amazon

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Liability.

[T]o make an analogy, what Amazon was asking for is the equivalent of making not only retailers and manufacturers [liable] for defective products, but also potentially the malls in which those stores are located, as well as the newspapers in which stores advertise their wares, the payment systems they use to take money, the decorator who helps arrange storefronts, or anyone else who ‘facilitates’ the commerce.

One might imagine this analogy is an exaggeration, and that not all these entities will be held liable. And that’s possible. You see, what’s powerful about the language Amazon recommended is that its meaning will have to be worked out by the courts, which is of course the point. The goal is to force anyone who might want to compete with Amazon to put themselves in legal jeopardy. Amazon essentially has imposed a lawyer tax on all its competitors and anyone who might consider selling to its competitors. […]

In other words, what started as a bill to make sure Amazon would be held liable for defective products it sold, essentially codifying a court case that already made that happen, has now turned into a legal weapon Amazon can use against its competitors, who have nothing remotely like the level of control over the stream of commerce that Amazon has, or the ability to deploy resources to organize it.

Matt Stoller on corporate law.

The point here is the way big companies interfere in public policy making. Amazon are definitely not the only culprits but they are very, very good at it.

2020-12-01T16:14:10+11:004th December, 2020|Tags: |

Branbassadors.

One of the reasons I love Mastodon is that any time any tries to do shit like this they pretty much get immediately defederated by everyone…

2019-10-03T08:09:28+10:0019th January, 2020|Tags: , , |

Amazon is bad, actually.

So probably about two years ago, I made a quiet-but-conscious choice to, in as much as possible, stop shopping at Amazon. This isn’t entirely difficult, since Amazon isn’t nearly as embedded in the retail market in Australia as it is in the US—and it ironically got even worse once it opened onshore operations—but I’ve still found I’ve had to use it as a vendor-of-last-resort in those few situations where I can’t buy something via another channel.

Which is a lot of puff to basically say I very wholeheartedly agree with this article’s premise that, uh, actually Amazon is kind of garbage. Like, as a store. It’s garbage. People forget, because they don’t use other retailers but… damn, is it.

2019-02-18T09:16:06+11:0011th August, 2019|Tags: , |

Everything is lemons.

[Amazon sells] junk that would never, ever be sold at a Wal-Mart store. That’s because in order to get into a store, a buyer, a human being with a reputation, has to allocate shelf space. The easiest way to lose your job as a buyer is to put brand-destroying lousy products on a valuable shelf.

Amazon, on the other hand, has infinite shelves. And no buyers. As a result, they’re relying on an algorithm that rewards low prices and high ratings. But the best way to lower prices is to make junk. And the best way to high ratings is to fake them.

Seth Godin on Amazon.

This is what’s known, incidentally, as a “market for lemons“, and people have been accusing Amazon of fostering it in publishing for years. I guess now they’re just branching out…

2019-01-23T13:37:41+11:0025th June, 2019|Tags: , |

Marketing marketing.

This has been a thing in self-publishing for, like, a decade, but it’s always worth re-mentioning that there’s always more money in telling other people how to (allegedly) make money than there is in, yanno. Actually making money…

2019-01-22T09:01:53+11:0016th June, 2019|Tags: , |

Amazon.com is bad, actually.

I generally don’t use Amazon.com, originally out of a single-person boycott and more lately because as soon as they opened a regional operation they because useless, but every now and again I do end up there, and am endlessly reminded just how much their website…. sucks.

2018-12-03T10:39:50+11:0029th April, 2019|Tags: , |

It’s what axes are made from.

Today in irony, Amazon registers a patent to prevent comparison shopping, a.k.a. showrooming, in physical stores.

Given that Amazon is probably the biggest beneficiary of showrooming, it seems they maybe just jumped on this to prevent someone else from doing so. Also, I’ve no idea how this could be a “patent” given the technology is basically just “block competitor URLs on the in-store wifi’s web proxy” but… whatever. You do you, dinosaurs in the patent office.

Tl;dr, you shouldn’t be using free in-store wifi anyway so… yanno. There’s that.

2017-06-29T07:51:01+10:0025th August, 2017|Tags: , |

College mailrooms can’t keep up with Amazon orders.

File under “what do you mean people still use the postal service?”

One of the things I like about Australia Post, is that they’ve well and truly embraced their role as Official Distributor of Internet Goods, for which see services like ShopMate (a fake US address you can use for places that don’t ship internationally) and Parcel Lockers (24/7 parcel pickup).

2017-08-23T09:59:53+10:0013th February, 2016|Tags: |

How to build an empire.

[Amazon] started as a “book retailer” and nothing else. They leaned on Ingram’s Oregon warehouse to enable their business model, which was to take an order for a book and accept payment, then procure the book from Ingram and send it to the customer, and then a little later pay Ingram’s bill. This positive cash-flow model was so brilliant that Ingram could have readily enabled lots of copycats, and they formed a division called Ingram Internet Support Services to do just that. So Amazon killed that idea by cutting their prices to no-margin levels and discouraged anybody else from getting into the game. That was in the late 1990s.

They could do that because the financial community had already accepted Amazon’s strategy of using books to build a customer base and to measure future business prospects by LCV — the “lifetime customer value” of the people they did business with. And it became clear pretty rapidly that they could sell book readers other things so no- or low-margin sales were simply customer acquisition tactics. This was a game Barnes & Noble and Borders couldn’t play.

Now book and ebook sales are almost certainly no more than a single-digit percentage of Amazon’s total revenue. Kindle Unlimited, like their publishing enterprises and self-publishing offerings, are small parts of a powerful organization that has many ways to win with every customer they recruit.

Mike Shatzkin on no-margin, no-profit.

2020-05-12T08:13:34+10:0012th February, 2016|Tags: , , |
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