Amazon

Use this board for general non-cycling-related chat, or to introduce yourself to the forum.
PH
Posts: 9956
Joined: 21 Jan 2007, 12:31am
Location: Derby
Contact:

Re: Amazon

Postby PH » 20 Feb 2020, 10:56pm

irc wrote:I use Amazon a lot. Prices are competitive if not always te lowest. Delivery faster than anywhere else. Most stuff next day, sometimes same day.

I wonder if there's something missing in my retail experiences - I've never bought anything that I've had any desire to receive next day. Once I've decided to buy something, which might take weeks in itself, it'll then maybe take me several days to get round to ordering it, and I'm happy enough if it turns up in the next week or so. What I do value above that speed, is good communication, I'd like the order confirmed, when it's being sent and if possible tracking information, for regular purchases I do favour retailers who offer this.
Although I don't get it, I've no doubt that speed is important to many, it's a major selling point and companies do use it to give themselves a competitive edge. For the last few years I've taken temporary jobs in the run up to Christmas and the jobs on offer are invariably shifting stuff, either retail warehouse or this year one of the major box shifters at their airport hub. I've come to the conclusion that the next day ethos is wasteful and expensive.

mattheus
Posts: 1576
Joined: 29 Dec 2008, 12:57pm
Location: Western Europe

Re: Amazon

Postby mattheus » 21 Feb 2020, 10:48am

DIY repair parts? It can be pretty urgent to get a part for your only (now broken) toilet!!!

With me it's usually bad planning e.g. I can replace/upgrade a bike part this weekend, but … oh drat, I've left it to Friday to order, what an idiot ..

User avatar
CyclingGuy
Posts: 83
Joined: 29 Apr 2017, 1:01pm
Contact:

Re: Amazon

Postby CyclingGuy » 21 Feb 2020, 8:32pm

What I do value above that speed, is good communication, I'd like the order confirmed, when it's being sent and if possible tracking information, for regular purchases I do favour retailers who offer this.

Amazon do all this - and with the convenience of having a network of useful pick-up points.

I work five days a week 8am - 5pm. If I break something on my bike that I ride during the week I might not be able to get a replacement before the weekend so having a service like Amazon that can usually get me what I need quickly and cheaply without having to take time off work can be a godsend. If one of the other online stores such as Wiggle has what I need, at a reasonable price and can get it to me for when I need it then I will happily use them instead.

Online shopping in general gets blamed for the death of the high street, but it's us, the consumer, that has to shoulder a fair chunk of the blame - our desire to get 'value for money' and instant gratification has encouraged online retailers to become more and more competitive in terms of both price and delivery.

Neil
Read about my adventures on the British Cycle Quest at: http://www.quest.nwarwick.co.uk

Psamathe
Posts: 12216
Joined: 10 Jan 2014, 8:56pm

Re: Amazon

Postby Psamathe » 21 Feb 2020, 8:52pm

PH wrote:....What I do value above that speed, is good communication, I'd like the order confirmed, when it's being sent and if possible tracking information, for regular purchases I do favour retailers who offer this.....

Likewise. What I have found with a number of non-Amazon online retailers is that after the purchase they pass your details (name, address, what purchased) to a 3rd party review company who then e-mail you asking you to review the company ... This infuriates me and I always take the retailer up on it from breach of their T&Cs as they passed on my details for something that was not needed in order to fulfil the order ...

And they deny it, I send them their own T&Cs and they end-up apologising and they then have to contact the 3d party who have to delete all information pertaining to me and my purchase and confirm it directly to me in writing (and I rarely give them more than 24 hrs elapsed to complete this). And they always seem to manage to get it all done in the very limited timescales I give them.

But it should never happen. Apparently some order processing systems do this automatically (which I am sure must be a feature that can be disabled). But it does discourage me from purchasing online from unknown companies.

Ian

kwackers
Posts: 15452
Joined: 4 Jun 2008, 9:29pm
Location: Warrington

Re: Amazon

Postby kwackers » 21 Feb 2020, 9:52pm

Like them or not, there's no denying that Amazon offer a service that is second to none.
And if you don't like them you can rest easy in the knowledge that the level of service they offer has raised the bar for a lot of other people offering online purchasing so you still win.

Online may kill the high street but it's been years since the sorts of things I want to buy are sold on the high street (and they stopped selling them long before online was a thing).
There are only so many clothes and fast food shops I ever want to visit.

thornie1543
Posts: 161
Joined: 12 Feb 2015, 6:30pm
Location: Port talbot.
Contact:

Re: Amazon

Postby thornie1543 » 24 Feb 2020, 10:08am

I worked in an amazon warehouse for four years,sorry they didn't call them warehouses,they were 'fulfilment centres'.Yep.

kwackers
Posts: 15452
Joined: 4 Jun 2008, 9:29pm
Location: Warrington

Re: Amazon

Postby kwackers » 24 Feb 2020, 10:46am

thornie1543 wrote:I worked in an amazon warehouse for four years,sorry they didn't call them warehouses,they were 'fulfilment centres'.Yep.

