Is anyone as annoyed as me with Amazon?

This may be less of a problem in the USA, but I live in Germany, where ther
e is no Harbor Freight, McMaster, or MSC, so I am especially reliant on Eba
y (which is actually pretty good at picking up the slack) and Amazon. Amazo
n is so poor at describing their wares, however, that I find it ludicrous.
I need a wide aluminum dustpan for the shop, for example. The choices on A
mazon give me neither the size, nor a way to contact the seller to ask. Th
ey offer to forward my question to other customers. WTF? I've even been que
ried on products I've ordered but didn't yet arrive. "What is the volume of
that spray bottle?" Are you freakin' kidding me? Shouldn't something like
that be in the description? And, how much faith should you have in another
customers' answer? I think I will answer: 25 liters. Moving out of shop st
uff, I wanted to buy a shoulder travel bag. There are never photos of acces
sories like this on a person or even a dummy, so even with some basic dimen
sions, you can't get a good idea of what you are buying.
Ebay, on the other hand, has been my salvation, I like Klingspor sandpaper,
for example. Even though it is made here, if you call them, they will refe
r you to a seller in your area. If the seller doesn't stock what you want,
then tough luck. Now there are Ebay sellers out there who will provide me w
ith the products I want, and at a good price! And this goes for anything fr
om rubber gloves to carbide endmills.
I don't understand Amazon's reasoning for this practice, but it is certainl
y a strategy. It's nice that they deliver so fast and take back what you do
n't want, but why ship you stuff that you wouldn't have ordered in the firs
t place had they described it properly? And, why forgo the sales on product
s I didn't order because I didn't have enough information?
Reply to
robobass
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Sounds like a business opportunity. Start with things that Amazon does a particularly poor job of selling, and go from there.
Reply to
Tim Wescott
FWIW -- I believe that MSC still sells overseas. It is a problem for those who live in Canada, because the shipping is via UPS, which insists on proxying the customs -- whether there should be customs duty or not. :-( This tends to run the cost up. Not sure what it is like in Germany.
But McMaster Carr just plain *won't* sell to individually in other countries, for whatever reason.
I *think* that Amazon assumes that you have already looked at the product at a local store, and are looking for a less expensive way to purchase it.
[ ... ]
eBay started out with *individuals* selling used things -- likely things no longer made-- so good photos and good descriptions were pretty much required. While there are now a lot of commercial vendors there, the description process is still the same.
My guess is that it is as described above -- they think that you've already looked at it in a store, so you know what it is. And it is up to the actual vendor to handle descriptions -- and many of those are set up for walk-in purchases, and offer through Amazon to allo them to move things which are slow in their inventory.
Again -- they think that you can walk into a store and look -- and don't take into account that you may not be in the same country.
Good Luck, DoN.
Reply to
DoN. Nichols
"DoN. Nichols" wrote in message >
Don, I don't think that's it at all. Amazon is huge. I believe they are now the world's largest retailer. Large enough that they have distribution centers in most regions of the world, and multiples in larger (geographically) countries for logistical reasons. They face local legal, logistical, and cultural issues just like a locallly owned business in many regions of the world. They are very much aware of where there customers are buying from.
I think its an expansion of an old bit of sales wisdom. If you give the "average" customer to much information to process you lose the sale. They can't decided. Its like offering your customer to many options. They walk away to think about it. I grew up in retail and learned that lesson first hand when showing customers bits of merchandise from behind the behind the counter or in the display cases. If you just show them what they ask to see you more often make the sale. Sure you might upsell them for a larger sale if you show them something nicer, but the percentages say you will lose more than you gain if you give them to much to process.
Its not universal of course. Technical customers want to know the specs, pros, and cons of an item, but Amazon is not geared to the technical customer. They are geared to the average customer.
