Amazon

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RTH10260
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Re: Amazon

#51

Post by RTH10260 » Wed May 29, 2019 3:47 pm

Amazon Suppliers Panic Amid Purge Aimed at Boosting Profits
By Spencer Soper
March 7, 2019, 8:23 PM GMT+1 Updated on March 7, 2019, 9:55 PM GMT+1
Company wants them to sell on more profitable marketplace
Long-time suppliers panic about a sudden drought from Amazon


Amazon.com Inc. has abruptly stopped buying products from many of its wholesalers, sowing panic.

The company is encouraging vendors to instead sell directly to consumers on its marketplace. Amazon makes more money that way by offloading the cost of purchasing, storing and shipping products. Meanwhile, Amazon can charge suppliers for these services and take a commission on each transaction, which is much less risky than buying goods outright.

Amazon is determined to boost profits at the core e-commerce business, even if that means disrupting relationships with longtime vendors. Because many suppliers source products from manufacturers months in advance, they’ll have to quickly shift their sales tactics if the expected Amazon orders don’t come in.

“If you’re heavily reliant on Amazon, which a lot of these vendors are, you’re in a lot of trouble,” said Dan Brownsher, Chief Executive Officer of Channel Key, a Las Vegas e-commerce consulting business with more than 50 clients that sell more than $100 million of goods on Amazon annually. “If this goes on, it can put people out of business.”

Brownsher is among several consultants who said Amazon’s move has affected thousands of vendors.


https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles ... ce-profits

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AndyinPA
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Re: Amazon

#52

Post by AndyinPA » Wed May 29, 2019 4:33 pm

Well, as long as it helps Amazon's bottom line, it's all good. :cussing:

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Re: Amazon

#53

Post by RTH10260 » Tue Jun 04, 2019 11:35 am

Newly Released Amazon Patent Shows Just How Much Creepier Alexa Can Get
PETER DOCKRILL 28 MAY 2019
A newly revealed patent application filed by Amazon is raising privacy concerns over an envisaged upgrade to the company's smart speaker systems. This change would mean that, by default, the devices end up listening to and recording everything you say in their presence.

Alexa, Amazon's virtual assistant system that runs on the company's Echo series of smart speakers, works by listening out for a 'wakeword' that tells the device to turn on its extended speech recognition systems in order to respond to spoken commands.

On Amazon's devices, the wakeword is 'Alexa', but similar systems control how Apple devices work ('Hey Siri') and also Google's ('Hey Google'), not to mention products from other tech companies.

In theory, Alexa-enabled devices will only record what you say directly after the wakeword, which is then uploaded to Amazon, where remote servers use speech recognition to deduce your meaning, then relay commands back to your local speaker.

But one issue in this flow of events, as Amazon's recently revealed patent application argues, is it means that anything you say before the wakeword isn't actually heard.

"A user may not always structure a spoken command in the form of a wakeword followed by a command (eg. 'Alexa, play some music')," the Amazon authors explain in their patent application, which was filed back in January, but only became public last week.

"Instead, a user may include the command before the wakeword (eg. 'Play some music, Alexa') or even insert the wakeword in the middle of a command (eg. 'Play some music, Alexa, the Beatles please'). While such phrasings may be natural for a user, current speech processing systems are not configured to handle commands that are not preceded by a wakeword."

To overcome this barrier, Amazon is proposing an effective workaround: simply record everything the user says all the time, and figure it out later.

Rather than only record what is said after the wakeword is spoken, the system described in the patent application would effectively continuously record all speech, then look for instances of commands issued by a person.

"The [proposed] system is configured to capture speech that precedes and/or follows a wakeword," the application explains, "such that the speech associated with the command and wakeword can be included together and considered part of a single utterance that may be processed by a system."


https://www.sciencealert.com/creepy-new ... rom-now-on

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Re: Amazon

#54

Post by Kendra » Sat Aug 03, 2019 8:30 am

https://zeerk.com/jobs/product-book-rev ... jmDRfdL2fI
I will post exclusive one 5 stars unverified amazon review

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Re: Amazon

#55

Post by Orlylicious » Wed Aug 07, 2019 7:43 pm

Hadn't read the story yet but noticed today that FedEx was eliminated as a FBA (Fulfillment by Amazon) inbound shipping option. They only deliver 2% of Amazon's packages, they've been preparing for this. Will be interesting if it impacts FedEx. Axios:

FedEx ends Amazon ground deliveries
Erica Pandey 8 hours ago
FedEx said Wednesday that it will not renew its U.S. ground delivery contract with Amazon, Bloomberg first reported.

