Author Topic: "Shopping on Amazon has gotten worse" - ?  (Read 586 times)

Hopscotch

"Shopping on Amazon has gotten worse" - ?
« on: November 24, 2022, 12:25:22 AM »
It’s not your imagination: Shopping on Amazon has gotten worse
Washington Post 23NOV2022

“Everything on Amazon is becoming an ad…When you search for a product on Amazon, you may not realize that most of what you see at first is advertising. Amazon is betraying your trust in its results to make an extra buck....”

Amazon is a catalog, after all, so what’s the complaint? I ask as I pay my AMS fees.  Tho' I've got to wonder if too many annoying ads distract from my own brightly shining AMSers?
 

Maggie Ann

Re: "Shopping on Amazon has gotten worse" - ?
« Reply #1 on: November 24, 2022, 12:58:04 AM »
From a customer's standpoint, I definitely agree. The ads take up more space than the item you want to look at.

It is marginally better than WM, though. Look at something once and WM will nag you about it for days. Worse, my phone dings with said nagging before 8am.
           
 

writeway

Re: "Shopping on Amazon has gotten worse" - ?
« Reply #2 on: November 24, 2022, 02:05:50 AM »
I usually buy the same stuff on Amazon all the time so I just go into the Buy Again section and reorder whatever I need so I don't see many ads that way. As for books, I am "blind" to AMS ads now. I honestly don't even notice them and sometimes they don't even show up on the pages. A lot of times it's the "Books You May Like" section. Amazon is constantly tweaking stuff. I can't speak for others but I've become numb to ads to the where I don't even pay them any attention and just focus on what I am looking for. Guess that talent comes from spending years on the Internet and scrolling past ads. Grin
 

Post-Crisis D

Re: "Shopping on Amazon has gotten worse" - ?
« Reply #3 on: November 24, 2022, 02:07:43 AM »
From a customer's standpoint, I definitely agree.

Ditto.

Anymore, Amazon is like a big, giant junk store.  It's not just ads that clutter everything but third party sellers that sell the same item with their own private label brand on them.  And the search isn't that great either.  My mother was looking for disposable mop pads and we searched for "disposable" along with the brand name of the mop and mixed in the results were washable and re-usable pads, so you have to search through the results for what you were looking for when the search parameters should have narrowed it down.

And then it becomes too much work so you just go to Walmart.

My mother has had an Amazon gift card for two years and hasn't used it because it's such a PITA to try to find stuff.
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Post-Crisis D

Re: "Shopping on Amazon has gotten worse" - ?
« Reply #4 on: November 24, 2022, 02:08:58 AM »
Amazon is constantly tweaking stuff. I can't speak for others but I've become numb to ads to the where I don't even pay them any attention and just focus on what I am looking for.

I solve the problem by simply shopping elsewhere.  At first, it was challenging but now it's like I don't even miss Amazon.
Mulder: "If you're distracted by fear of those around you, it keeps you from seeing the actions of those above."
The X-Files: "Blood"
 

alhawke

Re: "Shopping on Amazon has gotten worse" - ?
« Reply #5 on: November 24, 2022, 02:14:41 AM »
As for books, I am "blind" to AMS ads now. I honestly don't even notice them and sometimes they don't even show up on the pages.
That's the problem, right? The carousel is there all the time. Readers are going to look at it as a web image, not an advertisement. And as far as AMS working, lots of luck that a reader's going to scroll past even the first few books listed. Really the best time function with AMS, I think, is when your book shows up on the search function away from the product page.

Yeah, I think it be nice to have less ads on Amazon. I think it's been only the last two years that two sponsored ad carousels show up. It used to be just one.
 

Wonder

Re: "Shopping on Amazon has gotten worse" - ?
« Reply #6 on: November 24, 2022, 02:49:30 AM »
I've been using Amazon less and less. Between the risk of counterfeit goods, often high prices, and needing to scroll through pages and pages of ads to find what I want, it's often simpler to find things elsewhere. I was shopping for a large purse for my laptop and spent well over an hour scrutinizing reviews only to find that most of the products were of shoddy quality and falling apart after six months, even with very high star ratings. I went to a local retailer and spent a bit more for something that will last.

They still seem to have a price advantage for things like DVDs and physical books.

