PDA

View Full Version : Buying Stuff on Amazon



Down Up Dick
11-03-2014, 12:15 PM
Anybody have any problems buying stuff with credit cards or checks on Amazon? I need a bunch of strings. Usually I use a gift card to be safe.

Better safe than sorry. :old:

janeray1940
11-03-2014, 12:22 PM
Checks?? What are those?? :) Kidding, I didn't even know payment by check was an option on Amazon.

I've been buying on Amazon with credit/debit cards practically since they launched, and have never had a security/identity theft issue. I do get my strings from them (Martin M600s) pretty regularly - great prices and fast delivery.

The biggest problem I've had with Amazon is that as they've grown, so has their tendency to make mistakes. Reaching a human being who can make things right when this happens is not impossible, but it is a bit of a challenge. But I doubt that if you're just placing a string (or book) order this will be a problem - where I've seen it get complicated is when ordering multiple items from their various partners.

Down Up Dick
11-03-2014, 12:31 PM
Checks?? What are those?? :) Kidding, I didn't even know payment by check was an option on Amazon.

I've been buying on Amazon with credit/debit cards practically since they launched, and have never had a security/identity theft issue. I do get my strings from them (Martin M600s) pretty regularly - great prices and fast delivery.








The biggest problem I've had with Amazon is that as they've grown, so has their tendency to make mistakes. Reaching a human being who can make things right when this happens is not impossible, but it is a bit of a challenge. But I doubt that if you're just placing a string (or book) order this will be a problem - where I've seen it get complicated is when ordering multiple items from their various partners.

Oh, I've used Amazon before, but, as I said, I usually buy gift cards and use them. However, that's an added expense, so I wondered if I could trust them.

Don't trust nobody! :old:

DownUpDave
11-03-2014, 12:33 PM
Yea this here interweb thing works purdy darn good for buyin stuff. :p

I have never had a problem Dick, I have bought items online from a lot of various sites. Even ebay has been problem free........knock on wood. It has always been credit card or paypal.

itsme
11-03-2014, 01:09 PM
I've been buying on Amazon with credit/debit cards practically since they launched, and have never had a security/identity theft issue.
I've always heard debit cards are a risk because they don't offer the protections that using a credit card does. Most cc's let you do a chargeback if things aren't satisfactory, but once someone gets your debit card info and access to your bank acct, who knows what can happen.

I've bought strings from Amazon before, but their selection isn't the best.

janeray1940
11-03-2014, 01:18 PM
I've always heard debit cards are a risk because they don't offer the protections that using a credit card does.

Fingers crossed I'll never need to find out! I actually have a dedicated debit card/checking account with limited funds in the account at any given time that I use for online shopping. If anybody hacked it, the charge wouldn't go through since there is only ever enough funds in it to cover the purchases I've made. Years ago my primary debit/checking account got hacked, down to the last cent, and it was actually pretty easy to straighten out. But after that experience I decided it made sense to diversify a bit.

RichM
11-03-2014, 01:42 PM
I buy loads of things from Amazon, although, curiously, very little in the way of musical supplies. Say what you will about monolithic organizations, but the stuff is reasonably priced, shipped promptly, and Amazon has been super-good about customer service when there is the occasional hiccup. For example, I bought my big screen TV from them (and it came with full installation by a trained tech). A couple of weeks later, the price dropped by $100. Even though there is no price matching involved in the sale, when I brought the price change to Amazon's attention, they refunded me the $100. The way they treat you after they already have your money says a lot about an organization.

VegasGeorge
11-03-2014, 01:53 PM
I buy so much stuff on Amazon that I went ahead and sprung for their Prime service, figuring that it would pay for itself in saved shipping costs. Yes, it does save shipping, but unless you're careful, you can spend as much (or more) for a Prime item as you would for the same item elsewhere, plus shipping. But what Prime has done has spoiled me by the fast, two day delivery. I hate waiting for stuff, and getting it fast is nice. I've been buying stuff from Amazon and others online ever since the commercial Internet got started. I remember I was worried at first, and got one of the early Discover cards that promised to make good any online fraud losses. But you know, in all these years I've only had one bad transaction, and eBay/PayPal took care of that for me. I've never lost a penny. So, I wouldn't worry about using a credit card on Amazon.

Ukulele Eddie
11-03-2014, 02:08 PM
You definitely are better off using a credit card vs. a debit card for online purchases. Compared to a credit card, debit transactions are cleared immediately. With the credit card, you get the benefit of some float at no cost to you assuming you don't carry a balance (which you shouldn't). But the best reason is credit cards offer better fraud protections than debit cards.

