Amazon.com tightened the requirements for one of its most popular shipping methods Tuesday morning.
The change is to Super Saver Shipping, which for a over a decade mailed items free as long as the order met a $25 threshold.
The new threshold: $35. Amazon gave no reason for the change.
Super Saver Shipping was in many ways Amazon’s best deal for people who were occasional-to-regular shoppers but did not need emergency orders of diapers. Why buy something for $20 and pay a few dollars shipping if you could buy two things and get them mailed for free?
When Super Saver Shipping began, it was an innovation. It helped spark the movement to cheap or free shipping by all online retailers, and cemented Amazon’s reputation as a cutthroat competitor.
Here is the positive way to spin this announcement: This will tempt more customers to the Prime shipping service, which charges $79 a year for unlimited two-day delivery. It is thus a brilliant move by Amazon, which wants everyone to be Prime so they will buy more and more and keep raising revenue.
Here is the negative way: This is the biggest rollback of benefits for Amazon’s customers ever. Amazon incessantly talks about how it is doing more for its customers; this goes in the other direction. Customers will notice.
“I would often order two CDs to get the free shipping, but now that isn’t going to happen,” said Ariel Grostern of Washington.
Here is the really negative way: Amazon is under stress. Paulo Santos, a widely read short-seller on the Seeking Alpha financial site, published a post after the news with the headline, “Amazon.com Shipping Change Means The Earnings Miss Is Probably Massive.”
Mr. Santos quoted from Amazon’s financial documents, where the company stresses, “We believe that offering low prices to our customers is fundamental to our future success, and one way we offer lower prices is through shipping offers.”
“What Amazon.com is doing is backtracking on this central tenet,” Mr. Santos wrote. “It would not do so lightly.”
The final spin: It will take more than this to dent investors’ optimism. Amazon shares rose after the news broke.
An Amazon spokesman had no comment.
They never allowed all items to be bundled into a free shipping order, only those eligible. What it really did is goose people into buying shit they didn't really need anyway
So, do any of you use Amazon Prime?
R1 - you can't possibly be suggesting a retailer would have a pricing philosophy geared towards increasing sales?
What a surprise.
My point was it was never that good of a deal anyway.
I have Amazon Prime. I love it. And yes, it does encourage one to buy more.
I've been tempted r2. I just can't
I have Amazon prime. Yes it does encourage you to buy from Amazon , but I research prices and when I consider the savings on shipping it is worth having. Since I do buy from amazon, have a kindle, the prime membership basically pays for itself
I use prime, they have changed it a bit as well.
Prime is brilliant. I live between NY and London and get free shipping in both places. And the free streams are just a bonus.
I love my Amazon Prime. Not only is it great for shipping, you get lots of discounts. I also get to watch a lot of free movies and TV episodes on line. Lots. Between Amazon Prime & Netflix, and HULU Plus, I'm thinking about getting rid of my cable altogether.
I think they should've raised it to a $50 threshold. That's still reasonable.
Prime is about $6 a month. There are too many months I don't order from Amazon at all, to make it worth for me personally. And many items aren't even available for Prime. I like to use their "marketplace" a lot and none of that is ever available for Prime.
I have Prime and I think it used to be a lot better. Subscribe & Save has also been altered for the worse. Overall, Amazon was better a few years ago.
I have Prime and I don't think I have watched but a handful of shows that are free. I don't find I buy more with the free 2 day shipping either. And most of the time they ship UPS and you have to be home to sign for the package. Even if it is one DVD. I prefer to buy several things at once for the free shipping and I don't really care if it takes seven days to reach me. I just plan ahead if it's for a gift. Raising the minimum to 35$ doesn't bother me. I will wait until I have about a 100$ worth of merchandise and then order it all together. It's too much of a temptation to buy one small item at a time. They add up. I put items in my basket and change my mind about them a thousand times before actually ordering. I do like to pre-order DVD's and CD's for the savings and Prime is good for that because you get the item the same day it's released.
[quote] My point was it was never that good of a deal anyway.
Huh? Are you kidding?
Free shipping and no sales tax paved the way for Amazon's success.
Of course it is a good deal.
You do understand - it is free, right?
As far as need? "I only need the Jackie Collins book , I don't need the new Grisham"???
