Amazon (US) is really trying hard to lose my business

Discussion in 'The Watering Hole' started by Armanius, Feb 27, 2014.

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  1. Armanius

    Armanius Bring Jack back!

    Jan 11, 2011
    Houston, Texas
    Jack
    Amazon has been watering down the perks of its Amazon Prime membership. First, it replaced the $3.99 flat fee per item for overnight shipping with a variable fee. Now, third party items that are fulfilled by Amazon (which are eligible for Amazon Prime shipping terms) are no longer eligible at all for the overnight shipping option. I also read that Amazon is about to increase the price of Amazon Prime membership.

    I suppose once Amazon decided to cave to the State of Texas on collecting sales tax from Texas residents, most folks figure that they would buy from the third party sellers with items fulfilled by Amazon. You get the perks of Amazon Prime, plus no sales Tax. But alas, no more.
     
  2. pdh

    pdh SC Legend

    Jan 2, 2011
    Ah, Amazon ... the company that made sales worth £4,000,000,000 in the UK and pays £2,400,000 in tax in the UK on those sales.

    So, lets just review those figures once again:
    Sales in UK: Four Billion Pounds
    Tax Paid to UK Govt: Two and a half Million Pounds
     
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  3. Biro

    Biro SC All-Pro

    Aug 7, 2011
    Jersey Shore
    Steve
    If the price of Amazon Prime goes up, I'm done. I already pay sales tax on Amazon goods here in New Jersey and I don't have much use for their streaming video for Prime members.
     
  4. porchard

    porchard SC Veteran

    344
    Feb 24, 2013
    Devon, UK
    Hmmm.... so that means that they paid about er.... 0.06% in tax. So very kind of them to make such a generous contribution....:shakehead:. :wtf:
     
  5. kyteflyer

    kyteflyer ~@¿@~

    Jan 31, 2011
    Newcastle, Australia
    Sue
    Pretty much the same figures for Australia. Oh, except... I don't think they have paid *any* tax here. They recently opened an AU bookstore so perhaps now they will pay *something*. Maybe. There's probably a loophole.
     
  6. Armanius

    Armanius Bring Jack back!

    Jan 11, 2011
    Houston, Texas
    Jack
    Wow, gotta wonder how they manage that.
     
  7. christilou

    christilou SC Hall of Famer

    Jul 13, 2010
    Sunny Frimley
    Tax is a dirty word in our house at the moment and this rather sticks in my craw......:026:
     
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  8. Biro

    Biro SC All-Pro

    Aug 7, 2011
    Jersey Shore
    Steve
    Hey, GE paid no taxes at all in the U.S. last year.
     
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  9. kyteflyer

    kyteflyer ~@¿@~

    Jan 31, 2011
    Newcastle, Australia
    Sue
    Not really. Our government gives a lot away to multinationals. The current proposal is to sell off Qantas. We don't own many of our mines anymore. The property market is dreadful because nearly anyone can buy up aus property for investment and most is snapped up by rich chinese. Our own citizens cant afford to buy houses anymore. Australia? Come on down, we are for sale. BAH!
     
  10. Hyubie

    Hyubie SC Veteran

    360
    Jun 8, 2011
    Massachusetts
    Sorry to be a stickler (accounting being my background) but I have to say that Tax vs Sales figures are almost worthless except for a few analytical ratios. Let's compare tax against profit, not revenue. That might probably lower our blood pressure a little. :smile:

    *End of rant*
     
  11. staticantics

    staticantics SC Regular

    136
    Oct 15, 2013
    Central California
    Chris
    I can get anything I want delivered within two business days for free for a flat rate fee of ~$100 a year, support my state with taxes, stream thousands of movies, if I want to, rent free books once a month ...

    Anything. Underwear. Chocolate chips, a dishwasher, a big screen tv, camera gear, books, ice cube trays, granola. ANYTHING.

    I know you might not be too happy about one-day shipping, but I find prime an invaluable service. The amount of time it saves me is worth that yearly fee.