Down Up Dick, do you use credit cards at all? I'm only asking because I know people who don't think twice about giving a credit card at a restaurant but have real trepidation about using one online. Never made sense to me.

Regarding Amazon, I buy tons from them. They've always been great for me with returns, etc. Prime is awesome, though you do want to compare pricing to non-prime options plus shipping.

Lastly, for strings I have used Strings and Beyond for most of my purchases. They have been excellent so far.

pritch
11-03-2014, 02:50 PM
Don't want to jinx myself because I have several items in transit that have been purchased from overseas sources with a credit card. In the early days when international online shopping was new, on a couple of occasions I emailed the manufacturer requesting them to recommend retailers. Since then though I've just used the secure payment facility when offered.

My purchases from Amazon were mainly books and CDs. I don't buy CDs anymore and the books come from The Book Depository because they ship freight free. The Book Depository were so successful that I believe Amazon bought the business.

The local music shops don't have a great selection of strings and they seem expensive so I've been buying mine from Elderly Instruments. I might have to check Amazon as a source?

Uk3player78
11-03-2014, 04:05 PM
Amazon and Google practically own the internet. You would be surprised at how many companies Amazon owns or have deals with.

I read on my Kindle e reader so buy books, i also have a Kindle fire tablet. Safe purchases.

I just check if its a company selling through Amazon but not for safe payment just for safe descriptions and shipping times. Like a seller with 3 reviews over 12 months i'd pass. Heck you could sell your uke on there giving a fee to Amazon like ebay does.

itsme
11-03-2014, 04:12 PM
I buy so much stuff on Amazon that I went ahead and sprung for their Prime service...
We used to have Prime, but after my husband died, I let it lapse. There was a time we were doing a lot of remodeling and house stuff and Prime made sense for ordering a lot of little things you wanted fast. And we used to use the video on demand. But just for myself, I couldn't justify it.

Without Prime, I'm much less impetuous about my purchases, especially since they raised the free shipping minimum to $35.

There's a new book I really wanted, so I went thru my wish list to see what else I could add to get free shipping. I turned it into my Christmas splurge on myself, including such frivolities as socks and underwear. Oh, and a couple things for the cat, too. :)

BTW, one thing I learned about books is to check their "used" selection. Often you can get a barely used book for a fraction the cost of new, and even with the usual $3.99 shipping, you can still get it way cheaper and without a minimum. Sometimes these sellers are charities like Goodwill, so I feel good about supporting them.

Rllink
11-03-2014, 04:26 PM
I've bought a few things on Amazon, but my wife does not like Amazon as a company, so I generally avoid it if I can find what I want somewhere else. I have been getting my strings from a place called Butler Music in Missouri. They have really good pricing. They are on e-bay, but I deal with them directly.

Moore Bettah Ukuleles
11-03-2014, 04:52 PM
Because I live in a remote location I couldn't live here if Amazon weren't available. I buy just about everything through them and have never had a problem. I buy most of my small tools from them because they are almost always significantly cheaper than anyone else and I can save a couple of hours drive to Home Depot. My neighbor even buys toilet paper through Amazon. There Prime shipping makes it affordable. Keep in mind that Prime merchandise often costs a bit more than from other vendors because you are paying for at least a portion of the "free" shipping. It's the heavy stuff where a Prime membership pays off. I'll order from Amazon before anyone else because of their excellent customer service and return policy. So it depends on your own circumstances. For me they can't be beat.

UkerDanno
11-03-2014, 05:21 PM
I buy from Amazon all the time, never had any problems. For strings I go to Elderly, they have great prices and if you order enough, free shipping. Even for just a couple sets, shipping isn't that much and you can get almost anything...local selection is pretty limited.

IamNoMan
11-03-2014, 06:32 PM
I do not have problems with any particular Internet retailers but I am leery of credit card transactions through the ether. Every time I do a credit card transaction I am susceptible to having my account information hacked or highjacked. This is just as true of any credit card transaction of course but I deliberately make sure my bank managers know who I am. When I have problems they have handled it expeditiously. Trying to correct a problem through corporations on the internet directly is frustrating and time consuming. Consider the thread about the 5 for 1 uke deal.

I have never activated a debit card and never will. Beside the obvious pitfalls each bank involved may levy a service charge. Since the banks essentially pay a negative interest rate on the money I allow them to use why should I make the rich, richer.

