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Old 11-20-2009, 11:57 AM   #1
poohbear_nc
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Walmart Takes on Amazon for Web Dominance

http://www.dailyfinance.com/2009/11/...-going-down%2F

Apparently Walmart intends to wear down Amazon's pricing dominance in internet sales penny by penny, with other e-tailers jumping on the bandwagon. In the short term, price wars are great for consumers. But, long term, smaller retailers that can't compete in the price wars may get priced out of the market.
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Old 11-20-2009, 12:14 PM   #2
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Same as physical bookshops then...
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Old 11-20-2009, 12:42 PM   #3
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Meh. Walmart.com has been an also-ran for a long time now, and I doubt that discounting 10 best-sellers is really going to make a difference.
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Old 11-20-2009, 01:32 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by poohbear_nc View Post
Apparently Walmart intends to wear down Amazon's pricing dominance in internet sales penny by penny, with other e-tailers jumping on the bandwagon. In the short term, price wars are great for consumers. But, long term, smaller retailers that can't compete in the price wars may get priced out of the market.
Note that if many consumers really did prefer the smaller retails they would be willing to pay higher prices and so the little guys could still remain profitable. I think most people prefer low prices from fierce competition among big players over supporting small outlets for sentimental reasons. Thus price wars are generally good for consumers in the short and the long run.
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Old 11-20-2009, 02:59 PM   #5
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I used to work in a copy shop and several of our customers were smaller retailers. Among them was an indie bookstore I had loved---until they started coming into the copy shop and turned out to be the most demanding, complaining, rude bunch of customers I ever served during my short tenure in the customer service industry I'll take 'big retailer, lower price' over supporting the little guy 'just because' any day...
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Old 11-20-2009, 03:08 PM   #6
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Has anyone ever found a good book or magazine in the book section of a physical Wal-Mart? Their offerings are bland exponentiated.

Does walmart.com practice censorship with their online offerings as they do with the merchandise in their physical stores?
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Old 11-20-2009, 04:35 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RobbieClarken View Post
Note that if many consumers really did prefer the smaller retails they would be willing to pay higher prices and so the little guys could still remain profitable. I think most people prefer low prices from fierce competition among big players over supporting small outlets for sentimental reasons. Thus price wars are generally good for consumers in the short and the long run.
Evidence, please? Especially for the claim that this is good for the long term. Walmart, in particular, has a history of coming in, sucking small communities dry by knocking the local competition out of business, and then packing up and leaving. Local businesses spread the money they earn around the local community. Big businesses generally don't, preferring the large national distributors with which they already have existing relationships. This is also not just an economic issue. It's a socio-psychological one which is at once symptomatic of and contributing to the hyper-atomized individualism which has infected American culture over the past few decades.

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Old 11-20-2009, 04:38 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by ficbot View Post
I used to work in a copy shop and several of our customers were smaller retailers. Among them was an indie bookstore I had loved---until they started coming into the copy shop and turned out to be the most demanding, complaining, rude bunch of customers I ever served during my short tenure in the customer service industry I'll take 'big retailer, lower price' over supporting the little guy 'just because' any day...
Don't do it 'just because.' Do it to keep wealth within your local community where you and your compatriots have a better chance of making sure that its used wisely. Do it because it makes it more likely that everyone will treat people as people and not as a kind of check-out machine. Heck, with the increases in automation we are seeing in today's supermarkets, I wonder how many employees will be left to mind the store in ten years.

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Old 11-20-2009, 04:53 PM   #9
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I used to work in a copy shop and several of our customers were smaller retailers. Among them was an indie bookstore I had loved---until they started coming into the copy shop and turned out to be the most demanding, complaining, rude bunch of customers I ever served during my short tenure in the customer service industry I'll take 'big retailer, lower price' over supporting the little guy 'just because' any day...
I deal with large and small publishers and I can assure you that size does not guarantee civility or anything else. One example: One of my smallest clients always pays me within 15 days, pays a fair price, and always calls with a cheerful tone in the voice; one of my former large clients (one of the biggest in the industry) I had to fire because they were demanding, refused to pay in less than 120 days and often longer, griped over every little thing, and constantly demanded that I match the price they could get in a third world country for the same services (albeit not of the same caliber -- price was all that mattered, not quality, experience, or knowledge).

People are people -- some good, some bad, many indifferent.
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Old 11-20-2009, 05:04 PM   #10
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Price wars are good, till there is no one left to fight. Eventually someone has to win.
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Old 11-20-2009, 05:07 PM   #11
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Remember how Walmart did against NetFlix? I tried out Walmart's DVD movie rental system and it was horrible. You couldn't get anything you wanted to see and it took much longer to get anything you had ordered. I had hoped they had learned a lesson with that fiasco.
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Old 11-20-2009, 06:00 PM   #12
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Price wars are good, till there is no one left to fight. Eventually someone has to win.
then they become a monopoly and the government splits them up to keep them from jacking up the prices once there is no choice.

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Old 11-20-2009, 08:58 PM   #13
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The Super Wal Marts have a good selection I think...perfect no, as good as a book store, no. Not yet anyway


Quote:
Originally Posted by WT Sharpe View Post
Has anyone ever found a good book or magazine in the book section of a physical Wal-Mart? Their offerings are bland exponentiated.

Does walmart.com practice censorship with their online offerings as they do with the merchandise in their physical stores?
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Old 11-20-2009, 09:10 PM   #14
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People go to Walmart to buy cheap clothes and beer, not to buy books.
This is a lot like McDonalds setting up it's own church and taking on the instituted religions of the world.
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Old 11-20-2009, 11:00 PM   #15
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Evidence, please? Especially for the claim that this is good for the long term. Walmart, in particular, has a history of coming in, sucking small communities dry by knocking the local competition out of business, and then packing up and leaving. Local businesses spread the money they earn around the local community. Big businesses generally don't, preferring the large national distributors with which they already have existing relationships. This is also not just an economic issue. It's a socio-psychological one which is at once symptomatic of and contributing to the hyper-atomized individualism which has infected American culture over the past few decades.
Evidence please? I don't think I've ever heard of a Walmart store closing. Moving, yes, but not flat out closing (which seems to be what you're talking about when you say 'packing up and leaving'.

As for spreading the money around the local community, which do you think hires more people, one Walmart or 10 mom-and-pop stores?. Sure, the *profits* might go out of town, but the *income* is spread out much more widely.

My dislike of Walmart is the same as my dislike of most chain department stores-I have yet to find one that truly focuses on helping people. Take the incident that hit the news lately-in our local store if somebody was rude enough to cut in line, shoving other customer's goods aside, they'd probably be asked to leave. In Walmart? They left it up to the other customers to complain.

I don't want to pay higher prices in the local stores-but I'm much more willing to help them out, e.g. put stuff back on the shelf for them, speak up if I see someone trashing something, etc.
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