Why Amazon is Going to Gobble Up Online Shopping
I have been an avid consumer for most of my life. Evidence of that can be found in my paltry savings account vs. my Social Security earnings statement. The cash I have squandered can be mind boggling, but I have honestly enjoyed every minute of it. Back in the late 90s, in the early days of Internet shopping, I ran across a site called PC Connection (actually they found me with a monthly catalog mailed to my house). Turns out that if I placed an order by 7:00pm, paying a small fee for Express shipping, my new toy could be delivered before 10:00am the next morning. So if I needed a new backup drive or USB hub (I tried about five of those-none worked very long-daisy chain 64 USB devices my ass), I could either jump in the car and drive over to be disappointed at Staples. Or I could peruse the PC Connection website, decide while model I wanted and click “buy”. When I got in the next morning, the box would be sitting outside my door. About a 90%+ reliability rate. Instant gratification.
But that wasn’t my first Instant Gratification shopping site. That would be Sporty’s Tool Shop. Sporty’s has been around for decades and has always prided itself on shipping orders the same day. No exceptions. I could place an order over the phone, BI (before Internet), and be reasonably assured that my package would arrive in New Jersey (from Ohio) in two days. Rarely three. I can attest to many last minute gift ideas arriving at 7pm on Christmas Eve. After plopping down my money, I hate waiting.
Towards the end of the last decade, eBay was the go to site for finding things I couldn’t find anywhere else. Then Amazon decided to sell things other than books. For the past few years, with Prime Shipping, Amazon has been my “go to” one stop shopping site. I live 30 minutes from Orlando, but still within the ring to have things like “same day” and “next day” shipping available to me at no additional charge. Let’s just say that Amazon has spoiled me. And they haven’t even started using drones yet. Pretty much anything I order, sold and shipped by Amazon, arrives in two days. Some items show up in one day. Bonus. But the items, “sold and shipped by others”, can be hit and miss. Some items will clearly state when an item will ship. Others are a bit vague. They always state the item is, “in stock”, so it puzzles me that these sites can take 2-5 days to ship an item that’s already in stock. What are they doing for the 3-4 days before an item ships, playing dominos? I don’t get it.
I recently ordered the above pictured nail gun from Amazon. I have been on a roll the past 6 months replacing all my aging electric and old battery powered tools with the Dewalt 20V Max line of power tools. Actually, I now own 15 20V Max tools and accessories. Quite a collection. Hope to make that 16 very soon. Maybe. Sold my old pneumatic Bostich framing, finishing and brad nailers two weeks ago, and this is the last piece of my tool replacement puzzle. I don’t have any pressing projects, but would like to bring closure to my quest. When I decided to pull the trigger (no pun intended) on this final tool purchase last Thursday I had a quandary. I could order it, sold and shipped by Amazon, and receive it by Saturday (Friday for $3.99 extra). Or I could order from their third party supplier, save $40, and wait a few extra days. Problem is, with speed and convenience comes extra cost. As Amazon now has a warehouse in Lakeland, FL, almost everything I order shipped from Amazon comes from that location, along with State sales tax. The third party supplier, CPO Outlets in this case, was already a few dollars cheaper and $30 less for sales tax as they are shipping from out of state (North or South Carolina I believe). So I made the decision to save. Six days after ordering an item that was listed “in stock”, and still hasn’t shipped. I know the original order stated, “deliver between 2/25 and 3/1”, but I have seen that on other Amazon orders, only to receive the merchandise several days earlier. The stated dates are worst case. I suppose CPO will finally get off their fat duffs tomorrow and ship my new tool, which may arrive Thursday or Friday; still within the terms promised to Amazon. But this guy won’t be ordering anything, ever again, from CPO Outlets.
The world is changing. Drones are in our future. The days of shipping merchandise when you damn well feel like it is over. Amazon needs to build more warehouses, stock more merchandise, and take the burden off these third party supplier’s shoulders. Their employees can always learn a new skill, like flipping burgers, or collecting shopping carts from the parking lot. So in the future, expect to wait longer for your Big Mac and not have a cart on your way into the last few remaining retail stores. These folks sure as hell won’t find a job in a fast paced Amazon warehouse. Oh well.