I think the overwhelming majority of items for sale on the site are "wants" not "needs".
But you have to consider that they are shipping all their stuff from some jungle in Brazil and that costs alot.
[quote]I live between NY and London
[quote]I like to use their "marketplace" a lot and none of that is ever available for Prime.
Not true. Third-party merchants can have their items fufilled by Amazon -- they send the merch to Amazon, and Amazon ships it -- and offer those items under Prime.
[quote]And most of the time they ship UPS and you have to be home to sign for the package. Even if it is one DVD.
That never happens for me. UPS just leaves it inside the porch door.
Well, UPS won't just leave the package in New York City, r19. Amazon demands that a signature is obtained when it is sent UPS. I think Amazon had a problem with UPS. I received three packages from Amazon that looked like they were opened and resealed or tampered with. UPS tells them the packages get torn up in the conveyer belts at the shipping sites. Bullshit. This is why I prefer Fedex and the USPS.
I have Amazon Prime. Lots of free movies on Amazon Instant Video on my PS3. TV shows too. Great deal.
I worked for several years for Amazon CS but recently left, even in this economy. There have many little changes that infuriated customers--Subscribe & Save, Add-on Items. This change to Super Saver shipping will be a major pain in the ass for CS agents. You have no idea many entitled cunts called in daily to bitch about the $25 limit.
Worse than that, these cunts held our jobs in their hands. We send out surveys with each call and every No response, even if it wasn't related to our performance, was a demerit against the agent.
What finally made the job intolerable was the disgusting way they kept changing our metrics, the way performance is measured. They've made it nearly impossible to stay in their good graces for any amount of time, much less earn bonuses.
Once upon a time, Amazon's "customer obsession" also extended to its internal customers, its workers. Those days are long gone.
I have never bought anything from Amazon.
Why not, R23?
R24. I don't know. What am I supposed to buy? What do they sell? I'm serious. I guess I just shop elsewhere.
R22, is it true that a customer can be banned for life for making too many returns and/or calling CS too often to complain (usually with the intention of getting a credit to their account)? I read this online somewhere, and now I get super paranoid every time something is genuinely wrong with one of my Amazon orders. I'm scared to say anything or return anything, because getting banned from Amazon would be devastating for me as I'm disabled & must do all of my shopping online.
R26 Determining which customers get banned for concessions abuse is performed by a team that does nothing but that.
It's not always consistent but I wouldn't worry. You have to be pretty outrageous and blatant to get banned. I could tell you wild stories; grifters are really bold about what they think they can get away with.
I thought almost everyone has Prime. It's amazing - 2-day shipping, free streaming video, free Kindle books to borrow. I'm both Prime and FRESH (Fresh since July or so).
More reason to buy live, from a brick and mortar store. Or from a website, not from amazon. I haven't bought ANYTHING from amazon in ages. I can't be the only one.
If you ever bought from Amazon at least three times a year, Prime has always made better sense.
R28 ....sorry ...what's FRESH ???
R29. See R23/R25
It's great if you live in a home or can have things delivered where you work. It's a nightmare if you live in a non-doorman apartment building.
As far as Prime, I get my money's worth. Somebody in my family decided she was wheat intolerant, so I buy boxes of different flours to shut her face.
I usually let Prime lapse around Christmas. That's when I find myself wondering if I should purchase shit I don't need just to qualify for free shipping. I've never found that to be enough of an inducement.
R31, Amazon Fresh - groceries - you pay $300/year to shop. Prices are higher, but they deliver. The Amazon symbol in the upper left corner of the Amazon page says "Prime" and "Fresh."
I've had Prime on and off for several years. I buy more with it. Large quantity home items are cheaper both from the site (like coffee) by itself and with subscribe and save. I have a Kindle, too. Use the Prime perks often.
Oh, it's Amazon PrimeFresh. One word.
It will be funny in a couple of years, after everyone has signed up for Prime, to watch what they then decide to change about that. All of your heads will explode. It's called having everyone over a barrell and Amazon is well on its way to monopolizing, well, everything.
This is only the start of the pull away from customer service being their top priority. They've reached enough market saturation to be able to start pulling back on what used to be good about them. They are still good but this is the beginning of their transition away from customers and onto shareholders. It will go on until the shareholders are ALL that matter.
