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No. of Recommendations: 1
From a consumer perspective, I find I'm not near as big a fan of Amazon as I was a year ago. I've shopped for numerous items recently (TVs, ice maker, wine cooler, tools, hardware, and more) and Amazon has not been my vendor of choice. Where Amazon was the lowest cost provider in the past, I'm finding I can get equal or lower pricing and better selection elsewhere. My last order from Amazon was a pair of Crocs deck shoes. I think they are "knock-offs". Best Buy is, IMO, far superior to AMZN in electronics (comparable pricing, better selection and service). I'm starting to re-think the long-term growth prospects of Amazon. Is anyone else having reservations about AMZN? Are others, like me, finding better options elsewhere? Is this an early sign that AMZN is starting to crumble?
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No. of Recommendations: 1
I would tend to agree. I always price check between several web sites, depending on the type of product. In the past, Amazon often had the lowest prices. No longer. Now on Amazon, I can look at dozens of offers for the same item with each price more outrageous than the last. It can be a chore reviewing the many options. However, there are some things Amazon has that others don't.

Since many other sites now have free 2-day (even overnight) shipping, Amazon has lost that advantage as well. I recently tried Target's overnight delivery and it worked very well. I had to have a $35 order made before 7 pm. It showed up on my doorstep about 3 pm the next day.

I also regularly use Walmart's grocery delivery. They do charge, but it's worth it -- $7.95 for off-hours, $9.95 regular, and $12.90 for express (usually 2 or 3 hours out). I usually do the $7.95 fee, ordering about noon and selecting the 6pm-7pm delivery window. With one exception, they've delivered in the first 10 minutes of my hourly window. On that exception, I got an email indicating DoorDash had computer problems that day which delayed some orders. Even though I still got my order in the 1-hour window, I got a $10 credit "for my inconvenience". :)

At this point, Amazon's biggest advantage is that with a Prime membership, I get get 2-day delivery on a single item. However, these days, if I don't need something right away, I put it into a cart and then check-out, taking a $1 digital credit for allowing them to ship slower than 2 days. As a result, I ordered three items yesterday, one at a time, so I could get a $1 credit on each item. Two of the three items were the same product! :)

So, my main sources these days are Walmart, Amazon, Target, Vitacost, Netrition, and CostCo (for mail-order prescription). I do a lot of low carb food items. Vitacost has the lowest prices on a number of items, although they are the most limited in choices available, and I sometimes get a "we miss you" email offer of $30 off a $100 order, which gets free next-day shipping.

For prescriptions, I had tried PillPack a few years ago, before Amazon planned to acquire them. But CostCo had cheaper prices. PillPack was a lot more convenient in terms of dispensing my drugs each day. I may check into them again, to see if they'll match the CostCo prices. They should, because they claim to use the lowest GoodRX prices. However, I haven't found GoodRX to be reliable on local prices, including CostCo, even though that is their stated mission.
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No. of Recommendations: 2
From a consumer perspective, I find I'm not near as big a fan of Amazon as I was a year ago. I've shopped for numerous items recently

I agree with the benefits of Prime... and I still find their customer service superior... (which continues to amaze me considering the size and complexity of the company)

I ordered a $10 item last week, it didn't show up when I expected it, checked the site and saw it was delivered (put in the mail box by USPS).. I checked again the next day and no package...figured the delivery person stuck it in the wrong box (I'm in the country and there are multiple mailboxes in a row).. anyway, the customer service rep listened to my story, resent/replaced the package overnight at no charge and credited my account for $10 (the cost of the original item.)... I was floored..

Hard to knock that approach form a consumer perspective..

Mick
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No. of Recommendations: 0
I have checked on larger ticket items for a few years. First $100+, then $50+. AMZN seldom wins.

For the most part quit buying most non-name brand items as I was getting a lot of Chinese junk.

Ordered a couple of books to take on a ski trip six days ahead of time. One came day before I left and other was waiting on me when I got back.