I do a good deal of shopping with my local Guitar Center. They honor the lowest/best price of deals offered on the internet, Amazon's prices as an example. If they don't carry the line I need, Say Worth strings They will order them. I pick them up with no shipping charges. When I order the Strings I purchase a gift card. When the strings come in I use the gift card for the purchase. If the price has dropped in the interim they still honor the lowest/best price for at least 30 days after shipping. If there are shipping or QA problems they handle it. And since I am a regular/repeat customer and a known quantity I can horsetrade for additional discounts. Similar situation prevails at Walmarts, if you choose to deal with them.

coolkayaker1
11-04-2014, 01:40 AM
I buy nearly everything from Amazon, including some food. Nearly 300 separate orders (most with more than one item) last year alone. I almost never go to Target, Walmart, etc. any more. Paper clips, undershirts, bath towels, tools, paint, you name it, Amazon. No Amazon sales tax in my county, which at the brick and mortar store is a grotesque 9.5%.

My understanding, DUD, is that you are responsible for $50, if that, from a stolen credit card spending spree. Plus, lose a gift card is like losing cash, and gift cards give no buyers' way to dispute a charge (for instance, item craps out in the first week, tell credit card issuer, and they will help you challenge to seller).

Add in generous free cash back, I use Amazon no-annual-fee credit card for all Amazon purchases; comes back automatically to my Amazon account as a virtual credit every month, 3% of what I spent the month before! It becomes, to me, a no-brainier to use a credit card over debit cards. Repeat: three percent automatically back, each month, as credit from Amazon for the prior month's Amazon purchases! Yes, Virginia, they're giving away free money (money gained from the guy using gift cards and checks...lol). Not only is the annual fee zero, they'll give you thirty bucks just to sign up! For frequent Amazon shoppers who don't carry a debt balance, the Amazon Visa is an amazing 'gift" from Bezos.
https://www.amazon.com/gp/cobrandcard/marketing.html?ie=UTF8&*Version*=1&*entries*=0

The only thing I wish is that Amazon shipped their giant boxes of toilet paper in a more discrete box, perhaps one that doesn't say Charmin Double Rolls in six inch letters on the outside. My neighbors must think I have some form of colon disease. A dumping syndrome, perhaps.

Rllink
11-04-2014, 02:27 AM
One issue that I have, and I don't even know if it is an issue, as I have not put it to the test, but I live in a gated condo in Puerto Rico, on a narrow cobblestone street. Mail and USPS packages to our condo end up sitting inside the entrance on a shelf, so most people here have a P.O. Box and just walk down to the post office to get their mail, and that is what we do. That is one of the great things about Puerto Rico, the good old USPS. I don't know how it works with FedEx or UPS. I don't think that they even have access through the gate, and I wouldn't want them to leave anything outside on the sidewalk. I've seen small packages just thrown through the gate on occasion, and if I see them, I put them up on the shelf, but I've never seen anything substantial show up here.

I have had things shipped here, but I usually have to ask for USPS delivery. An interesting thing about that is that a lot of places do not include Puerto Rico in their free shipping. I don't know why not. But I also have a home in Iowa, and I have all my mail forwarded down here. So I will have something shipped to Iowa to get the free shipping, and it automatically gets forwarded here. It is usually just a two or three day delay at the most. I send stuff down here all the time from Iowa in flat rate boxes, and it is the same as sending it anywhere in the states. I know that even without flat rate, the cost to send a package here to PR from Iowa does not cost more than sending a package to my son in NYC.

Ukejenny
11-04-2014, 03:45 AM
We got sucked into the Amazon Prime vortex last Christmas, as we needed to get some gifts here quickly. And we really liked the program and have stayed in. The free shipping and getting things quickly has been great.

I buy most of my clarinet and woodwind supplies off Amazon now. When it comes time for strings, I will look there first to see if they offer what I want. Lots of books and music bought off Amazon as well. We have a CC with a very low balance that we use for Amazon and other online purchases.

By the way, when you look at books and music, I have had good luck buying used music books for much lower than they would cost new. I've saved quite a bit of money that way.

itsme
11-04-2014, 04:35 AM
The only thing I wish is that Amazon shipped their giant boxes of toilet paper in a more discrete box, perhaps one that doesn't say Charmin Double Rolls in six inch letters on the outside. My neighbors must think I have some form of colon disease. A dumping syndrome, perhaps.
Hey, at least you're not ordering Depends. :p

janeray1940
11-04-2014, 04:37 AM
Amazon Prime was fantastic for me for years - I think when I first got it it was $40 a year, then $70, but now it's up to $99 IIRC. After the last price increase I didn't renew because there was a concurrent shift from USPS/UPS delivery to "Amazon Logistics" delivery which really was awful. After numerous incidents in which the driver claimed I wasn't there to take delivery (I work from home a lot so this was rarely true, plus really, I need to sign for 5 packs of uke strings?!) or that an item was delivered that never reached me, I let Prime lapse. I miss it though - not so much for the impulse buys but for all of the fantastic streaming documentaries that were included in the membership! And that alone will likely be the reason I get sucked back in, especially now that it's winter and my outdoor time is much more limited.

