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Dan Cole

Amazon Juggernaut

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Interesting article on Amazon.

 

 

Is Amazon disrupting your business?

 

Dan

No doubt. My biggest "retail" competitor. Fortunately we also service a large base of "commercial" customers who do not tend to rely as much on Amazon.

 

You could always "join the dark side"... If you so choose.

 

I haven't yet... But I've thought about it seriously several times.

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@@greasemonkey  I've thought about it too but their fees have always scared me away.  Some of my competitors seem to be making it work so who knows some day I might test "the dark side".

 

Dan 

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You could consider Amazon and advertising expense. Put some products on there at low prices to build awareness of your business.

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I seriously thought of starting selling on Amazon as none of my competitors sold there at the time. A lot of my products were not available on their site. All products needed a GITN number, which most of mine did not have at the time, so that would have been one large expense for me. Others can then use that barcode number if they sell the supposed same product, or at least think they sell the same product. What really put me off were their terms and conditions and also some of the feedback on other forums about Amazon and their practices.

crimble crumble likes this

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They doesn't affect my sales as I sell niche products. But I've tried selling through their marketplace to see if sales increases and I must say:

  • Listing products is a pain, especially with those without GITN as @@14steve14 says.
  • It's not cheap at all to sell with them.
  • Their seller central site is full of errors.
  • It's not helpful to talk to their support assistants.
  • If you don't use their logistics they force you to charge a ridiculous amount for shipping.
  • They hide the customer from you, and vice-versa. Almost no information and no communication on both sides.
  • They use EU laws mainly as toilet paper for their employees.

On the other hand they ship as quick as a laser beam. I ordered a product on sunday evening and got it monday morning!!!

 

That kind of giants with that burute force position are not good at all for small business.

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Several years ago they contacted me 3 times to sell online wiht them but I didn't really see it working out well.  One of my competitors sells a few items through them but their rating isn't very good.  I sell dried and preserved flowers, branches, moss, etc..   So, my items are really a niche too.  Another pain with Amazon in the US is you have to track sales tax in every state from what I understand.  Right now, I just do Florida. 

 

As Dan mentioned, the fees are high but a friend that sold xmas ornaments through them and Ebay said the fees were worth it and he could sell higher. 

 

Shipping is killing me because we sell light items, so most of our boxes are low density and get dimensional weight rates.  It's shocking how much fedex ground is to California.  I have partners that handle the production lines and shipping so I'm stuck wiht fedex now.  Amazon has distribution wired.

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Here's something about Amazon you might not know.  They are doing restaurant delivery now and Orlando is one of the markets.  Order on an Amazon site from about 30 restaurants and they deliver withiin an hour.  They're tempting me with a $10 off coupon for my first order. 

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From what I understand they are also testing the old grocery delivery business model in several cities and it probably won't be long before they own their own country wide delivery business.  If you are selling regular commodities they will definitely be competitors of yours.

 

Dan

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Yes, we can get groceries delivered here in two hours or less.  You can select a 1 hour option for an upcharge. 

 

I decided to try their restaurant delivery.  We ordered at 5:34 from a Thai place and they show it will be delivered between 6:09 to 6:34.  For $10 off we thought it was worth a try.

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From what I understand they are also testing the old grocery delivery business model in several cities and it probably won't be long before they own their own country wide delivery business.  If you are selling regular commodities they will definitely be competitors of yours.

 

Yes they started grocery delivery in Madrid too, a couple of months ago, as a test - they call it 'beta' - for country-wide in Spain.

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They have a map that shows your order moving through the city for the restaurant delivery and you get a text when it leaves the restaurant.

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They have a map that shows your order moving through the city for the restaurant delivery and you get a text when it leaves the restaurant.

 

Is it open for all restaurants to participant in or a subset of all the ones that are available in your community...I know you said 30 but how do they select...any idea how that works?

 

Dan

Edited by Dan Cole

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They have a link for anyone with a restaurant interested in being part of it.  I imagine Amazon worked on lining them up.  They had contacted me repeatedly several years ago to sell on Amazon.  I wonder how big of a chunk of sales they take? 

 

We had our delivery in 41 minutes from ordering and it was pretty easy.  Amazon takes care of the ordering, and the payment with a tip suggestion of $5 for the driver. 

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This area has a ton of restaurants and many good ones.  I'm not actually in Orlando, but Winter Park, which is basically Orlando Metro.  Traffic is a pain here though. 

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I don't think any business can compete with Amazon, not even other mighty online only companies...

 

What I'd be inclined to do as a small retailer) is mine their site for as many good ideas as I could find and then (try to) recreate on my own site.

What Amazon have always been good at, even from the very early days, is agile development of their site and practices.

bruyndoncx and crimble crumble like this

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On a side note, CNN is reporting that Amazon is adding 100,000 jobs with full benefits ranging from entry level to higher tech and sales.  There are some in Florida, so I checked out the Amazon jobs site.  Wide variety of jobs available.

 

I condisdered AWS when setting up my new server last month.  I was already comfortable with Softlayer though, so I stuck with them.  I didn't find it very easy to sort through Amazon's info on AWS though.

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@@John W

 

On a side note, CNN is reporting that Amazon is adding 100,000 jobs with full benefits ranging from entry level to higher tech and sales.  There are some in Florida, so I checked out the Amazon jobs site.  Wide variety of jobs available.

 

That is certainly a big plus on one side of it...on the flip side I wonder how many jobs they've have effectively eliminated?

 

Dan

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@@Dan Cole

 

That's a big part of technology as a whole where jobs are replaced. Sears started as a mail order, then with cars becoming common, opened stores.  Now, with the internet, the world is going basically mail order and Sears is closing stores.  A lot of people don't know this, but Sears used to sell houses and I've actually been in one near here.  There is a community built in the 40's here with some of them.  I find a lot of business evolution fascinating.  There are several retailers in the news now closing stores stating internet has cut into their sales. 

 

Amazon has diversified so much it's kind of amazing.  I remember when they went public on the stock exchange and they weren't even profitable.  It is an amazing time we live in.

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@@John W I agree John...and this is just the tip of the iceberg.  Autonomous vehicles should really shake things up.

 

Dan

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