back to article Amazon 'punishes' sellers who dare offer lower prices on other marketplaces

California's Attorney General sued Amazon on Wednesday, claiming the internet titan illegally stifles competition by punishing vendors for selling their products at cheaper prices on other online stores. Rob Bonta filed a lawsuit [PDF] on behalf of Golden State residents in a San Francisco Superior Court, accusing the …

  1. Auntie Dix Bronze badge
    Go

    AG Bonta: Full Steam Ahead!

    From The New York Times:

    Mr. Bonta said he thought the case would succeed where the District of Columbia had stumbled, by providing far more details on how Amazon was hurting consumers. He said there was more research “than any other case has ever seen,” adding that California state law provides some additional protections.

    The more lawsuits against Amazon's BS, the better for us.

    Après Californie, le déluge!

    1. TVU

      Re: AG Bonta: Full Steam Ahead!

      "The more lawsuits against Amazon's BS, the better for us"

      ^ Absolutely this. Amazon behaves like a Stalinist dictator when it comes to sellers on their own platform plus they are notorious tax avoiders as well as being against workers' rights.

      1. Youngone Silver badge

        Re: AG Bonta: Full Steam Ahead!

        Selling your stuff on Amazon makes you just like those poor sharecroppers who lived lives of such desperate poverty in the Southern states of America for so long.

        Bezos may have read some history books at some point.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: AG Bonta: Full Steam Ahead!

        We had the same in the UK for years only with a slight difference. It was called 'Retail Price Maintenance' and manufacturers of any product, usually the big producers, insisted that their product wasn't sold below the price dictated to retailers.

        They could charge more if they wanted to but not below the price that they had to sell at. This meant that there was no competion at all as all retailers sold at the same price. Anyone who sold below the price was cut off by the manufacturer, and would never have supplies from them ever again.

        1. Auntie Dix Bronze badge

          Re: AG Bonta: Full Steam Ahead!

          Regarding manufacturer-imposed pricing, in the United States, the FTC (Federal Trade Commission) states:

          Reasonable price, territory, and customer restrictions on dealers are legal. Manufacturer-imposed requirements can benefit consumers by increasing competition among different brands (interbrand competition) even while reducing competition among dealers in the same brand (intrabrand competition). For instance, an agreement between a manufacturer and dealer to set maximum (or "ceiling") prices prevents dealers from charging a non-competitive price. Or an agreement to set minimum (or "floor") prices or to limit territories may encourage dealers to provide a level of service that the manufacturer wants to offer to consumers when they buy the product. These benefits must be weighed against any reduction in competition from the restrictions.

          Until recently, courts treated minimum resale price policies differently from those setting maximum resale prices. But in 2007, the Supreme Court determined that all manufacturer-imposed vertical price programs should be evaluated using a rule of reason approach. According to the Court, "Absent vertical price restraints, the retail services that enhance interbrand competition might be underprovided. This is because discounting retailers can free ride on retailers who furnish services and then capture some of the increased demand those services generate." Note that this change is in federal standards; some state antitrust laws and international authorities view minimum price rules as illegal, per se.

          More here: https://www.ftc.gov/advice-guidance/competition-guidance/guide-antitrust-laws/dealings-supply-chain/manufacturer-imposed-requirements

  2. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

    Amazon doing something useful?

    Search for what you want on Amazon, scroll down until you find a picture without a 'buy' box then duckduckgo directly to the vendor that Amazon just endorsed.

    1. Pascal Monett Silver badge
      Trollface

      Re: Amazon doing something useful?

      Yeah but, that sounds like work.

      1. Matthew "The Worst Writer on the Internet" Saroff

        Re: Amazon doing something useful?

        I dunno. It sounds like a browser extension to me.

    2. gandalfcn Silver badge

      Re: Amazon doing something useful?

      I use Ecosia and totally omit Amazon, but as stated by Pascal Monett, one has to put i8n some effort which is total anathema to the drones.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Amazon doing something useful?

        I should try Ecosia, though unlike some I'm not hugely bothered by the compromises made by DDJ, my usual search engine.

        I too usually search and then go directly to vendor sites, if I can find them. A depressing number seem to sell only through Amazon (which I understand, but it's a shame). Similarly, many e-books only seem to be available for Kindle, and I don't know if there are many competing e-ink readers out there any more either.

        But at least I've managed to never sign up for Prime.

