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Morning Metaverse

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51 Replies. 3 pages. Viewing page 1.
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51. Amazon Prime Mar 15, 2014, 23:33 Ant
 
No subscriptions for me. I rarely buy physical stuff from Amazon. I do buy non-DRMed MP3s though.  
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50. Re: Morning Metaverse Mar 15, 2014, 23:32 Ant
 
I think we watched Downton season one on their when we first got it.
FYI, there != their.
 
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49. Re: Amazon... Mar 15, 2014, 23:28 Ant
 
avianflu wrote on Mar 13, 2014, 14:02:
If you order a total over 35bucks you get free shipping anyway.

But not all items quality for that. Like I wanted to order Mi Paste toothpaste, Casio Data Bank 150 watch, etc.
 
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48. Re: Morning Metaverse Mar 14, 2014, 18:08 Gunz
 
Mad Max RW wrote on Mar 14, 2014, 16:12:
Cheapest around here (New Haven, CT) is $3.79 for regular gas. It's even worse further up toward Hartford and along the interstate.

We probably shouldn't flaunt our "cheap" rural, east coast, US gas prices. Our EU and California friends will get jealous (over more than our mad gaming skillz ; )

Back on topic: as long as Amazon and others fairly adjust their cost of doing business, I'm OK with that. My fear is that we are gonna see more and more price 'adjustments' as companies (like Netflix just did) start paying extortion money to ISPs so their customers can continue to shop/download/stream and browse without bottlenecks and pay walls popping up all over the place.

Again, maybe I'm just paranoid... but the recent Netflix deal with Comcast (and similar deals with AT$T [my TV/Internet provider] and Veri$on [my phone company] right around the corner) puts the fear in me.
 
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47. Re: Morning Metaverse Mar 14, 2014, 16:12 Mad Max RW
 
Cheapest around here (New Haven, CT) is $3.79 for regular gas. It's even worse further up toward Hartford and along the interstate.  
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46. Re: Morning Metaverse Mar 14, 2014, 13:51 Gunz
 
Watched "Diehard" for the billionth time the other day and was struck by the L.A. gas station (where the street cop buys his snacks) sign that advertises regular gas for 77 cents a gallon. In Raleigh, NC, my cheapest fuel option is $3.29 a gallon - as of about 15 min. ago.  
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45. Re: Morning Metaverse Mar 14, 2014, 11:36 Creston
 
Cutter wrote on Mar 13, 2014, 23:50:
How have shipping costs gone up when fuel prices have gone down. And as an economy of scale these guys are doing more business then ever - so prices should come down to reflect that. Granted I'm not a logistics guy but you'd think that'd be the case.

Fuel prices have gone down? Maybe for a brief dip, but basically since the turn of the Millenium, they have gone through the roof. Not just fuel as in petrol/gas, but especially Diesel and Kerosene have gotten dramatically more expensive. And it's not as if the big trucks that move packages about get 40mpg either...

And yes, they do more business, but a place like Amazon ships so many packages that the money UPS/Fedex makes off them probably only contains the tiniest of profit margins, so the volume really doesn't add massive amounts of cash.

The transport sector has been in huge problems for the last 10+ years, and they've simply had to raise prices to be able to stay in business.

This has also led to the fact that everything in the supermarkets has gotten a lot more expensive. (And then, of course, the price of gas and Diesel went down briefly to pre-2000 levels again, none of the supermarkets lowered their prices, and now they're saying that because gas has gone up again, they need to raise their prices more. Really, you fuckers? Because gas is exactly the same it was the LAST time you raised your fucking prices.)
 
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44. Re: Morning Metaverse Mar 14, 2014, 09:35 Verno
 
Cutter wrote on Mar 13, 2014, 23:50:
How have shipping costs gone up when fuel prices have gone down. And as an economy of scale these guys are doing more business then ever - so prices should come down to reflect that. Granted I'm not a logistics guy but you'd think that'd be the case.

Decreased? I thought fuel costs had skyrocketed over the past 10 years, particularly in the logistics industry. A casual google search seems to back that up as well.
 
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43. Re: Morning Metaverse Mar 14, 2014, 00:02 Gunz
 
So then it's inflation? I'm cool with that.

