Amazon

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Orlylicious
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Amazon

#1

Post by Orlylicious » Wed Dec 05, 2018 4:44 am

I give up, Amazon is well on it's way to ruling the world and so much is happening with them I'm creating a topic.

Today's headline is Donald threatening to raise USPS rates for "non essential" packages. So dumb and shortsighted!!
1. USPS rules are they can't lose money, so whatever Amazon is paying is at least cost for USPS.
2. Amazon doesn't need to use USPS and most of the FBA (Fulfillment by Amazon) shipping is UPS anyway. They will just stop using USPS (that's been in the works anyway) so Donald is just shooting himself in the foot.
Amazon, like other bulk users of the Postal Service, negotiates a special shipping rate that is not publicly disclosed. Though Amazon would pay below the standard rate, by law, those negotiated arrangements must cover the cost of shipping the packages — meaning the post office cannot lose money on them as Trump claims. Each agreement is evaluated and endorsed by the Postal Regulatory Commission and approved by the Postal Service Board of Governors.

Package delivery has been a rare bright spot on the Postal Service’s earnings statement. Mail carriers are delivering more packages than ever before — as the number of standard letters steadily declines — bringing in $21.5 billion in revenue in the most recent fiscal year.

Amazon has been developing other delivery options in anticipation that the Postal Service cannot accommodate its rapid growth. It runs a service in which contract drivers drop orders at customers' doors and recently announced it would lease trucks to entrepreneurs to start delivery services. The company has also experimented with aerial drones and, according to media reports, self-driving vehicles, though those are still years away from adoption because of technological and regulatory hurdles.

The investments could help Amazon lessen the sting of a rate hike over the long term or gradually move away from the Postal Service altogether if shipping expenses become too prohibitive. Industry advocates have warned that fewer packages would only mean more pain for the agency's bottom line.
https://www.politico.com/story/2018/12/ ... mp-1044592

Bye Felicia.

The Amazon Echo 2nd Gen with Dolby Stereo is so awesome (search for Refurbished Echo to save even more) that I've bought 10 for family and friends, every single person has LOVED it. It's truly amazing. We have 2 now and with one button on the Alexa app it can a) turn into left/right speaker channels or b) "play everywhere" meaning if one is in the BR and one is in the Kitchen they play the same tune at the same time. All through wifi. And, it's a speaker phone! Check it out, for Christmas it'll be cheap cheap cheap. My 85 year old Dad plays Tango music and uses it for all kinds of neat things.

Amazon notes:

1. Best site is camelcamelcamel.com. Just paste in a full Amazon page product link (copy from the browser) and it will tell you the price of an item over the past few years so you can see how good the deal is. You can also add your email or text and set a target price and it will alert you.

2. If you add something to your Wish List (it can be private), often Amazon will notify you if the price drops.

3. The AmEx/Amazon promo is great. First you register (search for it on Google), then if you use ONE Membership Point (you don't have to pay for the whole thing by points), it's another 20% off (up to $100). It's a great deal.

4. For years, we've used Ebates, it rocks. We've gotten nearly $3000 in cash back! All you do is sign up and click through their links to Walmart, Amazon etc and it gives you money back (by PayPal). Lots of huge cash back deals... 10% on certain items at Amazon. Thousands of online retailers. Ebates.com.


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AndyinPA
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Re: Amazon

#2

Post by AndyinPA » Wed Dec 05, 2018 9:37 am

I have an Alexa, and we love IT. The sound for music is incredible. I just ordered two Amazon Fire Sticks (not bought from Amazon directly) in hopes of finding ways to cut cable. On the whole, though, I'm not a big fan of Amazon, although I ordered a few of my Christmas gifts from them this year. I always feel guilty when I do as it transfers as discomfort, if not pain, to people in their "fulfillment" centers. I find I can get most stuff I order online at the same or better price somewhere else, although it sometimes takes a little more searching. I also have an Amazon Fire tablet, but I actually dislike it and only kept it for the larger screen than my iPads for my granddaughter. It goes weeks without being touched.

So it's a very mixed bag for me. But it's definitely not the first thing I think of when I want to do some shopping.



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Re: Amazon

#3

Post by Addie » Wed Dec 05, 2018 10:34 am

New York Times
Trump Said Amazon Was Scamming the Post Office. His Administration Disagrees.

WASHINGTON — President Trump spent much of last spring accusing Amazon of pulling a “scam” on the American taxpayer and ripping off the United States Postal Service. On Tuesday, his administration delivered its own verdict: Not so much.