      2. Auntie Dix Bronze badge
        Devil

        Re: Ecosia, Re: Amazon doing something useful?

        I have been wary of Berlin-based Ecosia, ever since the deaths of John Gill and Ekosian Deputy Führer Melakon.

    3. GruntyMcPugh Silver badge

      Re: Amazon doing something useful?

      Recently I've been seeing listings lacking the buy box wondering what was going on,... now it all makes sense. Cool, looks like I will be getting that cordless chainsaw after all, thanks for the tip!

      1. Great Bu

        Re: Amazon doing something useful?

        There are corded chainsaws ?

        1. GruntyMcPugh Silver badge

          Re: Amazon doing something useful?

          Er, yeah, mains electric powered. So by cordless I meant battery powered electric.

          1. Giles C Silver badge

            Re: Amazon doing something useful?

            Mains chainsaws always seem an odd item to me. Most trees you would need a chainsaw for are hopefully quite a distance from a mains socket and also any buildings, so unless you have a 50m or longer extension lead how would you use it.

            Besides that who wants to be using a high speed cutter with a cable trailing from it?

            1. SImon Hobson

              Re: Amazon doing something useful?

              Well I have one, and it has a number of advantages.

              OK, it's a problem if you don't have mains within reach of your extension lead(s). But it's lighter than a petrol saw, easier to start (no pulling and pulling wondering if you've under or over done the priming), stops instantly (the one I have has a chain brake that more or less instantly stops the chain when the trigger is released, and I don't have to worry about the petrol going stale when I don't use it for long times. And it's a LOT quieter.

            2. that one in the corner Silver badge

              Re: Amazon doing something useful?

              Some wood carvers use them in their worksheds for roughing out (and some really good carvers don't use anything other than the chain saw).

              Similarly, ice sculptors: water and electrics feels like a bad idea, but I'm happy not to have petrol-driven in the town square during festivals.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Prefer to pay more, sometimes pay less

    Go direct, cut out the parasites.

    1. Headley_Grange Silver badge

      Re: Prefer to pay more, sometimes pay less

      I gave up shopping on Amazon many years ago, but it really is a pain in the arse to go direct and it's no wonder really that most people can't be bothered to look elsewhere. 90% of sites still need an account before they'll let me spend my money. There are a million different payment systems out there, so the transactions crash at the last minute when the payment site JS is blocked. Some sites present everything as if they are in the UK and then ship from somewhere in the EU, with the arseache of unexpected import duty and VAT.

      The world (well, my world) needs an online marketplace like Amazon - just not Amazon. eBay could be it, I suppose, but there be lots of dragons, including the eBay sellers that just drop ship "gifts" from Amazon using their Prime accounts.

      1. drankinatty

        Re: Prefer to pay more, sometimes pay less

        For years there was the open-source package "ecommerce" that would let anyone be a burgeoning Amazon and many sites did. However many lacked the knowledge of how to tie the entire sale and payment processing together without differing js requirements, etc.. leading to the payment crashes discussed above. (especially for those who care about what js runs in their browser using tools like NoScript)

        For many years I too was an eBay fan, but over the past two years or so, I've seen troubling signs that eBay has become a lot more Amazon like with the true auction model being marginalized in favor of online storefronts. One thing is certain, nothing good lasts for long in the digital market-place.

        1. MrBanana Silver badge

          Re: Prefer to pay more, sometimes pay less

          Surprised it's taken you only two years to notice that eBay has stoped being an auction site for individuals and is now a local front for Chinese shoddy shops. UK seller called wangz67? Ships from a UK warehouse with a 26 day delivery time? Sure.

      2. Michele.x

        Re: Prefer to pay more, sometimes pay less

        In my experience it depends on the items. I've found that for most books, especially for some publishers going to their e-commerce site works well and prices are lower for their books and related publisher.

        I'm also lucky that they have a bookstore two bus stop from my home, so normally I ask delivery to the bookstore, and if it happens that they have the books there, I get a mail after an hour or so that they are ready to pick.

        Going in the store means if that I prefer to pay cash I could.

        The only downside is that sometimes, while in the store I impulse buy other books or stationery.

