When typing the word “Amazon” into Google the first thing that comes up is the Online Shopping Platform that I have been discussing in my previous posts. To get the actual definition of what Amazon is I had to add the word “Definition” itself to my search. (To those who don’t know Amazon is “a member of a legendary race of female warriors believed by the ancient Greeks to exist in Scythia (near the Black Sea in modern Russia) or elsewhere on the edge of the known world”). But why am I even mentioning this? I want you to realize how huge of a company they are that they even taken over the original meaning of a word!
Since Amazon reaches so many customers of different ages and characteristics, their actions influence lives of millions of people. That’s why it seems more than appropriate for me to show what these people are saying about Amazon’s unethical behavior…
As ProPublica (an independent, non-profit newsroom that produces investigative journalism in the public interest) reported: “Amazon’s strategy hurt shoppers, many of whom end up paying extra at checkout, and ran counter to its professed philosophy of putting customers first”. ProPublica asserts that under Amazon’s ranking systems, shoppers who are not Prime members can end up paying more for products if the fail to scroll more deeply into results. After reading the indepth report that ProPublica created, I do truly believe that they are right about Amazon mistreating their customers.
Third-party sellers trying to make it on the Amazon Marketplace have two things much more important than their prices to worry about:
-Winning the Buy Box
-Following Amazon’s strict seller rules.
“The Buy Box, if you don’t already know, is the section on a product page where potential customers find the “Add to Cart” button that begins the process of buying. Many sellers on Amazon offer the same items, but Amazon awards only one seller the precious position of being in the Buy Box at any given time”. Sellers who don’t win the buy box are placed on a page called “More Buying Choices,” on a list that Amazon describes as ranked by price plus shipping. “However, since Amazon doesn’t include the cost of shipping for itself and its fulfillment partners, the rankings on that page can be misleading”.
As Kate Erkavun (one of the small business third- party sellers on Amazon) says: “”If you don’t win the buy box, your chance of selling is low- Amazon is not really fair in terms of competition”.
As you can imagine, majority of Amazon customers never even click on the More Buying Choices page where third-party sellers like Kate Erkavun have their products. “Among the countless consultants and conferences devoted to winning the buy box, it’s well known that Amazon’s algorithm gives an advantage to itself, and to sellers who pay to join the Fulfilled by Amazon program”.
I also decided to see how people who work for Amazon really feel. As Susan Adams (Forbes reporter) writes, majority of Amazon’s workers give their company only one out of five stars! (Again, I am talking mostly about the warehouses workers- not the ones who work in the offices).
Now that you know what media, retailers and workers say about Amazon, are you still willing to support them as a company? Is this going to change your view on them? Do you think their actions are unethical- or are they just trying to simply gain profits (like any other company…)? Let me know in the comments below!