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Just wondering what you guys think about Amazon's explosive growth and how much influence they'll have in the future as they continue to rule online retail and branch out into other segments of society (shipping, healthcare, etc).

Will they ever get so big and so powerful that the government will have to step in to keep them from monopolizing certain segments of business?

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I think Amazon should be investigated by antitrust violations.  I buy nothing from them except for the occasional item at whole foods as I can find anything they have elsewhere on the web.  I remember

These are not the droids you're looking for...

Antitrust violations are not real violations.  That is a made-up "crime" that was cooked up by a bunch of corporate fat-cats who are unhappy about being out-competed in the free market, so they look f

Hmmmm... I know it's not good when you don't support local merchants, but about 90% of all my Christmas purchases were through Amazon this year. Time and the fact I detest malls and shopping center crowds were my reasons. My next door neighbor thrives on being out in the mix of holiday shoppers, but not me. 

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1 hour ago, MLBrumby said:

Hmmmm... I know it's not good when you don't support local merchants, but about 90% of all my Christmas purchases were through Amazon this year. Time and the fact I detest malls and shopping center crowds were my reasons. My next door neighbor thrives on being out in the mix of holiday shoppers, but not me. 

Yeah...I do almost all my shopping (except groceries) through Amazon.

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On 12/19/2019 at 7:59 AM, bigeasy said:

My biggest fear is the expectations they are setting for consumers and how this is destroying other retailers. The whole free same day/2 days shipping is not sustainable but a company like Amazon can take the financial hit.  

Especially if they have the fleet of trucks to deliver it themselves.  And...if they ever really get droid service "off the ground"...that could be a game changer.

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On 12/19/2019 at 7:59 AM, bigeasy said:

My biggest fear is the expectations they are setting for consumers and how this is destroying other retailers. 

They are not "destroying" other retailers.  They are out-competing them.  Destroying them would be setting fire to their stores or lobbying the government to put their competitors out of business.  Simply convincing consumers to switch to Amazon cannot be described as "destroying" other retailers.  The market is supposed to work that way.  Consumers make the choice of who grows and who shrinks, not retailers.

On 12/19/2019 at 7:59 AM, bigeasy said:

The whole free same day/2 days shipping is not sustainable but a company like Amazon can take the financial hit.  

Lot's of retailers were way bigger than Amazon for decades... why didn't they launch an online retailing platform and conquer that space before Amazon?  Answer:  Lack of creativity and stagnant corporate culture/structure that punished innovation and rewarded Yes-Men who said that everyone above them was always right.  Those are precisely the same things holding them back from competing with Amazon today and those are precisely the reasons they deserve to go out of business if they can't keep up with Amazon.

On 12/20/2019 at 10:04 AM, titanhog said:

Especially if they have the fleet of trucks to deliver it themselves.  And...if they ever really get droid service "off the ground"...that could be a game changer.

As a consumer, I can't wait for the day my purchases are delivered by drone.  But I could really care less if it's an Amazon drone or a Dollar General drone... so word of advice to any retailer that wants to beat Amazon:  Be first with the drones!

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I think Amazon should be investigated by antitrust violations.  I buy nothing from them except for the occasional item at whole foods as I can find anything they have elsewhere on the web.  I remember when people thought Walmart was destroying the small businesses.  Where are these people now?   Somehow with a combination of other websites and yes some in store shopping I can get everything non food I need from others.  

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15 hours ago, KJHburg said:

I think Amazon should be investigated by antitrust violations.  I buy nothing from them except for the occasional item at whole foods as I can find anything they have elsewhere on the web.  I remember when people thought Walmart was destroying the small businesses.  Where are these people now?   Somehow with a combination of other websites and yes some in store shopping I can get everything non food I need from others.  

Antitrust violations are not real violations.  That is a made-up "crime" that was cooked up by a bunch of corporate fat-cats who are unhappy about being out-competed in the free market, so they look for a way to use lawyers, lobbyists, and pliable politicians to un-do the choices made by consumers in the market.  If you support anti-trust laws, then you support putting the ambitions of companies ahead of the will of the consumer/public at large.

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I have NOT bought anything from Amazon since Christmas '19.  The last thing I bought from Amazon was a dehumidifier, and they sent me two. I tried to send one back but they said, "Just keep it"!!!! It was too big they didn't want to mess with it.   I've had good luck going direct to source retailers.  Prices are about the same and sometimes I've actually called up the service "help line" and bargained ("got any specials on this?"). I haven't had so much luck using their chat boxes.  My favorite is Costco.  The comparison shopping is a bit more difficult but I haven't missed Amazon. 

Read an article recently that Amazon has a practice of letting small businesses use their platform, then steal their product pipeline!  I'll see if I can find it... IIRC it was Amazon is the Real Shark Tank. 

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I just think they have too much marketing power. Same goes for WalMart, which I don't buy from either. I tend to shy away from the big boxes.  I do think another group of people running Washington will very likely break up some of the technology companies. Not so sure about Amazon, and I don't classify it as such although it can be called one. 

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17 hours ago, MLBrumby said:

I just think they have too much marketing power. Same goes for WalMart, which I don't buy from either. I tend to shy away from the big boxes.  I do think another group of people running Washington will very likely break up some of the technology companies. Not so sure about Amazon, and I don't classify it as such although it can be called one. 

Fair enough, that is your right as a consumer to shop where you want for any reason.  So who do you use for your online shopping now since you hate fighting the crowds?