But I start to get a little worried when the year starts with a massive hit to net neutrality followed by price hikes from net-dependent companies, and news that folks (so far only Netflix that I know of) are making 'preferred provider' deals with comm companies. Guess I'm just paranoid...
 
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42. Re: Morning Metaverse Mar 13, 2014, 23:50 Cutter
 
How have shipping costs gone up when fuel prices have gone down. And as an economy of scale these guys are doing more business then ever - so prices should come down to reflect that. Granted I'm not a logistics guy but you'd think that'd be the case.
 
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41. Re: Morning Metaverse Mar 13, 2014, 23:19 Creston
 
Gunz wrote on Mar 13, 2014, 23:09:
Is this a long overdue (inflation) price increase or a hike based on some behind-the-scenes wheeling and dealing with Comcast, AT&T, Verizon and friends?

Amazon's price hike, you mean?

It's because shipping costs have gone up quite dramatically in the last few years. They've tried to offset it as much as possible with the "Add-on" program (you can only order that stuff if you have something else in your order, so you can no longer have them ship you a small jar of hot sauce separately), by requiring minimum orders for small stuff, by using the Postal Service where they can, but they're still losing too much money on the shipping costs.

 
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40. Re: Morning Metaverse Mar 13, 2014, 23:09 Gunz
 
Is this a long overdue (inflation) price increase or a hike based on some behind-the-scenes wheeling and dealing with Comcast, AT&T, Verizon and friends?

Netflix has made news recently for striking a deal with Comcast (and most likely all major U.S. service providers soon enough - since the water smells like blood now) to "provide Netflix customers with a superior quality of service" over Comcast's network. I can only assume there will be a Netflix price hike coming down the line at some point (when they don't think it will kill the company). Is Amazon buying "preferred status" (as the recent gutting of 'net neutrality' seems to allow) and passing the burden of a new toll on to its customers? Are they being proactive; assuming they know they will have to pay preferred status tolls in the near future?
 
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39. Re: Morning Metaverse Mar 13, 2014, 18:58 jimnms
 
I'm torn on whether I'll keep my prime membership. I used the streaming when it was new because one show I was watching, on Netflix it was 4:3 cropped, but on Amazon it was widescreen. The quality was better too, but Netflix's quality has improved. I haven't watched any Amazon streaming in years. I hardly watch Netflix streaming anymore either, but my family does.

I suppose if I added up the cost of 2-day shipping on everything I order from them during the year, it's worth the $99. Before I got Prime I usually ordered enough to get free shipping anyway, and if not I just waited until I had enough things to order to get free shipping. I've mainly kept it for convenience. It's nice to be able to order something and have it in two days. Especially on birthdays and holidays. I don't think I've ever had a prime shipped package arrive late either.

avianflu wrote on Mar 13, 2014, 15:07:
"I've also never had anything ship USPS from them before if 2-day was selected, and I buy from them all the time."

You are lucky. I am in NYC area. Amazon CS was very clear that they will use USPS as needed and with no choice on my part.

I've had prime 2-day items delivered by USPS if the 2nd day is a Saturday. They use the UPS equivalent of FedEX SmartPost, UPS overnight's it to the local post office, then I get it delivered on Saturday from USPS instead of waiting until Monday for a UPS 2nd day delivery.
 
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38. Re: Morning Metaverse Mar 13, 2014, 16:33 Prez
 
I watch enough of the TV and movies and get enough stuff delivered to make 99 bucks a year an easily justifiable expense. Rising prices is just reality of modern times. It wouldn't hurt nearly as much if wages were rising to offset them, but that is another discussion. (Meaning don't start that political shit in here!!! )  
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37. Re: Morning Metaverse Mar 13, 2014, 15:10 Cutter
 
Beamer wrote on Mar 13, 2014, 13:34:
Cutter wrote on Mar 13, 2014, 13:25:
Must be nice to consider if it's worth it or not. Fucking Amazon here is all second banana shit. I don't understand how I can get free shipping from Honk Kong all the time but have to pay through the nose for US companies to ship something when many of them are right across the border!

Because companies from Hong Kong don't care about tariffs and companies from the US do. So US companies need to pay huge amounts of money to move things into Canada. Companies in Hong Kong just don't mark the packages. But if customs stops the package and opens it you may owe a decent chunk of cash before delivery. I know people who buy jeans from Rakuten and occasionally have to pay $40 before they'll be delivered.