        1. gandalfcn Silver badge

          Re: Prefer to pay more, sometimes pay less

          https://view.bookdepoemail.com/?qs=9386c3faeb2bbf15325517a5b8c945ba32f5d1f14740535c2cb1fbc504d29960c61d44db22deabf44e5dfe4bafc1258bd09854086313c0cd8b975fba4459170cc04315a2cf2228a810496e049c2521daea147d876629e533

          1. Headley_Grange Silver badge

            Re: Prefer to pay more, sometimes pay less

            Hive in the UK is OK for books and more recent CDs and DVDs. The website is on the annoying/crap side of OK giving the amateurish feel of of a local bookshop, so maybe that's intentional.

          2. that one in the corner Silver badge

            Re: Prefer to pay more, sometimes pay less

            Unfortunately, Amazon own Book Depository: there is no escape there.

            1. gandalfcn Silver badge

              Re: Prefer to pay more, sometimes pay less

              Thanks for that. Another one off the list.

      3. gandalfcn Silver badge

        Re: Prefer to pay more, sometimes pay less

        ", with the arseache of unexpected import duty and VAT." But we were told that was Project

        Fear!

        1. gandalfcn Silver badge

          Re: Prefer to pay more, sometimes pay less

          Still a few gullible ERG believers here.

      4. heyrick Silver badge

        Re: Prefer to pay more, sometimes pay less

        I still shop with Amazon, not for Prime delivery but for the security of Prime Returns should it be necessary.

        Let's just say a lot of online buying is blatantly dishonest and I have little sympathy for either side here.

        Perhaps the question you should be asking is why people are offering their goods for inflated prices on Amazon.

        1. katrinab Silver badge

          Re: Prefer to pay more, sometimes pay less

          The reason that prices are inflated in Amazon is that the commission charges are very high.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: people are offering their goods for inflated prices on Amazon

          because there are plenty of idiots (like me) who believe amazon is cheaper (which sometimes it is, but sometimes isn't). But there's also another factor, past price and conveniance of having it all under one roof. Amazon still takes customer's side (aka 'peace of mind') and when things go wrong, you don't have to enter a 4-week ping-pong process to get your 10 quid back. Yes, I suppose there is some buyers' abuse, but something tells me it's pretty marginal.

          btw, I still hate amazon (actively). Wife's more... pragmatics. Women! ;)

      5. Rich 2

        Re: Prefer to pay more, sometimes pay less

        Having to create an account just to but that one thing you want is a pain, not least because you need to think of yet another password to add to an already ridiculously long list,

        When I ran an online retail site, I didn’t make my customers create an account - but they could if they wanted to. It’s not rocket science

        And the JS thing has tripped me up lots of times; having to go round and round until the right combination of unblocked JS is found, hoping that the payment system didn’t think you’re up to no good and lock you out

        It’s all just more difficult than it should be

      6. nobody who matters Bronze badge

        Re: Prefer to pay more, sometimes pay less

        "....Some sites present everything as if they are in the UK and then ship from somewhere in the EU, with the arseache of unexpected import duty and VAT...."

        Unless you are buying books to a value in excess of £135, there should be no extra VAT to pay - the law in the UK (and EU) now requires that vendors selling cross-border must register for VAT in the destination country and charge VAT at source at the rate that applies in destination country. The same applies where the vendor is in the UK and the goods are shipped from abroad - the vendor is liable to charge the import VAT, not you.

        Also import duty is only levied on goods totalling in excess of £135.

        1. nobody who matters Bronze badge

          Re: Prefer to pay more, sometimes pay less

          Why the downvote?

          My post was a statement of fact. Downvoting it won't change that.

          Plus, to add to my earlier post - books and printed matter are zero-rated for UK VAT, so there wouldn't be any VAT to pay no matter what.

          Expect the same imbecile who downvoted my previous post will downvote this one too. Not going to make any difference.

      7. Auntie Dix Bronze badge
        Alert

        Re: Notorious Ebay, Re: Prefer to pay more...

        Ebay is an unreliable nightmare far too often. A marketplace for scammers of every kind, Ebay hides its telephone numbers, uses a VRU to drop calls deliberately, and employs Third-World, English-incapable reps to thwart you and your concerns.

        Ebay rigs customer feedback of sellers, via behind-the-scenes-crafted, ever-tweaked, company-serving, anti-consumer policies.

        Did you know that your feedback may be one of an arbitrary number that the seller may quash immediately on his own? I watched as legitimate, rules-following feedback disappeared within minutes: The feedback addressed an Ebay seller-fraud case found in my favor.