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I understand your question regards online shopping, but I mostly buy from local shops (clothes, restaurants, coffee, speciallties, etc.) or local locations of chains (Ace Hardware, Publix, the man at the corner who has two "Mobil" stations and works his front counter on weekends to give his employees time off).  There's a local produce place here that's great. Linda's Produce.  Sometimes I don't have a local option, but when there is a good one I won't hesitate. Living in a smaller city, sometimes there's only chains from which to buy certain things.

My wife is really more of an online shopper than I am, but she doesn't do a whole lot from Amazon either. She usually buys direct from the national stores she knows well like a favorite tailor, candle maker, and online gift registries. Sometimes we pay more for shipping, but I think people would be surprised it's usually not (much) more.  There is a place in Hixson where we buy all the athletic shoes and sportswear my family use. 

Typically the first place I go for online shopping is Costco.com just to see what's available, keeping in mind it's still a big box.  I'd say more than half the paper goods we buy come from Target.com.  I have to say I cave in too often when it comes to buying meat at Costco, but we have a location where I'll usually buy in person.  I think buying perishable foods from anywhere online can be risky, but I sometimes go to specialty food suppliers like Cajun Grocers, Alaska Seafood, Golden Apple, Officemax and the sporting goods chains.  There are a few direct online athletics sites my kids prefer, but I'll stick to Academy and Dicks, once again I'll go to their local stores usually. I think our kids are inclined to go to Amazon far more often than we do. I know they do a lot of downloads from Apple. Fortunately they've all outgrown the gaming phase. I think one of them has a streaming account with Amazon. And finally, about 90% of the time when I want to buy a book I will go to McKay's first to see if they have the one I'm looking for.  Then it's often straight to B&N to get it. Once again... a chain, but not Amazon. 

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On 12/18/2019 at 6:18 PM, titanhog said:

Just wondering what you guys think about Amazon's explosive growth and how much influence they'll have in the future as they continue to rule online retail and branch out into other segments of society (shipping, healthcare, etc).

Will they ever get so big and so powerful that the government will have to step in to keep them from monopolizing certain segments of business?

I think that depends on who's running the government and when. The current DC establishment see no need to rock the boat of a powerful entity, and not just in the money it 'donates' to them. No one dares to raise the hackles of the Washington Post, also owned by Mr. Bezos. To date, Washington's movers and shakers have shown no interest in taking antitrust action against Amazon.  Some will grumble about them having "too much power" but show no will to take them on.  Democrats in DC are hamstrung by the favor they get from the tech industry and Republicans are hamstrung by their fealty to free market principles.  If they ever do proceed with antitrust action, I think that will be in response to a grassroots tidal wave they've never seen before.  I don't see that happening now.  I stated here how I feel personally about shopping at Amazon.com, but no one is putting a gun to my head.  I simply choose to buy most things from other sources. 

I think there are a few antitrust cases that could be made by those bold enough, especially where it relates to supply chain and pricing power but probably not in their computer/digital presence. The idea of a  digital monopoly is still a great unknown right now.  I do think Section 230 of the CDA (1994) will be abolished if/when the Republicans ever have control of Congress.  That'd have little effect on Amazon.  Fact remains that people can choose to shop or not shop on their digital platform.  Amazon is a strange animal that's never been seen in modern history, as it touches on nearly every business sector and represents the greatest percentage of the GDP (3%) in the modern era.  There are no defined benchmarks as to when DoJ will greenlight antitrust action.  E-commerce did not exist 30 years ago, and some believe it's still in its infancy (I don't).  I think the greatest danger about any company so large comes from the risk they can 'own' members of our government (and other key sectors) with money and influence.  All that may change if/when Amazon represents 5% or more of the economy or if/when people en mass believe they're too powerful.  But then the question will come back to those folks, if you think they're too powerful then don't buy anything from them.  If they ever do break into several independent companies, the logistics hub in Nashville could well become the new distribution company's headquarters. 

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On 12/18/2019 at 5:36 PM, MLBrumby said:

Hmmmm... I know it's not good when you don't support local merchants, but about 90% of all my Christmas purchases were through Amazon this year. Time and the fact I detest malls and shopping center crowds were my reasons. My next door neighbor thrives on being out in the mix of holiday shoppers, but not me. 

 

On 8/25/2021 at 12:47 PM, MLBrumby said:

I understand your question regards online shopping, but I mostly buy from local shops (clothes, restaurants, coffee, speciallties, etc.) or local locations of chains (Ace Hardware, Publix, ...). 

Having trouble reconciling these two statements....

On 8/25/2021 at 12:47 PM, MLBrumby said:

My wife is really more of an online shopper than I am, but she doesn't do a whole lot from Amazon either.

So within the past couple years you've gone from 90% of christmas shopping on Amazon to totally boycotting them due to their size?

On 8/25/2021 at 12:47 PM, MLBrumby said:

Typically the first place I go for online shopping is Costco.com ....more than half the paper goods we buy come from Target.com.  

Looks like Amazon has sales around $250B, whereas Costco has sales of $150B and Target is around $77B.  I'm guessing your cut-off threshold for when you stop shopping at a particular store is around $200B, right?  Just curious what it is about the delta between $150B and $250B that causes you to flip from loyal customer to staunch critic?  Always good to learn about the motivations of consumers in the market...

https://nrf.com/resources/top-retailers/top-100-retailers/top-100-retailers-2020-list

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