I've placed countless Amazon orders over $25 and under $50 that qualified for free shipping. I think I'll just wait a little longer to have enough in my cart, if necessary.
Oooh, Ms. R37 thinks she's the smartest cunt in the room.
Amazon Prime is my life. I go to Safeway once in awhile when they're out of something on their dot-com, but otherwise, it's all Amazon and I never go into a store.
R25, I don't drive. And I don't have anywhere in walking or bus distance to buy books or CDs, so I've been buying them on Amazon for years. Most of my books come from the library, but the ones I buy pretty much all come from Amazon or Amazon Marketplace.
Even when there was a large Barnes & Noble at the end of my block -- it went OOB four years ago -- books were so much more expensive, I couldn't pass up Amazon's prices.
[quote] Well, UPS won't just leave the package in New York City, [R19]. Amazon demands that a signature is obtained when it is sent UPS.
Or, you could use the Amazon Locker service...
The "free" shipping isn't really true. Most Prime products are higher in price than other vendors available from Amazon. It's just an upgrade to 2 day over ground delivery.
Take Katy Perry's new album. Prime price is $13.99 with free shipping. Another vendor is charging 9.75 plus 3.99 shipping. The only difference is the 3.99 shipping could take a week or more delivery.
If you're shopping for books on amazon.com, the ultimate deals are found in the used sections.
Books in great condition can be purchased for sometimes next to nothing, with a flat rate of $4.00 added for mailing.
Amazon's Kindle is great. I can take books out of the library using Kindle too. I wonder if the day will come when everything is online, books, movies newspapers, etc. and we have no more libraries or movie theatres.
[quote] This will tempt more customers to the Prime shipping service, which charges $79 a year for unlimited two-day delivery.
How soon will that $79 be $99? I say in about a year.
[quote]Amazon's Kindle is great. I can take books out of the library using Kindle too.
Yeah but what is your reading taste? I have found the books available from the library tend to be murder mysteries and such. I haven't seen a new celebrity autobiography available for years now.
R47 is right. Most of what I've read on my Kindle that came from the library is by Jonathan Kellerman. I like his characters, especially Los Angeles and Milo. But Kellerman is the laziest writer in history. Most of his sentences are comma splices. "Baby taste" doesn't begin to describe his writing.
I wonder what's taking the libraries so long to get with the Kindle program.
I don't order very much from them but I do wait and group items to get free shipping. Now it will just take longer between orders. I have no illusions that Amazon values my type of customer.
Prime is the way to go.
The savings are significant.
I sign up for the free trial version of prime every Christmas, because I buy so much stuff. I cancel before I am charged. The two day shipping is great.
R46 .... I will be STUNNED if it only goes up $ 20 a year.
I fully expect new Prime 'options' like $ XXX for 2 shipping only, $ YYY for both 2 day shipping and 'free' prime streaming, etc, etc.
Living outside of America means that Amazon's shipping is crazy expensive so I never buy from them - bookdepository has free international shipping on everything and their customer service is great.
I buy all my dvds on ebay because they are cheaper there too.
[quote]The "free" shipping isn't really true. Most Prime products are higher in price than other vendors available from Amazon. It's just an upgrade to 2 day over ground delivery.
[quote]Take Katy Perry's new album. Prime price is $13.99 with free shipping. Another vendor is charging 9.75 plus 3.99 shipping. The only difference is the 3.99 shipping could take a week or more delivery.
Eh, you don't really know what you are talking about. Yes, third-party merchants sell through Amazon, but you are buying from a different company, not Amazon. Amazon has no control over what third-party sellers choose to price their items at.
R54, I don't think the person you quoted doesn't know what he's talking about. In fact, he clarified something I'd been noticing but didn't really understand.
I hadn't thought of it in terms of Prime before, but I have noticed in the last three or four months that practically every single item I want to buy on Amazon (usually a book or a CD) is cheaper from an AM seller.
I'm a prime customer, and renew every November. I do most of my Christmas shopping on Amazon, and by January, it's paid for itself.
After a century of orienting customers to pay for shipping, Amazon's attempt to rewrite the rules of selling are going to be difficult for them to maintain. I believe this is the beginning for Amazon to change their shipping policies. Shipping isn't free, although they get such great volume discounts, it's pretty cheap. Sellers who use Amazon's fulfillment service in order to participate in prime do charge accordingly, as they pay the freight (not the customer). As an internet seller, it's really quite frustrating to compete with the concept of "free shipping" because it adds up fast.
