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Businesses The Almighty Buck

Cyber Monday and Amazon's Online Dominance 174

Posted by samzenpus
from the king-of-the-cyber-hill dept.
sturgeon writes "A report out this morning pegs Amazon with a whopping 14% share of all daily Internet users — almost twice the nearest competitor (Ebay). And this number does not include all shopping sites absorbed by the growing Amazon empire. The original report has interesting graphics comparing Amazon to other retailers like Best Buy."
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Cyber Monday and Amazon's Online Dominance

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  • by mandark1967 (630856) on Monday November 26, 2012 @01:17PM (#42095219) Homepage Journal

    They generally have better prices or, if not "the" lowest prices, they have better shipping options. Combine that with the lack of Sales Tax collected in the state I live in and the argument can be fairly made that you'd be dumb to go anywhere else.

    They've been great for me and have helped me save much over the last year or so just in shipping costs. Places like Newegg are adapting and "trying" to match Amazon but, at least in Newegg's case, they seem to be failing.

    • by Cinder6 (894572)

      Indeed. I saved $150 by buying my computer (parts) from Amazon instead of Newegg. Shipping + tax was the killer, even if Newegg had one or two components that were $3 less.

      • by blueg3 (192743) on Monday November 26, 2012 @01:43PM (#42095517)

        I've started buying components from Amazon instead of Newegg. For my state, almost every online retailer charges sales tax. As a Prime member, the shipping is of course way better.

        The major difference for me, though, is that Amazon's return policy is so much better. I've gotten both a drive and memory from Newegg that arrived DOA. The return procedure is a bit of a pain, they don't cross-ship (last I knew), and you're charged for shipping. You also have to get a replacement, rather than a refund, or pay a 15% restocking fee. If an item from Amazon is DOA, they'll ship you a new one immediately (second-day, generally) and pay for shipping the old one back. Return or refund, no fee.

        I just don't feel like paying someone to send me broken items, especially when better options are available.

        • by jedidiah (1196)

          I started buying drives from Amazon after I ordered a shipment from Newegg that didn't seem sufficiently robust in the packaging department.

        • by at_slashdot (674436) on Monday November 26, 2012 @02:07PM (#42095797)

          I'm doing the same thing, but the search on Amazon is atrocious.

          • by _UnderTow_ (86073) on Monday November 26, 2012 @02:38PM (#42096133)
            Yeah, the search and presentation of results is really horrible on Amazon. What I've been doing lately is using Newegg to find the exact mix of features that I want and then searching Amazon for that model number to get free shipping via Prime.
            • by djhertz (322457)

              You saved me from having to write the same thing. :)

            • by blueg3 (192743)

              Absolutely. Searching Amazon for a set of particular features is nearly impossible. (It's not so bad if you are searching a small space or searching for "oh hell, anything cheap that roughly fits the bill".) Newegg's search feature is great. It's not great enough to make me overlook the fact that I've been burned twice after actually buying from them.

            • by tehcyder (746570)

              Yeah, the search and presentation of results is really horrible on Amazon. What I've been doing lately is using Newegg to find the exact mix of features that I want and then searching Amazon for that model number to get free shipping via Prime.

              Hope you're happy when Newegg go out of business and you're left with Amazon, a shitty search function, and no competitors.

              Now try saying that in a free market the consumer always ends up best off.

        • by nabsltd (1313397)

          I've started buying components from Amazon instead of Newegg.

          One thing about Newegg that is much better is the search. Newegg has a much better computer-item-specific directed search.

          Also, if you just type something like "radeon hd 7950" then click on "desktop graphics cards", Newegg returns nothing but video cards that have that chip, while doing the same at Amazon and clicking "Computer Graphics Cards" results in many other cards, most of which show up first if you sort by ascending price.

        • by Rich0 (548339)

          I've noticed the same thing, though not all items on Amazon qualify for free return shipping (as far as I'm aware - unless this is a Prime thing).