The task force created by Mr. Trump to investigate the Postal Service’s finances did conclude that the mail system is losing money. But a report issued on Tuesday said that commercial package delivery for Amazon and other e-commerce retailers was actually profitable for the Postal Service and was not costing the United States “massive amounts of money,” as Mr. Trump has suggested in his tweets.

Commercial package delivery is not profitable enough to offset the revenue losses the Postal Service is suffering, however, as Americans mail fewer and fewer first-class letters, and the Treasury Department task force outlined several recommendations to help shore up its finances. ...

It also called for steps to reduce the service’s labor costs, including eliminating collective bargaining over pay for postal employees. And it recommended lifting caps on how much the service can charge for letter delivery and giving it power to reduce the number of days it delivers mail — which most likely would mean ending letter delivery on Saturdays.

The task force also proposed creating a complicated new system of pricing for packages, in which it could cost less to send a box of prescription drugs than to send a board game. It would also allow the postal system to charge other delivery services for access to Americans’ mailboxes; under current law, the Postal Service holds a monopoly on what can actually be delivered to a mailbox.



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Re: Amazon

#4

Post by RoadScholar » Wed Dec 05, 2018 10:37 am

Ending Saturday deliveries is fine with me. Maybe it'd put an end to "attempted delivery" stickers from packages they tried to deliver to my 5-day business on Saturday. Oy.


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Re: Amazon

#5

Post by Maybenaut » Wed Dec 05, 2018 10:41 am

I order from Amazon all the time. This week, for only the second time in about 10 years or so they sent the wrong thing. Then I ordered a return code, which they sent to me via email, and I dropped the item off at the UPS store and the guy just scanned the code on my phone. The money was back in my account by the time I got to my car. It wasn’t that big of a hassle, because I had to go by the UPS store anyway.



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Re: Amazon

#6

Post by MN-Skeptic » Wed Dec 05, 2018 10:54 am

A lot of times I get my Amazon packages delivered to an Amazon locker a few miles away in a grocery store. That way I don't need to worry about my package get wet, stolen, or delivered to the wrong location.


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Maybenaut
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Re: Amazon

#7

Post by Maybenaut » Wed Dec 05, 2018 10:59 am

MN-Skeptic wrote:
Wed Dec 05, 2018 10:54 am
A lot of times I get my Amazon packages delivered to an Amazon locker a few miles away in a grocery store. That way I don't need to worry about my package get wet, stolen, or delivered to the wrong location.
We are never here on the weekends. I try to time my deliveries so they come during the week, but I don’t always get it right. I had a couple things come in last weekend, and I saw that they had been delivered. About a half hour later I got a text from my next-door neighbor saying hey, I saw you guys stuff delivered and I know you’re gone, so I brought them inside. I love my neighbors! :lovestruck:



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Re: Amazon

#8

Post by Orlylicious » Wed Dec 05, 2018 11:25 am

Andy, one great thing is Amazon is increasing the wages for everyone in the whole company, including at the FCs (Fulfillment Centers), to a minimum of $15/hr. Pressure is now on Wal Mart et al to match that. I'm happy those folks are getting a raise. But remember, many FCs now use robots... our FC is in Ruskin, Florida near Tampa. The robots check in the products, put them on the shelves, and ship them, it's amazing. So order away, the robots don't complain :P

Re customer service: Amazon has one mission, make you happy. The A to Z Guarantee means they will give you a refund no matter what. If it's a 3rd party seller, Amazon takes the money out of their account until it's fixed, or if the A to Z kicks in, the seller just loses the money.

Something else you may not know: Amazon now has Amazon Home Services, search that in the Amazon address bar. Plumbing, electrical, cleaning, etc... all covered by A to Z and charged to your Amazon account. We used a Picture Hanger when we moved; $100 and he hung 6 big pieces in an hour and he was gone. You can schedule services for other people too (I got Dad a condo cleaning for his birthday) :P and he felt safe about it since Amazon was backing it up.


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Re: Amazon

#9

Post by Kendra » Wed Dec 05, 2018 12:22 pm

I love Amazon, and their prices can be hard to beat, especially the wet food for the kitties by the case. Saves the time and effort to fight the crowds at the pet store. They also sell things that aren't as easy to find at Rite Aid or Walgreens anymore. Or when the exit light bulbs at the office need replacing, just a quick search and there's what we need.