I order beverages by the case from Amazon. They arrive in boxes that are so heavy I can only drag them into the house. They qualify for free shipping, but the shipping charges for Amazon must be huge. I can't figure out how Amazon can afford to ship these things.
"I wonder what's taking the libraries so long to get with the Kindle program"
Interference from Amazon. They put up roadblocks to library usage of anything through them and regulate the crap out of everything. Kindles are the most difficult ereader to use through a library in every way.
Amazon pays pennies on the dollar to ship stuff out compared to what you & I would pay. I got to use their shipping rates to send in a box containing (5) Macbooks I decided to sell through Fulfillment By Amazon, and it only cost like $8! Now I know how much I get ripped off by UPS on a consumer level.
R42 Amazon doesn't require a signature unless the item is expensive--over $1,000--nor can you request that service. It costs more.
The carrier's individual driver decides whether or not to require a signature.
If you're in NY, be grateful you got UPS. For Manhattan deliveries, Amazon frequently uses A1, which often leaves packages on the sidewalk outside closed businesses at night!
We all bitched incessantly about A1 and some of the other small carriers--but they're cheap.
R13, do you ever watch the free online streaming shows and films you can get with Prime? You can watch on your computer or with a Roku or similar device on your TV.
Several other comments. First, I have Prime and I have noticed, especially lately, that they jack up the price of the item to cover the faster shipping. Second, they almost always have the lowest price on line, but it is now often a few pennies lower. I suspect they have a computer that constantly surfs looking for item prices or something, so theirs is a few cents lower. Added to faster shipping, I typically go with Amazon, although it is starting to piss me off. Third, I'm having issues with the Prime videos and how they often change within a few days to a few weeks from Prime for free to a charge. That's OK online, because I can easily see when something is Prime, but not so easy for me with my Roku.
Amazon keeps getting bigger. Even with huge increases in revenue the last quarter - they still lost money.
Are they the next American corporation that will be too big to fail?
[quote] I'm having issues with the Prime videos and how they often change within a few days to a few weeks from Prime for free to a charge.
I'm glad I'm not going crazy! I added a bunch of vids I swore were listed as free to my 'watch list' only to try and watch them a few days later & have it try to charge me $3.99!
Some of you are rather dense. In terms of stuff like books and CDs, it's not that Amazon charges more to compensate for free Prime shipping; it's that external merchants who sell via Amazon are forced to charge LESS in order to have any chance of getting your business. Consequently, in many cases they end up charging a few pennies less, shipping included. That absolutely does *not* mean you're being overcharged by Amazon; it means its individual sellers are settling for a completely miniscule profit in order to compete. Btw only a *tiny* subset of third-party sellers use Amazon's own fulfillment centers and are capable of selling with Prime shipping rates.
Also, I see we yet again have a group of New Yorkers who think they're the center of the universe. Everywhere ELSE in the country, Amazon shipments are left on your front doorstep by UPS. And btw I have not ONCE, in 15+ years of buying through Amazon, had a UPS package arrive that was somehow "torn up" or "molested." Again, that's a NYC thing.
R59, you are not "ripped off" by UPS on the consumer level. Amazon does literally hundreds of millions of dollars a year in business through them. You probably do about $50. Of *course* Amazon is going to get drastically lower rates; they can just threaten to move their business to FedEx if UPS doesn't offer them shipping prices of pennies on the dollar compared to "rack rates."
Finally: R63, the switch from free to paid viewing is controlled by the movie studios, not Amazon. The same thing happens on Netflix streaming. The companies are granted permission to stream videos for free for a certain amount of time; after that you either have to order a DVD (via Netflix) or watch via pay-per-view (via Amazon).
Hi, R64. I'm one of the people who commented on Amazon's own prices being higher than those of AM sellers.
I understand what you're saying about AM sellers purposely underselling -- of course, of course -- but there used to be times when Amazon itself had the lowest price and I could easily cobble together a $25+ order.
Now it [italic]seems[/italic] as if the AM sellers [italic]always[/italic] have the lower price. I haven't been able to put together a $25 order in a couple of months.
