A couple of minor rants.

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  • A couple of minor rants.

    One I'm disappointed in MLCSwoodworking.com. I ordered something from them on the 17th, and they just shipped it today on the 27th. Ten days and it was not backordered, it was stuck in "processing" all that time I kept checking the status and even inquired with CS. They blame Covid. Free shipping, Yeah! Ten day processing delay for orders, boohoo! Many years of good service but now Amazon is upping the ante with 2 day delivery, while MLCS is slipping for the worst.

    Rant no. 2 is Amazon. They have the same part as MLCS listed as MLCS and with the same exact part number and description but selling for $16.98 instead of $7.95 at MLCS website. Maybe I'd be paying for quicker processing.

    Rant three is still with Amazon. I use a couple of Amazon Fire 7" tablets around the house, only paid I think $35 for them. And they do Alexa. Convenient. I have for a couple of years now been using the eBay app available to put an eBay launch icon on my Fire desktop. Its just recently quit working saying I need to load a new app. When you do that it tells you the app you have is the most current. What apparently has happened is that Amazon who owns Fire brand has disabled the eBay app from working. You can still go to the browser and launch eBay.com directly but its not the mobile website for small screens and its a little more inconvenient. Still, my point is that I don't like Amazon feeling like they can essentially censor my buying choices. They're getting too big for their britches. Its like a Ford car navigation unit would not let it navigate to a Chevy or Toyota dealer for any reason.
    Other users have noted the same problem, it is not just me.
    Last edited by LCHIEN; 12-01-2020, 08:14 PM.
    Loring in Katy, TX USA
    If your only tool is a hammer, you tend to treat all problems as if they were nails.
    BT3 FAQ - https://www.sawdustzone.org/forum/di...sked-questions

  • #2
    I’m seeing more and more companies using COVID as an excuse/reason for slow performance, even when it’s a function that can easily be accomplished by a remote worker. Amazon pricing always warrants watching as their marketplace sellers often gouge on pricing. SWMBO is always finding stupid prices on Amazon pages. I’m still out to lunch on the Fire brand, but maybe I’m too old school.
    Jim Frye
    The Nut in the Cellar.
    ”Sawdust Is Man Glitter”

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    • #3
      I am irritated with Amazon Prime and I let their customer service know it on an order mix up a couple of months ago. They charge $120? for Prime 2 days and then ship out in 3 days with a 2 travel/delivery plan . . . i.e 5 days or more consistently since covid. I told them I understand Covid to some extent but charge $120 for 2 days and it takes longer is a misrepresentation. I suggested that they extend everyone's Prime for 6 months or re-imburse for all the times it takes a week or more to get something.

      And you are right about their pricing on many things. Anytime I see a woodworking or other item that I am familiar with the company, I go to the company's website and check their prices against Amazon. Some things are a tad cheaper on Amazon, but most of the time they are more expensive.

      Lately, I am seeing a number of things on eBay at much higher prices than at Home Depot, Lowes or even HF. I think quite a few individuals think they and take others to the cleaners. eBay just doesn't have the bargains like they used to have.
      Last edited by leehljp; 11-28-2020, 08:10 PM.
      Hank Lee

      Experience is what you get when you don't get what you wanted!

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by leehljp View Post

        Lately, I am seeing a number of things on eBay at much higher prices than at Home Depot, Lowes or even HF. I think quite a few individuals think they and take others to the cleaners. eBay just doesn't have the bargains like they used to have.
        eBay sellers always require cross checking. Often prices are well over retail. Sometimes 2X and 3X. They're hoping for the stupid buyer that latches onto the first item he sees and assumes they have reasonable prices. They may lose 10 sales to careful shoppers but the one sale they make at 3X retail gives them the same profit with less work than 30 sales at 10% margin.
        Anyway, its not a good assumption anymore that eBay and Amazon prices are bargains. Some items are just out of sight.