I have everything delivered to where I work, there's always someone there to sign and no worries about packages being left outside for thieves. Between me, the boss, my coworker and our tenant who get a lot of Amazon packages, it's a mixed bag of carriers and USPS is the least used by Amazon - and note Amazon is the one to decide which carrier it uses, not me. More packages come via UPS with the independent carriers being a close second. I'm close to a fulfilment center and I get the text when the package ships and a couple of hours later one of those independent carriers show up to deliver. About the only times a package goes to USPS is if something ships on a Sunday and the other carriers aren't working.

The whole USPS thing is just stupid, if they aren't making money delivering Amazon packages, all they have to do is sign off, there's plenty of other choices for Amazon to pick from. But then, we wouldn't see mail carriers out on Sundays with trucks full of Amazon packages, would we?



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Re: Amazon

#10

Post by DejaMoo » Wed Dec 05, 2018 12:38 pm

Kendra wrote:
Wed Dec 05, 2018 12:22 pm
The whole USPS thing is just stupid, if they aren't making money delivering Amazon packages, all they have to do is sign off, there's plenty of other choices for Amazon to pick from.
It's got nothing to do with the USPS. It's got everything to do with DesPotus' fragile ego and his burning hatred for Jeff Bezos, Amazon's founder. Why? Because Bezos also owns the Washington Post.

Gotta remember with this dude to never believe what he says, and to look behind what he's saying to find out what it's really about/what he's really after. In this case, it's Trump personally striking back at another perceived enemy, same as he did with Obama by undoing nearly all of Obama's gains.



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Re: Amazon

#11

Post by Kendra » Wed Dec 05, 2018 12:54 pm

DejaMoo wrote:
Wed Dec 05, 2018 12:38 pm
Kendra wrote:
Wed Dec 05, 2018 12:22 pm
The whole USPS thing is just stupid, if they aren't making money delivering Amazon packages, all they have to do is sign off, there's plenty of other choices for Amazon to pick from.
It's got nothing to do with the USPS. It's got everything to do with DesPotus' fragile ego and his burning hatred for Jeff Bezos, Amazon's founder. Why? Because Bezos also owns the Washington Post.

Gotta remember with this dude to never believe what he says, and to look behind what he's saying to find out what it's really about/what he's really after. In this case, it's Trump personally striking back at another perceived enemy, same as he did with Obama by undoing nearly all of Obama's gains.
Oh, I'm well aware of that and his feelings towards Bezos. It's just so ridiculous that folks humor his stupidness. :roll:



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Re: Amazon

#12

Post by Volkonski » Wed Dec 05, 2018 1:34 pm

Just got an Amazon package delivered by a person driving their own car. Happened to be outside at the time. I had not noticed that before.


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Re: Amazon

#13

Post by MN-Skeptic » Wed Dec 05, 2018 1:36 pm

Volkonski wrote:
Wed Dec 05, 2018 1:34 pm
Just got an Amazon package delivered by a person driving their own car. Happened to be outside at the time. I had not noticed that before.
Yup. We've had that. I don't know if they are Amazon employees or Amazon contractors.


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Re: Amazon

#14

Post by Turtle » Wed Dec 05, 2018 1:53 pm

MN-Skeptic wrote:
Wed Dec 05, 2018 1:36 pm
Volkonski wrote:
Wed Dec 05, 2018 1:34 pm
Just got an Amazon package delivered by a person driving their own car. Happened to be outside at the time. I had not noticed that before.
Yup. We've had that. I don't know if they are Amazon employees or Amazon contractors.
Could be due to the time of year being peak time for deliv eries. When I drive past the UPS and FedEx hubs in December, there are a lot of extra trailers in the lot from various trucking companies. They lease from whatever companies have spare trailers.



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Kendra
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Re: Amazon

#15

Post by Kendra » Wed Dec 05, 2018 1:59 pm

Volkonski wrote:
Wed Dec 05, 2018 1:34 pm
Just got an Amazon package delivered by a person driving their own car. Happened to be outside at the time. I had not noticed that before.
We've had some who are Uber drivers.



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Sugar Magnolia
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Re: Amazon

#16

Post by Sugar Magnolia » Wed Dec 05, 2018 2:01 pm

The Amazon "uber-ish" people have been delivering here for months. My husband almost called the cops on one when they made a couple of slow trips up and down the street looking for a house number and he didn't recognize the car they were driving. They are contract employees.



