Amazon – the huge company that is hurting companies like Best Buy and Walmart and putting other (smaller) companies out of business entirely is moving in a more hidden insidious manner. Now if selling books, goods, movies, and controlling your home (echo) wasn’t enough, Amazon is now attempting to place themselves in between small businesses and their customers (while not providing any tangible benefit). And this is where I draw the line.
Let me explain why I have a huge problem with this shit – it’s because Amazon is attempting to be a middleman in an industry that does not need middle men, which leads to the conclusion, Amazon is simply trying to make free money. Here is a screenshot of the email I received from Amazon.
Here’s how it works – say you own a landscaping company and you have been in business for 5 years. Amazon is coming to you and saying “we will bring you more customers if you sign up for our services”. Amazon will “find” you customers and then send them your way. After you perform work, you pay Amazon a percentage.
There is a HUGE assumption here – namely that you would have only gotten the work from Amazon, and not from your own SEO efforts, marketing, etc…If you’re running your company like you should, then chances are you have a good page-rank and marketing and thus finding customers is the least of your concerns. So why would you volitionally turn around and give Amazon free money for customers you would have gotten anyways? It doesn’t make sense. I’ve tried this service with places like Thumbtack, Care, etc with my own companies and let me tell you they are all scams. Every single one. Don’t believe me, do a simple Google search “Thumbtack” and look at the results. Now Amazon is doing exactly what they are doing.
Amazon, like Thumbtack and Care dot com are leeches trying to suck even more money out of people while not providing any tangible service.
Another reason to push back against these middleman companies like Amazon and Thumbtack is the potential customers who are using these sites are looking for a cheap bargain. They are bargain hunters. In terms of a Maid Service, let’s say you charge higher rates because you’re a high end cleaning company. Great, no problem. Now let’s say you begin using Amazon or Thumbtack. The people who use these sites are looking at price only, they could care less that you have a high end cleaning company. It goes without saying these people won’t select your company because your prices are too high. Amazon doesn’t care about any of this – they are making money every which way with this framework.
You could always lower your prices for these sites but do you really want to train your potential customers to expect low prices from your company? Do you want to train all of your potential customers to book through a third party rather than directly through your company? I hope your answer to both of these questions is a resounding NO.
I’ll end this essay with a philosophical question – when are we going to start pushing back and saying NO to technology? As it stands right now, we welcome any technology with open arms saying “Yes, please come on in technology. Please come into my home and monitor it. Please come and get in between me and my customers. Please tell me what the weather and news is. Please continue to subtly and insidiously creep deeper and deeper into my life, business, and home so that one day when I realize I’m f**ked I can’ t do anything about it”.
I was placed on alert while watching a cool series on USA titled “Mr. Robot” one of the main characters had an Amazon Echo device in her home which she constantly asked questions to. It made me question how much money Amazon paid this show to showcase this bullsh** device. A couple of days later I got an email from Amazon requesting that I place some of my companies into their small business service.
To be clear, I’m not placing any of my companies into Amazon’s service but rather am choosing to say fu** you to Amazon and their insidious strategy(ies).
It’s time and maybe past time where we need to stop saying “Yes” to technology and start saying “No” Because let’s face it, all the technology that is coming out today is incremental at best. None of it is a game changer.
Last but not least, Amazon must think we are f**king stupid in trying to convince business owners to let Amazon in between the business and their customers. Business owners should take this as a slap to their face and an insult to their intelligence.