The big picture: The shipping giant's decision, coupled with its move just weeks ago to end its contract to transport Amazon packages by air, comes as Amazon transforms from a customer to a competitor. The e-commerce company is adding trucks, planes, employees and even an air hub to strengthen its logistics arm — directly targeting the big U.S. shippers.

Context: After months of dismissing Amazon as a potential threat, FedEx labeled the tech company as a competitor in its most recent 10-K report, stating that its continued expansion into shipping and logistics "will reduce our revenue and could negatively impact our financial condition and results of operations."

By the numbers:

As we've reported, Amazon has surpassed all of its logistics partners to become its own biggest shipper, according to data from Rakuten Intelligence. Amazon now ships around 47% of its own packages. FedEx ships just under 2%.
As e-commerce continues to grow in the U.S. and around the world, FedEx still has scores of customers in the industry. Amazon currently makes up only about 1% of FedEx's revenue.
"FedEx has been a great partner over the years and we appreciate all their work delivering packages to our customers," an Amazon spokesperson tells Axios.
https://www.axios.com/fedex-amazon-ship ... 836d0.html
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Re: Amazon

#56

Post by Kendra » Wed Aug 07, 2019 7:58 pm

I saw that. Between all the Amazon packages that come to the office (me, the boss, a couple of coworkers and a tenant), one from FedEx is extremely rare. My experience with Amazon packages via FedEx is piss poor, to put it kindly. I wish them well.

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Re: Amazon

#57

Post by p0rtia » Wed Aug 07, 2019 8:16 pm

Kendra wrote:
Wed Aug 07, 2019 7:58 pm
I saw that. Between all the Amazon packages that come to the office (me, the boss, a couple of coworkers and a tenant), one from FedEx is extremely rare. My experience with Amazon packages via FedEx is piss poor, to put it kindly. I wish them well.
My experience with FedEx in general has been horrid. I don't think they do the "FedEx to USPS" hand-off anymore, but those days scarred me for life. Start in NJ to Albany (45 minutes from my address), then over to Springfield MA (2 h from my address) for hand-off to USPS, and after that I forget, but it took four days to get from Albany to me.

I ordered a little thingy I fancied from Amazon Tuesday a 1 PM. Paid zero because Amazon had given me a $5 credit for a late guaranteed delivery the previous week. It arrived Wednesday at 11 AM. Which is impossible. Amazon owns me.
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Kendra
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Re: Amazon

#58

Post by Kendra » Wed Aug 07, 2019 8:21 pm

Most of the Amazon packages for us come via Ups, then Amazon delivery, then mail in that order. There are at least two fulfillment centers close by, so things ship quick.

From talking with others in more rural areas, the shipping/shippers can vary quite a bit from my experience.

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neonzx
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Re: Amazon

#59

Post by neonzx » Wed Aug 07, 2019 8:29 pm

In addition to Amazon delivery vans, I have also been seeing deliveries being made in personal vehicles (employee cars?). They are obviously Amazon people as they have the ID badge and are wearing fluorescent safety vests just as the van drivers do. My USPS carrier says he is getting fewer and fewer Amazon packages to deliver (which is fine with him).
To which Trump replied, Fuck the law. I don't give a fuck about the law. I want my fucking money.

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Kendra
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Re: Amazon

#60

Post by Kendra » Wed Aug 07, 2019 8:41 pm

neonzx wrote:
Wed Aug 07, 2019 8:29 pm
In addition to Amazon delivery vans, I have also been seeing deliveries being made in personal vehicles (employee cars?). They are obviously Amazon people as they have the ID badge and are wearing fluorescent safety vests just as the van drivers do. My USPS carrier says he is getting fewer and fewer Amazon packages to deliver (which is fine with him).
Some deliveries come from what are Uber drivers of similar, others are official drivers with vests and marked vans. All my packages come to the work address, but I'd be unnerved at a strange vehicle in front of the house at 8pm.