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Re: Amazon

#17

Post by RTH10260 » Wed Dec 05, 2018 2:25 pm

Orlylicious wrote:
Wed Dec 05, 2018 4:44 am
I give up, Amazon is well on it's way to ruling the world and so much is happening with them I'm creating a topic.

Today's headline is Donald threatening to raise USPS rates for "non essential" packages. So dumb and shortsighted!!
:snippity:
https://www.politico.com/story/2018/12/ ... mp-1044592
="Politico"The report's recommendations are broad and sweeping. They call for stronger oversight by the Postal Service Board of Governors — which sat empty for much of Trump's presidency. They also encourage the agency to consider other revenue streams, such as renting out unused real estate to businesses, charging outside shippers for access to people's mail boxes and issuing hunting and fishing licenses.
Politico wrote:For more than a decade, the Postal Service has logged billion-dollar loses, resulting in a total cumulative deficit of nearly $63 billion as of September. But those losses are not driven by Amazon or other big shippers of packages. Instead, much of it can be attributed to the decline of letter mail in the internet era and the mandatory payments that Congress has ordered the Postal Service to make into a retiree benefits fund.
not to forget that such price hikes will also hit other online businesses as they need to be in line with the conditions that Amazon may get in the future. Of course the consumer will pay for this, diretly rather than thru tax subsidiaries.



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Re: Amazon

#18

Post by Maybenaut » Wed Dec 05, 2018 3:21 pm

Sugar Magnolia wrote:
Wed Dec 05, 2018 2:01 pm
The Amazon "uber-ish" people have been delivering here for months. My husband almost called the cops on one when they made a couple of slow trips up and down the street looking for a house number and he didn't recognize the car they were driving. They are contract employees.
When a contractor leaves an item at our house (instead of UPS or USPS) my notification usually includes a photo of the item on the stoop (which is how I noticed that a pkg had been misdelivered — I recognized my neighbor’s welcome mat).



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Re: Amazon

#19

Post by maydijo » Wed Dec 05, 2018 3:36 pm

Amazon finally rolled out in Australia last year. Too late. Their prices aren't competitive, their range is poor, their delivery isn't great, and they charge about twice as much here for services like Prime. I have yet to find anything cheaper on Amazon and most of the time I can't even find what I want. Coupled with their deplorable labor practices, and knowing they've destroyed the American retail sector, Amazon just isn't even on my shopping radar.



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Re: Amazon

#20

Post by Flatpointhigh » Wed Dec 05, 2018 3:44 pm

Orlylicious wrote:
Wed Dec 05, 2018 11:25 am
Andy, one great thing is Amazon is increasing the wages for everyone in the whole company, including at the FCs (Fulfillment Centers), to a minimum of $15/hr. Pressure is now on Wal Mart et al to match that. I'm happy those folks are getting a raise. But remember, many FCs now use robots... our FC is in Ruskin, Florida near Tampa. The robots check in the products, put them on the shelves, and ship them, it's amazing. So order away, the robots don't complain :P

Re customer service: Amazon has one mission, make you happy. The A to Z Guarantee means they will give you a refund no matter what. If it's a 3rd party seller, Amazon takes the money out of their account until it's fixed, or if the A to Z kicks in, the seller just loses the money.

Something else you may not know: Amazon now has Amazon Home Services, search that in the Amazon address bar. Plumbing, electrical, cleaning, etc... all covered by A to Z and charged to your Amazon account. We used a Picture Hanger when we moved; $100 and he hung 6 big pieces in an hour and he was gone. You can schedule services for other people too (I got Dad a condo cleaning for his birthday) :P and he felt safe about it since Amazon was backing it up.
yes, they did increase wages but did away with shares and bonuses, which effectively cut their pay.
https://www.theverge.com/2018/10/3/1793 ... -warehouse
Amazon garnered praise for raising the minimum wage for its hourly workers to $15 yesterday, but the widely-publicized move also came at the expense of monthly bonuses and stock options. The company explained its decision to shift to a new stock purchase program in the announcement blog post yesterday, citing that hourly employees preferred the “predictability and immediacy of cash to RSUs,” or restricted stock units, but the post doesn’t mention the loss of monthly incentives, which Bloomberg reported earlier today.

Several Amazon warehouse employees have criticized the move, stating they would actually be losing thousands in incentive pay. Currently, warehouse workers get two shares of Amazon stock when they’re hired ($1,952.76 per share as of writing), and an additional stock option each year. After the changes take effect, the RSU program will be phased out for stocks that vest in 2020 and 2021, and it will be replaced with a direct stock purchase plan by the end of next year.

