Category Archives: Amazon.com

How I got 18 boxes of a snack

Last week I was looking for buying a snack in bulk. Amazon was offering a pack of 8 at 0.24 cents/oz and with subscription it even comes down to 0.23 cents/oz. Being a prime member, it was almost a no brainer for me to buy it but I felt that the price was still expensive. So, after a bit of search I found that Walmart.com actually had it at 0.172 cents/oz and also sold individual packs ($2.58 per pack). But the catch is, I have to pay for shipping. But they also had free-shipping for orders above $45. Since I was considering this in bulk, I just put an order for 18 of them which cost $46.44 with free shipping. Obviously this is far better deal than what I was getting at Amazon even with subscription.

I got an order confirmation from Walmart and in a few hours I got an email that the order was shipped with the tracking numbers. Those of you who use Gmail, it scans for tracking numbers and displays them on the side. I saw 3 such numbers and thought that probably they couldn’t put all the 18 packs in the same box and so sending me in 3 boxes. So far so good.

Today the order actually arrived home. To my surprise, the order arrived in 18 separate boxes! Yes, that’s 18 of them individually packed with air pouches. I think the delivery person must have thought I was crazy :). I was even teased by family members.

The interesting thing for me is, did Walmart make any money off my order at all? Did they end up paying more money for shipping all those 18 individual boxes than the cost of the packs? I don’t know but as a consumer if I were to similarly ship those 18 boxes to someone else, I know that I would end up paying a lot.

So, what went wrong? I think it’s probably a software drawback. The software that drove the order fulfillment wasn’t smart enough to figure out that it should try to ship them in fewer boxes and reduce the cost of shipping. What about the humans who oversee this? I guess, they were just busy neck deep with all the work to even think anything otherwise and question the computer.

I wonder if the enterprise software systems developed in the last two to three decades are smart enough for the Internet.

One last thing, I went back to Gmail to see why I saw only three tracking numbers on the side. I don’t know for sure but looks like Gmail only shows the first 3 and ignores the rest. I hope they should have had a fourth line indicating “3 out of 18 displayed” and then I would have prepared myself and alerted my family to be ready for 18 boxes 🙂 of the snack.

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Filed under Amazon.com, ERP, Walmart.com

Selling A House On Amazon!

Check out this Home Listing On Amazon!

Call it marketing technique or desperation. The description of the listing goes

Product Description
SHORT SALE!! Owe bank $292,994.. Hardship, pre-foreclosure. Resort Living with Pools, Spa, and Tennis located in Mountain View Gated Community”. The best house available. Buyer to pay closing cost. Patio Cover in back yard. Large Corner Lot. Panoramic View of Mountains. Newer home. Comparables from $380 – $412 K. Next to Golf Course. North of Mission Lakes Blvd. 9 Miles to Palm Springs. Upgraded galore Beds: 3 Baths: 2 Sq. Ft.: 1,500 $/Sq. Ft.: $195 Lot Size: 7,900 sq. ft. Property Type: Single Family Residential Detached Year Built: 2006 Stories: One Level View: Mountain Area: Desert Hot Springs Subdivision: Mountain View Country Estates County: Riverside MLS#: 41294751 Additional Rooms * Master Suite * Living Room * Breakfast Counter/Bar * Breakfast Nook Flooring Information * Ceramic Tile * Wall-to-Wall Carpet Water & Sewer Information * District Water Source * Front Sprinklers Only * Auto Timer for Sprinklers * Sewer Connected & Paid Pool & Spa Information * Has Pool * Community Pool * Has Spa * Community Spa Interior Features * Window Blinds Property Information * Has Yard * CC&R’s * Gated Community * Land: Fee School Information * School District: Palm Springs Unified Fireplace Information * Has Fireplace * In Living Room Appliances Included * Dishwasher * Garbage Disposal * Microwave * Built-In Gas Building Information * Direct Garage Access * Main Floor Master Bedroom * Concrete Tile Roof * Square Footage Source: Seller Patio Information * Has Patio * Concrete Slab Patio Lot Information * APN: 661470021 * Lot #: 310

It can’t be a joke since Amazon actually assigned an ASIN (Amazon Store Item Number?) for this house and it’s B00106CN44.

I can already imagine mashups between Amazon.com and Zillow.com with all the MLS listings!

Now how do you like creating a Wishlist for houses, My Favorites for Houses, a Listmania, A deals widget for Houses, an Omakase (contextual) links and may be even recommendations based on your past purchase history (of houses or other things on Amazon)! Or may be even a donations widget asking people to fund your favorite home.

Right now it seems to be a 3rd party seller’s listing. Now, imagine if Amazon were to enter into a real estate brokering business. Using it’s dynamic price optimization, you would see one price and someone else a different price, give or take a few thousands of dollars!

And all of a sudden you get New Homes, Used Homes and Like-New homes. If a roof is newly done or a kitchen is remodeled, then it could even go as a “Refurbished Home”! Of course, there is no packaging with UPC code that has to be sent to get a manufacturer’s rebate. Practically, everything that Amazon does with it’s products, I am imagining how it goes with a house listing!

Here is the best thing, some kid puts a home in the shopping cart and a day later the rich dad with no credit limit tries to buy a book using One-Click and guess what, “Honey, the monthly credit-bill this month came to a million plus, what did you buy?” Just kidding!

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Filed under Amazon.com, Home Selling, Realestate, Zillow