Amazon has developed a controversial reputation in recent years, via media stories about tax dodging, slave labour and fake goods. But all of those things can be levelled at other large sites too, they’ve certainly had their moments.
IMO the rot set in here when they started tinkering with delivery costs, something which represented a huge change at a website where everything had previously been fixed and regulated. Premium Shipping and Prime.
Most buyers will naturally hesitate to pay extra to queue jump, it won’t be their preferred option, and so all Premium Shipping serves to do is remind them how they’ll otherwise potentially wait weeks, so they’ll tend to go elsewhere and get it faster as standard. When we could add something about fast dispatch as standard in the new condition notes, as almost all sellers took to doing, this helped encourage the fishes to bite, and now they notably don’t quite the same.
And Prime, which costs more in the UK, and whose saturation point success will be more from the attraction of streaming media, serves to make those buyers get into the habit of never paying for an Amazon delivery. This means FBA and Amazon continue, but since they won’t sell everything the downside of this is how it affects a far greater number of Marketplace FBM sellers, who are the ones bringing the real diversity of products and help prevent Amazon being a book and gadget site like it used to be.
That, and Amazon charging so much that many items don’t get listed here, will have a knock-on effect on the site’s USP, which has always been +availability+. The more items display “this item is currently unavailable” the less buyers will come to rely upon Amazon.