AMAZON and the Modern Marketplace

Oops.  Wrong Amazon
The mark of a great retailer is how they handle returns.
Check it.

Buy something and bring it back to Wal*Mart (it's probably broken anyway) and then do the same thing at Macy's or Nordstroms.

"But I can't afford to shop at those places!"

You aren't shopping, this is science.  You get your money back.

Let me know when you're back.

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Finished?

Great?  Notice the difference?

I wasn't with you, but I know when you went to Wal*Mart you had a cashier who probably either didn't speak english or didn't speak.  She barely was able to process the refund, god forbid there were any circumstances requiring independent thought on her part and she had to call a manager who was too busy stocking the Kit Kats at the register to respond in a timely fashion.

Meanwhile, over at the higher end retailers you were treated promptly and with respect by people who apparently are not only paid well, they actually know how to do their job.

You see when you pay your front line person $7 an hour and you don't train 'em (because your manager is making $9 an hour) what you end up with is a stressed out individual.

Back to the others-- these are people who have chosen to make retail their career.  Over at Wally World these are people who are either at the end of their ropes or they started working there in High School and they don't realize they are working for a third world style retailer.

So let's compare this to Amazon.

I'm an Amazon shopper.  I love Amazon.  I love the idea of getting a discount-- ANY discount, and the selection is amazing and my wait in line is nil.

I love the free shipping too.  No parking at the mall.  No mall rats running around.  No annoying sales people or the woman in front of me acting surprised when the total comes up at the register and she has to dig her wallet out of her bag (and then find the exact change).

Yes, I realize Amazon is hurting retailers.  I do support local bookstores and I applaud places like The Harvard Bookstore having posters up that read something to the effect of "browse here, buy at Amazon, we won't be here anymore."

Gets the point across and makes me buy it there.

But I still shop Amazon a good percentage of the time.  Someday a discount retailer is going to come along and figure out that you CAN have low prices and excellent customer service.  That the $7 an hour you're spending on well trained cashiers turns into increased sales-- a point I successfully demonstrated in my years at Price Chopper even though they didn't agree with it.

Back to my point, I recently bought some pants from Amazon because the retailer I saw them at didn't have my size.  The pricepoint was about 40% higher than the retailer-- yes MORE at Amazon-- but they had my size in stock.  As I was shopping I noticed another brand of pants also advertised as light enough for warm weather and they were cheaper so I ordered them instead.  Amazon has plenty of reviews of products which is another thing I like about them.

The Pants arrived and they both smelled like plastic and felt like brillo pads-- so I sent them back.  How would this work, I wondered, sending something back to a virtual retailer?

Simple.

I clicked on the ORDER and Refund was  an option.  Amazon instantly allowed me to print a return label so I threw them back in the box and sent them on their way.  Within 3 days I had a full refund.

No questions asked.  No lines to wait in.

And this is why I continue to use Amazon.