Everyone loves slamming Amazon and I get it. They take huge fees from the companies on their site and don’t care. They have made it extremely difficult to compete without a super-strong brand in eCommerce. You can have a shop on their site but it is “amazonish” looking and screws your bottom line.

There is a slew of reasons to hate Amazon but it is genius. It was by far the best-built user-friendly site even back in the early 90’s. The engineering and product team has just continued to build on the brilliance.

We just moved into a new spot in LA. The amount of time and energy it takes to get the house functioning is the ultimate thing to do online. I have spent hours searching for the perfect throw blanket or basket. At this point, I have searched every home furnishing store in most of the urban cities across the US. It is been quite an education.

What I have learned is Amazon rules. Not that I did not know that before but this deep dive into the net just drove it home. Hard to find what exactly I am looking for just like going shopping on the streets or a mall. Lots of replication. Many stores are really good and shine with their on-point products that represent the brand they are building. Others not so much. It is not easy to find a particular store unless you know exactly what the store is called and most of the time that is something that seems to escape my brain. I’d say there is an opportunity out there in really well-curated stores online but again there is always Amazon.

Comments (Archived):

  1. awaldstein

    Congrats on new digs!They are hard to beat in their core category and with every innovation they drive the industry to innovate around them.Free shipping is the norm thanks to them.Remember user reviews–that was theirs back when and a huge innovation.Hard to compete but they don’t do well on things that have to be sold not just searched for in a catalog, like wine.

  2. Erin

    My friend and I were talking about Amazon the other day. He says it won’t fail in this lifetime, and I reminded him of Woolworth-woolco, Sears and Eaton’s- that’s what everyone said about them. He said they failed because they didn’t innovate, and Amazon innovates like crazy. I said well let this be a new age where there are new reasons to fail.

    1. awaldstein

      you are saying that you would like them to fail?not i certainly.can they do better, they press their leverage–yup.could they single handedly change the environment by requiring all packages to be recycled–obviously.they are a huge benefit to life nonetheless.

  3. Susan Rubinsky

    BTW, I absolutely love Wayfair for home items. Their search is unparalleled. I often find exactly what I’m looking for. For example, I have a candelabra that requires a certain diameter and height of pillar candles. I also prefer a specific color and scent. In addition, I need candles without a metal disk in the bottom of the candle. Go to Amazon and search on these criteria — you can only search on three, not five, of the criteria — but at Wayfair you can.

    1. LE

      Interesting about how Wayfair got it’s name. (Short story appears to be in order to not scare off manufacturers burned by dot com crash).https://www.businessinsider…My theory on the name was different. I theorized it was some play on ‘WAY FAIR!!’. As in ‘way fair’ deal. Something like that.Or the dictionary definition of ‘wayfare’ a ‘journey’ or ‘money or provisions for a journey’.My wife has bought many things off of wayfair. I don’t shop there mainly because I am not doing that type of purchase so I would not default there for a search for anything that I needed.This is one of the reasons Amazon is successful (as everyone knows). It’s a destination that you visit constantly and are familiar with ordering and completing and getting your order filled. This is also a tremendous help with a small business ‘just in time’ ordering. I even buy paper towels for the office on Amazon (and last I checked the price was reasonable compared to the Supermarket and I don’t have to have someone pickup and get distracted).Which raises another point about Amazon. What is the cost savings comparing the impulse buying on Amazon vs. impulse buying if you are in a physical store and see something on an ‘end cap’ that you don’t need buy buy anyway on impulse?How has Amazon impacted Christmas shopping (not something I do)? Less likely to buy a pair of gloves you don’t need if you don’t pass by the box in the department store selling them (note I said ‘don’t need’ everyone has bought gloves that they don’t need on impulse, right?).

      1. Susan Rubinsky

        Don’t get me wrong, I love Amazon too. The first time I used Amazon for Christmas shopping was 1996 — my son was born two months early, was in the neo-natal unit, and not a Christmas thing was getting done then I remembered Amazon, logged on and bought everything all in one afternoon. First time I had bought anything other than books from them and I was hooked, it was so easy. Seems so obvious now, but at the time it was a bit mind-blowing.

        1. Gotham Gal

          I used to think they were ringing the bell everytime I came back to buy a book!

  4. LE

    Everyone loves slamming Amazon and I get it. They take huge fees from the companies on their site and don’t care.They are just whining. It’s a venue which they have developed (at great expense and losses as we all know) that has people buying and making purchases. Yes, you pay for that. Just like you would pay for shelf space at a supermarket and just like you pay for a trade show booth at a trade show. Or newspaper adverting back when it mattered. (Remember inserts and appliance seller and furniture store ads every single week to name just a few successes at high priced newspaper ads?) Nothing to complain about. It’s business. Would love some of the complainers to go back to business in past years when the barriers to selling were way higher than they are today. [1][1] Will add that some of those barriers were great once you cleared them since they kept the others out (and in business that is good goes w/o saying).

  5. pointsnfigures

    We use it all the time for our remote cabin in MN. Even got kayaks delivered.

    1. Gotham Gal

      Kind of incredible.