One of the smartest things I was ever told is that when people give you hard numbers they're being upfront. When they talk in percentages they are bullshitting. I've found that to be correct 50% of the time.
It should come as no surprise that Amazon.com is the galactic leader in online retail sales, but what may be surprising is exactly how epic its lead is. The US Securities and Exchange Commission recently wrote to "about a dozen" online retailers, The Wall Street Journal reports, asking for "hard details" about the amount of …
Friday 30th August 2013 04:58 GMT Anonymous Coward
Monopoly and an agency model
You've got to laugh (if not you'll cry).
Amazon are a huge monopoly especially books as bookshops cannot compete :(
Apple have recently been put on trial by the DOJ for running an agency model (whether they actually were is another debate), however Amazon are doing exactly the same thing in Europe for small businesses using the Amazon Market place (read here http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-23881202).
Yet no-one seems to care as the UK is dropping the case (at least Germany are not giving up).
Don't see the DOJ going after Amazon :(
Friday 30th August 2013 06:01 GMT Voland's right hand
Re: Monopoly and an agency model
There is little basis to go after.
1. People keep calling Googlers UmpaLumpas. The real UmpaLumpas are Amazon. It has built its entire business from the ground up so it is viable at a ~ 5% margin. A true case of "Oompa Loompa doom-pa-dee-da. If you're not greedy, you will go far". The other retailers operate online at their store margin. That is 15% (at least) so rather unsurprisingly the population is voting for Amazon with their wallets.
2. Amazon has voluntarily created a layered infrastructure model and has opened all of their infrastructure to hum and sundry on a wholesale (and retail) basis. That usually takes the regulator goons years to achieve with other monopolies (and they still refuse to play fair). Compare Amazon web services to the wholesale/unbundling of any T(elecom).
And so on. Sure, they are destroying all competition. The only thing which the regulator can do is put some anti-dumping covenants on their behaviour. Anything else? They have already done it themselves so the regulator looks at it and their reaction is "WTF? What do we do here? All the stuff we usually do - business separation, mandated wholesale, etc has already been done".
Friday 30th August 2013 08:12 GMT Kevin Johnston
Re: Monopoly and an agency model
Got to agree with you. I was always impressed with a concept from a Sci-fi series (E.E doc Smith?) which they labelled the Pricipal of Enlightened Self-Interest. You make more money in the long run if you let your suppliers make money and your customers save money. It is not easy to set the margins and they may change with time but if you think long-term then it is worth the effort.
Friday 30th August 2013 09:42 GMT Dave Bell
Amazon lies with statistics
If you're in the long tail, you get bugger all from self-publishing through Amazon. They tell you the "average" which is hugely inflated by 50 Shades of Grey. What you can expect is a few quid a month, and the hassles of dealing with US tax.
But it you are buying, it looks good.
Friday 30th August 2013 13:53 GMT The Indomitable Gall