The Los Angeles Times put together an interesting story about whether Amazon.com can survive. “On Monday, Amazon is expected to report its 17th consecutive unprofitable quarter, a money-losing streak with few precedents for a company its size in American business history.” As always, analysts look at Amazon’s numbers and draw different conclusions, but the tone is increasingly pessimistic and some are now predicting bankruptcy lies ahead.
Incidentally, if you’re an Amazon shopper, you probably noticed the “special offer” recently – free shipping on any purchase of two or more items. As you guessed, it was a shuck – a thinly disguised way to raise prices on books, CDs, and DVDs. The “free” shipping was a diversion to keep you from noticing.
(Don’t misunderstand me. I love Amazon. I shop there constantly. The information at your fingertips about the items – background, reviews, comments, samples – have created a fundamentally different way to shop which is just as compelling as the pleasures of standing in a real bookstore. I’m the stereotypical customer they need to survive – I’ll pay higher prices out of loyalty.)