Earth’s Biggest Selection

That’s, of course, Amazon.com‘s catch phrase…

I’m always quick to say what I think about a company or service; and I’m sure you’ve noticed that the vast majority of times that not very flattering.

I am, however, just as quick to praise as to criticize… the problem being is that there just aren’t that many instances where I find praise is warranted; and there seems to be an almost unending list of things to criticize.

Amazon.com impresses me as a company that tries very hard to “do the right thing”; and a company that empowers it’s customer service representatives to resolve issues in a timely and equitable manner.

Now don’t get me wrong.  Amazon.com isn’t without fault — but unlike many companies they seem to be working to move forward and make improvements rather than simply ensnare their customers and force the to put up with their short comings.

Generally speaking, Amazon.com’s prices are fair, their shipping costs are reasonable (free on many orders if you’re willing to wait for the order processing delay), their polices are clear (and concise), and their customer service people are helpful (and efficient).

The biggest thing I can criticize Amazon.com for is that they have the right to impose a life-time limit on their “A-Z Guarantee” — and while I think that it makes sense to have limits; it doesn’t make sense to me that a person who orders once a year from Amazon.com should be subject to the same potential limits as a person that orders once a day — or a person that has only placed three orders in their life has full protection, but a person who has placed three hundred has far less protection (as a percentage of orders).

The other thing I wish Amazon.com would improve on is consistency of product listings (like putting the manufacturer’s link and warranty information in the same location on each page).

Is that enough to make me shy away from doing business with Amazon.com???  ABSOLUTELY NOT…

In all the time I’ve done business with Amazon.com only once have I needed to use the A-Z Guarantee, and it was with an Amazon Marketplace Merchant (which isn’t the same as Amazon.com — and I certainly do not give Amazon Marketplace Merchants the same endorsement as Amazon.com).

The only other “negatives” about Amazon.com is that they do not price match; which also includes researching incorrect pricing (for instance, if a manufacturer changes the suggested retail price, and likely distribution cost Amazon.com has no mechanism to update that if the manufacturer doesn’t constantly provide updates).

Additionally, Amazon.com has made great strides to reduce packing waste for products they sell; and while I can’t say they can claim to be “green”, they are moving in the right direction.

If you’ve never tried Amazon.com — check them out and compare their products and prices the next time you’re going to place an order — from technology to toasters, shaving to shovels… you might be surprised at how big their selection is and how low their prices can be!

Originally posted 2010-05-23 02:00:07.