I believe this is a recent phenomenon. I haven't been tracking it sitewide. I only know what's true of stuff I want to buy. Purely anecdotal.
I just bought two CDs. Amazon sells them for $10.98 and $26.47 respectively, the lowest priced AM sellers, $9.19 shipped and $19.18 shipped.
Hi there, r48!
[bold] Brutal Conditions In Amazon's Warehouses Threaten To Ruin The Company's Image [/bold]
The fact that German unions are striking over pay rates in Amazon's warehouses in that country is easy to dismiss: Everyone knows that Amazon is the very model of modern innovation. And German unions? Please. Don't make us laugh.
But hold that thought. Because Amazon is such a big employer — it has nearly 100,000 workers — the way Amazon treats its workers is becoming a big issue, and Amazon needs to tackle it head-on before its reputation is damaged and it becomes "the Walmart of the Web."
Gawker has published a brutal series of emails describing life inside America's Amazon warehouses, where temp employees toil in freezing conditions. Their rest and lunch breaks disappear because Amazon's warehouses are so big its takes several minutes of walking to get to and from your work-station.
Pennsylvania's Morning Call published a series of stories about Amazon warehouses that were so hot workers fainted on the job and were placed on stretchers by paramedics. (Amazon has since installed air conditioning.)
Amazon's temp agency aggressively opposes unemployment compensation for workers who were let go because they were sick, The Morning Call reported.
Mother Jones did an in-depth piece that described how Amazon workers are fired if they burst into tears on the job. ("There's 16 other people who want your job. Why would they keep a person who gets emotional, especially in this economy?")
One account of being trained at an Amazon warehouse compared it to being in prison: "My initial thought was this is prison, the comparisons were obvious. I felt like asking anyone sitting by me or standing in line next to me 'so, what are you in for?' It would have been a completely appropriate question."
And it's not just the warehouses. We recently published portions of an email from an Amazon temp developer, who explained that because Amazon only seems to hire temps, the pay and the quality of work stay low.
Amazon warehouse workers are paid $11 an hour in the U.S. That's far higher than the $7.25 federal level. But that's not the point. From Amazon's point of view, embittered temp workers are going to publish nightmare-ish tales of working at Amazon far faster than Amazon's media relations people will be able to rebut them. The fact that Amazon often places its warehouses in semi-rural/suburban areas where there are few other jobs hurts the company, too. It makes people feel like the exploitation is the whole point, not an accidental side effect of trying to save money.
And then there are the margins. Amazon's operating income in 2012 was just 1% of revenues. Walmart's was 6%. Amazon has thinner margins than Walmart. That suggests Amazon is even more incentivized to exploit its workers than Walmart is — it has less room for error.
Amazon needs to get ahead of this. It has taken years for CEO Jeff Bezos to build Amazon into the success story that it is. It could take just a few months for its brand name to be turned into a byword for chiseling. Now is the time to act, before things get out of control.
[bold] Worker sues Amazon over lengthy security searches without pay [/bold]
A Pennsylvania man is suing digital retail giant Amazon.com because he says the company is putting its employees through rigorous security searches, without pay.
The class action suit was filed in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas on Sept. 27 by attorneys for Winebrake & Santillo LLC on behalf of Neal Heimbach of Allentown, Pa.
Heimbach has served as a warehouse worker at Amazon’s logistics facility in Breinigsville, Pa. -- just ten miles from Allentown -- since 2010. He is seeking damages in excess of $50,000 because he claims the company required its more than 100 employees at the facility to undergo lengthy security searches.
According to the filing, employees of the Breinigsville facility are required to go through an extensive security search process, which includes a walk through metal detectors and a manual search of employees’ bags or personal items.
Employees of the facility are subject to this screening process, which can take anywhere from 10 to 20 minutes to complete, both prior to their clocking out for 30-minute lunch breaks and prior to their exiting the facility at the end of a work day.
The time employees spend getting searched upon exit, does not come with pay. That is why Heimbach is suing.
“Defendants have never paid Warehouse Workers for time spent proceeding through this required post-shift screening process prior to exiting the Amazon Fulfillment Center,” the filing states.
“As a result of the compensation practice utilized by Defendants, Warehouse Workers are not compensated for all time during which they were required to be on the premises of the Amazon Fulfillment Center.”