IamNoMan
11-04-2014, 04:50 AM
One issue that I have...live in a gated condo in Puerto Rico... Mail and USPS packages to our condo end up sitting inside the entrance on a shelf, so most people here have a P.O. Box and just walk down to the post office to get their mail, and that is what we do. That is one of the great things about Puerto Rico, the good old USPS. I don't know how it works with FedEx or UPS. I don't think that they even have access through the gate, and I wouldn't want them to leave anything outside on the sidewalk...

I have had things shipped here, but I usually have to ask for USPS delivery. An interesting thing about that is that a lot of places do not include Puerto Rico in their free shipping. I don't know why not. But I also have a home in Iowa, and I have all my mail forwarded down here. So I will have something shipped to Iowa to get the free shipping, and it automatically gets forwarded here. It is usually just a two or three day delay at the most. I send stuff down here all the time from Iowa in flat rate boxes, and it is the same as sending it anywhere in the states. I know that even without flat rate, the cost to send a package here to PR from Iowa does not cost more than sending a package to my son in NYC.Check with Fed EX or UPS for their rules on home delivery, vis a vis gated community. I know its illegal for the carriers to drop off parcels in the mail box. and I know they need to have an identifiable street address to make deliveries. They may have special rules for gated communities. Rest assured they want your business. The thing is the USPS has the best rates for certain sizes and weights, (under 2#, USPS usually has better rates than the commercial carriers; Otherwise the carriers usually have a better rate).

A lot of carriers place restrictions on overseas shipping. Its a matter of competitveness as much as international trade Malarkey, (Not a problem in PR there).

I like the mail forwarded idea. Never thought about that one before.

wickedwahine11
11-04-2014, 04:58 AM
Ooh I spend FAR too much money on Amazon. I have used them for some tuners, strings, and even a case once. But most of the purchases are not uke related - shoes, purses, iDevice items, even luggage and a cat tree once. Because I spend so much I have debated about adding Prime but never bit the bullet. I also like their liberal return policy. :)

coolkayaker1
11-04-2014, 06:33 AM
Ooh I spend FAR too much money on Amazon. I have used them for some tuners, strings, and even a case once. But most of the purchases are not uke related - shoes, purses, iDevice items, even luggage and a cat tree once. Because I spend so much I have debated about adding Prime but never bit the bullet. I also like their liberal return policy. :)

Staci, I hope you have the Amazon Visa (linked in my post below). Free money!

Down Up Dick
04-06-2015, 10:14 AM
My good Lord! I don't know how you people buy stuff on the Internet. Most of you say you won't use checks or credit/debit cards, and I know from personal experience that Gift Cards are a bucket of worms. They don't seem to want them. So, what the heck do I do? I've been on the iPad (and phone) all day so far. I think I'm gonna try to order from stores from now on, or else just do without stuff that I can't find in them. Saving a few bucks on the little bit that I'm trying to buy just isn't worth the trouble.

Internet shopping is the pits! I like to see things and feel them and maybe try them out any way. :old:

janeray1940
04-06-2015, 10:23 AM
My good Lord! I don't know how you people buy stuff on the Internet. Most of you say you won't use checks or credit/debit cards, and I know from personal experience that Gift Cards are a bucket of worms. They don't seem to want them. So, what the heck do I do? I've been on the iPad (and phone) all day so far. I think I'm gonna try to order from stores from now on, or else just do without stuff that I can't find in them. Saving a few bucks on the little bit that I'm trying to buy just isn't worth the trouble.

Internet shopping is the pits! I like to see things and feel them and maybe try them out any way. :old:

I use debit or credit cards all the time, as well as Paypal, and have since the beginning of Internet time - so, what, over 15 years ago? I can count the problems I've had with security or identity theft on one hand, and in both cases the resolutions were fairly quick and easy. I've known more people who've had identity theft issues from paying by credit card at their local restaurant or shopping at their local grocery stores.

While I'd rather support the mom and pop shops whenever possible, for some things - including my favorite low G string - my local merchant can't or won't carry them. As long as you're buying from reputable shops - and that includes everything from Amazon to the uke merchants people on UU support - chances are you'll be fine.