        Loring in Katy, TX USA
        If your only tool is a hammer, you tend to treat all problems as if they were nails.
        BT3 FAQ - https://www.sawdustzone.org/forum/di...sked-questions

        Comment


        • #5
          While I prefer to buy locally, it is getting quite difficult to do so. Over the last fifteen years we have seen far too many stores close and certainly in the last eight months or so there is a lot less products as people seem to be hoarding. But going to Amazon is not much of a solution because the prices on common goods is significantly higher. I think that far too many Amazon and E-Bay sellers are buying up stock and then price gouging because they know there are shortages.

          For example, back in March we were in a local variety store and I saw they had a five pack of disinfectant wipes for $10.99. It looked like a good price but I thought I'd check with my wife as she's more in tune with such things. So, I returned the next morning and they were sold out. I checked Amazon and the price for the exact same product was $105! While many grocery-type items are significantly more on Amazon, this particular item was a bit shocking.

          I rarely buy anything on E-Bay unless it's a part or an item I know I can't find from another source. Often there's a bargain, but you have to be careful. This past year I did get a nice price on a light box for slide editing and a film editor, both items somewhat rare and together I think I spent around $60.

          I am a Amazon Prime member and it pays off for us as our purchases certainly have increased over the last few years, especially because we can't find it locally. Even things like vitamins, shampoo, etc. the local Walmart's and few other retailers, simply are out of stock or no longer carry it. The prices and delivery are good (except for grocery items which we won't buy at inflated pricing). Some photo products are nicely priced, but you have to beware. I'm a Canon fan, and although Amazon retailers sell it, most are not 'authorized Canon dealers' and therefore it can't be registered and thus, no warranty; the same is true of Manfrotto.

          I do like Amazon, as it's easy to find products in great variety, shipping is free and timely and returns are easy. I do find some things easier to buy from Newegg and a few other retailers. Most of my camera equipment I get from Adorama or B&H in NYC. The biggest problem (and it's a growing one) is shipping. While the Amazon tracking system is nice, you can almost bet that if it's coming via USPS it's going to be one, two, or three days late (back in July we waited four weeks for some prescriptions to arrive from Humana, after a month they arrived. (The postal service had routed them thru Guam!) I just got a package yesterday (Saturday) that was tracked to my local post office and "was out for delivery" on Monday! Our poor mailman is often delivering our mail as late as 9:30 pm.

          UPS isn't much better and you can almost guarantee that if it's UPS, it will arrive damaged, sometimes to such an extent it makes me wonder why the driver even bothered! I got a package this past August that was so bad I couldn't pick up the box without broken pieces falling out!) I've gone through three rolls of packaging tape in the last year returning items to the local UPS store. But, there is nowhere in our area that I could have purchased any of this, so not a lot of choice but to depend on UPS or USPS.

          CWS






          Last edited by cwsmith; 11-29-2020, 04:50 PM. Reason: spelling corrections
          Think it Through Before You Do!

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          • #6
            Being a small rural area town, even though it is 35 minutes from Memphis, we have an address dilemma.

            FEDEX and UPS ONLY deliver to street address!
            The USPS ONLY delivers to P O Box to "in town" residents.

            Some companies (Apple is one) will NOT allow a P O Box in the address system, but often ship by USPS.
            Some local USPS employees will NOT put a package noticed in a box unless the BOX number is on the package or letter, and then send it back if it does not have the box number while it does have the street address. There is one guy in the USPS that knows me and will put a letter or notice in our box - without the box number being on it. (That box number has been in our family since the late 1950's)

            I usually get around the problem by listing street address and box number (not "P.O. Box") (Some allow that as they think my address might be an apartment box.)

            Shipping is getting high on some items on eBay (and Amazon for a few items that are not under Prime) and I just bypass them.

            We do save by using Prime on Amazon - as much as we order from them.
            Hank Lee

            Experience is what you get when you don't get what you wanted!

