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I just ordered from, and it felt Amaz-ing

I just ordered from, and it felt Amaz-ing

There is life after Amazon.

Not for nothing, there is life after Amazon. isn’t quite up to Amazon’s website ease of use, depth of user reviews, or breadth of product, but it’s getting a lot better. And the price is the price and the shipping (or free shipping) is what it is. Do a test at Amazon, price products using Prime for “free” two-day shipping, then price the products without Prime with regular shipping.

I ordered a kayak cover at, free shipping but delivery not for 10 days, from a third-party seller. If I wanted it guaranteed in two days, it would be an extra $10 shipping. I received the USPS tracking number quickly, and it’s shipping immediately. So it looks like that 10-day shipping is actually going to end up being shorter. I don’t need it in two days, so no big deal. Of the products you order, how many do you really need in two days? And there’s no annual fee.

I also opened an account so future shopping will be easier, with shipping, billing and CC info. already entered.

I am also starting to order directly from companies and through alternatives.

The kayak for which I bought the cover through was purchased at, at a price much better than available elsewhere and reasonable shipping considering the weight. I also recently ordered instant coffee directly from an Amazon third-party seller, rather than through Amazon, where I used to order it from that same third-party seller. It was much cheaper at the third-party seller directly, but with shipping, was a wash with the total cost at Amazon.

Increasingly, I’m using to locate, price and get reviews on products, then finding them cheaper elsewhere. That’s using the power of Amazon’s publicly available pricing, user reviews and third-party seller data to my advantage.

We saved a couple of hundred dollars on a dining room chandelier (it’s spectacular, seriously) by locating it on Amazon, then buying it at, which kept offering us bigger discounts each time we visited the website. It got to the point the price was so low, we grabbed it. Amazon put a couple of hundred dollars in our pocket.

Amazon’s competitive advantage is information, and the information that is important to consumers (product selection, reviews, price) is available for free on Amazon’s website. Amazon gives away for free its most important asset, in exchange for convenience for which consumers are willing to pay.  But that convenience is available elsewhere, possibly at a lower price, with just a couple of additional clicks.

It may be, ironically, that Amazon’s website now is the bricks-and-mortar store of the past, where we would go to find what we wanted to buy, then buy it at Amazon. Amazon’s massive fulfillment centers may someday resemble the lonely rows of books at Barnes and Noble stores, if consumers decide to use Amazon’s information to their own advantage, not to Amazon’s advantage.

As of now, Amazon is flying high and seemingly untouchable. Municipalities are falling all over themselves to land Amazon fulfillment centers and Amazon’s planned second headquarters.

But along with that has come a sense of arrogance and willingness to treat people like dirt. Business history is full of examples of untouchable companies that failed due to their hubris and sense of invincibility.

How strange that is the White Knight in this scenario.

It’s in our interest that there is competition among big tech (and I consider Amazon part of big tech culture), whether it’s Amazon, or Google (incl. YouTube), or Facebook, or Twitter, or whatever. As the saying goes, power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.

Big tech already has a corrupting political power over us. We need to stop feeding the beast.


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notamemberofanyorganizedpolicital | May 29, 2018 at 7:02 pm

May the Smiley Face force be with you.

OleDirtyBarrister | May 29, 2018 at 7:03 pm

There is an additional bonus to be mined for those that have AAA membership and the discipline to remember to shop through the AAA market feature. One can go in through his/her AAA membership and shop at Wally World and various other places, and earn points in the process. Those points can be applied against the cost of membership, and it is conceivable that a disciplined, frequent online buyer could clear AAA membership with accrued points.

OleDirtyBarrister | May 29, 2018 at 7:04 pm

BTW, Amazon and Wally are both fairly large evil empires, but at least Wally is not run by a leftist social activist.

And also with you.

I’ve made two purchases from this week. Noticing that Walmart’s prices are better on branded products than at Amazon.

Close The Fed | May 29, 2018 at 7:29 pm

This is a great thing. Unsure I’d mention using Amazon’s free info – dislike giving them a heads up about tactics, but understand why mentioning it will help give impetus to others to quit using them.

Like me.

If you have a Wally nearby, and shop there on a regular basis, their free ship-to-store is a good option on larger items.

    You can also wiggle around with the difference in taxes between your house and the WalMart, and some items have a pickup discount.

    Oh! And remember that the price on food for their grocery pickup service in the store will NOT be the same as on the web site.

I’m still working through the reasons why a kayake requires a custom made cover. I can understand wanting a cover for an expensive wooden canoe. Or maybe a very expensive sea-rated kayake. Because UV ruins balistic-grade plastic? Not scolding.

