Author Topic: On-line Stores & Sellers  (Read 249067 times)

0 Members and 2 Guests are viewing this topic.

Offline DavidRoss

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 7590
  • Location: Northern California
Re: On-line Stores & Sellers
« Reply #880 on: April 21, 2013, 02:15:24 PM »
Not so.  A business might be in the red because its products/services have been priced too high for the specific market.  Other reasons could include structural deficiencies, poor service, outdated technologies, inadequate product identification/advertising, etc.  I just don't see anything natural about raising prices when your business is going down.
Note, however, that the US Postal Service is not a business. If it were run like a business, FedEx and UPS never would have had a chance. But it's run like a government agency, which means that incompetence, inefficiency, and waste are all but guaranteed.

How ironic that, among the thousands of things our masters in Washington D.C. do today, the postal service is one of the very few they have legal authority for. One wonders: if the feds weren't so busy trampling the Constitutional limits on their activity, would they have been able to run the postal service competently instead of running it into the ground?
"Maybe the problem most of you have ... is that you're not listening to Barbirolli." ~Sarge

"The problem with socialism is that sooner or later you run out of other people's money." ~Margaret Thatcher

Offline Brian

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • *
  • Posts: 20835
    • Brian's blog
Re: On-line Stores & Sellers
« Reply #881 on: April 21, 2013, 02:19:05 PM »
Note, however, that the US Postal Service is not a business. If it were run like a business, FedEx and UPS never would have had a chance. But it's run like a government agency, which means that incompetence, inefficiency, and waste are all but guaranteed.
But as Parsifal pointed out, at this point most of the inefficiency and waste that's obvious to the public is dictated by Congress. The USPS isn't run like a business because it is controlled by, in essence, a board of regents who are not interested in its commercial success.

Parsifal

  • Guest
Re: On-line Stores & Sellers
« Reply #882 on: April 21, 2013, 02:41:37 PM »
I am always somewhat mystified by claims that the postal service is inefficient.  I can send a CD from New York to California for about $2 and it gets there in a few days.  They send a courier to my door six days a week to drop off and collect mail.  I leave my netflix envelop in the mail box and at 5 am the next morning I get an e-mail saying it has arrived at the netflix depot.  Do people think that if the postal service went away we'd really be better off with private couriers?  The postal service is just another front on the proxy war between Republicans and Democrats where stalemate is considered victory and compromise, defeat.

« Last Edit: April 21, 2013, 02:49:21 PM by Parsifal »

Offline BrianSA

  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 15
  • Location: Canada
Re: On-line Stores & Sellers
« Reply #883 on: April 22, 2013, 10:12:50 AM »
It may well be. My shock was primarily due to the fact that until as recently as a few weeks ago, the MP postage was $6.98 (or thereabouts).

I'm kind of-well, not pleased, but-relieved? enlightened?-to hear this.  I live in Canada and a month or so ago my delivery costs for Amazon also went from $6.98 to $14.29 or so with no apparent warning.  Inquiries to Amazon generated unhelpful (and, it seems to me, untrue) responses about Amazon marketplace sellers setting their own postage rates (when I knew I had never paid more than $6.98 for a single item order), rather than the simpler and more accurate response that postage rates had gone up.

Unfortunately, since I absolutely refuse to pay as much or more for postage than I pay for my puchases, which is how it usually works out under the new fee structure, this means that amazon.com has gone from being my primary supplier for CDs to a non-contender, and a lot of amazon marketplace sellers are going to have to get by without my business.  That's as much a loss for me as for them.

Offline listener

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 6123
  • Location: 604
Re: On-line Stores & Sellers
« Reply #884 on: April 22, 2013, 10:31:48 AM »
I'm kind of-well, not pleased, but-relieved? enlightened?-to hear this.  I live in Canada and a month or so ago my delivery costs for Amazon also went from $6.98 to $14.29 or so with no apparent warning.  Inquiries to Amazon generated unhelpful (and, it seems to me, untrue) responses about Amazon marketplace sellers setting their own postage rates (when I knew I had never paid more than $6.98 for a single item order), rather than the simpler and more accurate response that postage rates had gone up.

Also in Canada, so I watch the Canadian site to get an order up to $28 to qualify for free shipping, or from England which shipping costs 3.08 pounds (and that's often covered by VAT reduction) and usually comes a week faster.   Note shipping from France can be EUR 8.00 compared to about EUR 14.00 from Germany
"Keep your hand on the throttle and your eye on the rail as you walk through life's pathway."