PeteyHoudini
04-06-2015, 11:13 AM
I'm up in CANADA but I've used Amazon.com (later Amazon.ca) since 1999. Never had credit card fraud problems. I've had twice debit card fraud over the years but my card had been scanned and duplicated in two brick and mortar businesses. I know which ones. I would still like to support local stores but my purchases are so eclectic most of the time that I have to order online. Though in Hawaii, I did buy the three great ukulele method books (Beginning, Intermediate, Mastering Ukulele - Alfred Music) at the Ukulele PuaPua uke store instead of ordering online when I got home. It was nice to have the three books to bring back to my hotel room.

I just don't like how Amazon (in Canada) uses mostly UPS and I stopped ordering stuff from them because I'm at work. They used to use the normal postal service and that was great so I could easily go pick up my packages. So, now I only use them to buy eBooks for my Kindle.

I've used the Book Depository many, many times. Free shipping but each item is shipped separate from England but works great. Yeah, I know amazon owns them but at least they use my local post office.

Petey

spookelele
04-06-2015, 11:19 AM
Staci, I hope you have the Amazon Visa (linked in my post below). Free money!

+1

Although.. it is kinda scary seeing how much I spend on amazon.. cuz it's 3% back.
But chase lets you auto pay, so it is pretty much free money.

Ukejenny
04-06-2015, 11:23 AM
My good Lord! I don't know how you people buy stuff on the Internet. Most of you say you won't use checks or credit/debit cards, and I know from personal experience that Gift Cards are a bucket of worms. They don't seem to want them. So, what the heck do I do? I've been on the iPad (and phone) all day so far. I think I'm gonna try to order from stores from now on, or else just do without stuff that I can't find in them. Saving a few bucks on the little bit that I'm trying to buy just isn't worth the trouble.

Internet shopping is the pits! I like to see things and feel them and maybe try them out any way. :old:

I find shopping online really nice and stress-free, for the most part. I can do Christmas shopping in the middle of the night, in my pajamas, and then just wait for the packages to arrive. I'm not a big "get out there amongst the masses" kind of shopper. I usually know what I want and I just want to get it in the easiest manner possible.

Down Up Dick
04-06-2015, 12:38 PM
Well, All, let me tell you that I've bought my last gift card--and that's that! Aaaaaand, we don't use Credit Cards either, so I guess we're pretty much stuck with stores or nothing. Though, I have dealt with Amazon, and they seem to be pretty much okay. Maybe, that's the answer, but some of their prices are higher. If I'm gonna pay them, I might just as well go to stores.

Back in the old days, you paid the man some money and took yer bottle home and drank it! :old:

Booli
04-06-2015, 08:54 PM
I buy so much stuff on Amazon that I went ahead and sprung for their Prime service, figuring that it would pay for itself in saved shipping costs. Yes, it does save shipping, but unless you're careful, you can spend as much (or more) for a Prime item as you would for the same item elsewhere, plus shipping. But what Prime has done has spoiled me by the fast, two day delivery. I hate waiting for stuff, and getting it fast is nice. I've been buying stuff from Amazon and others online ever since the commercial Internet got started. I remember I was worried at first, and got one of the early Discover cards that promised to make good any online fraud losses. But you know, in all these years I've only had one bad transaction, and eBay/PayPal took care of that for me. I've never lost a penny. So, I wouldn't worry about using a credit card on Amazon.

:agree: ^this, EXACTLY matches my own experience over the past 18 yrs of buying stuff from Amazon.

Never a problem, and if you need to return something, the RMA process is dead simple, and they provide you the label and the option for UPS to pick up the item to be sent back, so you dont have to drag yourself out to a UPS Store or UPS drop-point.

Also, debit cards with Chase and Wells Fargo protect you the same as a credit card since Feb 1, 2015, so your risk is reduced if you have accounts with those banks, and I'm sure others will follow suit in order to remain competitive.

But if you're unsure about using a debit card, you can always get a VISA or MC 'gift card' and use that, and also I recently noticed that some Brick & Mortar vendors like Wal-Mart, Walgreens, and 7/11 also sell 'AMAZON'-branded gift cards at the checkout for a nominal fee (like $2-$3).

Ukejenny
04-07-2015, 03:40 AM
Back in the old days, you paid the man some money and took yer bottle home and drank it! :old:

Hey, when it comes to hooch, I always buy local!!!

spookelele
04-07-2015, 03:49 AM
Well, All, let me tell you that I've bought my last gift card--and that's that! Aaaaaand, we don't use Credit Cards either, so I guess we're pretty much stuck with stores or nothing. Though, I have dealt with Amazon, and they seem to be pretty much okay. Maybe, that's the answer, but some of their prices are higher. If I'm gonna pay them, I might just as well go to stores.