Wonder
 
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cecilia_writer

Re: "Shopping on Amazon has gotten worse" - ?
« Reply #7 on: November 24, 2022, 02:58:58 AM »
We (as a household - me and one of my sons) buy a lot of different things from Amazon. We have a prime account and as well as being 'free' their delivery service is second to none around here for speed and reliability. What really annoys me is searching for Kindle books. Even if you search by a specific author name the results are full of books by other authors because of advertising. The books appear out of any sensible order and you have to click again to see all the bookd in a series.
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Hopscotch

Re: "Shopping on Amazon has gotten worse" - ?
« Reply #8 on: November 24, 2022, 03:23:26 AM »
I like Amazon for its delivery service (we live in a big city where risking losing the parking space out front makes us think twice about massive shopping expeditions) BUT I ignore their ads for ebooks and find most of my recommendations here on WS.
 

Anarchist

Re: "Shopping on Amazon has gotten worse" - ?
« Reply #9 on: November 24, 2022, 04:03:19 AM »
I'm fine with ads as long as they promote stuff I'm interested in. That's what Amazon's algos are trying to accomplish, and they're getting better at it.

Many book buyers evidently feel similarly. While some surely ignore the ads, I assure you others are clicking and buying from them.
"The first lesson of economics is scarcity: there is never enough of anything to fully satisfy all those who want it. The first lesson of politics is to disregard the first lesson of economics.” – Thomas Sowell

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cecilia_writer

Re: "Shopping on Amazon has gotten worse" - ?
« Reply #10 on: November 24, 2022, 04:13:11 AM »
I buy books I see promoted on FB and Twitter, often by the authors themselves, or in clubs and groups on these platforms. I can't actually recall buying anything directly from these Amazon ads, though I do occasionally from theirvemails.
Cecilia Peartree - Woman of Mystery
 

TimothyEllis

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Re: "Shopping on Amazon has gotten worse" - ?
« Reply #11 on: November 24, 2022, 01:21:10 PM »
I'm buying more product from Amazon, partly because they are the most reliable and fast shippers here.

But I'm having a hard time finding anything to read now, since they removed the also-bought slider.

Now all I get are sponsored sliders and the also-viewed slider, which now is just sponsored stuff anyway.

The majority of it fails my 500 word test. I'm reading a book at the moment, but I keep putting it down, and that's a failure too for me. I'm just bored enough to keep picking it up again, or I'd normally just bin it.

The also-boughts were much better for finding quality reads. But Amazon finally got rid of them. That's probably why my income has tanked a lot as well. I no longer show up on some of the bigger hitters in my genre. Previously when someone like Glynn Stewart hit it out of the ballpark, I'd see a flow from that, because we share fans. But that doesn't appear to be happening anymore.

Amazon's whole focus now is forcing people to spend on ads which don't work.

But the whole ads thing reminds me of that line from Ready Player One.

"We estimate we can get ads into 80% of the user's visual frame before they have a seizure." (Maybe not an accurate quote.)

Genres: Space Opera/Fantasy/Cyberpunk, with elements of LitRPG and GameLit, with a touch of the Supernatural. Also Spiritual and Games.



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Bill Hiatt

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Re: "Shopping on Amazon has gotten worse" - ?
« Reply #12 on: November 25, 2022, 12:52:54 AM »
I agree that Amazon is getting worse in some ways. I keep using it because of the wide selection and the ease of one-stop shopping. And I have various issues with the way Walmart does business.

But I also mourn the increase in ads and the loss of the also bought slider.

Another thing I notice as a dinosaur who still sometimes buys DVDs and Blu-rays is that it used to be easy to find a list of the new releases in a particular week. Some time ago, that ability disappeared. I asked customer support about it, and the rep said being able to search that way sounded like a great idea. Needless to say, that was the last I heard of that. So I ended up on DeepDiscount.com (even though, despite its name, it's more expensive than Amazon). I can search the way that best serves my buying habits.

I was reading an article just yesterday, though I can't remember where. Anyway, it indicated that Amazon was having to downsize so fast because it bet wrong on how long pandemic patterns would continue. Gee, it turns out that when people feel safe going to the mall again, they actually, well, go to the mall. Even people who had transitioned to online shopping long ago are more attracted to the local mall than they used to be. How long that may go on is anyone's guess, but it was a change Amazon missed completely.


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TimothyEllis

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Re: "Shopping on Amazon has gotten worse" - ?
« Reply #13 on: November 25, 2022, 01:04:51 AM »
I buy dvds from JBHiFi.

They have a coming soon and new releases sections separated into movies and tv, and a functional wish list.

So I check every few weeks tells me what's coming, I wish list it, and then get it after release.

