Amazon.com


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    So let's look at my Amazon.com landing page:

    Shitloads of headline space for yet another lame piece of Amazon hardware. AND CYBER MONDAY. BLACK FRIDAY LASTS A MONTH NOW! YEAHHH!

    Scrolling on.

    Why yes, I did in fact look at Amazon.com gift cards. It's close to the holidays and lots of people prefer getting gift cards. I also looked at a lot of other things. Why did you think I needed to see every single design?

    Oh look. Two copies of the same shitty "Presentation display" and two copies of a shitty Asus tablet (or is that a "presentation display"? I haven't looked at tablets in years, but I did click a presentation display by mistake when I was ordering a monitor a few weeks ago). This is forgivable, it's basically static copy. But uh, we just spent all that screen space on the gift cards, why not use this space for something else instead? Or don't recommend me 437234378378 different varieties of gift card above? VERY INSPIRING. YEAH. I SHOULD CLEARLY BUY ONE OF THESE. EVERYBODY WHO BUYS ONE LAWNMOWER STARTER IS CLEARLY AN ENTHUSIAST AND WILL BUY MORE IN THE NEAR FUTURE! AC/DC! Cool! And an ad for Amazon Prime! That's right, I should buy a prime account! Waitaminute.... Hmph. Hm. That's kind of legit. A variety of stuff I may be interested in. If I hadn't bought all that months ago. ... What? Paper towels, a screen protector for a phone I don't own, a... strawberry scale?

    They get a pass on the memory foam pillow (I've been looking at good pillows) and sleeping bag (I order lots of those shipped ahead to camping destinations I'm flying to and dispose of them when I return. Cheaper than the cost of carrying them).

    Subscribe? To what? What the fuck are those? Why would I want to subscribe? How do you subscribe to a thing!?

    And uh, guys, I already have Audible. Same account and everything. That deal ain't valid for me.

    ... OK. Not sure why you're showing me tactical lights. And labeling them as flashlights. What!? What the hell is even going on here? None of that is even remotely relevant to me.


  • By the end of that post I thought it was a @blakeyrat post* but then I checked and it wasn't and I was a bit disappointed.

    * rant or at the very least a post expressing annoyance



  • I'm not nearly that grumpy.



  • It had caps and swears at least one swear. After a while, that's good enough to make an assumption.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    Sometimes I think @blakeyrat and I are related. And then I remember that my entire family is made up of irredeemable jackalopes, and I respect blakey too much to paint him with that brush.



  • It's almost like Amazon knew that Christmas is coming up and customers might be buying items for people other than themselves. Surely such an advanced algorithm couldn't exist!


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    The point is that they used like 3/4 of the space they could have used to advertise things I might actually want for myself or for others on stuff that is either completely irrelevant, stuff I already bought (that you generally only buy one of), and rampant duplication.


  • I survived the hour long Uno hand

    @Weng said:

    How do you subscribe to a thing!?

    You sign up and you get regular deliveries of it. The same way you subscribe to a magazine. Or a podcast.



  • @Weng said:

    The point is that they used like 3/4 of the space they could have used to advertise things I might actually want for myself or for others on stuff that is either completely irrelevant, stuff I already bought (that you generally only buy one of), and rampant duplication.

    I understand your point. My point is that you have unrealistic expectations about what Amazon "should be" presenting you, buttuming that they have customers other than yourself.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @Weng said:

    Presentation display

    I know @algorythmics could do something with this.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @Weng said:

    EVERYBODY WHO BUYS ONE LAWNMOWER STARTER IS CLEARLY AN ENTHUSIAST AND WILL BUY MORE IN THE NEAR FUTURE!

    Oh man, no kidding. I went looking for RAM a while back and it dominated the ads everywhere for weeks, or at least until I stopped noticing, which may have been a shorter period.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @blakeyrat said:

    I'm not nearly that grumpy.

    Oh man, now he's doing stand-up comedy. I like to think of that line as being delivered seconds before the audience starts throwing tomatoes.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    Er. The entire point of the Amazon front page is personalized advertising. Personalized. For me. Not other customers. ME. Maybe me and the people I routinely buy for. Maybe me plus common gift categories.

    My 'unrealistic expectation' is 'things I might possibly buy - for myself or for others'. And apparently their only possible ideas for what I might possibly buy are things I just bought, things EVERYONE buys (and massively duplicating that single item) and flashlights?

    There are certain categories that make ZERO sense to advertise more of once a sale in that product category is closed (at least for a certain time window). Non-consumable car parts. Most electronics. Canoes. Kitchenware. In fact, the number of categories this rule applies in is greater than the number of categories in which repeat business makes sense (clothes, food, gift items, consumables, toys....)


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @Weng said:

    Canoes.

    A coworker was telling me about a month ago that her husband kayaks and apparently gets new ones far more frequently than someone who doesn't kayak might think.