I guess it depends. I hate shopping. I hate going to stores and walking around. Also, I hate the limited selection I often find when I do go to a store. Things like.. shoes, I buy at a store. But things that are common off the shelf kinds of things, I buy on amazon because I click the button and it arrives at my door in 1-2 days. The costs include shipping and for me at least, it offsets the cost of gas, unless it's something where I can get it at the grocery anyway. Also... the selection of stuff, or things that are hard to find make the cost worth it to me because where else am I going to find some of that stuff locally? Dont get me wrong, I do support local, shop at farmers markets, etc. But that only goes so far.

And then, sometimes things are just WAY cheaper on amazon, like the stuff that's "add on item" where it's incredibly cheap but you can only buy it if you add it to an order shipped by amazon and over $25 where you are getting the shipping for free pretty much.

Rllink
04-07-2015, 05:37 AM
I touched on this in an earlier post, but I'll elaborate a little by saying that about ten years ago my wife and I started looking at our investments and decided that the bottom line wasn't the most important thing to us. So we started taking a close look at where we were investing our money, and decided that we were not going to invest in businesses that we did not feel were being socially responsible. So along with that, where we spend our money follows the same standards. There are companies that we try not to do business with, and Amazon is one of them. With that said, there are a lot of other on line businesses that will deliver whatever you want to your doorstep and stand behind their products and services. Amazon isn't the only one out there to buy from. I mean, just look at the businesses that we support here on UU. I order on line all the time, I just try to buy from businesses that are more in line with my values.

Down Up Dick
04-07-2015, 07:04 AM
I touched on this in an earlier post, but I'll elaborate a little buy saying that about ten years ago my wife and I started looking at our investments and decided that the bottom line wasn't the most important thing to us. So we started taking a close look at where we were investing our money, and decided that we were not going to invest in businesses that we did not feel were being socially responsible. So along with that, where we spend our money follows the same standards. There are companies that we try not to do business with, and Amazon is one of them. With that said, there are a lot of other on line businesses that will deliver whatever you want to your doorstep and stand behind their products and services. Amazon isn't the only one. I mean, just look at the businesses that we support here on UU. I order on line all the time, I just try to buy from businesses that are more in line with my values..

Why don't you and/or your wife like Amazon? As I said before, I've used them before and found them easiest to deal with, using a Gift Card. Their order blank works for us too.

Well, ya live and learn. I think it's stores (4 or 5 nearby) or Amazon for me from now on. :old:

Rllink
04-07-2015, 07:29 AM
.

Why don't you and/or your wife like Amazon? As I said before, I've used them before and found them easiest to deal with, using a Gift Card. Their order blank works for us too.

Well, ya live and learn. I think it's stores (4 or 5 nearby) or Amazon for me from now on. :old:That would be a pretty long discussion Dick. I'm not here to tell people how they should act or what they should think. There is a lot on the internet regarding everything from price fixing, predatory practices, and how they treat their employees and contractors. It is also a controversial issue. There are many who defend them as well, so it gets into a big argument often times. I would suggest that anyone who is interested, research the issues and make their own determination. But I for one, think that there are plenty of online businesses that offer the same products, at the same prices, and with the same service, and I prefer to look to them for what I want online.

I also like to buy locally, but I'll be the first to admit that often times anymore I can't get what I want locally. I don't blame the internet for all the ills that local retailers are experiencing, they have to be able to compete, but there is a line. At least there is for me.

coolkayaker1
04-07-2015, 08:00 AM
I adore Amazon as I do my own siblings.

UkulelePaula
04-07-2015, 08:52 AM
I have never had any problems buying items on Amazon. You may want to check out www.Sweetwater.com for musical items. I have also used www.reverb.com. Reverb has some cool stuff.

janeray1940
04-07-2015, 08:55 AM
That would be a pretty long discussion Dick. I'm not here to tell people how they should act or what they should think. There is a lot on the internet regarding everything from price fixing, predatory practices, and how they treat their employees and contractors. It is also a controversial issue. There are many who defend them as well, so it gets into a big argument often times. I would suggest that anyone who is interested, research the issues and make their own determination. But I for one, think that there are plenty of online businesses that offer the same products, at the same prices, and with the same service, and I prefer to look to them for what I want online.

I also like to buy locally, but I'll be the first to admit that often times anymore I can't get what I want locally. I don't blame the internet for all the ills that local retailers are experiencing, they have to be able to compete, but there is a line. At least there is for me.