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Reply to
Bob La Londe
" I *think* that Amazon assumes that you have already looked at the product at a local store, and are looking for a less expensive way to purchase it." Don, I think this idea has some validity, but only goes so far. Here, at least, it's often the case that the product is not any cheaper at Amazon, but they get the sale anyway because the customer can save himself a shopping trip. If you lived in Cologne, or any dense urban environment, you would especia lly appreciate this. I drove all the time before I moved to Germany, but no wadays I use the car pretty much exclusively for weekend pleasure excursion s. Besides that, Amazon is trying to offer more than what you can already b uy in a brick and mortars, whose assortments are shrinking anyway as a resu lt of competition from Amazon. In Germany especially, we don't have the spe cialty catalogs like McMaster, and the small specialty shops for tinkers li ke me have disappeared. Amazon does try to capitalize on this, selling ever ything from auto parts to buffing compounds, but they seem to suffer from t he mindset that Bob mentions - Don't offer too many details or options. (Bo b, "too" is a word. "to" is a different word!) Ebay. Yes, it started out as a way to get rid of your unwanted collection of "Mamma's Family" VHS tapes , but fortunately for me, lot's of entrepreneurs out there have recognized the hole in modern retailing, and found Ebay to be a perfect vehicle to sel l all kinds of obscure industrial supplies that I simply couldn't get other wise, and they are not hidebound by corporate inertia. Nowadays I still nee d to source a few things from McMaster, mainly because I use an inch thread for my product, which I don't want to change. I have to find friends who a re traveling to and from the States to bring the stuff to me. Mailing from the States is a disaster. Very expensive, first of all, and then we have a very diligent customs office. You generally pay 35% in duty, the calculatio n including shipping costs. Another funny thing is that small items are exe mpt, so there is a lot of stuff now on German Ebay which comes directly fro m China. It takes four weeks, but if you can wait you save at least half.
Reply to
robobass
Yes, one of the best incentives to a lot of people is that for $79 (now $99) per year, you can join Amazon Prime and get free 2-day delivery (in the US) on everything you purchase through them. I have found better pricing on almost everything at Amazon and have been a Prime member for a decade or so now. If I could have found everything I wanted locally, I likely would have paid over $500 in fuel costs and potentially paid 1.5x the overall price each year. Trips to town and back usually take 20 minutes travel time and 15 minutes per store (I'm an extremely efficient buyer.), so I save time shopping online. About 60% of things I want aren't even available locally.
As someone already said, Amazon leaves the description and header up to the vendor to put up. eBay vendors have the same problem. They are mom and pop stores and don't know diddly squat about 99% of the products they sell, so they rely on an indifferent manufacturer who likely doesn't pay their sales team enough to care to write out all the details. Hell, i've called manufacturers to get details and even they don't have them, so I have waited several weeks for a product engineer to get back to me. They curse the company's lack of foresight as strongly as I have. I'm currently trying to get info on a Figo Atrium 5.5 phone, and even the Amazon vendors and forum folks are tight lipped. For the record, the Posh Equal 7" phablet is not back- pocketable. Yes, I heard the dreaded "tink" sound on the way to town and when I tried it in the store while waiting for the clerk to bring out another box of veggies, I turned on a rainbow-cracked mess. Hence, the Atrium screen durability search. Surprisingly, Posh didn't warrant the screen but Amazon did. Who can be angry with Amazon with a customer service policy like that?
Thank you for saying it for me. ;)
Yes, thank Crom!
Save up to 90%. I see exactly the same Chinese products online and shelved locally for $10-14.99 which I got from a Chinese vendor for $0.74 ($0.99CAD) to $0.99USD with free subsidised shipping. Same products sourced in the USA from an eBay vendor cost $3.99, with zero to $3.49 shipping. So if it's not available locally when I need it now, I can either get it through a more local eBay store, McMaster, or Amazon within the week, or wait until it slow-boats over from Shenzen, depending on availability. Home Depot gives free shipping to store, so I ordered a water heater on Nov 05. It will be here on the 23rd. I wonder if Rheem is outsourcing now, too...
If you want expensive shipping, move to Australia. _Product_ costs are usually less than the cost of shipping to or from there. (Right, Jon?) I wonder how much of that is duty.
Reply to
Larry Jaques
So is "two" and "tu", but tu is a bit to familiar.
Reply to
Bob La Londe
Yes. You can say "Tu" in Madrid most of the time, but be careful in Seville ! In Germany you can be fined for saying "Du" to a cop. Writing "to" when y ou mean "too" doesn't cause an inadvertent insult, but it does rub some fea thers for some of us. Back there in the primordial part of our brain somewh ere, at least...
Reply to
robobass
Thus thinkest thou?
Reply to
Jim Wilkins

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