Offline DavidRoss

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 7590
  • Location: Northern California
Re: On-line Stores & Sellers
« Reply #885 on: April 22, 2013, 04:33:00 PM »
"Maybe the problem most of you have ... is that you're not listening to Barbirolli." ~Sarge

"The problem with socialism is that sooner or later you run out of other people's money." ~Margaret Thatcher

Offline Gurn Blanston

  • Haydn: that genius of vulgar music who induces an inordinate thirst for beer - Mily Balakirev (1860)
  • Global Moderator
  • *
  • Posts: 31450
  • Support your local Haydn Society
    • Gurn's Haydn Blog
  • Location: Texas, where else?
  • Currently Listening to:
    Haydn, I reckon.
Re: On-line Stores & Sellers
« Reply #886 on: April 22, 2013, 04:59:34 PM »
See http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/government_programs/july-dec11/postoffices_09-06.html

David, there are, in this case, two forms of efficiency. One of them is in keeping the business profitable, which is the issue addressed in this interesting PBS interview. The other, of course, is delivering the mail. I'm not sure which one that Parsifal is talking about, but in terms of delivering the mail, they are pretty damned efficient. I suspect that this is because Congress (also known as The Root of All EVIL) can't really interfere with that, as much as I am sure they would love to.

In fact, I believe that if a recall ballot for my congressman was to be mailed to me, I would have it in hand, ticked off the "Aye" box, and back to Washington in record time without ever needing to resort to FedEx..... and all for less than $1. What a bargain!!  0:)

8)
Help support GMG by purchasing from Amazon using this link

Visit my Haydn blog: HaydnSeek

Follow me on Twitter @GurnBlanston106

Offline DavidRoss

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 7590
  • Location: Northern California
Re: On-line Stores & Sellers
« Reply #887 on: April 23, 2013, 08:30:36 AM »
David, there are, in this case, two forms of efficiency. One of them is in keeping the business profitable, which is the issue addressed in this interesting PBS interview. The other, of course, is delivering the mail. I'm not sure which one that Parsifal is talking about, but in terms of delivering the mail, they are pretty damned efficient. I suspect that this is because Congress (also known as The Root of All EVIL) can't really interfere with that, as much as I am sure they would love to.

In fact, I believe that if a recall ballot for my congressman was to be mailed to me, I would have it in hand, ticked off the "Aye" box, and back to Washington in record time without ever needing to resort to FedEx..... and all for less than $1. What a bargain!!  0:)

8)
Well, Gurn, in the second respect the USPS is efficient enough for most of my personal use, but in business for critical items we depended on FedEx because it had proven more reliable than the mail. Apparently many others do, too, and if USPS were equally efficient, there never would have been a market for FedEx to exploit.

Despite their shortcomings, I think USPS does a pretty good job. With a little bit of common sense, they could probably adapt to current conditions and be profitable while providing an essential, Constitutionally authorized service at a fair price.

Common sense, however, is getting to be a pretty rare commodity, and in government it's virtually non-existent!
"Maybe the problem most of you have ... is that you're not listening to Barbirolli." ~Sarge

"The problem with socialism is that sooner or later you run out of other people's money." ~Margaret Thatcher

Parsifal

  • Guest
Re: On-line Stores & Sellers
« Reply #888 on: April 23, 2013, 09:05:47 AM »
Well, Gurn, in the second respect the USPS is efficient enough for most of my personal use, but in business for critical items we depended on FedEx because it had proven more reliable than the mail. Apparently many others do, too, and if USPS were equally efficient, there never would have been a market for FedEx to exploit.

In my household, we do a lot of internet shopping.  In the last two years there were two delivery issues.  One UPS package never showed up despite tracking showing it delivered, one Fedex priority overnight package was delivered to our address in error.  I think both were related to the fact that there is a street in our zip code whose name is similar to our street name.  The time required for a USPS package is not as predictable as FedEx or UPS, but I do not find USPS at all wanting with regard to reliability.

I agree that the problems at the USPS could easily be fixed.  But Congress is loath the solve any problem because each party fears that the other will get credit.   >:(

Offline Gurn Blanston

  • Haydn: that genius of vulgar music who induces an inordinate thirst for beer - Mily Balakirev (1860)
  • Global Moderator
  • *
  • Posts: 31450
  • Support your local Haydn Society
    • Gurn's Haydn Blog
  • Location: Texas, where else?
  • Currently Listening to:
    Haydn, I reckon.
Re: On-line Stores & Sellers
« Reply #889 on: April 23, 2013, 09:13:44 AM »
Well, Gurn, in the second respect the USPS is efficient enough for most of my personal use, but in business for critical items we depended on FedEx because it had proven more reliable than the mail. Apparently many others do, too, and if USPS were equally efficient, there never would have been a market for FedEx to exploit.