          Newegg is much better for product locating - they do a WAY better job with their keywords and search, though not a perfect job. If I want 7200 RPM SATA 3 1TB drives I can get an accurate list from Newegg in a few clicks, and with Amazon if I'm not lucky I'll end up going through 14 pages of cables unless I do a price filter.

          Now, Newegg could stand to do better wi

          • by blueg3 (192743)

            I'll be honest -- I often use Newegg to find the product, then buy it off of Amazon.

            As far as I know, all items fulfilled by Amazon (the seller line says "Amazon") qualify for free return shipping. However, free return shipping only applies if the problem is Amazon's -- it didn't arrive in time, it arrived broken, it was the wrong product, etc. Returns where the problem is yours (bought the wrong thing, changed my mind) don't get free shipping but have no restocking fee.

            The situation with third parties sell

        • I stopped using Newegg altogether after last year's Black Friday purchase. My laptop arrived DOA (and later reviews indicated that this was an issue with most of the units). The initial RMA request process was simple but it quickly went downhill. They received my laptop then days later claimed they didn't and told me I'd need to file a claim with the shipper. During the next two months I spoke to various levels of customer service, traded emails with them, and used their online chat option. Across the

    • by crazyjj (2598719) * on Monday November 26, 2012 @03:08PM (#42096499)

      On some things, you'd be fucking insane to go anywhere else. When I pass kids going into the bookstore at my university I almost want to slap their dumb asses sometimes. They pay 2-3 times what Amazon charges for books, and then bitch and moan about some $25 lab fee.

      Online generation my ass.

      • Internet sales were somewhat new when I was in college. Back then, you didn't have the shipping like you do now, and many online stores would list 2-4 weeks for delivery. That's not much of an excuse now, but this is:

        Revisions, versions, Online Codes, alternate versions, etc...

        My school had an option where I could send them my courselist over the summer, and come the start of the semester I could walk to the bookstore, pickup a box of books which consisted of all the books I needed for my classes. They w

      • by tehcyder (746570)

        On some things, you'd be fucking insane to go anywhere else. When I pass kids going into the bookstore at my university I almost want to slap their dumb asses sometimes. They pay 2-3 times what Amazon charges for books, and then bitch and moan about some $25 lab fee.

        Online generation my ass.

        Some of us oldies like to read real paper books, and also like to have real bookshops to go to.

        I think it's a good sign that at least some young kids feel the same.

    • by Maltheus (248271)

      I used buy all my computer parts at NewEgg and still would be, had it not been for their atrocious shipping department. And it was hardly just me, as their comment boards are filled with complaints about it. At one point, they shipped me an OEM drive, thrown into a 1.5'x1.5' box, with basically a 18" sheet of packing paper (looked like it came out of the bathroom dispenser). The next time, I tried paying extra for their better FedEx shipping, and they sent it UPS anyway (which is not an option for hard driv

    • by tehcyder (746570)

      Combine that with the lack of Sales Tax collected in the state I live in

      Isn't that tax evasion? If not, it should be.

      Over here in the UK, you pay VAT regardless, and it's 20%.

      I don't see why one type of business should be penalised over another through their inability to wriggle out of taxes. I'm fairly sure that a 20% increase on my gross margin would give me a huge and unfair advantage over my competitors.

  • by garcia (6573) on Monday November 26, 2012 @01:20PM (#42095243) Homepage

    I needed to get a few items this holiday season:

    1. LEDTV
    2. Digital camera and accessories
    3. Kindle (original)
    4. Clothes
    5. Toys
    6. Books
    7. Misc

    I got 6/7 items on Amazon. Why? A few reasons: I'm already an Amazon Prime member (as a student it was just stupid cheap and I like the streaming options for kids shows) and the very few times I've had a problem with what was shipped to me they have been nothing but spectacular in dealing with it; usually just immediately shipping out a new item without me having to send what I already received back before they'd send a new item.