An Amazon warehouse worker told The Verge via email that the news was devastating to fulfillment employees, many of whom depend on their RSU and VCP (variable compensation pay, a performance-based monthly bonus program) incentives on top of their hourly wages. VCP incentives, which are dependent on good attendance and hitting productivity targets, could get Amazon workers an 8 percent monthly bonus, and a 16 percent bonus during the peak November and December seasons.



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Re: Amazon

#21

Post by p0rtia » Wed Dec 05, 2018 3:48 pm

1. My regular post office rural delivery woman drives her own car. She has a light thingy on the top that flashes when she stops. In fact, everywhere I get mail the delivery person drives her own car. Sometimes there is a flasher and sometimes not.

2. Amazon owns me. I hate it. I love it.


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Re: Amazon

#22

Post by HilltownGrrl » Sat Dec 08, 2018 8:24 am

Debbie Downer here - I loathe Amazon & order from them only if I can't get something somewhere else, which rarely happens. I've found so many things at Amazon priced higher than I can find elsewhere (my last order of the 5 Canon ink jet cartridges I need was from Staples which had each cartridge priced at around $7 less per cartridge than every listing at Amazon. Plus Staples delivers to the house, usually within 17 hours, Amazon, as non-Prime customers, takes a week or two).

I also hate the way they allow sub-contractors to treat their warehouse employees (inhumanely, in many instances). And they aren't doing enough, in my opinion, to fix this (I spent three summers in college working as an order picker at a local art supply warehouse so I pay close attention to this issue). And then they cut their pay, as Flatpoint points out, while trumpeting that they raised it. Technically true, but in reality, it was a pay cut

Plus I'm not really comfortable with any company becoming such a huge monopoly (reminds me of the Walmarting if America in the 80s) or of having their fingers in so many pies.

Finally, one of the few things that really creeps me out is the idea of having listening devices in my home (or in the case of Nest et al, tracking devices). I'm uncomfortable visiting homes with these things in them, too - listening to friends talking to their devices is a little too Twilight Zone for me. I suspect there are big downsides to these things coming. And yes, I do read waaaay too much SF & have a very vivid imagination as to the way things can go wrong.


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Re: Amazon

#23

Post by kate520 » Sat Dec 08, 2018 1:21 pm

I loved Amazon Fresh, until they stopped delivering in my area.
I buy all my kindle books on Amazon.
If I need something in a hurry, Amazon is my go-to.
The Staples in my town closed. So, too, Office Depot. The closest is now 15 miles away. My printer tells Amazon when I need new cartridges. No one else that I’ve found reliably carried the pens I love so much - Pilot Precise V5 RT. My family loves my pens, not their own pens, :boxing: so I have to buy them frequently.
I am so ambivalent about Amazon. For all the reasons and more that hilltown and Flatpoint enumerated, I don’t like them. For convenience to myself and anyone who lives in a rural area or needs their convenience, I love them. I live in a pricey part of the country. I don’t find their prices so outrageous.
Watching my Sprout’s face when he’s expecting a package and the Amazon contractor pulls up outside...priceless.

I’m with P0rtia.


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Re: Amazon

#24

Post by listeme » Sat Dec 08, 2018 1:26 pm

p0rtia wrote:
Wed Dec 05, 2018 3:48 pm
1. My regular post office rural delivery woman drives her own car. She has a light thingy on the top that flashes when she stops. In fact, everywhere I get mail the delivery person drives her own car. Sometimes there is a flasher and sometimes not.

2. Amazon owns me. I hate it. I love it.
Are you me?! I could have written this word for word.


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Re: Amazon

#25

Post by MN-Skeptic » Sat Dec 08, 2018 2:02 pm

I have to share my Amazon story.

A bit of background - My husband and I have been members of Bogleheads - a group dedicated to wise investing, named after John Bogle, the founder of Vanguard - for a number of years.

My husband LOVED Amazon.

I was surprised to find a package from Amazon delivered in late June, a few days before what would have been my husband's 64th birthday. I hadn't ordered anything and my sweetie had passed away mid-April. The package was addressed to my husband. Inside was the newly published book The Bogleheads' Guide to the Three-Fund Portfolio. My husband had pre-ordered the book on January 15. The book was just perfect for me. It's like my sweetie is looking down from heaven, still wanting to take care of me.


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