Amazon also seems to be moving freight under their own trucks. My afternoon commute takes me by a big fulfillment center, and I see big semis with the Prime logo coming and going all the time.

And can I say the fulfillment center is Huge?

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Re: Amazon

#61

Post by Orlylicious » Wed Aug 07, 2019 8:42 pm

Depends on the zone, but UPS is how we work with FBA. Vendor Central (the area that issues purchase orders) was FedEx all the way (Amazon pays for inbound shipping with Vendor Central), will have to look tomorrow. That would be great, unlike UPS, FedEx won't take packages the same day, they pick up the next day and it's a real hassle. Hope Vendor uses UPS in the future.

And for some fun... you can sign up for free (don't even need to be Prime) and you might receive some free new brand name products: https://www.amazon.com/samples
What is Amazon Product Sampling?
Amazon helps you discover products you might love by sending you FREE samples in the mail. It's like Amazon's product recommendations, but real, so you can try, smell, feel, and taste the latest products. There is no obligation to purchase or review the products.

How do I sign up to get FREE samples?
Visit our preferences page to sign up for or opt out of receiving samples and to let us know which sampling categories you’re most interested in!

Do I need to be a Prime member to receive samples?
No, anyone with an active Amazon.com account is eligible to receive free samples. If you're selected to receive a sample, the sample will be sent to your default address. If you’d like to receive samples at a different address, you need to change the default address in Your Account.

PS: This is helpful, you can now have Alexa speed up or slow down when she talks back. Alexa now speaks as slowly (or quickly) as you need
The accessibility feature is available in the US today.
Christine Fisher, @cfisherwrites
7h ago in Gadgetry

As of today, users in the US can ask their Alexa devices to speak slower or faster. The change is meant to make Alexa more accessible. Asking the voice assistant to speak slower could help people with hearing impairment better understand their device. And people who are blind or have visual impairments reportedly asked Amazon to speed up Alexa's responses.

The update equips Alexa with a standard speaking rate, four faster rates and two slower rates. It's the latest in a growing trend of tech companies working to make voice assistants more accessible and helpful to people with disabilities. Apple recently updated its Voice Control system. Comcast built an eye-controlled remote, and Google released how-to videos explaining its Assistant's accessibility features.

It's unclear if or when Amazon plans to expand this accessibility feature beyond the US.
https://www.engadget.com/2019/08/07/ama ... D=ref_fark
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Whip
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Re: Amazon

#62

Post by Whip » Thu Aug 08, 2019 9:27 am

the whole amazon delivery thing is horseshit here. I get UPS here almost everyday for my biz but somehow there are items (a 10' x 20' canopy) that can't get delivered here? I have to send it to a friend's house in another town where UPS delivers it? it's beyond absurd.

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Re: Amazon

#63

Post by ZekeB » Thu Aug 08, 2019 10:17 am

I dropped Amazon Prime when the price went to $129. At first is was no big deal. There are lots of things on Amazon that offer free delivery. Not two day delivery, but free delivery anyway. So what if it comes in three days instead of two? I live in the middle of the country and I get three day (at most) delivery from either coast. Lately though, they've been sitting on my orders. I'm sure this is intentional. Last Friday I ordered some light bulbs for my bathroom and they still hadn't been shipped when I canceled that order today. At first it said that my order was ready to be shipped and I may not be able to cancel it. Five minutes later I received a cancelation confirmation. In other words, they wouldn't have shipped today either.

They funny thing is they keep hawking their Student Prime program at me. All I have to do is provide a .edu address and I'm in for half of the $129. I haven't had a .edu address since I worked for a university too many years ago. Even then I was an employee, not a student. How about a Prime Program for us retired people? What about veterans? Lowes gives me 10% off on everything since I'm a veteran.