We used to build our own 10′ folding kayakes out of a sheet of marine grade plywood, duck canvas and Grip contact cement. They were pretty darn sturdy. But. We never did figure out how to make our own high quality paddle; too heavy or too flimsy.

The market…

Can’t beat it. Being free to chose is powerful.

JohnSmith100 | May 29, 2018 at 7:38 pm

I do believe that people should continue to spread the word about Amazon warts. Unjustly, unilaterally, canceling an account and appropriating someone’s earning is not acceptable conduct.

Dude! Recently I learnt that dark chocolate is good for my heart! Amazon? $18.49 for 36.5 oz. bag of Hersheys dark chocolate kisses. Walmart? 8.98 for a 38.5 oz. bag of same.

Guess who got my order for 4 bags so I could get free shipping?

Now I’m on the hunt for red wine. Cabernet of course. My cardio said it’s ALSO good for my heart. 😉

    Ragspierre in reply to MrE. | May 29, 2018 at 8:01 pm

    Look into the bourbon-barrel-aged cabs. Modestly prices, and head-and-shoulders better. The difference is amazing.

    Also some very nice blends, among them the 1924 dark blend by Gnarly Head. Very nice at two times what it usually costs.

Also left Amazon Prime, I look forward to using Walmart as long as they are a-political.

“It may be, ironically, that Amazon’s website now is the bricks-and-mortar store of the past, where we would go to find what we wanted to buy, then buy it at Amazon.”

I actually do it the other way around. I research an item online, getting specifications, comparing prices and checking out reviews. Then I toddle off to my local brick-and-mortar store and buy the item for cash – I don’t use credit cards. If I can’t pay cash for an item, I don’t need it.

My first Peapod order (over $100 of groceries) is due tomorrow. I have cancelled my Fresh add-on, effective 6/10. Of course, I’ve also bought a bunch of (relatively inexpensive) ebooks today….

Recently had rotator cuff surgery. Needed a new tv as mine no longer would change the channel with either the remote or using the controls on the tv.
So I did some research on tv’s in the stores around me, on amazon and decided a 55 inch Vizio at $700 would probably be my best bet. So I walked into my nearest Walmart and told them I wanted the 2018 55 inch Vizio.
Guy went into the back, came out and said they were out of the tv but they still had last years model. I ran a quick check on my phone, looked like there wasn’t much change and said bring it on out.
VIZIO 55″ Class 4K (2160P) Smart XLED Home Theater Display (E55-E1/E2)
Average rating:4.0839out of5stars, based on453reviews453 reviews
Walmart # 550470424

Yeah, $398 bucks, $400 off the 2018 model because it’s a year old.

    Daiwa in reply to 4fun. | May 29, 2018 at 8:29 pm

    Home theater displays don’t have a TV tuner. It sounds like your existing TV was a TV with a tuner. Big difference. Hope that’s sorted out for you.

    Vizio 55″ TV’s are available for under $500, bought mine about 18 months ago at Walmart.

      4fun in reply to Daiwa. | May 30, 2018 at 8:18 pm

      Old rear projection tv. Used to change channels, but really hadn’t used it for anything but dvd’s for the last few years or so.
      With the surgery I knew I’d be stuck at home more being one handed so wanting to check on some channels that I could get over the air is when I found out the remote wouldn’t work for much of anything other than on/off or volume. Couldn’t even access the menu to check on any settings.
      I think it was a few years older than the birth of the earth.

A cool thing about Walmart is that it’s a screwup outfit. Specifically, it often screws up pricing. If not in a rush for an item, watch it for a while. In the Computer Age that’s easy enough to do. At random moments, the price may fluctuate wildly; that’s when you pounce. I bought a fairly high-ticket target air pistol for about half the price everyone else sells it for; two days later Walmart’s price was back up where it should be, but they honored the price I’d bought it at. Ditto for a digital piano, transiently priced over a hundred dollars less than everyone else on the planet. That one sold out in a matter of hours—obviously, I wasn’t the only one watching Walmart price fluctuations—but not before I snagged one.

One can play the same game with Amazon but I’ve found the payoffs to be bigger with Walmart.

You might also want to try the Wal-Mart Free Grocery Pick-up. You buy them online, select an appointment time, and they bring them out to your car.

I usually buy $100 – $150 every 2 or 3 weeks and I am rarely at the store for more than 5 – 10 minutes. I am pretty much disabled now and walking is a major effort. It don’t get no better than this.


mochajava76 | May 29, 2018 at 8:58 pm

Ok, I keep thinking everybody knows this, but then I run into someone that doesn’t.