Buying dvds off Amazon is actually a crap shoot. Even buying off the Aus store, most of the dvd's come from the UK. They take a long time to come, and there's a much higher risk of not arriving at all. The last time I did that, it was for a series made in NZ which the latest season wasn't released in Australia at all. I ordered part 1 and 2 together, and they sent them separately. 2 arrived, 1 didn't. Lots of emails. 2 months later, I finally received a second sending of 1, and was finally able to watch it 3 months after doing the order.

Not planning on doing that again.
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Writer

Re: "Shopping on Amazon has gotten worse" - ?
« Reply #14 on: November 26, 2022, 10:12:21 AM »
I'm a heavy Amazon shopper and Prime user, and don't have much trouble finding what I need there. The ads are annoying but I've become so used to them that I automatically scroll past the top half of the page, knowing what I'm searching for will be listed halfway down. On the product page, I ignore the sponsored ads, knowing it's stuff someone paid to show me, rather than stuff that's relevant to my interests.

I guess I'm just willing to put up with the mild irritation of too many ads in exchange for the convenient shopping experience. I figured out pretty quickly how to avoid or work around the ads and am basically blind to them now.

 

Matthew

Re: "Shopping on Amazon has gotten worse" - ?
« Reply #15 on: November 27, 2022, 04:55:19 PM »
It's tedious to sift through Amazon without an ad blocker. At this point, I mostly try to get book recommendations and reviews from sources outside of Amazon. Then if I choose to buy a book, I can do so wherever I like. I really like the Kindles, but even those are mostly glorified ad machines these days which has me considering going back to mostly print media, despite its inconvenience.

AMS is just depressing. There's too many ads per page, but often ads do work to bring in sales too. Amazon has increasingly felt like a pay-to-play system where the struggling indies are being squeezed out.

And it's not just ads that are the problem with buying books off Amazon (though that's what the OP is about). I bought a brand new hard cover, and they slapped that baby loose in an oversized box when delivering it to my house. As you might guess, it was damaged upon arrival. Physical stores for physical products are probably the way to go - because you can pick out a pristine book, or maybe find a slightly damaged one at a discount.
 

LilyBLily

Re: "Shopping on Amazon has gotten worse" - ?
« Reply #16 on: November 28, 2022, 01:49:56 AM »
We (as a household - me and one of my sons) buy a lot of different things from Amazon. We have a prime account and as well as being 'free' their delivery service is second to none around here for speed and reliability. What really annoys me is searching for Kindle books. Even if you search by a specific author name the results are full of books by other authors because of advertising. The books appear out of any sensible order and you have to click again to see all the books in a series.

Yes, that's my pet peeve, too. I want that author's books; that's why I entered that author's name. Duh.
 
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TimothyEllis

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Re: "Shopping on Amazon has gotten worse" - ?
« Reply #17 on: November 28, 2022, 01:54:24 AM »
Yes, that's my pet peeve, too. I want that author's books; that's why I entered that author's name. Duh.

I'm also not interested in seeing a slider of other not book products.

When I want something else, I'll search for it, or more likely find it on google first.

When I want a book to read, I'm not at all interested in anything else, and seeing other sh*t on a book page is annoying. especially when it's replacing the also-bought slider which used to be the main way I found new reading.
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Hopscotch

Re: "Shopping on Amazon has gotten worse" - ?
« Reply #18 on: November 28, 2022, 03:40:30 AM »
Ah, but the modern world says we were born to be consumers of everything our bank overdrafts allow and nothing more, so we must consume.  Yet sounds like many here would prefer a return to the ancient days of the milkman's morning visit, mail delivered three times a day and veggies that taste like veggies.  And a good book readily found.  Count me w/you.
 
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Bill Hiatt

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Re: "Shopping on Amazon has gotten worse" - ?
« Reply #19 on: November 28, 2022, 04:44:30 AM »
Physical stores for physical products are probably the way to go - because you can pick out a pristine book, or maybe find a slightly damaged one at a discount.
Agreed--when you can find physical bookstores. I used to have five or six Borders in easy driving distance and about as many Barnes and Nobles, as well as a few others. Now I have one B & N with poor parking. There are a few indie stores still, but they're quite a distance away.