Unfortunately such nonsense isn't constrained to Amazon, it's a modern disease.

Psamathe
Posts: 12216
Joined: 10 Jan 2014, 8:56pm

Re: Amazon

Postby Psamathe » 24 Feb 2020, 11:33am

In the more general online vs High Street question I think the additional protections offered when purchasing online make online a lot safer to buy from - the return for any reason within a couple of weeks. Whilst some High Street shops offer similar, a lot don't (I've had big arguments and then when I've won on the return, more arguments about refund vs credit).

That you can buy online, see it if fits, matches, really is as good as you thought, reflect on it for a week, try it again, etc. and then return it without any argument or debate is a massive benefit (for me anyway). Not something I do but I've been told by some online companies to order a small and medium, try them on and return the one that does not fit (or return both).

When I do buy on High Street I have a very strong preference for shops that have a clear return & refund policy (like John Lewis' policy).

Ian

PH
Posts: 9956
Joined: 21 Jan 2007, 12:31am
Location: Derby
Contact:

Re: Amazon

Postby PH » 24 Feb 2020, 12:59pm

Psamathe wrote:That you can buy online, see it if fits, matches, really is as good as you thought, reflect on it for a week, try it again, etc. and then return it without any argument or debate is a massive benefit (for me anyway). Not something I do but I've been told by some online companies to order a small and medium, try them on and return the one that does not fit (or return both).
Ian

It is a huge convenience, hard to resist, no pressure of the sales staff, no time limitation, it's easy to see why it's so popular, the retailers who offer free returns know this. But as you said in another thread:
Seems we are just destroying the environment shipping stuff backwards and forwards to no real purpose. So, what am I missing?

The volumes are huge, I worked in the distribution center for well known clothing retailer for a couple of months in 2018, about a third of the staff are involved in returns, that's a lot of transport. It's a fairly recent development, about fifteen years ago I worked for the now defunct Littlewoods in their distribution center, returns were something we dealt with at the end of a shift, maybe 5% at most.

Psamathe
Posts: 12216
Joined: 10 Jan 2014, 8:56pm

Re: Amazon

Postby Psamathe » 24 Feb 2020, 1:08pm

PH wrote:
Psamathe wrote:That you can buy online, see it if fits, matches, really is as good as you thought, reflect on it for a week, try it again, etc. and then return it without any argument or debate is a massive benefit (for me anyway). Not something I do but I've been told by some online companies to order a small and medium, try them on and return the one that does not fit (or return both).
Ian

It is a huge convenience, hard to resist, no pressure of the sales staff, no time limitation, it's easy to see why it's so popular, the retailers who offer free returns know this. But as you said in another thread:
Seems we are just destroying the environment shipping stuff backwards and forwards to no real purpose. So, what am I missing?

The volumes are huge, I worked in the distribution center for well known clothing retailer for a couple of months in 2018, about a third of the staff are involved in returns, that's a lot of transport. It's a fairly recent development, about fifteen years ago I worked for the now defunct Littlewoods in their distribution center, returns were something we dealt with at the end of a shift, maybe 5% at most.

It is a lot of transport but I have no idea about the calculation. e.g. If I want a replacement charging cable, I can drive into city park, etc. all in a 30 mile round trip vs one small extra parcel on a van that is virtually going past my house anyway (or via Royal Mail who are visiting my house anyway).

In terms of environmental damage I'm unsure because although the van is virtually going past my house anyway, I am partially creating the demand for it be be anywhere near my house so I'm more than riding on the back of something happening anyway. But that vs a 30 mile round trip in the car (ignoring cycling as I don't cycle there (nowhere safe to leave bike).

Similarly, to return it's a cyclable (6 mile round trip) to a Post Office and you can be absolutely sure a van would be going to Amazon (or similar) warehouses every day.

Maybe similar equation to supermarket online/home delivery vs visiting the place yourself and that must vary depending on where you live in relation to the supermarket.

Ian

kwackers
Posts: 15452
Joined: 4 Jun 2008, 9:29pm
Location: Warrington

Re: Amazon

Postby kwackers » 24 Feb 2020, 1:43pm

Psamathe wrote:It is a lot of transport but I have no idea about the calculation. e.g. If I want a replacement charging cable, I can drive into city park, etc. all in a 30 mile round trip vs one small extra parcel on a van that is virtually going past my house anyway (or via Royal Mail who are visiting my house anyway).