Best Buy stores match Amazon on prices, but it has to be the same item/model and not sold by a 3rd party. You have to ask but they match.

Another example of checking Amazon and leveraging the price

    Sendarius in reply to mochajava76. | May 30, 2018 at 12:40 am

    Here in West Oz, most of the big stores advertise a “Find a better price, we’ll beat it by x%” guarantee.

    It’s a scam. According to the terms of the guarantee, the item has to be IDENTICAL, and all the chains order big ticket items from the manufacturer with a retailer-specific model number.

    E.g. Exact same TV from Sony will have a single letter different in the model number between BigBoxStoreA and BigBoxStoreB – hence not identical, hence no price beat guarantee.

      DirkBelig in reply to Sendarius. | May 31, 2018 at 5:28 pm

      It’s not just big ticket stuff. I bought a Timex digital watch from Target for around $22. When looking for a link to send my g/f to show what I’d gotten, I discovered Amazon had it for $17.

      Go back to the store to get a price adjustment and because the item code was ONE CHARACTER DIFFERENT they adamantly refused to price match. So I returned for a full refund and had ordered from Amazon’s app before I’d cleared the front door. Idiots. They got 100% of nothing rather than be reasonable about it.

      OTOH, I saved over $550 on a receiver and speakers at Best Buy by making them match Amazon’s prices.

I’ve bought exactly one item from Walmart online – a small upright freezer about the size of a larger dorm fridge. I asked for home delivery, since I can’t lift more than 10 pounds and it wouldn’t have fit in the car anyway.

The carrier left it at the wrong house. Worse, he left it on the stairs upside down completely blocking the door. Did I mention it was raining buckets and expected to pour for days. The shipping company flatly refused to send the driver back to actually bring it to the right address. I am disabled and cannot lift that freezer, so there it sat – wherever it was – for a further three days until the folks who couldn’t get into their house discovered it and dumped it in my yard blocking my stairs. Still raining. Box was total mush by this time and one entire corner of the freezer completely caved in.

Walmart did eventually refund my money and I did eventually hear from the shipping company – three weeks after the fact. The freezer – soaked, ruined and utterly useless – went into the dumpster the next time my kids came to call.

Order from Walmart Online? In a pig’s eye I’ll ever order from them again.

    elliesmom in reply to Granny. | May 29, 2018 at 10:06 pm

    That’s been the kind of experiences I’ve had with Walmart, too. I ordered a big item that came in two boxes only I only got one of the two boxes. They finally picked up the one box I had and credited me for the item, but they tried to charge me for the return shipping. It took a couple of billing cycles to get the return shipping credited to my card, and I never got what I ordered. While I’m disappointed with Amazon’s bringing politics into things, Walmart can’t come close to their service.

healthguyfsu | May 29, 2018 at 10:05 pm

Try a browser extension called Wikibuy that tells you the lowest price. Many times the best price is from an ebay user. Amazon is rarely the lowest unless the item isn’t sold elsewhere.

I’ve used Walmart a few times over the last year. After Amazon’s political attack on this site, I’ll be using Walmart more.

I’ve been ordering from Walmart for years. I have it delivered to the store which is about a mile from my office. If I’m going to be spending more than $30.00, I check the website first since the in store price might be higher (tourist town). I pay for it online and pick it up at the store the same day at a lower price.

One thing Amazon is good for? Product reviews.

I have cancelled my Amazon Prime account, and will also be ordering elsewhere in the future.

Amazon tries to break even on retail. They make their real money on the cloud. I decided to pull out of their cloud, before they kicked me out. The LI story was the straw that broke the camel’s back.

I allow user generated content, and it is likely that Amazon is not going to like something that someone created at some point.

In their cloud, Amazon has byzantine pricing that even they can’t figure. That was also a factor.

Get woke go broke.

Always had good results from or ding at Walmart online.

My problem with leaving Amazon entirely is eBooks.
I’m a life-long bookworm, finally got rid of 1/2 my collection during a move (old landlord let me build shelves) but I still have a ridiculous amount of books, mostly paperbacks. mostly SciFi/Fantasy, some mystery and general.

Since then I’ve spent thousands on eBooks without having to worry about storage.
Originally I went with Apple iBooks, but found once you get past a few hundred titles the software chokes on any search. So more recently all my eBook purchases have been Kindle Reader format, which Amazon covers like white on rice.

