Alex (yakshaver) wrote,

Fed up with Amazon

Ok, Amazon, it's annoying enough that your search results make it hard to tell which items you sell and which you act as middleman for. But this business of not breaking out the shipping cost for third-party vendors is pure horseshit.

(They had one vendor selling an item for $5.25, another for $5.47. Go with the cheaper one, right? Well, I put both in my cart, and proceed to the penultimate page, where all the shipping breakout I get is that my S&H total is $19.43, less supersaver discount for the items I'm actually buying from Amazon of $7.80. Which, since they can't be bothered to provide a subtotal, It's up to me to figure out means the third party shipping is $11.63. So the third party vendors are charging around $5.80 for shipping, on average.

I drop the $5.47 one from my cart, do the arithmetic again, and the third party shipping is now $7.67. Hmm.

Double-check: put the $5.47 one back in my cart; check the arithmetic again; third party shipping is now, again, $11.63.

Remove the $5.25 one from my cart, do the arithmetic again, and behold: third party shipping is now $3.96

So: The third party vendor selling the item for $5.25 charges $7.67 shipping: total $12.92. The vendor selling it for $5.47 charges $3.96: total $9.43. So going with what at first appeared to be the higher-price vendor saves me $3.49.

Fine, I'm okay with that. What I'm not okay with is Amazon hiding that information from me such that I had to go through this rigamarole to ferret it out. What, exactly, would be wrong with doing the obvious thing and itemizing the third-party shipping along with the rest of the itemization?)

I already mostly bailed on Amazon after amazonfail last year. (I highly recommend Powell's for books. Not being a behemoth, they can't always match Amazon's pricing, but they're an honest-to-god bookstore, run by people whose first love is books.) But Amazon remains too convenient for me to abandon completely. Or at any rate, was until now. I can only hope that Zappos continues to expand its product range, eventually becoming a general merchandise alternative to Amazon. In the mean time, I will continue to cut back on my business with Amazon: Their superficial convenience does not make up for going through this much hassle to find the actual price of an item.
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