Dilbert_X wrote:If I ordered something I'd want it delivered in good condition, its not unreasonable.
if i wanted to buy a book in new book quality i'd go to a book store. and, you know, pay a fair price. how terrible that the peons working zero-hours contracts in warehouses and delivery drivers working on precariat-thin margins don't wrap everything nicely!
'you get what you pay for'. half of amazon now is actually full of fake books, counterfeits and knock-offs. it is rampant and they're doing little to combat it.
https://nplusonemag.com/issue-36/the-in … e-bottoms/
The company sits comfortably at the peak of its influence, its supply chain built on the back of tax evasion, labor exploitation, corporate lobbying, massive profits from its web-server business, and federal antitrust enforcement that has hovered between lax and corrupt. Amazon’s power has been vast and growing for so long that it’s no longer new or noteworthy in the publishing press, except for the occasional article about its depressing brick-and-mortar bookstores, where endcap displays say things like “Books Most Frequently Highlighted by Kindle Customers.” Amazon’s bookseller origins seem almost quaint now that its blueprint is so vast — its delivery vans roaming the streets, piloted by tired and underpaid third-party drivers;1 its lockers lining the walls of every 7-Eleven; its Echo speakers and touchscreens listening in from your kitchen, your living room, your bedroom, playing songs from Amazon Music and prestige TV from Amazon Prime, placing grocery orders with its recent acquisition Whole Foods. Sadly, publishing will never be as interesting as the complete and total restructuring of society. But with a market share of 45 percent of print books and 83 percent of ebooks, Amazon remains capable of crippling the industry and upending its practices with little more than an algorithmic tweak.
In the past decade, Bezos’s early, antagonistic mentality has been diffused across a massive platform with limited oversight and the default ability to make life hell for publishers. In January 2010, Amazon removed buy buttons from all Macmillan titles in retaliation for their disagreement over ebook terms and prices. You could still peruse Macmillan books on Amazon — but you couldn’t purchase them. Not unless you wanted a used copy from a third-party seller, in which case the writer and the publisher would get nothing, while Amazon still got its cut. In 2014 Amazon did something similar during a dispute with Hachette, eliminating pre-order buttons and imposing shipping delays on Hachette’s titles. In retrospect, the latter conflict was most notable for how public it was; as an industry, book publishing prefers to fight — and mostly lose — its fights behind the scenes.
These days the buttons don’t have to vanish for publishers and authors to get screwed. Since 2017, third-party sellers are no longer relegated to links in small type: now they can compete for orders directly through the buttons. When you click buy now or add to cart, you might be purchasing a book — even a new book — from a reseller, even when you intend to do no such thing. You might end up with a foreign-market edition, or a secondhand edition at such a steep discount that the brand-new paperback seems like a bad deal. Or you might forget about the book altogether, because throughout the shopping process Amazon has been encouraging you to choose one of its own titles instead. Imagine an independent bookstore whose employees are always interrupting your browsing to offer a cheaper, bootlegged copy of the book you’re holding, and to point you to an array of even cheaper books they wrote themselves. Now imagine that process weaponized with vast amounts of information about your browsing and purchase history — and that of millions of other consumers.
The Times’s indefatigable David Streitfeld wrote two huge stories in 2019 about the explosion of counterfeit books on Amazon. Technical manuals, Pulitzer Prize winners, headline-grabbing nonfiction: all of it exists on the site in both authentic and forged editions. Readers encouraged to choose between bootleg editions, secondhand editions, and foreign editions — any edition, as long as it’s cheapest — don’t tend to notice who they’re buying from, and most wouldn’t care if they did. If the product is somehow defective (Streitfeld tracked down a customer who’d purchased a copy of 1984 in which instances of the word faces were replaced with feces), they’ll get a replacement with free two-day delivery.
Publishers would be structurally incapable of keeping track of every instance of malfeasance even if keeping track were a top institutional priority, which it isn’t. Amazon could distribute typo-free books if it cared to, but it doesn’t. As Streitfeld wrote, “This is not really negligence on Amazon’s part. It is the company’s business model.” Like Facebook, Amazon doesn’t put a high value on moderation, or any kind of human/editorial intervention, casting the very core of the bookselling business as one more efficiency to be optimized. Thus the everything store is not a store at all, but rather the retail economy in miniature, its seedier and illicit aspects brought to the surface, operating on an equal plane with more straightforward transactions — all of which Amazon profits from.
so yeah, people subscribing to amazon prime have about as much grounds to complain as streamers do about spotify's service, imo. you are already accessing a radically underpriced product/service, much to the cost of the creator. if you want quality music, go buy a record. if you want quality books, go visit a good bookseller.
tl;dr: fuck amazon
Last edited by uziq (2020-01-24 08:01:30)