers but there is a vast array of excellent stuff available.

I realize this is starting to sound like a commercial for Amazon but all is not sunshine lollipops and rainbows.  Amazon grew its business by offering the best prices. That automatically generated competition from other online companies. Then they created Amazon Prime and offered free 2-day shipping as well as video streaming to compete with Netflix all for a flat annual fee (that price just went up BTW). They wisely offer some program material that is original which adds subscribers and allows Amazon to do add-on sales.

POTUS 45 has spent a considerable amount of time claiming Amazon is responsible for the US Postal Service losing billions of dollars; not collecting sales taxes on items sold; forcing thousands of "mom and pop: stores to close.  It will come as no surprise that those things are simply lies. Trump despises Bezos for one simple reason - Bezos owns the Washington Post. Amazon collects sales tax on products sold, they do NOT collect sales tax om sales made by Amazon associate companies. The USPS negotiates shipping rates for large commercial customers and Amazon pays the same as others. That contract is renegotiated periodically. Lastly, the chief small business killer in this country is Walmart - not Amazon.
 because of the depth and breadth of their selections. They are developing same day deliveries, 1-hour grocery deliveries and are one of the most innovative companies in the country, 

The bottom line - to me - is that Amazon is easily the most convenient online business to use when shopping online. I may not always buy there but they usually get my first look.

To see what Ramana thinks, click here.


  1. Very educative about Radioshack and the POTUS' reaction to Amazon. Their strategy here is no different and their service is very good that makes them the first choice for online shoppers.

  2. they get my first look too! and their story is interesting.
    you simplified it beautifully. there are some brilliant young minds out there.
    right now they're in the news I see to open a new facility.
    and OKC is trying hard to compete.
    I like the fact too that they donate to my favorite charity when I purchase. it's a win win for me.

  3. Yeah - they created the discount Web purchasing and they are into everything - a very interesting company

  4. New Zealand Post here also have complained about lack of "posting stuff" and that's to do with various things including online shopping...easy to gifting and such like things.

    and the gov't is forever trying to tax stuff coming in from overseas online area. One such online arena is Aliexpress or whatever it is called...

    1. Yeah they do have creative ways to tax you Brit linked folks. Is your access taxed as well?

  5. I wondered what happened at Radio Shack. I miss being able to pop in there to speak directly with a human being. Recall purchasing a mic and amplifier to use with hard of hearing. When the relatively young mgr found out my profession he shared he had had a stroke and finally been able to return to work. He reached in his shirt pocket, extracting a small notebook. He said, “Here’s my memory,”. I was pleased to learn therapy he had received from someone in my profession had been able to help him adapt so successfully to his situation. I wonder what has become of him?

    I do often refer to Amazon, but order from them much less frequently. It’s one thing if I know exactly what I want, but especially in tech arena, hardware store items i seek brick and mortar stores. I don’t always seek the lowest price. I do have Amazon among my list of sources to use as I may increasingly need to rely on home delivery in the years to come.

    1. It is nice to see you back - I hope all is well. The best thing Amazon did was create a standard for online purchasing that makes others compete and that truly is betterfor us all.