At my last job we had a huge issue even stocking our Canadian stores. Even worse, often there was something a customer wanted out of stock in the Canadian store but in stock in a US store damn near visible from the Canadian one. We couldn't bring it over. Cost way too much to do so.

Trying to build out a Canadian eCommerce site for them was miserable for this reason. Absolutely no way to share inventory, so to build for Canada you had to build an entirely new warehouse and fulfillment center. The cost made doing eCommerce in Canada entirely unreasonable. You could use a third party fulfillment center, but those have issues, and bringing the product from the US to Canada just totally jacked our costs.

I'm not talking about tariffs on product I'm talking delivery. Anything under $20 is duty free anyway so I always try and keep my orders below that and just order in multiples so I don't have to pay duty and brokerage fees. I'm talking HK Post versus the USPS.

I just ordered 2 silicone molds from HK off Etsy. Shipping via China Mail? $4.50 for the first item $2 for each additional item. So 2 molds = $6.50. Exact same molds sold from US suppliers - generally anywhere from $2-$10 more expensive but the shipping....cheapest shipping I've found on them - which was via USPS - was $22 and some ranged upwards of $40 for regular UPS or FedEX. Twice as much as the fucking products themselves cost and these things weigh less than a pound each.

And in some cases from sites like MiniInTheBox you get free expedited shipping via DHL for purchases over $25. I can't even get that here with Amazon! So again, how is it I can get free, or near free shipping from all the way around the world when companies - some only literally less than 5 hours away charge anywhere from 3-10x as much.

Fucking free trade my ass!
 
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36. Re: Morning Metaverse Mar 13, 2014, 15:07 BitWraith
 
Creston wrote on Mar 13, 2014, 11:40:
BitWraith wrote on Mar 13, 2014, 11:34:
Of course you also get the USPS delivery guy who rolls down the window of his car and throws your boxes at your house - like I saw our delivery guy doing.

Complain about it. Get the jackass fired.

Yeah I called em. Didn't even get an apology. This is not really relevant, or indicative of delivery companies as a whole, but I was peeved about it and wanted to vent somewhere LOL.

Oddly what was in the box was a still sealed boxed copy of Shadows over Riva. The jackass bent the corner up really badly. Man I am pissed.
 
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35. Re: Morning Metaverse Mar 13, 2014, 15:07 avianflu
 
"I've also never had anything ship USPS from them before if 2-day was selected, and I buy from them all the time."

You are lucky. I am in NYC area. Amazon CS was very clear that they will use USPS as needed and with no choice on my part.
 
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34. Re: Morning Metaverse Mar 13, 2014, 14:57 Verno
 
jdreyer wrote on Mar 13, 2014, 14:55:
Also, I'd like to point out that a Costco Exec membership is about $100, and it doesn't come with video streaming. Costco also has a lot less selection than Amazon, although they do offer a lot more food than Amazon does.

I get cashback on my Costco membership though, every year it's paid for itself and then some.

Obviously it will be different for others but I didn't have $99 in shipping charges last year and the Video/etc isn't a big deal. I really like Amazon but the value just isn't there for me, I would need to buy a bunch of large items with heavy shipping costs or time sensitive stuff.
 
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33. Re: Morning Metaverse Mar 13, 2014, 14:55 jdreyer
 
Also, I'd like to point out that a Costco Exec membership is about $100, and it doesn't come with video streaming or free books. Costco also has a lot less selection than Amazon, although they do offer a lot more food than Amazon does.  
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32. Re: Morning Metaverse Mar 13, 2014, 14:54 Beamer
 
When Prime started it was just free shipping. Now it's free shipping, instant video, and some free Kindle books.

I use instant video a decent amount (just finished the first two seasons of Sherlock) but not necessarily the free Kindle books (I feel these are unreasonably hard to find.)

But I just ordered two cookbooks yesterday and didn't worry about building my cart up to $25, or $35, whichever it is. I like that convenience. I like the second day (which has always come in that time for me), even though I briefly lived next to one of the biggest fulfillment centers and almost always got items next-day.
At this point, I rarely buy anything from Amazon that isn't Primeable, and I rarely buy anything anywhere if it's Primeable on Amazon, even if it's a few bucks cheaper that other place.
 
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