    I also personally believe the shopping experience is far superior to the other online options I looked through (NewEgg, Target and Walmart). Target's site was slow, cumbersome and confusing. Walmart was somewhat similar to Target but at least their site loaded and Amazon's prices were lower for the same or very similar product and next-day option at $3.99 or free at 2 day killed anything I saw elsewhere.

    Overall Amazon has been a winner for me for years for bigger purchases and if they keep it up, they'll continue to get my business. While I don't consider myself a HUGE buyer at the holidays, aside from the clothing I bought for my wife where I needed a very specific item that wasn't available anywhere but where I purchased it from.

    YMMV.

    • by alphatel (1450715) * on Monday November 26, 2012 @01:26PM (#42095335)
      Fine, but your best bet for Twinkies is still ebay.
    • I only ever purchase from Newegg or Amazon anymore. While I have Amazon prime, many times Newegg has something cheaper, and oddly, I always seem to find the items that have free 2-3 day shipping baseline. Theirs and Amazons RMA process are both spot on in my opinion.

    • by crazyjj (2598719) *

      Not only is Amazon Prime a no-brainer, but they also have used items too. That's great for buying older stuff, when a little wear-and-tear isn't so important.

    • by na1led (1030470)
      Amazon doesn't always provide free shipping, even with a prime account. I've purchased things that didn't qualify for free shipping because the item was provided by another vender, even though it's listed on Amazon. I say, if your going to list anything on Amazon, then you should eat the shipping, or Amazon should compensate prime users for shipping costs.
    • by evilviper (135110)

      Walmart was somewhat similar to Target but at least their site loaded and Amazon's prices were lower for the same or very similar product and next-day option at $3.99 or free at 2 day killed anything I saw elsewhere.

      I don't see how you can possibly prefer Amazon's site to Walmart's. Walmart actually has everything categorized, and not the same item in 15 different categories. You can browse their site, and see EVERYTHING in that category. When you sort by price, it damn-well works, not randomly scatterin

    • by drinkypoo (153816)

      I also personally believe the shopping experience is far superior to the other online options I looked through (NewEgg, Target and Walmart).

      Walmart's site is pure garbage, their flash app won't even correctly display the local ad for me. Target's site is like Kmart's, it works but it's crap. NewEgg, though, their site is actually decent. If only you could make it not show discontinued items. They actually had a list of everything they had discounted for black friday, which sets them apart from your other two examples, and Amazon as well.

  • So if someone can find a mirror.

    Amazon is huge because it has great customer service. I rather work with Amazon than even Wal-Mart (which has a very liberal return policy) or any of the big-box retailers and I rather go through Amazon than any other local retailer simply because their returns and shipping policies.

  • Fluff? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Why not post interesting stuff. Amazon excels at what it does. If you don't want to buy from them, there is a whole world out there from which you can choose. They seem to play well with small businesses from what I see from their search engine. I hate talking to folks from India when I have a problem, but it does get resolved for the most part. They always seem to issue refunds and returns with me. A 'good' company.

    Yawn.

  • by Trepidity (597) <delirium-slashdot&hackish,org> on Monday November 26, 2012 @01:30PM (#42095375)

    Cyber Monday is about as much of a scam as Black Friday, and furthermore, using the prefix "cyber" in this sense is annoying unless you are in a 1980s novel.