  • @Weng said:

    Er. The entire point of the Amazon front page is personalized advertising. Personalized. For me. Not other customers. ME. Maybe me and the people I routinely buy for. Maybe me plus common gift categories.

    So basically your complaint is that Amazon doesn't "know YOU" well enough?



  • He already said he buys pillows and sleeping bags each time he camps, which is probably more often than normal people buy pillows and sleeping bags.
    So repeats on one-time things might be more common than one thinks.

    That said, I've never looked at amazons front page nor have done such impulse buying. Usually I know what I want before I go to their site. My choice of brand might change when I compare prices and reviews.

    I give a rats ass for how personalized their recommendations are.



  • @Yamikuronue said:

    Weng:
    How do you subscribe to a thing!?

    You sign up and you get regular deliveries of it.

    I've got one like that. Sprouts stopped selling the Hint lime-flavored water about a year ago (they still sell the other flavors I like in store), so once I went through the twenty or so bottles I got from them on clearance I set up a subscription to it at Amazon. One case every two months.

    There's the twenty-first century for you. I subscribe to water.



  • Rather a complaint that their logic is faulty.

    I bought the Barbie - Can I be a computer engineer -book for giggles via Amazon. Now the same book is in my suggestions, though I'm not very likely to buy another exactly the same - unless the one I ordered never shows up. Maybe they're covering their butts, what do I know: "We know the shipping companies are bad, so if your book never arrived, here's another one you can buy!" Of course, I'm more likely to buy it from somewhere else in that case.

    I also checked out a specific parfume for a present to a special person, but I didn't buy one, as they were rather expensive. I have now four of them in my suggestions. That I do understand - if I looked at something, repeatedly, and didn't buy, the chances are that I might want to buy one later, when I've come around. But if I already bought the item and liked it, I'd be surely more likely to buy something else similar, but not the exactly same one. I did earlier buy some comic books, and now I'm being offered novels from the same author, and that does make sense.

    There are no other Barbie books in my suggestion boxes nor any other children's items, which is unexpected. There are adults' cowboy hats and boots for some weird unfathomable reason, as well as other random items from categories I have never bought stuff in. Maybe they're trying to surprise me, I don't know, but my records should show that I buy small stuff that ships abroad easy, not huge heavy masquerade type footwear a month after Halloween..

    By the way, the pictures are cropped so that the prices don't show. I bet that all the screens on your ad page have different prices, which is a legit reason to show several of them. Of course if the items are such you already just bought (and didn't yet break), there's something stupid going on with the algorithm.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @Nprz said:

    So repeats on one-time things might be more common than one thinks.
    And Amazon, being a webby company with vast warehouses of computing power, should damn well be able to calculate the probability of a repeat purchase and factor that in to whether it will be profitable to show any given human being a wall of lawnmower parts.

    We aren't talking about Maw and Paw's web storefront here. We're talking about Amazon.com. A company that allegedly knows what you're going to buy before you buy it. A company that has expressed enough confidence in that fact that they're considering actually shipping things out before the actual order is placed.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @loopback0 said:

    By the end of that post I thought it was a @blakeyrat post* but then I checked and it wasn't and I was a bit disappointed.

    About halfway through the post I scrolled up to see if it was @blakeyrat.


  • Grade A Premium Asshole

    @Weng said:

    Kitchenware.

    I but kitchenware items pretty regularly...

    I am in the same category for lawnmower stuff though. A year ago I bought a starter solenoid, a drive belt and something else. Now every trip to Amazon leads me to believe they think I will be buying lawnmower parts weekly.

    Of course, if I had a lawnmower repair business it would make sense. I would also imagine that the people who repair their own lawnmowers are a small minority, so maybe it makes sense...kind of.



  • @Intercourse said:

    I but kitchenware items pretty regularly

    Well, if that's your thing who are we to judge.


  • Grade A Premium Asshole

    @Eldelshell said:

    who are we to judge.

    Did you forget where you are?


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @Intercourse said:

    Did you forget where you are?

    You're claiming that you're secretly @algorythmics?


  • Grade A Premium Asshole

    I would not want to be his "sockpuppet", god only knows what he does with it.



  • I had a similar problem with Amazon because I used to purchase hardware (or at least select hardware for purchase) frequently, so my own pages were littered with all kinds of random crap I personally would never use, or which no sane person would every buy more than once. They also don't seem to have any sense of timing, as purchasing some tires meant six months of ads about tires (many of which weren't even the size I'd specified when buying mine), where a more sane behaviour would be estimating the time until tire replacement and then advertising the size I had bought.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @dkf said:

    You're claiming that you're secretly @algorythmics?

    I think he's thinking this isn't the place where people don't judge.



  • I love Amazon Subscribe and Save. I get cases of flavored water, protein shakes, canned goods, toilet paper, paper towels, garbage bags, etc. 15% off when ordering 5 or more items.

    LTL FTP



  • I'd use if it I could be reasonably certain someone would be home when the products arrived. I live in a no-crime town, but I still don't wanna leave big tempting-looking boxes on my porch for hours.