I was curious about this too, so thanks for the explanation. I'm a big believer in "voting with one's dollar" and as I prefer to support the mom and pop shops, I do try to find those first (for those of us lacking the time or inclination to actually venture into stores, eBay can actually be a great resource for finding small businesses). I've made a conscious decision to not patronize certain corporations whose business practices do not fall in line with what I believe is better for the "common man" (as opposed to the CEO), and Amazon is one I really struggle with. My town used to be full of bookstores and now we are down to only two - a specialty art and architecture bookstore, and a Barnes and Noble that probably has more gifts and cards and tchotchkes than actual books. So - Amazon it is, usually, which always makes me feel like part of the problem rather than part of the solution, since really, aren't they the reason that all the bookstores in my town closed down?

So - really mixed feelings here as to how I handle this myself, but thanks for giving me the motivation to re-think this. Maybe I don't really *need* those books in my Amazon cart after all... or maybe they can wait until the next time I'm near an actual bookstore.

janeray1940
04-07-2015, 09:00 AM
You may want to check out www.Sweetwater.com (http://www.Sweetwater.com) for musical items.

I suppose individual mileage may vary, but - one of my worst online shopping experiences was with them. Not only did they misrepresent what they were selling me, they made a return/refund as difficult as could be, put me on both their email and snail mail spam lists, and - this may have been coincidence but it seems too suspicious - at the same time, put me on a bunch of Christian spam lists. The whole thing took several months to resolve to my satisfaction but goes down in my history as one of the biggest online shopping hassles I've ever had. Not sure which I hate more, liars or spammers!

Down Up Dick
04-07-2015, 09:12 AM
One has to move with the times or just be left behind. This is one of my great failings, but my life guide and instructor (wife) keeps me moving forward. I think many of us buy too much stuff anyway. Maybe no readily available stores is a good thing.

I just read about a woman and her husband, in West Ways, who live in a very, very tiny house, and they're very content without so much stuff. I don't know if I'd want to do that, but we do have a lot of stuff stored away here and there. When we moved to our present place, we were supposed to be downsizing, but then we bought a bunch more stuff--so much for downsizing.

Well, I guess all our problems are what keeps life interesting. :old:

spookelele
04-07-2015, 09:12 AM
I suppose individual mileage may vary, but - one of my worst online shopping experiences was with them. Not only did they misrepresent what they were selling me, they made a return/refund as difficult as could be, put me on both their email and snail mail spam lists

Yeah.. and that's why I like amazon. Their support is very good. They never hassle you on returns, and they make it as easy as possible. Amazon isn't like.. a single thing. They sell some stuff "from amazon" but most it is either listing, or "Fulfilled by Amazon" meaning people are basically paying them to use their warehousing.

I've never had an issue with fast return, for full value on something that had a problem. As far as how they treat employees, I dunno. They opened a distribution center about 30 miles from me, and they're hiring. I don't know anyone that's been there long because it's pretty new. But it doesn't seem like... walmart.

janeray1940
04-07-2015, 09:24 AM
I just read about a woman and her husband, in West Ways, who live in a very, very tiny house, and they're very content without so much stuff.

My house is 250 square feet. Yep, that's right - two hundred and fifty. And I have very little stuff, and room for even less stuff, but - somehow I always manage to make room for more books! :) I do have a when one comes in, one goes out rule that I'd say I stick to 99% of the time.

janeray1940
04-07-2015, 09:28 AM
Yeah.. and that's why I like amazon. Their support is very good. They never hassle you on returns, and they make it as easy as possible. Amazon isn't like.. a single thing. They sell some stuff "from amazon" but most it is either listing, or "Fulfilled by Amazon" meaning people are basically paying them to use their warehousing.

I've never had an issue with fast return, for full value on something that had a problem. As far as how they treat employees, I dunno. They opened a distribution center about 30 miles from me, and they're hiring. I don't know anyone that's been there long because it's pretty new. But it doesn't seem like... walmart.

That's been my reasoning for years - they're not Walmart - but I've started questioning that as of lately. All partisan politics aside, I'm not sure that I can blame the lack of mom and pop shops on them as much as I can on Joe and Jane Public who want more more more for less less less.

I know people who work in tech for Amazon in Seattle and most of them have been there for YEARS and LOVE it. Sounds as if they get treated very well. And you're right, their support is fantastic (other than the glitches I mentioned upstream with Prime, but that can be attributed to growing pains I suppose).

Rllink
04-07-2015, 10:11 AM
That's been my reasoning for years - they're not Walmart - but I've started questioning that as of lately. All partisan politics aside, I'm not sure that I can blame the lack of mom and pop shops on them as much as I can on Joe and Jane Public who want more more more for less less less.