Heimbach’s suit, which was filed on behalf of all “warehouse workers” of the Breinigsville Amazon facility, claims that Amazon's failure to pay employees for time spent going through the security screening process is a direct violation of the Pennsylvania Minimum Wage Act.
“Defendants have violated the PMWA with respect to Plaintiff and the Class by, inter alia, failing to compensate them for all hours worked both after their paid shifts and during their unpaid 30 minute break, and failing to pay them the legally mandated overtime premium for such work on those occasions where their work exceeded 40 hours in a workweek,” the filing states.
“In violating the PMWA, Defendants acted willfully and with reckless disregard of clearly applicable PMWA provisions.”
Why does Amazon put its employees through such a thorough search? Well, Amazon has had its share of thieving employees.
In 2012, an Amazon employee reportedly stole more than $160,000 in electronics and merchandise from a distribution center in South Carolina.
Integrity Staffing Solutions, Inc., a Delaware corporation which is listed as a co-defendant in the suit, has yet to speak publicly about the filing or confirm whether the company agrees with Amazon’s employee theft-prevention methods. A spokesman for Integrity Staffing said the company had “nothing additional to contribute at this time.”
To date, Amazon’s off-the-clock security checks have led to lawsuits being filed by employees in Nevada, Washington, Tennessee and Pennsylvania. All of the suits, in some way, challenge the company’s employee theft-prevention practices.
Does Amazon make more money charging Amazon Marketplace Sellers to sell their CDs on Amazon than it does selling them itself?
You pay a substantial chunk of money to Amazon when you sell a CD on AM.
I buy from Amazon regularly and love the convenience of finding so many items on one site. I do the bulk of my holiday shopping with Amazon as well as it's easier to have everything shipped to my family rather than schlep dozens of presents on the plane.
That said, I'm starting to get nervous that I have helped create a monster. Amazon has gotten so dominant that there's less convenient options to choose from. (Key word, convenient. It is more convenient to grab 6 totally different items from one site. My last order included a book, something electronic, a hard to find sinus medication, a gourmet salad dressing [cue the "raaaaaanch' jokes] and an ice pack.)
I have loved having the $25 free shipping option as a non Prime subscriber and the rise to $35 will definitely cause me to order less impulsively or to hold back until I have more to order.
Amazon has run so many mom and pop stores out of town and I'm partly responsible for doing it as my shopping is mostly from Amazon. But I get nervous thinking they will suck us all in and then when there's no more competition left we're all held hostage to whatever prices Amazon sets.
If I think about it, there is no other site quite like Amazon out there. (Maybe Target could compete with them on a lot of the variety offered.)
But it's amazing to me to think that what essentially started out as an online bookstore has become a global general store with no major rival to compete with it. That's not good for consumers in the long run.
I have amazon Prime but I never watch their videos because they have nothing I want to watch for free. Everything that is worth watching is a charge and I will not pay for it. I already pay for Netflix and HuluPlus. I won't pay extra for Prime.
It used to be at halloween you could find all kinds of horror movies on TV for free. Now it seems AMC plays the same horror movie over and over again and no other networks carry classic horror. Amazon wants me to pay more to watch Psycho or the original Halloween? No, thanks, I can find them online.
[quote] I have amazon Prime but I never watch their videos because they have nothing I want to watch for free.
Really? Out of over 30,000 titles that include classic as well as current TV series, films, documentaries, etc., they have NOTHING you want to watch?
I read somewhere that Amazon will eventually have no choice but to raise their prices, as they're currently losing money. I'm sure it's all part of their master plan.
The $35 free shipping threshold makes their "Add-On" items even dumber than they already were to begin with. Those things piss me off.
"I read somewhere that Amazon will eventually have no choice but to raise their prices, as they're currently losing money. I'm sure it's all part of their master plan."
And their founder/CEO just purchased the tanking Washington Post.
That's like purchasing a Blockbuster franchise.
[quote]Really? Out of over 30,000 titles that include classic as well as current TV series, films, documentaries, etc., they have NOTHING you want to watch?