        Further, the seller may respond to your feedback with the last word: As long as he does not swear, he may lie about your feedback. Ebay refuses to step in.

        So, you are on your own. Ebay does not care; it does not make enough money on any one customer. Amazon makes profit on the Prime member, and it tends to behave better on bad-product issues because of that, it seems. Amazon never removed any similar bad-product/seller feedback.

    2. Andy Non

      Re: Prefer to pay more, sometimes pay less

      Doesn't always work. I wanted some smallish terracotta plant pots, found them on Amazon for ~£15 with free delivery. Noticed the name of the seller and had a look on their own website to see if I could save a few quid. Instead, the identical order direct from the manufacturer was ~£20 + delivery. So more costly to go direct.

      1. Richard 12 Silver badge
        Unhappy

        Re: Prefer to pay more, sometimes pay less

        In some cases I've found that's actually because the Amazon seller is a fake, who has simply copied the name and product images from the real online seller.

        Don't know how common that is, but it's very obvious that Amazon's process is failing almost as badly as ebay at spotting fakes, even blatantly dangerous ones.

        1. heyrick Silver badge

          Re: Prefer to pay more, sometimes pay less

          Report an obvious fake to Amazon, prepare to be fobbed off with a message saying that they take such things seriously blah blah. Complete bullshit, it's still there and still stocked.

          Another ruse that I noticed is the bait and switch. That's something that is okay that is sold, and somewhere along the line the product changes for something completely different but keeps the rating and reviews of the previous product. I reported one such instance to Amazon, and the customer service rep told me the original seller was no longer with Amazon. They had trouble (intentionally?) understanding a completely different product had the ASIN *and* all the reviews of the original. The original? Third party laser cartridge. The new? Some clone inkjet refills.

          1. MrBanana Silver badge

            Re: Prefer to pay more, sometimes pay less

            It's not just no-name sellers doing this. Dymo did it when they "updated" their label printer to one with DRM for the print cartridges. Only changed the product picture on Amazon, and kept all the (very positive) reviews of the previous version. Many pissed off purchasers now posting 1 star ratings.

          2. My other car WAS an IAV Stryker

            Re: Prefer to pay more, sometimes pay less

            More bait and switch: when the item in question has multiple options but all the reviews are for option A and you need info on B or C, et cetera.

            I understand -- for example -- lengths of extension or charging cords, or colors of clothing or phone cases -- no secondary changes to form, fit, or function along one simple axis. If it changes in any other way, it should be listed as a separate product and not mooch off the reviews of another.

            I don't blame the OEMs; I blame the "sellers" on Amazon. (They're not all bad, but there's plenty going on.)

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Prefer to pay more, sometimes pay less

        Have avoided Amazon for years. Used to be inconvenient at times, but these days hardly notice it. Very occasionally I find that Amazon has the best price (or is the only outlet) - but more often competitors are cheaper (and do free P&P). Books being a noticeable case in point.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Prefer to pay more, sometimes pay less

      trouble with going direct is that it is more expensive to buy direct. To attract customers, they're kind of forced to lower their prices on amazon...

  4. LDS Silver badge

    Amazon: "Capitalism is good but only when it works our way"

    "Sure, the market is perfect, as long as we fully control it"

    1. martinusher Silver badge

      Re: Amazon: "Capitalism is good but only when it works our way"

      In case you've not noticed, that's exactly how the system works.

      Everyone is taught at school the idea that its the only system that promotes competition and enterprise and so benefits the consumer. The reality is about monopoly and charging what you can get away with.

      I would have thought that people in the UK would by now have a really good understanding of how the free market works.

      1. ecofeco Silver badge

        Re: Amazon: "Capitalism is good but only when it works our way"

        I keep telling people the system is gamed and I keep getting downvoted for it.

        Thank you for your post. Have my upvote.

        Screw the numpties who don't know this.

      2. Stork Silver badge

        Re: Amazon: "Capitalism is good but only when it works our way"

        Nothing new, Adam Smith described how as soon as merchants meet, they start fixing prices.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    They have too much power and they know it!

    I work part time for a small independent publisher and they were warned that you NEVER, EVER undercut Amazon or they could cut your product from their store until you "get back in line", even privately selling your own product and big A find out it means they might cut you from their store!