    • by slashmydots (2189826) on Monday November 26, 2012 @01:36PM (#42095443)
      Damn right! This year is 2x as bad as last year which was 2x as bad as the year before it. Here's ever single company's MO for black friday:
      1. buy a ton of something straight from Asia that's way below your normal quality standards from brands nobody's heard of
      2. put it on sale near cost but understock it so it runs out quickly
      3. mark up things people actually want

      Even newegg got into it. I put in a newegg order about 1 in 3 days during my shop's busy season so I know what things cost and they are outright lying about the discounts. Like I ordered two Vertex 4 128GB SSDs while they were on sale for $79. They claimed it was "50% off of an original price of $149." Bullshit! It's been $110 for months. Maybe $150 was launch price or MSRP or something but either way, they're lying to their customers. And even they got into 2012: The Year of the Crappy Sub-$100 Android Tablet.
      • by retchdog (1319261) on Monday November 26, 2012 @02:12PM (#42095851) Journal

        yeah, and? it's the "original price," not the "usual price." the original price is always the list price; that's normal, and list prices have been inflated so that they can be "discounted" for about a century now. nothing new here.

        • by olau (314197)

          In Denmark, as a part of consumer protection efforts, this has actually been banned recently. You can't write a discount like that unless you've actually sold the item at the original price for real. There are some rules regarding the precise definition of the latter to leave ase little wiggle room as possible.

          • There have been such laws in the U.S. for years. As a matter of fact in the U.S., something can only be on sale for a maximum number of days out of the month. Years ago when I was in high school I worked at Sears. They introduced a new product that retailed at $99.99. It had terrible sales. So, they raised the price to $159.99. Then they put it on sale for $99.99 the maximum number of days a month they were allowed. We were constantly selling through our inventory when it went on sale, even though we could
    • by interkin3tic (1469267) on Monday November 26, 2012 @02:01PM (#42095715)
      My love of steam has, if possible, increased because of this. They didn't call it cyber monday, they just had an autumn sale. And their sales are always real sales.
    • by na1led (1030470)
      Yea, I haven't found any deals worthwhile this year. The TV I purchased last December is still cheaper than the best deals out so far. And what's up with Black Friday lasting a whole damn month. I've seen Black Month, Black Week, Black Weekend, After Black Friday, on and on. Your best sales is usually end of year, and clearance items.
  • That is incorrect (Score:2, Informative)

    by slashmydots (2189826)
    They made a severe mistake in that summary. The actual, 2012 rankings of highest gross sales are:
    Amazon
    Newegg
    Ebay
  • Ebay Bytes (Score:3, Interesting)

    by sdinfoserv (1793266) on Monday November 26, 2012 @01:46PM (#42095545) Homepage
    As a "former" ebay power seller I can say Ebay Sucks! It's overridden with drop shipped crap that can be found for 30% less on pricewatch, they nickle and dime sellers to death, and there zero chance of calling to get a live body for customer support. Just look at the difference in CEO behavior - Ebay CEO's make millions in pay, Bezos salary is (c) $80K. When I quite selling on ebay, I quite buying there too. If there's anything I need to sell around the house, craigslist does for me.
  • Because the other big online retailers (Best Buy, Target, Walmart ) have a physical presence in every state, so they charge sales tax.
    Amazon only has physical presence in CA and IN and maybe KY so most customers don't havr yo pay sales tax.
    And thats the main reason people shop online instead of locally.

    • Re:Why Amazon? (Score:4, Informative)

      by Trepidity (597) <delirium-slashdot&hackish,org> on Monday November 26, 2012 @01:51PM (#42095611)

      Amazon actually now charges sales tax in the following states: California, Kansas, Kentucky, New York, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Washington. That's about 1/3 of the U.S. population there.

    • by jpstanle (1604059)

      Being able to avoid sales tax in many cases is certainly beneficial to online retailers, but anybody who believes that sales tax is the primary force moving retail transactions online simply has not been paying attention. If all 50 states suddenly started collecting sales tax on Amazon sales today, Amazon would take a hit, but they would not suddenly collapse.