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elleoco

Re: "Shopping on Amazon has gotten worse" - ?
« Reply #20 on: November 28, 2022, 10:04:38 AM »
Hmm. I really dislike the last Kindle update. I don't want to see itty bitty book covers in gray, thank you, and it's IMO less convenient in other ways. However, it's still pretty much all I read on, and I don't have ads anywhere, but then I never look at what they now call the Home screen and have no idea what I'd see there, just know it's a bunch of covers. I stick to the "Library" screen.
 
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TimothyEllis

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Re: "Shopping on Amazon has gotten worse" - ?
« Reply #21 on: November 28, 2022, 12:22:19 PM »
Physical stores for physical products are probably the way to go - because you can pick out a pristine book, or maybe find a slightly damaged one at a discount.
Agreed--when you can find physical bookstores. I used to have five or six Borders in easy driving distance and about as many Barnes and Nobles, as well as a few others. Now I have one B & N with poor parking. There are a few indie stores still, but they're quite a distance away.

The physical book stores failed me long before the eBook became a thing.

When I found Kindle in 2013, I suddenly found so many great books which had never been released in Australia.

As far as them now is concerned, I do don't do physical stores anymore.

Even when I have to visit a doc, and there's a JBHiFI in the same building, I don't go in anymore. I go home and order online.

Yeah, I'm a card carrying hermit now. And for a while, I was even government approved.
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Re: "Shopping on Amazon has gotten worse" - ?
« Reply #22 on: November 29, 2022, 12:42:42 AM »
I know Australia has a long-term problem with paper books because so many have to be shipped in, and international shipping is not cheap.

You'd think by now that someone would have thought a printing operation in Australia would have been a good idea. Of course, with book stores dying in other places that don't have the shipping issue, I suppose it's probably too late now.


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Re: "Shopping on Amazon has gotten worse" - ?
« Reply #23 on: November 29, 2022, 12:47:39 AM »
I know Australia has a long-term problem with paper books because so many have to be shipped in, and international shipping is not cheap.

You'd think by now that someone would have thought a printing operation in Australia would have been a good idea. Of course, with book stores dying in other places that don't have the shipping issue, I suppose it's probably too late now.

Amazon print here now.

And I believe a lot of our printing is done in the Philippines and China.

The problem has more been paperbacks were not brought here, but the local publishers simply didn't publish them here either.

It's like dvds. They get made here, not imported. So the choice of what comes here is made here. Also what format to do them in.

Although not all, there is some importing going on, because we sometimes get FBI warnings on them.
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writeway

Re: "Shopping on Amazon has gotten worse" - ?
« Reply #24 on: November 29, 2022, 04:40:04 PM »
Amazon is constantly tweaking stuff. I can't speak for others but I've become numb to ads to the where I don't even pay them any attention and just focus on what I am looking for.

I solve the problem by simply shopping elsewhere.  At first, it was challenging but now it's like I don't even miss Amazon.

I used to order more from Walmart but I became a Prime member about 3 years ago after fighting to become one for so long. What I love about Amazon is the delivery service and free shipping as well as I enjoy Prime Video. I'm addicted to Lifetime Movie Club. LOL! Sometimes if something is too high on Amazon I will check Walmart to see if it's a little cheaper but Prime makes all the difference and it saves so much money. I order a lot of stuff.
 

Maggie Ann

Re: "Shopping on Amazon has gotten worse" - ?
« Reply #25 on: November 30, 2022, 12:35:50 AM »
Amazon is constantly tweaking stuff. I can't speak for others but I've become numb to ads to the where I don't even pay them any attention and just focus on what I am looking for.

I solve the problem by simply shopping elsewhere.  At first, it was challenging but now it's like I don't even miss Amazon.

I used to order more from Walmart but I became a Prime member about 3 years ago after fighting to become one for so long. What I love about Amazon is the delivery service and free shipping as well as I enjoy Prime Video. I'm addicted to Lifetime Movie Club. LOL! Sometimes if something is too high on Amazon I will check Walmart to see if it's a little cheaper but Prime makes all the difference and it saves so much money. I order a lot of stuff.

I have Prime for the convenience, the free shipping, the videos, books and the music. But I also have WM+ for the free grocery delivery and free shipping on other items.
           
 

Bill Hiatt

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Re: "Shopping on Amazon has gotten worse" - ?
« Reply #26 on: November 30, 2022, 04:11:55 AM »
Amazon print here now.

And I believe a lot of our printing is done in the Philippines and China.

The problem has more been paperbacks were not brought here, but the local publishers simply didn't publish them here either.

It's like dvds. They get made here, not imported. So the choice of what comes here is made here. Also what format to do them in.

