Amazon Is No Longer My Go To Store

I don’t know about you, but I haven’t been nearly the frequent Amazon shopper that I used to be.

Back in my peak Amazon shopping, we bought things all the time.  When they first introduced the Amazon Mom program, we got diapers at a really cheap price, as well as Prime shipping benefits.

We bought pretty much everything we could through there.

Even before Prime, we were pretty regular shoppers.

Eventually, they cut back the diaper deal so that you had to get a paid Prime membership to get the best percentages off, and even then, the percentage off had been cut.

They also cut the percentage off on many other Subscribe & Save items that I had previously purchased (such as razors, soap, etc.)

Turns out, it’s not just me that has noticed these things. I saw a recent article on Seeking Alpha with hard proof that Amazon has been raising prices and such.

The biggest tidbit that I found interesting was that they don’t really have that much better margins than a traditional brick & mortar retailer, even though you think they would.  The article really doesn’t specify why, but it does point to some pretty solid numbers that back up this fact.  And, it discusses how the fact that they’re raising prices close to, or in many cases, above brick & mortar stores, is eroding the competitive advantage that they had in the customers eyes.

I would say that’s definitely true.

We’ve deferred a number of purchases away from Amazon for a variety of reasons.  Here’s a few examples of items we once would have purchased from Amazon but instead purchased elsewhere just in the last six months:

  • Diapers – When they insisted that we pay $79 to continue getting the discounts in the Amazon Mom program, and also cut the discount from 30% to 20%, this was a double whammy that I just couldn’t stomach. One or the other would have been fine, but both at the same time just didn’t work for me.  We look for coupons and store specials.  Our grocery store often has a deal where if you buy a box or two of diapers at a sale price, they give you a gift card to use on your next purchase.  We stack that with coupons we clip, and since we buy groceries there anyways, it just takes that gift card total from our next amount.
  • Car seat – It’s about time for Baby Girl Beagle to get out of the car carrier and into a car seat, as she’s crossing the threshold of being able to fit in it.  We looked online a week before we were leaving for a long trip.  The price that they had was great.  I knew that Super Saver shipping likely wouldn’t work, but I knew that Standard shipping was 3-5 business days, so I figured this would be perfect. Not so much.  Even though we were looking in the morning, Amazon said it wouldn’t ship until the following business day.  This would leave us at risk of the car seat not arriving in time if it did take five business days to ship.  We went to the baby store and purchase it instead for just $2 more.
  • Camping Stuff – We’ve been buying a lot of supplies to stock the new camper.  While we did buy quite a few things on Amazon, I actually cancelled one order because of the ridiculousness of shipping time.  I had an order of six items.  One was back ordered by about 4 weeks.  Instead of shipping the other items, they were holding the entire order.  I finally got sick of it and cancelled the whole thing.  Granted, I know with Super Saver Shipping, they have every right to do this, but in the twelve years I’ve used Super Saver shipping, I’ve never had them hold an entire order for that long for one item.
  • Customer service – I wrote Amazon about the changes to Amazon Mom and they never even replied, not even with a form letter.  I realize they may have gotten inundated with queries/complaints about the changes, but I always received a response to any inquiry I made with them in the past.

It’s nothing big and it’s not like I dislike Amazon.  I just don’t hold them in the esteem that I used to.  If they’re not careful and they lose the ‘automatic’ ordering of many customers, it will start to add up and quickly.  Amazon is one of the most established and well thought of names in the business, but that doesn’t mean that they can rely on that to keep customers all while making business decisions that are customer unfriendly.

Just ask Netflix.  They were once the darlings of entertainment. Their model was awesome and everybody loved getting those little red envelopes in the mail.  They could do no wrong.  Then, a few decisions later and their stock price had fallen 80% and they’d lost hundreds of thousands of customers along the way.

Oops.

Amazon isn’t there. Yet.  But at the same time, they haven’t won many points lately.  At least not in this customers eyes.

Have you noticed any changes to Amazon lately?  Any change in buying habits?

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14 thoughts on “Amazon Is No Longer My Go To Store

  1. Amazon is usually still my first port of call for most online purchases, but I’ll always try and a look at alternatives too just in case, comparisons and shopbots etc. I picked up a very cheap phone car charger last week, which I though was a total bargain! It’s a coincidence that my latest post discusses this issue…
    Drew recently posted..Provident Pointers #1: Check Online PricesMy Profile

    • We find Target to be a good alternative, especially since we have the Red Card which gives us an automatic 5% off, and just takes the money out of our bank account just like the debit card purchase on Amazon would anyways

  2. Amazon is one giant experiment in online commerce. They’ve come to realize they can’t make a good profit on their Amazon Mom product. Hence, all the changes. Costco is a better deal at this point.
    Josh @ Live Well Simply recently posted..Why We Don’t Clip CouponsMy Profile

    • They’ve been around so long and have changed the face of retail that I wouldn’t qualify them as an experiment any longer. Costco can be a better deal for sure, as long as you use up the items since you usually get a lot more!

  3. i still do love amazon, but i understand your points. i remember when you could get a free prime membership by joining the “mom’s club”, which was awesome. we bought all kinds of groceries, diapers, home supplies etc on amazon when we had that..
    jefferson recently posted..A Dusty GuitarMy Profile

    • We had the same thing and that was great. It made us go through withdrawls for the first few months of having to go back to Super Saver Shipping. I’m sure that’s the whole point 🙂

  4. I used to get my favorite protein bars (pure protein) from Amazon at an awesome price and did the subscribe and save. Then all the sudden, I went to check out with some and realized the price was twice as much. I would much rather drive to the store and pay way less for them.
    Jen @ Master the Art of Saving recently posted..Find Our First House—Check!My Profile

    • That’s a big jump. You have to wonder why such big price increases are approved. Gradual increases are best and will likely keep customers buying in the future. Good that you caught it.

  5. I seldom shop in a physical store except for groceries once a week, clothing three or four times per year and an occasional urgent purchase. If it is not urgent, I am content to let someone else handle the transportation even at the same or slightly higher price.

    I have been an Amazon shopper since 1998. At first, my main reason was “low price”, but then it changed to “convenience at a reasonable price”. Their website is so well laid out compared to many others, and their service has been so good that I was less price-conscious – although my early experience had me trained to believe their prices were always at least as good as local physical stores.

    However, recently I had to make an emergency run to Walmart and checked out the price of a car care product. I was shocked to find it was barely one third of the price Amazon was charging. This was a big wake-up call and has made me much more aware of alternatives to Amazon (internet or physical).

    I suspect that they are relying on long-term assumptions regarding price, and that as their reduced price-competitiveness becomes more well-known, they will lose out.

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