I know people who work in tech for Amazon in Seattle and most of them have been there for YEARS and LOVE it. Sounds as if they get treated very well. And you're right, their support is fantastic (other than the glitches I mentioned upstream with Prime, but that can be attributed to growing pains I suppose).I can't blame the internet entirely for the decline of brick and mortar store. Long before the internet, there was catalog sales. I used to get a lot of those. Remember the Sears and J.C. Penney's Christmas catalogs? I used to buy a lot of stuff from catalogs.

barefootgypsy
04-07-2015, 11:49 AM
Had no problems with buying from Amazon or on ebay, in several years of buying online with plastic. Ebay insist on paypal now (also trouble-free. And Ebay sellers (often bricks-and-mortar shops) guard their reputation very carefully as they can lose their ebay facility with bad feedback or complaints. Just keep your computer protected and go for it. So easy to shop this way!

janeray1940
04-07-2015, 11:53 AM
I can't blame the internet entirely for the decline of brick and mortar store. Long before the internet, there was catalog sales. I used to get a lot of those. Remember the Sears and J.C. Penney's Christmas catalogs? I used to buy a lot of stuff from catalogs.

I got curious about whatever happened to the Sears catalog - it was discontinued in 1993 (http://www.searsarchives.com/catalogs/history.htm), well before the internet became widespread, which surprised me. Pretty sure my first uke when I was a kid came from one; I know my first Silvertone guitar did.

(I realize this has next to nothing to do with this thread but as a history geek I found it interesting and thought others might too!)

Icelander53
04-07-2015, 11:54 AM
I probably spend at least ten grand a year on Amazon with no hassle .

In fact outside of HMS I get my best customer service at Amazon.

cpmusic
04-07-2015, 01:35 PM
I've been buying on Amazon with credit/debit cards practically since they launched, and have never had a security/identity theft issue. I do get my strings from them (Martin M600s) pretty regularly - great prices and fast delivery.
Same here, and I can count on one hand the number of times orders were messed up. When that's happened, I've sent a note form my order info on their website and someone has gotten back to me within a day, and problems with their own delivery system have always been fixed quickly. Amazon Marketplace sellers aren't always as responsive, but if you stick to those who have good ratings it usually works out.

Down Up Dick
04-07-2015, 01:56 PM
I got curious about whatever happened to the Sears catalog - it was discontinued in 1993 (http://www.searsarchives.com/catalogs/history.htm), well before the internet became widespread, which surprised me. Pretty sure my first uke when I was a kid came from one; I know my first Silvertone guitar did.

(I realize this has next to nothing to do with this thread but as a history geek I found it interesting and thought others might too!)

I bought a cheap Silvertone Flute from Sears ages ago. It was my first flute. I learned on it, and it played well. Then I sold it to a little girl, and she learned on it too. It cost $104.00 mailed to Turkey!

Oh, for the good old days! :old:

cpmusic
04-07-2015, 02:22 PM
Amazon Prime was fantastic for me for years - I think when I first got it it was $40 a year, then $70, but now it's up to $99 IIRC. After the last price increase I didn't renew because there was a concurrent shift from USPS/UPS delivery to "Amazon Logistics" delivery which really was awful.
I never heard of this until just now, when I read this post. I still have Prime and have never had anything delivered in this fashion. Some of the Prime deliveries have come by UPS or USPS and some have come out of Nevada via a regional shipping company called OnTrac.

I don't recall any packages from Amazon requiring a signature, but if Amazon is handling the shipping, they may include it to ward off false claims of non-delivery. It looks like they need to do more than that, though. A LOT more. I worked for FedEx for 28 years* (retired last spring) and if they ran their business in that fashion they'd have gone out of business a long time ago.

*Please don't reply to me with FedEx complaints, no matter how tempting it may be. I left them behind when I retired. :)

janeray1940
04-07-2015, 02:31 PM
I never heard of this until just now, when I read this post. I still have Prime and have never had anything delivered in this fashion. Some of the Prime deliveries have come by UPS or USPS and some have come out of Nevada via a regional shipping company called OnTrac.


OnTrac, for the record, has been great. They started off a little iffy but now they are one of the few delivery companies that actually takes the time to find my front door and leave things there (or knock and hand it to me personally, imagine that).

Amazon Logistics is the same company that does their grocery deliveries, you might have seen them around - I think the trucks say Amazon Fresh or something like that. They really, truly did misplace or mis-deliver three of my orders in a row last summer. For two of them, Amazon was quick to refund and/or re-ship; one was from a third party company that was impossible to deal with in terms of getting a replacement or a refund. I re-ordered the item from another seller with no problems; the original item showed up *three weeks* late - I ended up with two and gave one to a friend. All's well that ends well!