    Amazon's gotta do something about that. There was a plan a few years ago to sell "shipping lockboxes" to people that UPS/FedEx and the owner have the key to but nobody else, not sure whatever happened with that.


  • SockDev

    @blakeyrat said:

    not sure whatever happened with that.

    logistics never worked out.

    if you're going to have physical keys they're either going to need to be a master key to all the boxes (thus undoing the security one someone gets a copy and shares it online) or you need a code, (same problem but at least it's easier to reprogram to resecure.)


  • I survived the hour long Uno hand

    Speaking of, do you or anyone else know if Apple ships products in branded boxes? I'm trying to figure out how much effort I need to put into Operation Surprise the Roommate >.> Surely package theft is enough of an issue that the logos would all be on the interior box, right?



  • Seems like a RFID chip could solve most of that, but whatever. I'd like some option, is my point. Even a bad one is better than none.



  • I hate all the Amazon Prime ads I get. Amazon Prime in Canada is 2 day shipping and literally nothing else. In the US you have music and video streaming and a whole bunch of other stuff, here we get the privilege of paying for a brand. I had an interview with the Amazon Prime team and part of the things they recommended I "prepare" was to familiarize myself with the services they provided. Well, you don't provide any services in my country, so fuck that. Needless to say, the position was in Seattle anyways so they aren't concerned about launching a real product up here any time soon.

    Their "you might like" algorithm is pretty shite too. I only buy a couple different items on the site and that's all I see in my recommendations. I know I like that stuff, show me something else!


  • SockDev

    they do when helpdesk gets them shipped here (we have a few special snowflakes in the fingerpaint division that have to have their mac's or they absolutely can't make deadlines....)



  • I haven't bought Apple stuff in years, but I'd say just go to an Apple Store. Then you control the package the whole time, and as an added bonus they'll be super-good about returns or replacements.


  • I survived the hour long Uno hand

    I've bought a refurb online, works out to twice the storage space for the same price.



  • Well good thing you have all those hugely successful Canadian online stores to rely-- oh you don't? Aw.



  • @Yamikuronue said:

    Operation Surprise the Roommate

    Can you have it shipped to your office?



  • If you already bought it, why are you asking?


  • I survived the hour long Uno hand

    @Yamikuronue said:

    I'm trying to figure out how much effort I need to put in

    I could probably pay super close attention to tracking information and arrange for my husband to intercept the box from the truck, hide it in his car until the roommate is away at class, then smuggle it into the house.

    Or I could say "fuck it, it's a generic box" and let it be delivered :)



  • Right but you bought it from Apple, correct? So even if it doesn't have a huge logo on the box, it'll say "Apple Distribution Center" or something on the shipping label. I assume your roommate will look at it when they take the box in.



  • @blakeyrat said:

    I'd like some option, is my point. Even a bad one is better than none.

    I have a mailbox at the UPS Store. They have a a real street address (so you don't have to worry about any PO box shipping restrictions) and will accept packages from any carrier. You just have to go to the UPS store to pick up whatever you order instead of having it right at your door.



  • Now all I need is a UPS store that isn't 30 miles away...


  • I survived the hour long Uno hand

    @blakeyrat said:

    it'll say "Apple Distribution Center" or something on the shipping label

    Crap, you're right. Stalking the delivery guy it is >.>

    I usually buy things from Amazon, where it's pretty even odds something'll be delivered with no company name on the label in a totally generic box and I'll have forgotten what it is until I open it, so I'm not sure what it's like to buy from Apple.



  • @Yamikuronue said:

    Crap, you're right.

    Duh. It says Blakeyrat right there.



  • @blakeyrat said:

    Now all I need is a UPS store that isn't 30 miles away...

    Do they not have them in Seattle or wherever?


  • Grade A Premium Asshole

    @blakeyrat said:

    Amazon's gotta do something about that. There was a plan a few years ago to sell "shipping lockboxes" to people that UPS/FedEx and the owner have the key to but nobody else, not sure whatever happened with that.

    You could always build or buy a weatherproof box large enough to fit your packages and then place an unlocked padlock on the latch with instructions for the carrier to place inside the box and then lock it. A client and friend does that for their vacation home and it works well for him. Of course, multiple deliveries in one day would mean that only one would be able to secure their delivered items, although a slot might help with smaller/narrower packages.



  • @blakeyrat said:

    Now all I need is a UPS store that isn't 30 miles away...

    If you're where I think you are, Google tells me there's one on Ave. D.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @aapis said:

    I hate all the Amazon Prime ads I get. Amazon Prime in Canada is 2 day shipping and literally nothing else. In the US you have music and video streaming and a whole bunch of other stuff

    You're not missing much. The music and video streaming is all old content.


  • SockDev

    @antiquarian said:

    You're not missing much. The music and video streaming is all old content.

    and they moved the Kindle lending library to a different service.

    the shipping's about the only reason to keep Prime, even for 'muricains. and now they're raising the price again!


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