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Old 07-11-2018, 08:48 PM   #46
FizzyWater
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I guess to some degree, it also depends on what "treats the workers badly when they make a mistake" means. For some people, even being told they made a mistake is considered "bad". Are they being written up? Three strikes you're out? Never get a raise again? Are the mistakes pointed out with great fanfare in front of all their coworkers? Are they put in stocks in the village square?
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Old 07-11-2018, 09:01 PM   #47
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I don't see a reason for Amazon to not implement high standards (think automotive supplier standards) when it comes to warehouse and shipping. It is fortunate for Amazon that a little "honest" shipping mistake doesn't have the potential to slip through and shut down an assembly line. Talk about expensive ...
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Old 07-11-2018, 10:28 PM   #48
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The reason Amazon makes money off retail is that they minimize the opportunities for error.
How do we know they make profit off retail? Based on publicly available information, isn't that unknowable? See:

https://www.fool.com/investing/2018/...rofitable.aspx

As for whether Amazon is good for workers, a point of comparison I've mentioned before is A & P, which, at its peak, when the world's largest company, avoided loss leader pricing that could put competitors out of business, and was fine with unionization. Now, it's true that since I first posted something like that here, A & P has gone out of business! However, A & P lasted far longer than a normal US company (1859-2015).

On the other side, Amazon isn't the worst company out there. It has not destroyed book publishing, or even, that I can see, much hurt it. Random House still has, to me, lots of great new products (I mostly read narrative non-fiction.) Contrast the little effect of Amazon on book quality with the effect of Craigslist on the newspaper industry.

Last edited by SteveEisenberg; 07-12-2018 at 07:30 AM.
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Old 07-12-2018, 01:35 AM   #49
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How do we know they make profit off retail? Based on publicly available information, isn't that unknowable? See:

https://www.fool.com/investing/2018/...rofitable.aspx
Real simple answer: Why is Amazon investing into expanding their retail if it isn't profitable?
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Old 07-12-2018, 08:43 AM   #50
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Originally Posted by DuckieTigger View Post
Real simple answer: Why is Amazon investing into expanding their retail if it isn't profitable?
Because Amazon exists *solely* to destroy (poorly-run) legacy businesses, of course.

Remember, Amazon is eeevil, not merely an efficient money-making machine.

Their financials show how much they make/lose in retail *after* the investment in future growth. And for several years in a row they have been reporting enormous growth (25% annual?!) and hefty profits. (There even is talk of a trillion dollar valuation within a few years. Seems odd but they are definitely headed into Apple territory.)

It would be nice if the anti-Amazon axis would at least get their story straight; either their retail operations are big money losers or they're making so much money they can afford to eat the costs of regular packing/shipping errors.

Consistency may be "the hobgoblin of small minds" but a common baseline for attacks would be useful. Minimize whiplash if nothing else...

Last edited by fjtorres; 07-12-2018 at 08:47 AM.
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Old 07-12-2018, 09:55 AM   #51
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Because Amazon exists *solely* to destroy (poorly-run) legacy businesses, of course.

Remember, Amazon is eeevil, not merely an efficient money-making machine.
Well, I should have been more specific and add [sarcasm] tags. Or a smiley.

There is only very few companies that will invest in a sinking ship. Amazon and Apple aren't it, but Barnes and Noble comes really close.
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Old 07-12-2018, 10:03 AM   #52
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... which is also why we, as the customers, must decide what kind of market we want to support.

I still much, much prefer the traditional bookstore, where you can flip through books and where recommendations are handwritten on slips of papers next to books - by people you can actually talk to, since they're the store employees. And I'd still be buying my books there, if they had made the effort to include ebooks in their offers.
Oh! Not me! Long lines, clerks if available at all being rude, limited selection, having to actually wear clothes to buy books! I am quite happy with an all electronic book buying and reading experience.
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Old 07-12-2018, 10:43 AM   #53
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Real simple answer: Why is Amazon investing into expanding their retail if it isn't profitable?
A rhetorical question surely, but profitable is a fairly flexible term. Movies notoriously frequently don't show a profit on paper. Amazon reinvested in the company for a long time before ever showing a profit. For the most part, the various parts of Amazon are so intertwined, it's actually quite possible for Amazon to show a profit overall, but the retail business not to be profitable. While I suspect that the retail business is likely quite profitable, the question and answer is, as with most large corporations with it's fingers in lots of pies, probably fairly complex. It really depends on what Amazon's leadership wants the answer to be.
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Old 07-12-2018, 03:15 PM   #54
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Oh! Not me! Long lines, clerks if available at all being rude, limited selection, having to actually wear clothes to buy books! I am quite happy with an all electronic book buying and reading experience.
Same here. Well, our local bookstores have no lines or rude clerks, books being rather expensive here, but I'd rather buy my books without talking to anyone. Speaking with strangers is a chore for me, not a pleasure. I don't need or want anyone's help with buying my stuff.
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Old 07-12-2018, 03:21 PM   #55
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I do want people available if I have questions, but I do not want them hanging over my shoulder trying to be helpful. Sales clerks should be like children...…...seen but not heard.
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Old 07-12-2018, 05:28 PM   #56
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I do want people available if I have questions, but I do not want them hanging over my shoulder trying to be helpful. Sales clerks should be like children...…...seen but not heard.
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Old 07-12-2018, 06:26 PM   #57
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Same here. Well, our local bookstores have no lines or rude clerks, books being rather expensive here, but I'd rather buy my books without talking to anyone. Speaking with strangers is a chore for me, not a pleasure. I don't need or want anyone's help with buying my stuff.
You must be fun at parties.......you are gonna be a pill in your old age....
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Old 07-12-2018, 06:45 PM   #58
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You must be fun at parties.......you are gonna be a pill in your old age....
I don't party with strangers, only with my friends and family. I have no problem with talking to them.

Actually I'm no exception in my country in that regard. A typical Estonian doesn't like to actively engage strangers in conversation. For example, you usually don't see passengers talking to each other on public transport here, unless they know each other.
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Old 07-12-2018, 06:46 PM   #59
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Remember, Amazon is eeevil, not merely an efficient money-making machine.
I guess we're on a different planet on this one. Calling them "an efficient money-making machine" seems to me a far stronger attack than anything I wrote.
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Old 07-12-2018, 09:27 PM   #60
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I guess we're on a different planet on this one. Calling them "an efficient money-making machine" seems to me a far stronger attack than anything I wrote.
That is not really an attack, but a compliment. I hate Apple for what they do, and would never freewilly fork over money to them. Yet I acknowledge that they are vastly successful as a business.
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