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Author Topic: A tale of 4 tires: how local business can't or won't compete against online  (Read 748 times)

unix

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The consumer wins, does he not?
Brawndo. It's got what plants crave.

I D Shukhov

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I think so. Retailers are actually middlemen which take some profit for having a store, keeping an inventory and having employees.  Amazon does those things a lot better.  It's disintermediating retailer-middlemen and allowing wholesalers to sell directly to the consumer.  Amazon's return policy takes care of the screw-ups and their rating system helps somewhat about making good decisions.  However, that needs some improvement:  http://forums.techcareerfubar.com/discussions/washington-post-article-on-amazon-review-gaming/msg97039/#msg97039

I expect Amazon to get on this better just like FB is working on getting rid of fake accounts which abuse their platform to influence people politically.

Be Prepared.

The Gorn

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I D, my opinion is that you're idealizing Amazon's role.

Amazon Prime started around $79/year and is now $120/yr for the same services. A 50% jump in about 3 years. They'll do exactly the same with fulfillment services over time.

As I mentioned earlier in the thread, I see them very much like Wal-Mart, which completely disrupts the retail in any area it moves into... except that Amazon disrupts retail across the country and maybe the world.  Wal-Mart has a verifiable track record of raising prices in communities wherever it succeeds in shutting down competing retail.

I expect exactly the same opportunistic profit-seeking behavior out of Amazon. It is simply what corporations do.

Yes, Amazon is now highly cost-effective for the biz support services you cite.That's their entry tactic. Not something they are obliged to continue.

Secondly, I don't see Amazon moving into local services as a great thing for independent contractors. Ever hear of borks?

You guys don't have any experience with the marketing and selling of short term gig based services. I, however, do. Borks exist at all levels.

The bottom line is that an "umbrella" service provider like Amazon Home Services acts exactly like a bork.

The WORST rates and treatment come about when you go into a short term project as a temp contractor working for an agency.

The problem here is that if Amazon gets traction they will convince consumers that they should never, ever deal with independents who don't work under the Amazon banner.

Also Amazon will do just as borks do which is castrate the need for the small time operator to market themselves.

Marketing yourself is a critical phase for all small service guys to pass through. Many of the failed freelancers I know looked for "programs" and sponsors to help them.

Quote
just like FB is working on getting rid of fake accounts which abuse their platform to influence people politically.

You say that like it's a fact and a thing, which it is neither. Only a moron will be persuaded to change their vote by a Facebook ad.

Amazon does a poor job of removing scammy vendors or bad products. If it sells, it stays up there.
« Last Edit: August 02, 2018, 09:14:52 am by The Gorn »
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I D Shukhov

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Only a moron will be persuaded to change their vote by a Facebook ad.

No, but it might motivate people to go vote.


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ilconsiglliere

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The ONLY reason I use Amazon its because its cheap and the no hassle shipping. I dont really like Amazon and Bezos and their flavor of politics. They have removed books from their store because certain "special" groups have complained about it. Its freaking censorship no matter how you slice. Oh you are offended? Tough shit. Its not up to decide what I can/cannot see. I have 2 words for that F*CK YOU. Amazon is another business that is sponging off the taxpayer on multiple levels.

Amazon's days are numbered IMO. Here is why - both Target, Walmart and others are now do exactly what Amazon does. I normally dont shop at Walmart because most of what they have is substandard and the store by my house is an Indian shithole (its the dirtiest Walmart I have ever seen - no joke. The store literally 3rd world dirty).

Regardless I ordered something from Walmart online and was very pleasantly surprised. They shipped fast, no grief and the item was exactly the same as was being sold by Amazon and it was cheaper. I normally price check everything I buy online as Amazon surprisingly sometimes hoses you. They engage in dynamic pricing which basically means if they see demand going up they jack up the price. Same thing the airlines do. Amazon is very predatorial, make no bones about it. Once they finish exterminating their competition they are going to raise prices.

I am glad that Walmart and Target have entered the fray. There is no reason that they cant do exactly what Amazon does. They already have the infrastructure AND physical stores.

In the last year I have been buying stuff off of Ebay from little sellers. Why? No tax and they frequently have free shipping. Granted its not 2 day shipping ala Amazon Prime. Amazon Prime is now hosing everyone. They jacked up the price in the last year from $100 to $120. Thats a 20% increase just because they can. I did cost benefit analysis about how much I buy and the cost of shipping. The prime pays for itself but that is starting to erode with their increases. Frankly Amazon prime now costs more than Costco. And Costco is selling online now as well. They also have the infrastructure.

The thing about the tires is good to know. I have a freaking German car that uses high performance tires. The dam things are $250+ a piece. 4 tires is easily like $1K+. The last set I got at the dealer because the dealer is matching the local tire shops. I know I got plowed but what choice did I really have unless I bought online.

I have never bought tires online via Tirerack because I didnt want to deal with the bullshit of finding someone to mount them. Here in the People's Republic of NJ independent auto mechanics are now hard to come by. Two reasons it has happened, the first is the state govmt. The NJ state govmt has put the stones to all the independent mechanics via environmental bullshit. I have a friend that only repairs VW, Audi and Porsche. He had quite the nice business going with no shortage of demand. Anyway the state was constantly screwing with them. They would come in and demand to see where he store the used oil, coolant and other shit. He had tanker trucks in the back where it was collected and than towed away. They would show up with no notice and want to do an inspection on the spot. They would inspect the garage floor for fresh oil/coolant stains. Than there was bullshit about seeing the cars in the lot waiting to be repaired. It was an eyesore and environmentally not safe because the cars leak fluid.

Anyway he had enough after years and years of this bullshit so he sold it. The second reason ss because of the computerization of the cars. They cant cope with all the electronics and sensors so a lot of them have closed shop. It sucks frankly and when I take my car to the dealer they plow me and than than some.