      • by Dan667 (564390)
        brick and mortar companies are trying to force online companies to pay sales tax in the believe people will return to their stores. Well, that is not going to happen and if there is an alternative online that does not charge sales tax that is something I consider as well when making a purchase.
        • by tlhIngan (30335)

          Being able to avoid sales tax in many cases is certainly beneficial to online retailers, but anybody who believes that sales tax is the primary force moving retail transactions online simply has not been paying attention. If all 50 states suddenly started collecting sales tax on Amazon sales today, Amazon would take a hit, but they would not suddenly collapse.

          brick and mortar companies are trying to force online companies to pay sales tax in the believe people will return to their stores. Well, that is not

          • by mattack2 (1165421)

            It doesn't help that "free shipping" didn't come until recently, so the fact you had to pay tax AND shipping meant that the prices were often equivalent to retail, so you might as well just buy it locally and get the benefit of immediate satisfaction and cheaper returns.

            Even if the total prices were equivalent, aren't there times when you DON'T need it right away, where getting it shipped directly to you for the same price is more convenient?

            In other words, people often pay MORE for more convenience. In th

    • That advantage is going away and Amazon knows it. There have been several Slashdot articles on the topic. States want a cut of that business. To compensate, I understand that Amazon will be adding warehouses around every metropolitan area in the country so that they can implement same day shipping. They will have to start charging sales tax but they will be able to compete with the instant gratification advantage that B&M stores have.

    • by rlwhite (219604)

      ...because having more selection than any physical store could possibly carry couldn't be the main reason. Nor could economies of scale that physical specialty stores can't reach in most areas. No, people are so cheap that they have to scrimp on 5-10% and wait days for the product.

      I just bought a mid-range camcorder through Amazon this weekend. I looked at physical stores, and no major chain carried anything more than the cheapest low end products.

    • by _UnderTow_ (86073)
      I live in a state (Washington) that requires Amazon to charge me sales tax, and I still shop there. The main reason is free 2-day shipping (Prime only). I couldn't care less about sales tax when I can order something and have on my porch the next day for $3.99 or the day after for free.
    • by nabsltd (1313397)

      And thats the main reason people shop online instead of locally.

      When everyday prices at Amazon are 20-50% off compared to B&M regular prices, saving the 5-10% sales tax is just an extra bonus.

      Add in the fact that you can get a wide variety of used items in very good condition, and that you can buy shoes, video games, gardening tools, and food all without leaving your chair, and that is the main reason people shop online instead of locally. I purchased 20 Blu-Ray movies this past week for a grand total of $130 (including shipping), all without leaving my house, so I

  • Amazon vs Ebay (Score:5, Insightful)

    by EmperorOfCanada (1332175) on Monday November 26, 2012 @01:56PM (#42095663)
    I love the comparison of Amazon to Ebay's sales. The biggest complaint I regularly see about amazon is when they ship some tiny object in a giant box. (Which is can also be interpreted as Amazon trying really hard to make sure things aren't broken) whereas I read at least one complaint about ebay and or Paypal every day. Ebay has managed to anger the sellers by being totally one sided in disputes while at the same time they do little to clean up the listings to make ebay easy to use. If I want a part for an iPhone (say a new glass screen) I have to scroll through page after page of the same crap like cases and screen protectors. I want a raspberry pi yet it is just page after page of cases. They have no easy mechanism to clear out the crap. Basically all those cases are spam. I suspect that for any search that results in 1000 results that people are buying 4 or 5 of those results over and over and that they other 996 are just making people angry.

    The only thing that ebay has improved as far as I am concerned was when they allowed you to sort by lowest price plus shipping. This then eliminated those people who were selling the $20 item for $1 plus $19 shipping.

    Amazon has stumbled on a super secret business formula: treat the customer the way you would want to be treated. At least it seems to be secret as few other businesses appear to know about it especially ebay.
    • by crazyjj (2598719) *

      Who the hell BUYS on ebay?!? Ebay is the place to SELL. They have a seemingly never-ending supply of crazy suckers willing to over-bid for items. Just look at how much people are paying for Wii U's over there right now.