I've never watched streaming via Amazon Prime, even though I'm a member, but yes, I've had this problem with Netflix, which I assume has at least as many films as Amazon, if not more. The movies available on streaming are mostly crap, and the newer ones are often straight-to-DVD. I don't have time at present to get wrapped up in a new TV series, so I wouldn't want to stream that, either (and I'm all caught up on shows I already watch). I have a bunch of things in my Netflix streaming queue that I want to watch at *some* point, but I need to be in the right mood to watch something like a documentary.
[quote]I'm both Prime and FRESH (Fresh since July or so).
Do you think FRESH would work for me?
[quote]Does Amazon make more money charging Amazon Marketplace Sellers to sell their CDs on Amazon than it does selling them itself? You pay a substantial chunk of money to Amazon when you sell a CD on AM.
Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but if you sell a CD on Amazon, they take 15 percent of the total amount (including the shipping charge). There is also a 99-cent charge for each item on top of that -- unless you pay $40 a month, then that fee is waived. (Makes sense if you sell more than 40 items a month.)
Amazon posted a loss for the third quarter. But that is the first time since 2003. Even that loss is not being considered that significant - as investors seem to still believe razor thin margins and increases expenses (due to substantial expansion) will lead to great profits down the road.
Well, at least Jeff is making enough to have allowed him to buy the Washington Post.
If you know someone with a Prime Membership, you can get the free shipping benefits for free.
My dad has Prime membership and they allow him to share the shipping benefits with a certain number of family/friends. I get free 2-day shipping without being a Prime member b/c my dad added me to his account. You don't have to live at the same residence.
(The add-on person, however, can't watch movies/TV for free.)
R48 wrote: "I wonder what's taking the libraries so long to get with the Kindle program"
R58 replied: "Interference from Amazon. They put up roadblocks to library usage of anything through them and regulate the crap out of everything."
Bullshit. Amazon doesn't put any roadblocks in the way of public libraries. They *want* people downloading books via the library because that will hook them on Kindle content. The real issue is twofold:
1. Library budgets. They can only afford a limited set of books and they have to carefully choose how many of these will be ebooks and how many of them will be physical copies.
2. Publishers. Publishers don't like ebooks in public libraries because the books never degrade, unlike the physical copies, and libraries never have to purchase replacements. There have been several reported instances of publisher shenanigans with respect to public library usage of ebooks.
"Kindles are the most difficult ereader to use through a library in every way."
Oh, garbage. You can get your library books downloaded via wifi through your public library. Try that on any other reader. There is nothing even remotely "difficult" about the process.
Kindles are for women.
R83 - Are you using a Kindle Fire? Downloading from is more irritating on all other models. My public library uses Overdrive and with the exception of the Fire you have to download to your PC and then and then connect your Kindle to your PC and transfer the book. Nook, Sony, iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, Android phones and tables all have apps that allow you download directly to the device.
I don't know where you are getting this information about publishers not liking eBooks at libraries because they loose the replacement copies sales. Did you make that up? It doesn't make sense. How much business could that be - I'm guessing less than 1% of total sales across the entire industry.
Publishers have problems with libraries - period. The eBook problems are the same as the other problems. The problem in short - are photocopiers next to the reference book section (it is not uncommon for it to be less expensive to photocopy a reference book than to buy it). Publishers don't want the library eBook experience to be so easy and positive - that people will check out eBooks instead of buying them.
It is interesting to note that eBook sales are starting to stabilize. Indicating there are no longer large percentages of the population switching from print to eBook.
[quote] they loose the replacement copies sales.
R86 - I think your cute.
[quote]R85: My public library uses Overdrive and with the exception of the Fire you have to download to your PC and then and then connect your Kindle to your PC and transfer the book.
My public library uses Overdrive, too. I have the most basic Kindle, version 2, I believe. With I think three exceptions out of around 100 books, I've always downloaded books wirelessly, with two or three clicks. I've only had to transfer to and from my computer two or three times, really.
Actually, r80, Amazon reported even stronger than expected growth for the last quarter.
"The US online retailer beat analyst expectations with a 24 per cent year-on-year rise in global revenue to $17.1bn in the quarter to the end of September, including a 31 per cent increase in sales in North America."
Over in the UK we have had free shipping on all Amazon purchases, whatever the price, for a number of years. In Greece up until the summer, you could get free shipping for products being posted from the UK for purchases of over 30 euros (I can't remember the exact figure but it was something like that).