Despite their shortcomings, I think USPS does a pretty good job. With a little bit of common sense, they could probably adapt to current conditions and be profitable while providing an essential, Constitutionally authorized service at a fair price.

Common sense, however, is getting to be a pretty rare commodity, and in government it's virtually non-existent!

In the bolded section; certainly, I use UPS (although it is moot, really) when it absolutely, positively has to be there overnight. USPS doesn't even offer that service, so it isn't as though it is a competition there. But the fact is, when I hold my employees feet to the fire and make them justify "next daying" it, they very rarely can. Everything simply does NOT have to be there next day. We've saved thousands by just stopping and thinking first. Just sayin'...

8)
Help support GMG by purchasing from Amazon using this link

Visit my Haydn blog: HaydnSeek

Follow me on Twitter @GurnBlanston106

Offline k a rl h e nn i ng

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • *
  • Posts: 51590
  • Et quid amabo nisi quod ænigma est?
    • Henningmusick
  • Location: Boston, Mass.
  • Currently Listening to:
    Shostakovich, Frescobaldi, Stravinsky, JS Bach, Liszt, Chopin, Haydn, Henning
Re: On-line Stores & Sellers
« Reply #890 on: April 23, 2013, 09:29:58 AM »
. . . Everything simply does NOT have to be there next day.

Testify, O Gurn!
Karl Henning, Ph.D.
Composer & Clarinetist
Boston MA
http://www.karlhenning.com/
[Matisse] was interested neither in fending off opposition,
nor in competing for the favor of wayward friends.
His only competition was with himself. — Françoise Gilot

Offline Geo Dude

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 1346
  • Pipe Organ Addict
    • My Blog
  • Location: Texas, US
  • Currently Listening to:
    Beethoven, Berlioz, Couperin, Debussy, Haydn, Lully, Rameau, Ravel
Re: On-line Stores & Sellers
« Reply #891 on: April 23, 2013, 09:36:23 AM »
I agree that the problems at the USPS could easily be fixed.  But Congress is loath the solve any problem because each party fears that the other will get credit.   >:(

Well, it's hard to argue with that. (Unfortunately.)

Offline DavidRoss

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 7590
  • Location: Northern California
Re: On-line Stores & Sellers
« Reply #892 on: April 23, 2013, 09:44:35 AM »
I'm particularly amused by the latest wrinkle in cheap shipping: an unholy alliance between UPS and the USPS, in which UPS gets the item from East Coast to West in a couple of days, then turns it over to the postal service, which takes several more days to cover the last 15 miles of the journey. ;)  Is this the worst of both worlds? First, UPS uses your package as a tackling dummy, then USPS slots it for "Rush--same decade" service...?
"Maybe the problem most of you have ... is that you're not listening to Barbirolli." ~Sarge

"The problem with socialism is that sooner or later you run out of other people's money." ~Margaret Thatcher

Parsifal

  • Guest
Re: On-line Stores & Sellers
« Reply #893 on: April 23, 2013, 09:50:24 AM »
I'm particularly amused by the latest wrinkle in cheap shipping: an unholy alliance between UPS and the USPS, in which UPS gets the item from East Coast to West in a couple of days, then turns it over to the postal service, which takes several more days to cover the last 15 miles of the journey. ;)  Is this the worst of both worlds? First, UPS uses your package as a tackling dummy, then USPS slots it for "Rush--same decade" service...?

They have the same deal with Fedex (smartpost) and DHL.  All seem to have same peculiarity, that the primary carrier reports it has been "tendered" to USPS and two days later USPS registers "arrived at facility."  I find it impossible to determine which party is fudging the transfer date.

Offline Octave

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 2029
Re: On-line Stores & Sellers
« Reply #894 on: April 24, 2013, 12:25:39 AM »
Ack!  Apropos Nav's observation which jump-started the postal service discussion...it seems the price boost has come home to roost: I see that domestic CD shipping at Amazon US marketplace is now $4, up from $3.  Today is the first I've noticed it; I'd no idea this was in the works.
« Last Edit: April 24, 2013, 01:58:05 AM by Octave »
Help support GMG by purchasing items from Amazon through this link.

Parsifal

  • Guest
Re: On-line Stores & Sellers
« Reply #895 on: April 24, 2013, 06:24:11 AM »
Ack!  Apropos Nav's observation which jump-started the postal service discussion...it seems the price boost has come home to roost: I see that domestic CD shipping at Amazon US marketplace is now $4, up from $3.  Today is the first I've noticed it; I'd no idea this was in the works.