Although not all, there is some importing going on, because we sometimes get FBI warnings on them.
That's interesting. I know DVDs have all that regional nonsense, often because different companies have the distribution rights in different areas. I hadn't thought about that for books. In recent times, publishers tend to buy the distribution rights for everywhere, just to be safe. But I do recall it wasn't always so. I remember JK Rowling at least started out with different British and American publishers. I also remember the all the protests from the American publisher after Americans found out how much the language was being changed and started ordering the British edition from Amazon.UK.

Is that the same issue you're having? Is the problem that there's no publisher in Australia picking up the rights to some of the things you want to read?


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TimothyEllis

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Re: "Shopping on Amazon has gotten worse" - ?
« Reply #27 on: November 30, 2022, 11:11:59 AM »
Is that the same issue you're having? Is the problem that there's no publisher in Australia picking up the rights to some of the things you want to read?

That's how it's always been. Even the big 5 who have subsidiaries here didn't always release popular books in the US here. And when they did, they used different sizes a lot. We stopped getting the US mass market paperbacks for example, and started getting bigger sizes, with higher price tags on them.

Amazon cuts through that now.
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Re: "Shopping on Amazon has gotten worse" - ?
« Reply #28 on: December 02, 2022, 12:21:59 AM »
It's good to hear that the situation is at least a little better.


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djmills

Re: "Shopping on Amazon has gotten worse" - ?
« Reply #30 on: December 04, 2022, 08:44:33 AM »
I finally ordered my first print Author Copy (not proof) via D2D since I removed all my books from Amazon and put up on D2D. They still get distributed to Amazon, but Amazon does not dictate terms to me any more.

So, I was happy not to see AU$100 added to the cost just because ???. Anyway, Lightning Source in a Melbourne suburb processed the POD copy ($6.60) and posted it up standard economy post (5-10 business days) for AUS$13.95. Better than AU$26.30 (or more) via Book Depository.

Arrived here in 5 business days. Happy with the layout. Most happy with the cover colours.  Better than Amazon colours from Createspace before it moved to Amazon.

Also, I know someone in the area tried to purchase one of my POD books via Amazon, got the order placed then it was rejected by Amazon. No idea why. Yet they could order another book from someone else.

Due to stuff ups from Amazon in the past, I do not buy from Amazon anymore, either US or AU. However, I do buy from Book Depository and Fabric.com (which I believe are owned by Amazon). :-)

   
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notthatamanda

Re: "Shopping on Amazon has gotten worse" - ?
« Reply #31 on: December 04, 2022, 09:18:29 AM »
If you distribute to Amazon through D2D can they still lower your ebook price if they lower your print book price? Anybody know? Just curious.
 

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Re: "Shopping on Amazon has gotten worse" - ?
« Reply #32 on: December 04, 2022, 11:20:51 AM »
If you distribute to Amazon through D2D can they still lower your ebook price if they lower your print book price? Anybody know? Just curious.

That's the downside of printing through Ingram Spark, which is who D2D use.

Amazon orders a carton quantity, and when they don't sell, discounts them. They don't do that on their in house PoD.

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Re: "Shopping on Amazon has gotten worse" - ?
« Reply #33 on: December 04, 2022, 11:23:02 AM »
So, I was happy not to see AU$100 added to the cost just because ???.

What is that?

When did that happen?

Since Amazon started printing in Australia, I've not seen anything like that getting proofs.

Before that though, there was freight from the US added, and that was size and weight based, so could be a lot.
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djmills

Re: "Shopping on Amazon has gotten worse" - ?
« Reply #34 on: December 05, 2022, 03:42:33 AM »
So, I was happy not to see AU$100 added to the cost just because ???.

What is that?

When did that happen?

Since Amazon started printing in Australia, I've not seen anything like that getting proofs.

Before that though, there was freight from the US added, and that was size and weight based, so could be a lot.

The $100 was added to an author copy purchase from D2D just because???

I have no idea why, but popped up on the checkout screen. However, if I ordered more than 1 copy of one of my books from D2D that amount would lower or disappear, can't remember exactly. and the freight would go up because of the heavier weight of extra copies.

This is D2D beta print process, not Amazon. Amazon sent Proof copies, and my Author copies just fine when I was with them. 

Now D2D are printing through LIghtning Source in Melbourne, I should have no more trouble getting Author Copies to sell locally, or give to libraries.
Diane J Cornwell - Fiction
D J Mills - Non Fiction
Tift Publishing
Amazon