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51
I've had an Amazon vehicle deliver a small canister of a food supplement for one of our cats, a small plastic canister about 3" tall and round, in a plastic shipping bag that the guy basically tossed up on our porch in the snow.

We've also had Amazon deliveries where the driver's vehicle pulls up in the driveway and makes it look like we're about to have a home invasion  :o because it's so trashy looking, but the person delivering was thankfully very nice.

In our experience AMZN doesn't mark the vehicles. Not even a pizza delivery style magnetic sign. Amazon needs a lot of distance from those filthy assed delivery contractors.  >:(
52
Regarding 1) - Same here, I see mostly Amazon and UPS trucks.  An Amazon truck delivered a food thermometer the other day, so they don't just deliver large items.

I found this:

Quote
According to a WSJ article Amazon  sold more than 5 billion items in 2014. 40 percent of those items were sold by third party  merchants. This number is gradually increasing and the company estimates this number  will reach 55% in next five years.

Amazon's website says:

Quote
You sell it, we ship it. Amazon has one of the most advanced fulfillment networks in the world. With Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA), you store your products in Amazon's fulfillment centers, and we pick, pack, ship, and provide customer service for these products.

So the trend is apparently for Amazon to be in the shipping, online sales, customer service (i.e. returns) and warehouse automation business.  The sellers will still have to do the marketing and if they are not successful Amazon will probably drop them to make things less confusing.  You can see how sellers can fail through Amazon when they price things poorly or get fewer than 4.5 stars for whatever reason.


53
Just a few concerns that I think are entirely self-evident...

1) Is Amazon's pricing advantage sustainable indefinitely? Trump's stated that Amazon gets what amounts to enormous subsidies off of the USPS for shipping and delivery. (Funny cuz most Amazon products I receive come by private Amazon courier or UPS brown trucks.)

2) What will Amazon do when it has eliminated consumer choice in broad product categories? IE, suppose consumers woke up and started buying tires en masse at Amazon - there goes local tire stores which are reduced to installations and service and which are deprived of good resale profits that keep locals employed. Wal-Mart has tended to raise prices in communities once it drove out all competition.  I'm thinking AMZN will put the screws to its public when it has successfully deconstructed or destroyed most retail in the US.

3) Is Amazon's winner-take-all domination healthy for the economy and communities? For one thing it removes any ability to compete in certain categories. Basically AMZN dominance means a nation of Amazon contractors, peons, employees, and a few affiliate marketers and resellers to drive sales to it.

Local service businesses are fine and dandy but it's something I have learned bitterly as a consultant over the years: Amazon is removing the ability for startups to create scalable businesses.

What's left over after an Amazon gloms up all of the scalable business opportunities are non-scalable highly custom low level services, such as car repair and repairs and service in general (home, auto, HVAC, plumbing, etc.)

That's unhealthy IMO.

My thesis is that while Amazon is as evil as they come for a large corporation, smaller local entrepreneurs who basically resell commodity goods have only themselves to blame. My local tire chains don't HAVE to sell tires for almost 3X Amazon's price. Unless the buying power of Amazon actually forces the matter.
54

Amazon seems extremely unlikely for buying tires but you can buy furniture and lawnmowers through them, so what the hey.

In a broader sense is this how the economy works? Like two or three major corporations "allowed" to do business with the public?

I can see myself buying almost anything now through Amazon.  I just had delivered cardboard storage boxes, which cost maybe 1/3 more at Staples.  The boxes came in an outer shipping box in perfect condition.

It raises the question of whether to buy Amazon stock.  I'm put off by the P/E ratio of (currently) 223.27.  But if they don't have much competition from bricks and mortar stores or from other online retailers maybe the stock has nowhere to go but up.
55

while on the subject, I need to upgrade my obama-era chebby. That thing has been a non-stop source of problems.

It's a 4-wheel ad for Toyota.
56

yeah, it's hard to compete with that price.
57
Also,

Amazon Prime is a horn of plenty for a de-industrialized Amurrica.

You'll take your low wages, buy stuff from Amazon, never consider shopping locally, and LIKE IT.

                   - Globalists Everywhere
58
Yes. Tires rot due to ozone and oxygen/oxidation. They don't stay in stasis if they're not driven on. The rubber dries out. That's partially what's going on with my current hugely overpriced set of tires.

I looked into used tires but I couldn't find any consistency in brands, condition or wear/age. I basically don't trust anyone selling them. And I got these top rated tires new for 75/tire. I was seeing Craigslist ads for less well known used tires in the same size for $40-50. At that rate I decided to just buy new.
59
Quote
I GOT CHEAP TIRES HOORAY! F*** SOCIAL CONSCIOUSNESS.


LOL


I am a cheaper bastard than you.  I buy used tires.  In great condition.

Until I found that the thing that expires a tire is its age, not necessarily just miles.

i.e. a 15 year old new-never-mounted tire can be junk.

60
It was shipped under my Amazon Prime. No charge for shipping. Just state sales tax. No rebate offered, however. Buuut... maybe a rebate is offered by the manufacturer for this sale. I'll check that out.

Normally I don't do a lot of penny pinching on low value transactions but this savings amounted to several hundred dollars.

Amazon seems extremely unlikely for buying tires but you can buy furniture and lawnmowers through them, so what the hey.

In a broader sense is this how the economy works? Like two or three major corporations "allowed" to do business with the public?
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