I’ve tried ordering titles from Baen Books, but there’s a Kindle bug where the purchased titles don’t show on browsing, only on specific searches, whereas Amazon purchases no problem. Paranoia wonders if Amazon has an “understanding” with Kindle to protect their monopoly?…….

Anyone else out there with a LARGE eBook collection, and recommendations on how to go Amazon-Free?

    puhiawa in reply to BobM. | May 30, 2018 at 12:10 am

    I was just going to suggest Baen. They down load to the Ipad pretty good with some practice. Likely the same with my Samsung android, although I haven’t tried it.

    VaGentleman in reply to BobM. | May 30, 2018 at 5:57 am

    There are 2 issues: the content (the text) and a reader.

    1- can you save your current Amazon content? Yes, you can.
    Kindle books are stored in files with a extension of: .azw; .azw3 or .kf8; .kfx
    If you have books stored on your device, you can copy them to your computer, a memory stick, etc. and save them yourself. If they are on Amazon’s cloud, download them to your device and save them as above.

    2- Kindle is not the only eBook format.
    Wiki comparison of eBook formats:

    Many (most) publishers also publish in ePub format (I think this is what the Nook reader from B&N uses)(It’s on Baen’s list of available formats).

    You don’t have to have a Kindle. Any Android / MAC tablet can download the free Kindle app from Amazon and it works fine.
    Barnes and Noble has the Nook reader. Again, you can download the app to a generic tablet and use it.
    You probably will want to use a Kindle app for Kindle content, since it’s a proprietary format.

    I use a free app called ‘Overdrive’ (I actually run it on my Kindle Fire 8) to read non-Kindle content. It works great for ePub content I have. I also use it to download eBooks from the local library – it seems most libraries are set up for it. As a test I just downloaded a title from the Baen site and it worked ok. I can’t comment on how it works with large numbers of books (search, etc) nor other features like bookmarks, since I rarely use them.

    There are other readers, but I don’t have any experience with them.

    Library Management:

    You got me thinking about tools to manage large collections. Try Calibre.

    There is a tutorial at the link that describes the software.

    Hope this helps.

    creeper in reply to BobM. | May 30, 2018 at 7:49 am

    I switched to Barnes and Noble’s Nook. Getting along with it just fine.

Are there any websites that track the way 3Camel tracks

Using Amazon for information, then purchasing elsewhere, is very inventive, even inspirational. The message is, “If you can’t join them, beat them.” Congratulations, Prof. Jacobson.

“I am also starting to order directly from companies and through alternatives.”

Bingo! I started doing this a few years back with ebay after they bent their TOS into too damn intrusive land.

I recently closed my amazon account, too, because I refuse to give aid n comfort to blatant leftists.

Kudos. Complement it with eBay and Costco and Bob’s your uncle. I’ve been Amazon, and Prime, free for a few years now and I’ve managed to survive.

Henry Hawkins | May 30, 2018 at 11:15 am

Here in NC we don’t buy nuthin’ online. We make ever thang we need from backy stems, hog bones, and dried cow flaps.

kenoshamarge | May 30, 2018 at 11:19 am

I worked at Wal~Mart and they are the owners are the scum of the earth! They are the greediest bunch of s.o.b’s on the planet. Employees are for the most part treated like cattle. I quit and I don’t shop there and never would.

I have Amazon Prime and have never had a problem with them. The few glitches from time to time were quickly corrected.

I may pay a buck or two more sometimes, I check prices so I know if I’m doing that, but that’s okay with me. I am in poor health and having so much deposited on my enclosed front porch in a couple of days is what’s best for me.

K-Mart also offers shop on-line and then pick up service. I also worked for them – much nicer people and much better treatment,.

Most of the “Amazon treating people like dirt” stories I’ve seen either turned out to be much more complicated, or the only side we got to hear was the person complaining. I’m a mildly obnoxious customer myself and have had nothing but decent interactions, even though I really hate the “send it through the post office” fad going on. (Our postal trucks aren’t very well secured.)

I do use Walmart a lot, too– it’s not an either/or situation.

    Halcyon Daze in reply to Foxfier. | May 30, 2018 at 12:44 pm

    Spread all your purchases out to the best available online stores. I do. Spread the wealth.

    Concentrating your purchases with one store, online or in real life, sends the wrong messages to all stores.

LukeHandCool | May 30, 2018 at 1:03 pm

I’m going to replace Amazon with Wal-Mart.

I want to drop Netflix now that Susan Rice and the Obamas are on board there, but I have to find an excellent replacement or the wife and kids will kill me.

Any suggestions?