That is a very recent development, perhaps overdue, since US postal rates increased some time ago.

If you believe in efficient markets, it should make no difference, since that fixed shipping fee is turned over to the seller.  If the increase in cost is affecting sales, the marketplace sellers can lower their prices by one dollar and return that cost increase to the customer.   Of course, not everyone believes in efficient markets.

Offline Gurn Blanston

  • Haydn: that genius of vulgar music who induces an inordinate thirst for beer - Mily Balakirev (1860)
  • Global Moderator
  • *
  • Posts: 31450
  • Support your local Haydn Society
    • Gurn's Haydn Blog
  • Location: Texas, where else?
  • Currently Listening to:
    Haydn, I reckon.
Re: On-line Stores & Sellers
« Reply #896 on: April 26, 2013, 05:40:22 AM »
That is a very recent development, perhaps overdue, since US postal rates increased some time ago.

If you believe in efficient markets, it should make no difference, since that fixed shipping fee is turned over to the seller.  If the increase in cost is affecting sales, the marketplace sellers can lower their prices by one dollar and return that cost increase to the customer.   Of course, not everyone believes in efficient markets.

Shipping & Handling isn't supposed to be a profit center, it's supposed to cover shipping & handling. I mail disks within the US regularly, and the cost of a single disk is $1.58. An bubble mailer envelope cost me less than .50. SO if I was getting $3 to cover my $2.08 investment, and stroll to the PO to drop it in the mail, I really find it hard to justify the need for a 33% increase in the charge.  Back in the day when eBay didn't regulate S & H, I used to see people charge $7 - 8 just because they could.  33% is a pretty good leap at one swoop, I'm just not too enthusiastic when it comes to bending over to find ways to justify it. :-\

8)
Help support GMG by purchasing from Amazon using this link

Visit my Haydn blog: HaydnSeek

Follow me on Twitter @GurnBlanston106

Parsifal

  • Guest
Re: On-line Stores & Sellers
« Reply #897 on: April 26, 2013, 06:08:07 AM »
Shipping & Handling isn't supposed to be a profit center, it's supposed to cover shipping & handling. I mail disks within the US regularly, and the cost of a single disk is $1.58. An bubble mailer envelope cost me less than .50. SO if I was getting $3 to cover my $2.08 investment, and stroll to the PO to drop it in the mail, I really find it hard to justify the need for a 33% increase in the charge.  Back in the day when eBay didn't regulate S & H, I used to see people charge $7 - 8 just because they could.  33% is a pretty good leap at one swoop, I'm just not too enthusiastic when it comes to bending over to find ways to justify it. :-\

8)

Is $1.58 the new rate?  In any case, it is the same $3 regardless of the size and weight of the item, it can sometimes cost significantly more.  I ship in small volumes and the packaging seems to cost me $1 or so.  Plus, Amazon encourages you to include a delivery confirmation number, another $0.65, I think.   Finally, you are entitled to a fair wage for the time you spend "handling."  :)

Offline mc ukrneal

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 8843
Re: On-line Stores & Sellers
« Reply #898 on: April 28, 2013, 08:53:51 PM »
Shipping & Handling isn't supposed to be a profit center, it's supposed to cover shipping & handling. I mail disks within the US regularly, and the cost of a single disk is $1.58. An bubble mailer envelope cost me less than .50. SO if I was getting $3 to cover my $2.08 investment, and stroll to the PO to drop it in the mail, I really find it hard to justify the need for a 33% increase in the charge.  Back in the day when eBay didn't regulate S & H, I used to see people charge $7 - 8 just because they could.  33% is a pretty good leap at one swoop, I'm just not too enthusiastic when it comes to bending over to find ways to justify it. :-\

8)
A couple months ago, I got several one disc packages in the mail and I just happened to notice the different stamp costs for each. Some were under $2, while a couple were closer to $2.50. Also, the array of ways in which one disc is sent (wrapping and packagaing) is pretty remarkable. There is no consistency. I don't know if Amazon has any guidelines on these, but it's clear that noone reads them if they do.

For me, I will probably end up buying fewer discs with the postage change, which will help me keep my music spending down! :)
Be kind to your fellow posters!!

Offline TheGSMoeller

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 11403
  • Monkey Greg
Re: On-line Stores & Sellers
« Reply #899 on: May 06, 2013, 07:15:32 AM »
Amazon MP seller shipping fee is up to $3.99 now. I didn't notice until yesterday. I don't recall any announcement at all, but it's been a while since its gone up, in fact I don't even remember the last time it's gone up.