It appears that Amazon isn't interested in serving those other than Prime members. I'm going to be taking my business to Ebay and others.
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Re: Amazon

#64

Post by Orlylicious » Thu Aug 08, 2019 11:15 am

Zeke, one quick note... there are three kinds of orders from Amazon:

1. Shipped and sold by Amazon (that's Vendor Central)
2. Third Party Seller Fulfilled by Amazon
3. Third Party Seller self fulfilling

If you ordered 2 or 3, it can take a long time, especially 3. Lots don't know the difference so just mentioning it, you want 1 for the fastest service. Mostly it'll be in the listings, look for sellers need you for 2 and 3, often items are sold by multiple sellers.
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Re: Amazon

#65

Post by noblepa » Thu Aug 08, 2019 1:22 pm

neonzx wrote:
Wed Aug 07, 2019 8:29 pm
In addition to Amazon delivery vans, I have also been seeing deliveries being made in personal vehicles (employee cars?). They are obviously Amazon people as they have the ID badge and are wearing fluorescent safety vests just as the van drivers do. My USPS carrier says he is getting fewer and fewer Amazon packages to deliver (which is fine with him).
It shouldn't be fine with him. Amazon and eBay are about the only things keeping USPS afloat.

Oh, and junk mail.

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Re: Amazon

#66

Post by ZekeB » Thu Aug 08, 2019 1:38 pm

Whenever I see that I have a Mail Innovations package coming I pay the $3.50 and have it upgraded to Home Delivery. It's easy-peasy to do when you have a UPS account. Mail Innovations is almost always the way Amazon ships lightweight packages to me anymore. If I upgrade on Amazon when submitting my order, it costs an additional $5.00 or more. Mail Innovations is ungodly slow. I can see why when I track one of those packages. UPS delivers to my door. USPS delivers to my community mailbox at inconsistent times.
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Re: Amazon

#67

Post by DejaMoo » Thu Aug 08, 2019 1:46 pm

I'd rather have USPS as the primary delivery company for my Amazon orders, because my local post office has always provided very good and very fast service. After them, UPS is excellent. I think FedEx is the most deliberately inept delivery carrier in the US, and yes, it has to be deliberate when the service is consistently that bad.

I am a Prime customer, and I'm not thrilled about the current cost, but... I signed up for Prime not to get free delivery (which is nice), not to get two-day delivery (which almost never happens), but to get access to Prime Video, a large and comparatively inexpensive streaming platform. I quit watching tv in 1974 (Nixon's resignation address was my last), and I've watched very, very little tv since (and most of what I've watched has been as a result of peer pressure - "c'mon! we're going to watch Buffy! You'll love it!"). Prime Video has been pretty handy for my outdoor movie nights, and I occasionally watch a historical drama series, but what I'd dearly love would be a genuine a la carte streaming option, where I'd pay only for whatever content I choose to watch, when I decide to watch it. That would be cheapest of all.
I've heard this bull before.

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Re: Amazon

#68

Post by Kendra » Thu Aug 08, 2019 1:48 pm

I have all my packages sent to my work address, so I don't have to worry about packages left at the door. The mail service is a big slow, but ups rocks - we're very close to one of their major hubs.

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Re: Amazon

#69

Post by ZekeB » Thu Aug 08, 2019 1:59 pm

I presume your mailbox is at your door, DejaMoo. My mailbox is two blocks away and out of sight from my house. Sometimes my mail comes at 9:45 AM; sometimes it comes at 5:45 PM. When the wind chill is -49, like it was several days last winter, I don't bother going to the mailbox at all. UPS or FEDEX takes no more than three days for delivery for me. Mail Innovations takes seven days, on average. I don't have much trouble with FEDEX. When my FEDEX packages are delayed the delay almost always happens in... wait for it.. Minneapolis.
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Re: Amazon

#70

Post by Orlylicious » Thu Aug 08, 2019 3:10 pm

Zeke, You may know this already but here's an example of what I mean above. For this item, there's direct Amazon (that's Vendor Central), FBA (those are 3rd party Sellers who ship to Amazon warehouses and AMZN picks, packs and ships), and 3rd party direct shipments. It's always good to look at all sellers, if a seller is nearer to you of course it will ship more quickly. The FBA sellers, if you have Prime, get it there in 2 days (or 1 day is rolling out).