            Comment


            • cwsmith
              cwsmith commented
              Editing a comment
              I understand about some of these small towns. Years ago when I was on a job in Davidson, NC they didn't have door to door mail delivery. Everything had to be delivered to a P.O. Box. I remember asking about that, as I knew then a lot of places wouldn't ship things to just a P.O. Box.

              I wonder if that kind of thing is just in some southern states? We lived in the country for most of my youthful years and our address was simply our name and "Old Rt 17", and that was enough to get delivery right to our mail box located across the road on a post. It always seemed strange to me whenever I heard about areas where you had to go into the post office and pickup your mail.

              CWS
              Last edited by cwsmith; 11-29-2020, 04:57 PM.

          • #7
            We use Amazon Prime enough to make it well worth the money. The only time I cringe on the shipping is when the seller uses DHL or FedEx. FedEx is getting better. My preference is USPS and then UPS if given a choice. The time is comparable between the two and the damage factor, in my experiences, is less with the Post Office.

            Shipping cost is pet peeve with me. EBay sellers are getting outrageous on a lot of items. What really gets me is companies that base shipping on the cost of the item. Why would it cost the same to ship a $20 order of steel hinges as it would to ship a single lock that cost $20 and weighs about the same as one pair of hinges? Basically they are just too lazy to compute the actual shipping costs.
            Don, aka Pappy,

            Wise men talk because they have something to say,
            Fools because they have to say something.
            Plato

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            • #8
              The thing about free shipping (Amazon Prime and many eBay vendors now), is that I used to worry about managing grouping and buying multiples in purchases to minimize shipping costs. Now I can order without regard to shipping and let the big boys worry about managing shipping costs.
              Loring in Katy, TX USA
              If your only tool is a hammer, you tend to treat all problems as if they were nails.
              BT3 FAQ - https://www.sawdustzone.org/forum/di...sked-questions

              Comment


              • #9
                Originally posted by Jim Frye View Post
                I’m seeing more and more companies using COVID as an excuse/reason for slow performance, even when it’s a function that can easily be accomplished by a remote worker. Amazon pricing always warrants watching as their marketplace sellers often gouge on pricing. SWMBO is always finding stupid prices on Amazon pages. I’m still out to lunch on the Fire brand, but maybe I’m too old school.
                It's not all unwarranted.

                In a way, I manage an order fulfillment group but for pharmaceutical type samples. After we were allowed to return to work (and only some of us), a calculation was done to determine how much sqft an employee would need to maintain physical distancing. Then based on each lab's sqft, it was determined how many people could be present in the lab at once. When I was physically in the lab, we could only have 3 out of 6 people there. At least with me working remotely full time, it's 3 out of 5. There are other labs that can now only have 8 out of 50 people.

                Now add in the complication of many people having to take care of kids or even adults because schools are virtual, and you have a challenging logistical issue. Some of our experiments can span multiple days so your experiment might not line up with the days you can work because you need to be home.

                And if anyone is positive in the lab, even a visiting repairman, the lab is shutdown for at least a day while it's fully sanitized.

                It all just snowballs.

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                • #10
                  "I wanted it cheap, and I got crap service!!"

                  Sorry man, but that's what you said. Amazon has pulled a bunch of things off Alexa and Fire. Sure, an iPad costs more, but you know that Apple has never and will never summarily pull capabilities out. I used to have all three automation systems in the house, and have lots of lights, switches, and doors on automation. Well one day Amazon just pulled the Chamberlain feature from Alexa, after some sort of piss-up with Chamberlain. BOOM! Overnight my smart garage doors became dumb garage doors. For this reason, I'm only buying things that work within the Apple Home ecosystem. I would not trust Amazon for anything that has to do with automation, tablets, and the like. They are capricious. Ring, which is owned by Amazon, did something similar after promising more integration for years, sold a bunch, then said F-you! Do not trust Ring either.

                  On the other hand... There are many times that I see things for a higher price on Amazon. But I can have it right away, and I can completely trust Amazon to make it right if there's an issue. I completely trust Amazon on buying products and getting them to me.

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