    They have a huge shop-front, so you play by their rules or you see your sales drop to nought. Amazon were the ones that put BORDERS out of business. BORDERS had no web presence, Amazone said they cover BORDERS as online sales front, all the online sales that were due to go through BORDERS got funnelled through Amazon and by the time BORDERS realised what they'd done it was too late and BORDERS was done for.

    Amazon have huge power and no one crosses them or they risk losing lucrative sales and in the paired-to the-bone, cutthroat world of indy publishing you can't afford to lose sales so you just shut up, put up or get out!

  6. Combat Epistomologist

    Earwormed again

    Super California did something worthy of notice

    And the Register has its headline firmly locked in focus

    Now I can't stop humming music utterly atrocious

    Won't somebody please free my brain from this evil locus?

    1. Danny 2 Silver badge

      Re: Earwormed again

      I can maybe distract your brain from the worm, but first I have to feed it. The best ever football headline in Scotland was "Super Cali went ballistic, Celtic are atrocious", after Inverness Caledonian Thistle thrashed Celtic.

      Now, the wee lassie in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang grew up to be a peace protestor, and hates to talk about the film. I became a peace protestor at the same time, followed by my mum.

      My mum wanted a smart phone and I told her not to because then the police could track her but her reply floored me. "I'd quite like the police being able to track me in case I wander off."

      The very old trust the police more than they trust themselves and so I got her a phone, an Echo and a Dot, and me too for the free phone calls until I couldn't afford internet. It's not like I say anything interesting now as my posts here prove.

      I tried to buy my dad a smartwatch but he thought they were all too ugly, he was happy with his fake Rolex from Hong Kong.

      My cousin in law's brother killed himself partly due to the appalling working conditions in Amazon and I tried to organise a family boycott, but even his brother felt it too convenient.

      My family is defeated, I am beat, am my mum is binge-watching "Vikings" on Prime. I salute you who carry on the resistance and hope you know that every tyrant, every empire, falls.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    10 years later...

    Amazon pay a total of 1 mln USD after a non-fault verdict. Or whatever it's called.

    OK, make it 10m... any difference? Perhaps 10bn would make them focus just a little?

  8. Henry Wertz 1 Gold badge

    Agreed

    Agreed. Amazon must not do this.

    I mean, if you mark your item up too much on Amazon, naturally other vendors through Amazon may offer it at a lower price and you would lose your listing position. This is not on Amazon. Penalties, removing the "buy" button, terminating accounts, and any manual moving about of the listing due to this? Shady as all hell and I hope they get taken to the cleaners for this.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "Allegedly"?

    "Amazon allegedly punishes sellers who dare offer lower prices on other marketplaces"

    Tthere is no "allegedly" about it. I work for a third party seller on Amazon, and we have multiple listings suppressed right now because other sites have lower prices. It doesn't even have to be you offering lower prices; if you're selling something at $19.99 but Amazon sees JoebobDiscounts selling it for $19.98 on Walmart.com, that counts.

    1. diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

      Re: "Allegedly"?

      Yeah, we have to use the word for boring legal reasons because the case is ongoing and no decision, ruling, or settlement has been made.

      As far as we're concerned, it's alleged that Amazon does this. Your experience is why we have lawsuits to sort it out.

      C.

  10. aerogems Silver badge
    Mushroom

    We need proportional fines

    You fine a company like Amazon $10m, they just open the petty cash box, pay it, and immediately go back to doing whatever they were doing. The c-suite execs probably expense more than that on hookers and liquor every time they go on an overseas business trip. Now, if you fine a company like Amazon 10% of its gross revenue for the previous fiscal year, THAT is going to cause enough pain that it will be worth the effort to change. It's also a fine that scales up and down with any sized company so that justice is more evenly applied. A company making only $1m in annual gross revenue pays the same proportion as Amazon making billions.

  11. Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

    Loopholes

    (Amazon points to hundreds of thousands of bot-generated unauthorized resellers) Contractual obligations to offer the best price on Amazon? They're just no doing it right.

  12. martinusher Silver badge

    Amazon's Logistics are better

    I've bought stuff from Brand X retailers and often the service is as good as Amazons. Until you discover that the product you bought (sight unseen, just the description in the listing) wasn't what you thought it was and you want to return it.

    Beand 'X', being typical, finds you SOL. There is a return policy but its this and that and you've got to manage the shipping and insurance (or whatever's needed to prevent the "but it never arrived" mantra).

    Amazon just gets you to fill out an online form, drop it off at a convenient location and processes the refund.