    • by LBt1st (709520)

      Ebay actually has some great search features. You can exclude words and do OR searches as well.
      If you simply add "-case -protector -shell" Or even just specify a minimum dollar amount of $25 you would eliminate most of the crap.

    • by drinkypoo (153816)

      The biggest complaint I regularly see about amazon is when they ship some tiny object in a giant box. (Which is can also be interpreted as Amazon trying really hard to make sure things aren't broken)

      No, no it cannot. It could if they filled up the interstices with packing material, but they don't do that. They just grab the "smallest" box all your stuff will fit in, and throw it in the box, and they don't have very small boxes.

      Ebay has managed to anger the sellers by being totally one sided in disputes while at the same time they do little to clean up the listings to make ebay easy to use. If I want a part for an iPhone (say a new glass screen) I have to scroll through page after page of the same crap like cases and screen protectors

      The same thing happens on Amazon, and further they are rude enough to not permit you to sort by price until you select a department, which is bullshit because many items in their catalog are miscategorized (just like eBay's) and you have to click into multiple categories and sele

  • why would I continue to buy from amazon and pay sales tax and some times shipping when I can buy else where and pay no sales tax? They should have fought harder to stop that.
    • by Radak (126696) on Monday November 26, 2012 @02:18PM (#42095909) Journal

      Enjoy it while you can. Federal sales tax is probably coming in the next year or two and every online retailer will be collecting it.

      For a long time, Amazon was against a federal sales tax, for obvious reasons. But now they've done an about face, again for obvious reasons. They know it's coming, so it's now to their benefit to get it as soon as possible, since they're already forced to collect sales tax in some states. They've lost that small advantage in a few states, and they want to make sure everyone else loses it, too. Got to admit it's sound business sense on their part.

      • by Maltheus (248271)

        Are you suggesting that they'd be able to get an amendment passed on this? Because it ain't covered under the 16th.

        • by Radak (126696)

          I think we'll find that despite the phrase "federal sales tax" being bandied about, what we'll eventually see is a redefinition of state sales tax to be based on the location of the purchaser instead of the seller. The 16th amendment wouldn't have anything to do with it.

  • I do not trust EBAY as far as I can throw Paypal.

    I cannot imagine buying anything over impulse purchase prices on ebay.

    • by drinkypoo (153816)

      I do not trust EBAY as far as I can throw Paypal.

      Many of us have never had a problem with paypal. Maybe we're just lucky, or maybe we're just scrupulous and so we don't run afoul of them. In fact, Paypal has been considerably better to me than my credit card company. My bank refused to process a denial of funds for me in a case of fraud. Paypal, not so much.

  • ... to lookup product information and prices. Usually when searching for any given product amazon will have reviews/info on said product.

    • by wiedzmin (1269816)

      That is definitely what I use it for, since they don't ship to Canada so I have to find other places to buy the products that have good reviews/photos/details on Amazon.

  • Not in Canada (Score:5, Informative)

    by wiedzmin (1269816) on Monday November 26, 2012 @02:48PM (#42096233)

    They could do even better if 9 out of 10 products they sell didn't spit out "We are unable to ship to your address" for Canadian buyers. I am all but given up shopping on Amazon for that reason... they can't even provide a way to filter out items they can't ship to you!

    • by Algae_94 (2017070)
      I have a similar problem. Countless items (generally larger items) can't be shipped to my location. Apparently, Amazon treats Alaska the same as Canada.
    • by rdnetto (955205)

      Same goes for us down in Australia. I've had great experiences with Amazon and bought a bunch of books from them recently, but it's virtually impossible to find electronics that ship outside the US on there.

  • Last I heard Newegg was 1.4 billion in sales & that was a few years ago. What is Shopzilla doing on that list?

  • I bought an item from Amazon two weeks ago and today, on "Cyber Monday", the price is two dollars higher than I paid. Glad I bought it earlier!

    Know your prices and start shopping way before Cyber Monday. You just may be paying higher than every day prices.

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