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When Amazon became Ebay

Posted by Daniel Hölbling on December 8, 2008

There are many things I love about Amazon: free shipping, recommendations, customer reviews, good product pictures, awesome website, gift lists. I could go on and on, all those things make Amazon the #1 shopping site on the internet, and I love buying my stuff there. They offer free shipping on everything above 20€ and all books ship for free too. So, whatever you buy, you never think about shipping, you never think about returns or anything. You always know, there’s this big-ass company called Amazon that takes customer satisfaction etc pretty serious and will not cause you any troubles on returns etc. They always ship on time and they have almost everything.

Now, Amazon decided some time ago that “almost” everything isn’t enough and they went to really everything.
They opened the Amazon platform up through a program called Marketplace, where other vendors can sell their products through the Amazon.com website. And man do I hate that feature!
I never went to Amazon because they had everything, I went there because they had almost everything completely hassle-free.
Now, when I am searching for something I end up at 3rd party vendors 90% of the time (feels like Amazon stopped selling themselves almost) that have different shipping policies (almost nobody offers free shipping except for Amazon) and different return policies. Hell, I’ve seen 1-man-shops surface on Amazon that didn’t even have a rightful email address (listing a hotmail address in your company profile does NOT generate trust!).

Last week I decided to order a Canon EOS 450D DSLR and went to Amazon to shop for accessories  like memory, batteries etc.
Guess what? It took me almost 30 clicks to get to a product that was offered by Amazon! When searching for a SanDisk SDHC Extreme III 8gb card I found it 4 times, from 4 different 3rd party vendors but not from Amazon.
I gave up after 30 minutes of searching and ordered another SD card, completely pissed and very unsatisfied. And there is no way to turn the marketplace off, there is a filter that lets you select vendors but apparently this isn’t working when selecting Amazon (you still end up with a listing of 3rd party vendor sold products, yikes!).

The best thing is: Apparently Amazon is selling the SanDisk SDHC Extreme III 8gb card, I just couldn’t find it last week but did so now.

So why did Amazon destroy one of the most pleasant buying experiences of all time? I go to Amazon to buy their products, not to buy some other guys products he is selling from his basement, getting charged shipping costs and not knowing how returns or reclamations are going to be handled! Are those people insane? If I’d be into that kind of things I would be shopping at Ebay not at a respected and well trusted Amazon!

I can only hope Amazon will change their mind on this and create some “Amazon products only” button, so I can enjoy shopping again. Now it’s more a quest to filter 30 products for their vendor.

Filed under internet, personal
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