While reading my book, I saw that the publisher's recommended price was $38 and I had paid $56. When I got back, I also discovered that I had bought a previous edition. Checked the other book that I had bought for $16.99 and noted it was now for sale for $42.95.

Guess that I will have to start checking everything more closely.

Bought a lot of hiking equipment last year. While shopping for a certain model rain jacket, noted that AMZN had them for sale from $55 to $249. You could buy any color currently being produced from the manufacturer for $99, so why would anyone pay $249. Bought from Moosejaw for $59, the one for $55 from AMZN was in a discontinued color and not available in my size.

They did manage to get three things ordered Sunday delivered today in one box! First time that has happened in a while. Normally, if I order 3 or 4 things they come in two to four boxes often arriving on different days.
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No. of Recommendations: 1

For the most part quit buying most non-name brand items as I was getting a lot of Chinese junk.

Ordered a couple of books to take on a ski trip six days ahead of time. One came day before I left and other was waiting on me when I got back.

While reading my book, I saw that the publisher's recommended price was $38 and I had paid $56. When I got back, I also discovered that I had bought a previous edition. Checked the other book that I had bought for $16.99 and noted it was now for sale for $42.95.
...
Bought a lot of hiking equipment last year. While shopping for a certain model rain jacket, noted that AMZN had them for sale from $55 to $249. You could buy any color currently being produced from the manufacturer for $99, so why would anyone pay $249. Bought from Moosejaw for $59, the one for $55 from AMZN was in a discontinued color and not available in my size.


Was Amazon the actual seller on these items? or were they third-party sellers but fulfilled by Amazon? or third party sellers fulfilling themselves? Were any of them Prime items?

While Amazon facilitates the purchase, payment and conveying the order to third party sellers, the experience with them is much more of a dice roll. I'm not that surprised by the variability of your experience. I try to avoid the third party sellers who don't use fulfillment by Amazon wherever possible for this reason.
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No. of Recommendations: 1
While Amazon facilitates the purchase, payment and conveying the order to third party sellers, the experience with them is much more of a dice roll. I'm not that surprised by the variability of your experience. I try to avoid the third party sellers who don't use fulfillment by Amazon wherever possible for this reason.

Interesting,,, could you explain please when ordering with them exactly what to avoid if possible. For example if it states (only) fulfilled by Amazon is one more likely to have 100% satisfaction and who not to possible purchase from?
Normally do 2 day Prime.
Thx. Bran.
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No. of Recommendations: 0
Amazon was not the seller. I remember one problem came from my want list, it had been there for a few years. Another time I was trying to order two of the same item. Only one in stock in that color and when I changed color the second item came from a non-Amazon fulfilled supplier.

The odd thing is that when AMZN is not involved in the shipping, things come quicker. If I order from a non-AMZN website and they advertise free two-day shipping on a certain size purchase, it comes within two days the great majority of the time, with the same process from AMZN it rarely does.
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No. of Recommendations: 5
You do not understand that 100 million Prime members put price down the priority list to customer service, item choice, customer reviews and 1 click and pick it up on your doorstep - now often the next day. We have far better things to do than chase pennies around the internet.
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Is anyone else having reservations about AMZN? Are others, like me, finding better options elsewhere? Is this an early sign that AMZN is starting to crumble?<?I>

A) It's about convenience.
B) Stick with items where Amazon is the seller or where the third party is honoring Prime terms.
C) If you think the ecommerce operation is the only way to make money you have too narrow a view of Amazon. I'm in the enterprise IT business and they are just unstoppable. I won't say they're the only game in town and occasionally not even the best -- Microsoft has a way of getting true enterprise customers that's working out well for them, to be sure. But Amazon is EVERYONE's competitor. And they're about the only outfit I've seen that can wage a war on twelve fronts and be winning on most of them.
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No. of Recommendations: 0
With increasing frequency, I am having more and more problems with AMZN. To include:

- Delivery problems since they let USPS do the last mile in my area.
- Almost always cost more on larger ticket items.
- Questionable quality on a lot of non-name brand stuff, normally Chinese goods of questionable quality.
- Increasingly difficult to shop on the platform.