    What an amazing world we have arrived at! Imagine what things will be like 15 years from now! :smile:
     
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  12. pdh

    pdh SC Legend

    Jan 2, 2011
    Corporation tax in the UK is 20%

    Which if Amazon are to be believed would equate very approximately to profits of £13 million on UK sales of £4 billion.

    Yes, suddenly that looks much much better doesn't it?

    Now you can be whatever kind of stickler you like, but Amazon's aggressive tax avoidance is well known, and they remain under the scrutiny of parliamentary committees (similar to a house committee in the US) as well as the UK tax authorities for their appalling behaviour.

    Quibbling about tax vs sales really doesn't cut it - we all know exactly what they're up to, which is evading their corporate and social responsibilities.

    Here's a nice article, albeit a couple of years old now, detailing the issues

    http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2012/apr/04/amazon-british-operation-corporation-tax
     
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  13. BillN

    BillN SC Hall of Famer

    Aug 25, 2010
    S W France
    Bill
    We should they worry the two guys who started Amazon are only worth US$17 billion each
     
  14. pdh

    pdh SC Legend

    Jan 2, 2011
    my heart bleeds for them. How on Earth do they manage to rub along?
     
  15. Armanius

    Armanius Bring Jack back!

    Jan 11, 2011
    Houston, Texas
    Jack
    I haven't tried buying underwear from Amazon yet! But I have been looking for these Russell Athletic white undershirts which I can no longer find at Academy.
     
  16. ean10775

    ean10775 SC Regular

    159
    Feb 25, 2013
    Cleveland, Ohio
    Eric
    I used to be really fond of ordering from Amazon and have an Amazon rewards credit card as a result. Less so these days as they increased the minimum order amount for free shipping from $25 to $35 and free shipping now takes a ridiculously long time from my perspective whereas I used to have my package in about two days (now closer to ten). I understand they are trying to push the Prime membership and the cost of delivery services may be increasing, but unless they have something I can't get elsewhere or have an unbelievably low price, I shop elsewhere. From my perspective the only thing they have going for them is their return policy.
     
  17. Lawrence A.

    Lawrence A. SC All-Pro

    Nov 8, 2012
    New Mexico
    Larry
    About all I use them for anymore is Kindle content for my plain Jane e-reader version. I find the device useful if I'm leaving town. In a week I'll be leaving for Boston for 10 days, and I'll have the complete works of my hero, Voltaire and of DeMaussant, as well as a big chunk of La Fontainte (including the baudy tales), in French, and the complete works of Mark Twain, several novels of Jane Austin, some things of my beloved A.N. Whitehead and Jonathan Swift, etc. -- all in one small, easy to carry object. I do prefer real books, but enjoy the Kindle for a travel backup. And you can get Monde Diplomatique in a Kindle format.

    Otherwise, since I've grown to loathe the company, I resist ordering from them.
     
  18. Armanius

    Armanius Bring Jack back!

    Jan 11, 2011
    Houston, Texas
    Jack
    Nice selection of authors!!
     
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  19. Luke

    Luke Super Moderator

    Nov 11, 2011
    Milwaukee, WI USA
    Luke
    This echoes my stance. Online-only shops are a miserable cancer. They very well may kill off every local business, and then they can do whatever they like.....it'll be too late. Browse global and shop local.
     
  20. ryanshoots

    ryanshoots SC Regular

    66
    Apr 22, 2012
    Minnesota
    Some random thoughts:

    A sentiment I find amusing.
    Now that Amazon charges sales tax.... Can't believe Amazon pays almost no taxes...

    Amazon ultimately wants a bunch more shipping centers in the US so they can offer one day shipping easier. Once they do that, they will have to collect sales tax in those states anyway, so Amazon can appear conscious of a level playing field for businesses on the web by lobbying for a sales tax (now that we've beaten the brick and mortars so badly they'll never catch up). Best Buy for instance. Amazon wasn't lobbying for sales tax five years ago. That's telling.

    Personally I buy a lot of stuff off Amazon and have had good experiences and prefer shopping there over most, but I understand that they are a business and some of the practices they've engaged in to grow like they have may not be sustainable or desirably sustainable, especially as they've driven competition away. At some point I may buy less from them depending on how things change.
     
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