Dear Blog Readers,
We have become the kind of blogger we never wanted to be — the kind who has a "read our blog" button on our website but the newest post is months old. We blame Facebook for this — it's so much easier to write something there and we seem to have more followers there than we did here on the blog. Still, we can't quite bring ourselves to give it up altogether yet — so instead, we're posting this little note to explain our lack of current entries. Please do check out our facebook page, we think it's fun, if not quite as long form.
sincerely, the Joie de Blogger.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Amazon goes completely to the dark side . . .

I know I just blogged, but this article I read in the New York Times today kind of blew my little shopkeeper's mind. I couldn't decide how to title this post - above, or "Will They Stop at Nothing?" Evidently the answer to that question is - "They will stop at nothing." Read this and judge for yourselves:

"Amazon’s effort to pay shoppers to scorn physical stores is prompting a bit of a backlash. The retailer is offering a bounty for those who venture to the mall or Main Street on Saturday and compare the price of items against Amazon’s price. Customers who use a special price check app on their smartphone will get up to $5 off on up to three qualifying products from Amazon in eligible categories (electronics, toys, sports, music and DVDs). This is not sitting well with physical retailers and their fans. There is a budding Occupy Amazon: Shop Local movement on Facebook. The American Independent Business Alliance said it was “jolting” to see the company “overtly encouraging people to spy on local stores while turning those businesses into showrooms for Amazon’s profit.” The alliance also noted that while Amazon said it was doing this to lower prices, the comparative data might also encourage it to raise prices on some items to a level just marginally below the physical stores’ prices. Oren Teicher, chief executive of the American Booksellers Association, wrote in an open letter to Amazon’s chief executive, Jeff Bezos, that this was “the latest in a series of steps to expand your market at the expense of cities and towns nationwide, stripping them of their unique character and the financial wherewithal to pay for essential needs llke schools, fire and police departments, and libraries.”

And it goes on, I won't include the entire piece - but I do agree with the ending quote: “Even if it doesn’t work fiscally, it sure is giving them a lot of free publicity. But on a more philosophical level, I just think it is mean.” I would say mean . . . and unethical . . . and greedy. They DO want to take over the world - watch out !

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