But I need to rethink this because if I can get my performance tires much less online - guess what? I will make the effort to find someone who will do it.

The Gorn

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Yeah, in general, Amazon is a social causes libtard version of Walmart that creates the same kinds of economic hardship in competitors.

As far as demand pricing, my tires went up about $10 when I re-checked the other day when I posted this... Cooper tires was offering a $100 rebate for purchases in July, and I am wondering if AMZN was squeezing the price on last minute purchasers because of the rebate deadline. I can totally see that.

Believe me, this pricing was the lowest I found when I searched several online channels, and Walmart  was totally acceptable because I could get free shipping to the local store. Amazon had  the best price for these tires. It must be all of the virgins they sacrifice.  :P

Prime is still a good deal and they have a "mini Netflix" service. We like some of the original series such as "Man in the High Castle".

I can act opportunistically, too. I'll drop Prime like a rock if I feel like the deals are not worth it.
« Last Edit: August 03, 2018, 07:15:26 am by The Gorn »
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unix

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Quote

They would inspect the garage floor for fresh oil/coolant stains. Than there was bullshit about seeing the cars in the lot waiting to be repaired. It was an eyesore and environmentally not safe because the cars leak fluid.


Now that is scary.  People's Republic. Wow.
Brawndo. It's got what plants crave.

unix

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Quote
The second reason ss because of the computerization of the cars. They cant cope with all the electronics and sensors so a lot of them have closed shop. It sucks frankly and when I take my car to the dealer they plow me and than than some.

I think the reason here, say with BMW, you need very specific BMW equipment, expensive scanners and stuff. I've had two and both were unreliable and expensive to fix. You cannot just buy some scanner at a parts store  and expect it to to work. I had to buy a special tool just to  change the oil. Another expensive tool to change the radiator fan. It's a specific thing for that model.

I think MB, Audi, VW, Volvo are all exactly the same thing today in 2018.
Brawndo. It's got what plants crave.

The Gorn

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You guy live high on the hog. My vehicle model year is 16 years old.

The specialized test stuff is probably coming to American and Japanese cars, but if this car craps out, I plan to buy something like a used Camry or even a used Cadillac CTS - something an ordinary mortal can afford diagnostic equipment for.
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unix

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I've had about equal luck with tirerack and the local Sam's Club.
Brawndo. It's got what plants crave.

ilconsiglliere

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You guy live high on the hog. My vehicle model year is 16 years old.

The specialized test stuff is probably coming to American and Japanese cars, but if this car craps out, I plan to buy something like a used Camry or even a used Cadillac CTS - something an ordinary mortal can afford diagnostic equipment for.

My car is hardly high on the hog ;) - its 10 years old and I also have a 28 year old VW.

Not sure about Caddy's being easy to repair. Its a high end car no different than a Mercedes and I trust GM even less than I trust the Europeans ;) .

My brother in law has a big ass RAM diesel truck. Its only a few years old and its had its share of problems. He had this one particular problem for over a year - he would come out in the morning and the battery would be dead. It wouldn't happen every day but it was frequent enough to hose his life. Took it to the dealer I don't know how many times. They changed the computer, changed this, changed that. NOTHING worked.

Finally he read somewhere on the internet that the instrument which is completely electronic would come on by itself. So he put one of those mini cameras that people now have in their cars pointed at the dash. Sure enough the dash would come on by itself during the night. So the dealer swapped out the instrument pod and thats a HUGE ordeal as it means taking apart the dash. Yes it still went on.

Than he read something about it being related to the radio. Apparently in their infinite wisdom one of the truck's computers is IN THE RADIO. So the dealer swapped out the radio and it finally stopped.

Electronics on the newer cars can be a nightmare when there is a problem. As the computer controls everything when you have a problem it can e huge. And the computers do really stupid shit like not letting the car run if there is a problem.

As newer cars age they aren't going to be able to be fixed because of the electronics. Bet on it.

The Gorn

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I just read in multiple reviews that the "compact" Cadillacs like the CTS are super reliable because they're basically the company flagships. They are in a different cosmos than Impalas and Cobalts. :P
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unix

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I've had several early 90's Buick Roadmasters, loved that platform (called B-body)

Powerful V8 engine, easy to fix, easy access to everything in the engine bay.

Never failed me, never stranded me. OTOH, the Bama-era GMs I think steeply declined in quality. Had an 06 and now an 08, constant issues with everything. Especially electrical issues.
Brawndo. It's got what plants crave.

ilconsiglliere

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I just read in multiple reviews that the "compact" Cadillacs like the CTS are super reliable because they're basically the company flagships. They are in a different cosmos than Impalas and Cobalts. :P

You may be right, I don't know. I am not a fan of GM and never have been. My family had a bunch of different ones and they always had grief. Had a few Fords that were very problematic. So not a fan of them either.

https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/cars/2017/10/19/consumer-reports-toyota-tops-reliability-and-cadillac-last/777807001/

https://repairpal.com/cadillac/cts/car_reviews

https://www.truedelta.com/Cadillac-CTS/reliability-37

The Gorn

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I grew up in a GM family - Dad worked for GM and buying their cars (heavily offset by employee discounts) was basically our household religion.  >:(

Virtually every GM car we had that we owned more than 2 years started to fall apart. I drove a Vega in college that almost liquified from rust. My Dad sold his '94 Lumina to my brother and IMMEDIATELY after he sold it (97, 98 or so) the car required hundreds of dollars of work.

I dunno, it's just a personal fantasy to own a Cadillac and I believe they do better over time than the mid grade shit that GM makes.But I don't have enough information to argue assertively that it's a good car to buy used.
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