Of course, it could just be sour grapes from my selling all 8,000 shares back in late 2017.
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No. of Recommendations: 1

- Delivery problems since they let USPS do the last mile in my area.


I've had similar issues with delivery problems lately -- by no means always but sometimes... wife had an order go missing, I had an order damaged when out on the truck for delivery and the order cancelled with refund, I had an order that actually came straight from China and that was delayed a few weeks.

But I am sure they're pushing themselves harder than ever-- more and more items were showing up Prime with one day or same day delivery, and those commitments were kept pretty often. Now they have one day Prime as standard on a bunch of items (millions I think) in many populated parts of the US. So some of the mistakes are about straining their logistics network beyond what's comfortable and then trying to find what's sustainable.
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No. of Recommendations: 0
Since the new one day delivery policy my delivery has improved, the last three orders have came in three days. I am in a semi-rural area so I knew one day would never happen.

USPS did the last mile, but the guy that delivered yesterday was NOT a USPS mail carrier.
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No. of Recommendations: 3
A copy of something I posted on the Walmart board:

==============================================================================

Walmart grocery has added some new options.

They have been charging either $7.95 or $9.95 or $12.60 for a 1-hour delivery window, depending on how soon the window is and on how busy the window is. For example, I usually get delivery in the 6pm-7pm window, because it only costs $7.95, and I can usually get same day delivery if I get my order in by 2pm.

On Monday when I was checking out for a delivery, there were two additional options:

* $14.95 for unlimited deliveries for the next month
* $98 for unlimited deliveries for the next year

So, a variation on Amazon Prime.

Since I typically only do an order every other month or so, neither option was of any immediate interest to me. However, after thinking about it, I could see myself going to the annual fee and then doing an order every week or two, just to get fresh items regularly or to restock things short-term instead of long-term.
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No. of Recommendations: 1

On Monday when I was checking out for a delivery, there were two additional options:

* $14.95 for unlimited deliveries for the next month
* $98 for unlimited deliveries for the next year

So, a variation on Amazon Prime.

Since I typically only do an order every other month or so, neither option was of any immediate interest to me. However, after thinking about it, I could see myself going to the annual fee and then doing an order every week or two, just to get fresh items regularly or to restock things short-term instead of long-term.


What's interesting is, if you live in an area without grocery stores, or you have no car, or you live in a small space, or you're dealing with a health issue that makes it hard to do groceries on your own, or... all kinds of other constraints, this could be a really, really good deal. Groceries, including anything with short shelf life and/or ongoing consumption, are different from the usual Prime items (or at least my usual prime items, which can be anything from model car parts to books to plumbing supplies to socks and children's clothing to computer upgrades-- things ordered irregularly and at need, mostly in ones and twos).

I could even see neighbors pooling deliveries in some places-- order costco-style quantities of stuff, deliver to a common point, and distribute.
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No. of Recommendations: 2
What's interesting is, if you live in an area without grocery stores, or you have no car, or you live in a small space, or you're dealing with a health issue that makes it hard to do groceries on your own, or... all kinds of other constraints, this could be a really, really good deal.

* 5 grocery stores within a mile
* No car, but retirement community does have transportation
* Health issues (wheelchair bound)

I decided to sign up for the $98 per year option. It's been working well. I do about one order per week (or two), and I can get fresh items each week (green beans, bell peppers, green onions, dips, deli meats, etc).

And it's an easier delivery for the delivery service, because it's not a big order and the store is less than a mile away. If they time it right, it should be about 10-15 minutes of their time. I'm not sure how the delivery guy gets paid beyond my tip...

I'm now putting in the order before I go to sleep and doing a 9am-10am delivery window.