Have been shopping Amazon less the last couple years, finding better deals locally and using Amazon only for what I can’t find anywhere else.

A prepper friend introduced me to a fun site at BANGGOOD.COM which has a lot of the inexpensive import stuff that Amazon sells, for less. It’s a fun and sometimes eye-popping site to check out if you need a gadget fix.

Also get a man-fix from

I’m done with AMAZON. They flat ripped me off for $190 shipping charge (made a purchase with Prime that wasn’t really Prime) Amazon took $190 from me and refused to refund.
Their checkout process of “1-click” allowed me to buy using my Prime membership. Then charged my credit card the $190 to FedEx me something I was not in a hurry to get. Amazon made me eat dirt.

BierceAmbrose | May 30, 2018 at 6:09 pm

Blacklist people you don’t like so they can’t do any other kind of business? In an open system, people will just work around you.

** Information … ad-hoc plugging together this or that is in the architecture of the internet. In a world where porn is — what % — of internet traffic, the notion that people can’t route around you to get what they want is silly. (Your info offer also has to be more enticing than low-res boobies … or whatever floats someone’s boat. No accounting for taste, and the tech doesn’t judge.)

** Finance … banks get restrictive, and pay-as-you-go debit card processors register as banks n offer ever expanding banking services. They will all do direct deposit, account to account e-banking, and some offer regular checking, too.

(I have a story about WA state and the feds shutting down one of these that was doing yoeman’s service for people who needed it. Anybody think Chief Warren’s “All the Banking I Approve” act wasn’t about who, whom? That’s so cute.)

** Connection … as common carriers, utilities have to allow resellers of various forms. Yes, lots of scams. Also, I just picked up mobile service on a reseller with the model: “Less churn from us being jerks, and we can charge you less.” Found via a NY VC who invested in their parent. Revenge of the nerds or something.

** etc.

I bought something from a vendor on last Saturday night. They promised that free delivery would arrive by next Monday. It arrived yesterday.

I wasn’t too surprised. It has happened before.

I’ve stopped my Amazon Prime auto-renewal and am keeping my account only because I have Alexa devices and like the timer feature, news and weather, and the like. Amazon accounts are free, as is Alexa once purchased (I will not renew Prime, and I’ve had it since the program started), so they won’t get a penny more from me.

I’m paid up through most of August, though, so cancelling now would just lose me that sub. I am not, will not, and cannot in good conscience buy a single thing from amazon, though, and will not in the coming months awaiting my Prime membership expiration. They have my money until August, but they won’t see another dime from me leading up to the expiration of my membership . . . or after.

Instead, I am using this time wisely. I am currently binge-watching shows that I have in my watch list. Right now, I’m watching the Rifleman. I so love that show and Chuck Connors is easy on the eyes. I’m downloading free e-books to my Kindle, and I’m prepping for my Amazon-free future.

This future absolutely includes Walmart, but it also includes Overstock. Walmart’s politics are worrying (remember the Walmart-DOJ effort to create a citizenry who would report suspicious persons in a Walmart and Walmart’s enthusiastic support for ObamaCare?)

All of that made it easy for me to rationalize continuing to use Amazon. There was no better non-left-leaning option, and yeah, amazon had become a part of my life: need catfood? toilet paper? Kleenex? Spice drops that were actual spice and not fruit? They have it all, and it was easy and safe and good. And they sent heavy bags of cat kibble right to my door!

I’d been contemplating life without amazon prior to the LI flap, but I kept telling myself that some conservative should create an alternative and until that happened I was fine with amazon.

I am no longer fine with amazon. At some point, we really do have to starve the beast, and I have reached that point. In spades.

Internet sales software is just not that difficult or expensive to buy or write. I have been buying stuff from smaller sellers for some time. Amazon as a giant is doomed. The big winners will be search engines and the logistics people like UPS and FedEx

Just ordered some lawn care items from Walmart online. Better pricing and shipping than amazon and another site. Part of it I could pick up at a local Walmart. The lawn mower parts are being shipped. I love Walmart. Amazon is a scumbag company. They abuse their workers, use underhanded tactics to raise prices when you buy based on your search history. Not to mention they are using all sorts of monopolistic tactics to take over markets.

buckeyeminuteman | May 31, 2018 at 1:56 pm

We also need to stop feeding the Walmart. How many companies have gone under thanks to Walmart coming in, bulldozing some farmland, and outpricing everybody so they have no more competition? While I don’t like Amazon’s political leanings, I’ll never shop at Walmart. Haven’t been to one since 2011.