It can be confusing, I've talked with Amazon offen about this and they are working on solutions but of course they are more focused on Prime shipping. Walmart now has free 2 day shipping with no minimum (and much better grocery pricing, this is another area that's complex), we use them often. And we get tons of cash back through Ebates (now Rakuten, their owner), just click from Ebates to Amazon or Walmart or whatever and you get cash back every quarter. Ebates is even doing 4% on Doordash and 10% on Postmates, it's really worth it and it's free. Hope this helps a bit.




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Re: Amazon

#71

Post by ZekeB » Thu Aug 08, 2019 5:45 pm

Meh. I was trying to find a special light bulb. There was only a handful of vendors on Amazon who carried those. The vendor I chose had them for about $14 each. Other vendors had them listed for more than double that price. I canceled the order this morning and ordered from Lowes. An hour ago Lowes notified me that my order has been shipped. Arrival date: This Saturday via FEDEX. It shouldn't take Amazon five days or more to transmit my order to the third party who was selling this item. They don't even need a live person to relay an order this way. Amazon is out to make money on Prime under the guise of saving us shipping costs and that's the bottom line.
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Re: Amazon

#72

Post by Sterngard Friegen » Thu Aug 08, 2019 9:25 pm

I must live in a sweet spot, but I have never had any problems with a delivery from USPS, UPS, FedEx or Amazon. Most of the time, though, they leave the packages on the other side of the drawbridge, even when it's down.

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Re: Amazon

#73

Post by realist » Fri Aug 09, 2019 8:20 am

Sterngard Friegen wrote:
Thu Aug 08, 2019 9:25 pm
I must live in a sweet spot, but I have never had any problems with a delivery from USPS, UPS, FedEx or Amazon. Most of the time, though, they leave the packages on the other side of the drawbridge, even when it's down.
Same here. Well, except for the drawbridge thing. :lol:

And Prime is not for everyone, but with the things we order just for ourselves it pays for itself. When we add Christmas and birthday gifts and such for all the kids and grandkids, it saves us a lot of money on shipping.

Many of the things we order are now in the overnight delivery.
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Re: Amazon

#74

Post by TexasFilly » Fri Aug 09, 2019 8:57 am

Plus with Prime you get Amazon Video and Amazon Music, two services we use a lot. So yeah, for now, we support the Evil Amazon Empire.
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Re: Amazon

#75

Post by Shizzle Popped » Fri Aug 09, 2019 9:38 am

We've been Prime customers just about since the beginning and it's been a good thing for us. As for their selection of shippers, I won't be sorry to see FedEx go away since they've always been the most trouble. We had an incredibly inept mail carrier when we first moved to Indiana last year but he's been gone for 9 months and the USPS has become the most reliable delivery mechanism. That's good because probably 75% of our Amazon packages come by mail now.
Off Topic
As a side note: I don't mind a shipment being late every now and then since things just happen sometimes, but I really hate it when the customer service people lie to me. When we lived outside Seattle UPS used to use the excuse that the delay was caused by "rain in Vancouver" all the time. It didn't matter that I could see on the tracking that the package sat in someplace like Chicago for 3 days, it was always weather related. And Vancouver had the same basic weather as Seattle 99% of the time so I knew they were full of crap anyway. But my favorite, by far, was the tall tale FedEx told me one day. I had ordered a subwoofer at the end of November and it shipped the first week of December. It made it as far as Portland and then stopped and ended up being lost, which is hard to do with a 90 pound, three foot cube. When I called FedEx they claimed it was delayed due to "wildfires in Western Washington". There were fires someplace in the Midwest at the time but certainly not in Washington. My response to the customer service rep was; "It's December in western Washington so it's raining constantly. You couldn't set a bale of hay on fire with a flamethrower right now." She didn't have any answer at all to that.

I strongly suspect these companies compile metrics on late deliveries but that weather and acts of God don't count against them so the delays magically become something weather related. The one thing you can count on with metrics is that when they're tied to performance reviews and money the metric will be met, one way or another.
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