My main problems with Amazon Fresh were their limited selection and higher prices. Mostly gourmet foods. Cheapest price for a dozen eggs is $2.98. I often get them from Walmart for under $1.
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I could even see neighbors pooling deliveries in some places-- order costco-style quantities of stuff, deliver to a common point, and distribute.


Costco also offers deliveries in certain areas. I sent a care package to a friend last year.

Kathleen
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My main problems with Amazon Fresh were their limited selection and higher prices. Mostly gourmet foods. Cheapest price for a dozen eggs is $2.98. I often get them from Walmart for under $1.


Walmart is also offering delivery in some areas.

Kathleen
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No. of Recommendations: 2
Walmart is also offering delivery in some areas.

I've had them delivering my groceries for several years now.

The normal charge is $7.95, $9.95, or $12.60 per delivery, depending on how quickly the 1-hour window comes up and on how busy the 1-hour window is. But they recently started offering unlimited delivery for $12.95 per month or $98 per year (no charge for each delivery).

Last month, I signed up for their unlimited delivery, for $98 per year. Now, instead of getting a big order every month or so, I get a small order every week or so. So I'm getting a lot more fresh veggies and fruits and deli items.

I just wish they offered the rotisserie chickens from the deli. :(
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Costco also offers deliveries in certain areas.

Here, Costco same-day deliveries are via InstaCart, which means I would pay about 10-20% above store price, plus a delivery fee, plus a driver tip. Gets very expensive.
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No. of Recommendations: 2
Costco also offers deliveries in certain areas. I sent a care package to a friend last year.

We recently ordered from Costco Online for the first time. We were able to save almost $2.00 including shipping over Amazon. Yet, they delivered to a wrong address 70 miles away. When we called they said they would ship directly this time. It took 2 calls each over 45 minutes, and they didn't ship it. They then told us for our trouble, they issued a $60 credit as a gift.
The item we bought was $64.00 all in. They claimed they couldn't give us tracking number. After another week of no receipt, they said they were out of stock, and would credit us for the full amount charged, and that would have nothing to do with our gift credit. We ended up getting another $4 back on our credit card. So, end of the day, we came out exactly even, waited over a month, spent hours on the phone, and ended up getting from Amazon.

I can't imagine we would use Costco.com ever again. They were polite and sounded helpful, but their system is hardly like Amazon.
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We recently ordered from Costco Online for the first time. We were able to save almost $2.00 including shipping over Amazon. Yet, they delivered to a wrong address 70 miles away. When we called they said they would ship directly this time. It took 2 calls each over 45 minutes, and they didn't ship it. They then told us for our trouble, they issued a $60 credit as a gift.
The item we bought was $64.00 all in. They claimed they couldn't give us tracking number. After another week of no receipt, they said they were out of stock, and would credit us for the full amount charged, and that would have nothing to do with our gift credit. We ended up getting another $4 back on our credit card. So, end of the day, we came out exactly even, waited over a month, spent hours on the phone, and ended up getting from Amazon.

I can't imagine we would use Costco.com ever again. They were polite and sounded helpful, but their system is hardly like Amazon.


Next time, just drive on over to Costco and pick it up yourself. ;-)

BB
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Next time, just drive on over to Costco and pick it up yourself. ;-)



That isn't always possible for everyone all the time. My friend was laid up and her so was not old enough to drive yet.

Kathleen
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I don’t understand the knocking on Costco. It’s a different business with different pros and cons. I for one like their return policy for just about anything. Especially for appliances that’s a good deal. We had a horrible experience returning appliances that were DOA to Home Depot. I’d expect that to be better with Amazon. But returning a lemon appliance after using it a month or two, anyone any luck with Amazon? Costco is often cheaper too.

Mark
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No. of Recommendations: 1
All the sudden, having orders take 'a slow boat from china', doesn't seem like such a bad idea.
And... two day delivery?? who needs it? The box will sit in the garage for a couple weeks anyway.
(sorry, just adding some humor to the day)
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