    I've learned the hard way that the cheapest isn't always the best. I'd rather pay a few bucks extra to Amazon for "no hassle" service than get the absolute cheapest price and realize I've got nothing when what turns up isn't what was advertised, is broken or just plain doesn't work. The Amazon return policy is pretty amazing -- assuming you don't abuse it -- and it may contribute to the extra cost differential between AZ and Brand 'X'.

    1. Headley_Grange Silver badge

      Re: Amazon's Logistics are better

      I hope that one day, if you find yourself in a shit job, with crap health and safety and piss-breaks so short that you have to use a water bottle, you don't find yourself reading a post from someone telling everyone what a great service your company provides.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    oh the irony, aka Friday rant

    I pointed out yesterday (in this thread) how, in fact, amazon is cheaper than elsewhere, because sellers get higher volume through amazon, and customers get much better protection from amazon than on ebay. And a moment ago I got reminded what the 'cheaper' really ivolves, i.e. I got caught in the classic amazon scan of 'amazon prime' AGAIN. This really is an evolving scam, i.e. I wanted free, non-prime delivery (they caught me out in the past, at least twice, with 'prime' subscription which I then had to hassle about to get removed - hassle was by no means accidental, of course). But the beauty of the amazon scam is that it is shape-shifting: in the past, I got caught, because they hid the non-prime delivery well enough, and guided me, gently, to believe that I'm getting my preferred delivery option, when in fact I was getting THEIR preferred delivery option, i.e. amazon prime. It appears that the scam is multi-stage now: first, you see non-prime delivery as one of the delivery options. Then, when you log in, and select the item, the option of non-prime delivery is gone (but you're already focused on 'shiny-shiny', so barely register this fact). All links to delivery options take you to FAQ, if you're one of the more suspicious type victim. So, as an experienced prey, thought rightly: what f...ers, I'm running away! - and I deleted the item from my basket, suspecting that when I click on that 'Buy' button, they'll sign me up for prime and I'll be done - again. BUT this is where I was wrong, as I was done already, because... they signed me up BEFORE I actually clicked on that 'buy' button. I only realized when I got the 'Congratulations, you're ours now!') email in my inbox.

    So I promptly cancelled my fresh prime membership. BUT the scam does not end there, because, having clicked (TWICE) on 'yes, I'm absolutele sure I want to live a miserably, prickly life without the life-changing amazon prime experience, etc, etc.' - they did NOT cancel my prime membership, nosir, they put in on a yellow-background button with the date in October, i.e. date when they will be even more sorry to see me go. And left it at that.

    And THIS is the last piece of their scam - because when I saw this button, I came to the conclusion that amazon wanted me to reach at this point: hang on, this means... I can still USE this amazon prime for 30 days! For nothing, ha! 24 hr delivery, ha! I can buy this item and get it delivered tomorrow! (and order many, many more useless items I would have never bought via amazon within 30 days). And I don't have to go to other, probably fugly sites with unspeakably fugly names like, I dunno, ebay. Or ebay. Or even, ugh, ebay! All I need to reach this eternal bliss is make a short, painless series of no more than 3 - 4 clicks at most and then, the warm feeling slowly spreading across the whole body, the sense of craving gone, turned into lazy stupor, when the useless item is finally here. Mine. MINE!

    It is interesting, how many hurdles, all intentional to trip the victim, there are, before you break free. I suspect only the minimum number escape alive..

    p.s. I didn't bother to check if, by actually clicking on that 'buy button, I automatically de-cancel my amazon prime cancellation request. Which, given I'm dealing with amazon, is only to be expected, the ultimate trap. And yes, I will probably get 'my' shiny-shiny (a present for somebody, in fact) off ebay... escaped one monster, walked up to be gobbled by another. But if I were to stay in the domain of predators and their victims, I'd say amazon is a spider (all stages, including the feast), while ebay is a straightforward (boring, boring, boring) lion.

    1. that one in the corner Silver badge

      Re: oh the irony, aka Friday rant

      Lost my concentration for a moment whilst working through the Amazon site and also ended up with a month's Prime.

      Trying to "get my money's worth" ended up in a binge watching marathon so extreme I'm surprised there weren't welts from the computer desk chair!

      Insidious, as after a while the brain melts to the point that you don't notice you're addicted to some utter junk - ooh, there is a new series (sorry, "season") starting in 40 days into your 30 day Prime.

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