Most shops have several deliveries throughout a week/month anyway.
Delivery vans are probably less polluting than a private car by virtue of being 'warmed' up and the mileage contribution per customer delivery is probably a lot less than that customer driving to shops. (And that before we look at all the delivery services that are migrating to EV).
Plus you often get several items from different suppliers in a single delivery.

I'd be prepared to bet delivery from a warehouse by delivery vans easily beats private journeys by car in environmental terms - even if you return the goods.

Oldjohnw
Posts: 5991
Joined: 16 Oct 2018, 4:23am
Location: Northumberland

Re: Amazon

Postby Oldjohnw » 24 Feb 2020, 1:52pm

My grouse with Amazon was not about the efficiency of their system but rather the hideous employment terms and conditions and Bezos' ambition to own us all.

Of course, other organisations have dreadful conditions and where I can avoid them I do. Sometimes I am unaware of the situation. But with Amazon I cannot claim ignorance and I don't need Amazon.

Of course, I search online for things using Google!
John

PH
Posts: 9956
Joined: 21 Jan 2007, 12:31am
Location: Derby
Contact:

Re: Amazon

Postby PH » 24 Feb 2020, 2:24pm

Psamathe wrote:It is a lot of transport but I have no idea about the calculation. e.g. If I want a replacement charging cable, I can drive into city park, etc. all in a 30 mile round trip vs one small extra parcel on a van that is virtually going past my house anyway (or via Royal Mail who are visiting my house anyway).
Ian

I wouldn't like to make the calculation either, it's easy to see why companies like the Click and Collect model, and are prepared to invest quite heavily in technology and infrastructure to enable it, which ought to give us an indication. Whether such a model is environmentally a good one depends in part on final collection, if I collect by bike it probably is - if someone makes a twenty mile car trip then not.

In terms of environmental damage I'm unsure because although the van is virtually going past my house anyway, I am partially creating the demand for it be be anywhere near my house so I'm more than riding on the back of something happening anyway. But that vs a 30 mile round trip in the car (ignoring cycling as I don't cycle there (nowhere safe to leave bike).
Similarly, to return it's a cyclable (6 mile round trip) to a Post Office and you can be absolutely sure a van would be going to Amazon (or similar) warehouses every day.

Sorry, I'm going to dismiss the "Van is going there anyway" argument, it's making those trips because on cumulative demand and that comes from individuals. Your 30 mile road trip is also well outside the average, isn't it something like 80% of the population who live in Urban areas?
The point I was making was particulaly aimed at the ease of returns, if a third of staff employed in the warehouse are dealing with them, it's hard to imagine that will not result in a lot of additional transport.
Maybe similar equation to supermarket online/home delivery vs visiting the place yourself and that must vary depending on where you live in relation to the supermarket.

Yes, but at least one such delivery van comes up my street each day, sometimes the same van more than once. Yet within walking distance we have a Coop, Aldi, Iceland, with a huge Sainsbury superstore just over a mile away. Although there will be examples where a delivery is the right option, I can't see how the business model would work if that were the norm.

We're not going to change anything, the convenience is undeniable and often irresistible, I just think we ought to call it what it is - lazy. I need some veg today, it raining, am I going to get the bike out and a six mile round trip to the farm shop, pop across the road to get stuff in plastic bags from Aldi, or a 10 min walk to the local greengrocers? The farm shop the best option, Aldi the worst, I'll probably compromise and walk to the greengrocers.
As I said in the food thread, the biggest difference we can make would be by consuming less rather than fiddling on the edges.

kwackers
Posts: 15452
Joined: 4 Jun 2008, 9:29pm
Location: Warrington

Re: Amazon

Postby kwackers » 24 Feb 2020, 2:35pm

PH wrote:Yes, but at least one such delivery van comes up my street each day, sometimes the same van more than once. Yet within walking distance we have a Coop, Aldi, Iceland, with a huge Sainsbury superstore just over a mile away. Although there will be examples where a delivery is the right option, I can't see how the business model would work if that were the norm.

They all appear to be grocers...
Most of the stuff bought from Amazon or online isn't grocery.

Mind you I think if you buy your grocery online from your local store you'd still be quids in environmentally when their van delivers it.

Delivery by van is a nail in the coffin for personal car use.
In that respect it's a good thing.

PH
Posts: 9956
Joined: 21 Jan 2007, 12:31am
Location: Derby
Contact:

Re: Amazon

Postby PH » 24 Feb 2020, 2:38pm

kwackers wrote:They all appear to be grocers...

Are you following the thread? I'm responding to the quote immediately above it:
Maybe similar equation to supermarket online/home delivery vs visiting the place yourself and that must vary depending on where you live in relation to the supermarket.