Sunday, November 05, 2006

Amazon: ominous problems

I was one of Amazon's earliest customers -- back when they gave out coffee mugs to every customer. I've tracked their ups and downs, including when their customer service was in the basement (now it's excellent). I can smell when they're in trouble.

They're in trouble.

They're increasingly trying to be a broker for other vendors, a kind of meta-catalog. This gets them out of the nasty business of stocking inventory and managing customers and lets them cover the entire net. That would be fine - if there were a search option to limit all views and searches to only items Amazon stocks and distributes. There isn't.

Nowadays, when I search for things there, I'm weeding through junk from no-name vendors. I might as well be on eBay.

I don't have the time to mess with no-name vendors. I want a vendor I trust. I trust Amazon, I don't trust these guys. I don't want to deal with all the oddball shipping charges.

Amazon is making a bad strategic move. They need to pull out of this dive before then make ground contact.

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