Amazon has enhanced its competitive-pricing proposition and product ranges by hosting a large number of third-party sellers on its site. But a significant percentage of Amazon apparel shoppers—38.2%—prefers to buy directly from Amazon rather than from third-party sellers on the site. This is likely due in part to perceptions that third-party sellers offer less clarity with regard to shipping fees, returns charges and the right to return items.
Amazon, land of 1 million things you need and 5 million options for each of them, has quickly become the one-stop shop for an insane amount of online purchases. For me, that's because they have a wide selection, carry most of the brands I want, list them at near the lowest or the lowest prices I've seen in price comparison research (with shipping in mind), and, last but absolutely not least, because I'm a Prime member and the internet has made me a glutton for instant gratification — something that 2-Day (or two-hour) shipping panders well to.
This page lists alternatives to Amazon for buying various kinds of products. Some of these sites may share some of Amazon's unethical practices. I am pretty sure that any site selling MP3 files on the internet imposes an EULA -- an inexcusable wrong. Streaming sites, too. And all of them identify the purchaser. It is better to buy from a store, and pay cash. Or else get a copy through sharing.
A.: Prime members save $2 per month on this subscription service that offers thousands of books, movies, TV shows, educational apps and games for children ages 3 to 10 years old. Recently, Amazon expanded the ages, to also include specialty content for kids ages 9 to 12. Owners of a new Fire Kids Tablet automatically receive one year free. FreeTime Unlimited is accessible through Fire tablets, Fire TV and Kindle e-readers. Parents can granularly sort and filter content based on their own judgement as to what's appropriate.
With more than 100 million members worldwide, Amazon Prime gives customers access to streaming video, free shipping, Prime Day discounts, and a variety of other Amazon-specific services and deals for $119 per year. For many, the service is a no-brainer for the shipping perks alone, but there's a lot more to a Prime membership than free shipping and streaming services.
Investors should also know that the Amazon Prime-heavy subscription business surged 55% to reach $3.41 billion in Q2. Beyond shipping and delivery deals, users have access to Amazon Prime Video, which competes directly against Netflix (NFLX - Free Report) . The firm has reportedly committed to spend $5 billion a year on original and licensed content as the streaming war heats up.
In August 2007, Amazon announced AmazonFresh, a grocery service offering perishable and nonperishable foods. Customers could have orders delivered to their homes at dawn or during a specified daytime window. Delivery was initially restricted to residents of Mercer Island, Washington, and was later expanded to several ZIP codes in Seattle proper. AmazonFresh also operated pick-up locations in the suburbs of Bellevue and Kirkland from summer 2007 through early 2008.