This may be more of a push to get customers to sign up to Prime.
FYI, Amazon's best deal is Amazon Student -- free two-day shipping for the first six months, and then half-price Prime membership ($39/year instead of $79). I think all you need to join is an email address with a .edu extension on the end ... which I happen to have, since my alma mater lets alumni keep their email addresses after graduation, but apparently they haven't yet figured that out. :-)
[quote]Are you using a Kindle Fire?
[quote]My public library uses Overdrive and with the exception of the Fire you have to download to your PC and then and then connect your Kindle to your PC and transfer the book.
No you don't. Or, rather, you do, but only for titles published by Penguin, and that is the publisher's restriction, not Amazon's and not OverDrive's. For all other titles, you click the link, you go to the Amazon library loan redemption page, you select your Kindle Fire, and it is transferred wirelessly. Quickly, easily, and painlessly, and without the need to install an additional app.
[quote]I don't know where you are getting this information about publishers not liking eBooks at libraries because they loose the replacement copies sales. Did you make that up?
Nope. I read it in news articles like, for example, the article linked below, something I found in a 30-second Google search.
[quote]It doesn't make sense.
Um... yes, it does. For a physical copy of the book, the book eventually degrades and the library has to pay the publisher to replace it. For an electronic copy, the library never has to.
[quote]How much business could that be - I'm guessing less than 1% of total sales across the entire industry.
Sigh... You don't know and you're just making shit up. How ironic that you accused me of that.
The thing is that, even it is 1%, it's the top 100 best-seller 1%, the books that people will pay for if they can't get them from the library. This is business that publishers will not get. And it's getting worse as libraries purchase more and more ebooks.
[quote]Publishers have problems with libraries - period.
Duh. And your point is? That's the point I was making, idiot. It has nothing to do with Amazon.
[quote]The eBook problems are the same as the other problems.
No they aren't. It's trivial to copy/pirate an ebook. Have you ever tried to photocopy an entire book? And carry it around?
[quote]The problem in short - are photocopiers next to the reference book section (it is not uncommon for it to be less expensive to photocopy a reference book than to buy it).
Oh, garbage. For an article, sure. For an entire 500-page reference book? Please.
In short, what I wrote in R83 was correct and what R58 wrote was bullshit.
R91, now tell everyone how to return a book through Amazon.
Where every other ereader is a one to two step process, Amazon's Kindle is about a five step process and you can't even return the damn things easily.
Instead of a standalone ereader, Amazon has to have its fingers stuck in every single transaction instead of allowing universal access.
And, there is no choosing when it comes to library budgets and ebooks. When libraries buy the hardcopy we get the ebook. That's how it works throughout our consortium. And, every single library in our consortium gets a copy of every ebook bought by any of the libraries in the consortium. So, we end up with ebooks for books that we have no physical edition of on shelf.
[quote]My dad has Prime membership and they allow him to share the shipping benefits with a certain number of family/friends.
They're supposed to live in the same household.
[quote]Where every other ereader is a one to two step process, Amazon's Kindle is about a five step process and you can't even return the damn things easily.
It is literally five steps:
1. Go to amazon.com
2. Under "Your Account" click "Manage Your Kindle."
3. Find book you want to return and click "Actions."
4. Click "Return."
5. Click "Yes" when prompted to do so.
That sure is hard to do, R92. I'm just [italic]exhausted[/italic].
For qualifying orders with free shipping, amazon.com often uses LaserShip, because it's cheaper than USPS, UPS or FedEx.
I've had several bad experiences with amazon.com shipments via LaserShip.
Deliveries are made by employees using their own vehicles and they're paid a set amount for each delivery they make.
The tracking can be a joke. If the delivery person is overwhelmed with packages in the late afternoon, they will scan that the recipient wasn't home and delivery could not be made and it becomes a delivery for the next day.
Speaking with LaserShip's customer service or warehouse personnel is borderline torture.
Agree 100% with r8; wish I'd signed on to Prime long ago.
Getting the Kindle Fire HDX soon!
r25, go to Amazon's website and find out, you lazy git.
R94, every other ebook:
1. Click 'return book'
It's even simpler than that, R98. You don't have to do a thing: the book will automatically return when the library loan expires. R92 is full of shit.
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