Amazon Prime Free 2-Day Shipping sounds great! But, did you know that Amazon never foots the bill for shipping a product to you? Nope, the company offering the product pays all the shipping costs. Most companies selling on Amazon Prime are big businesses. They're either doing a large volume of sales, have a high profit margin (meaning they're charging you much, much more than the product cost them), or they've tacked the shipping cost onto the price you're being asked to pay.
Did you know that Amazon requires that a company selling on Amazon Prime ship their products to often three or more different Amazon distribution warehouses within the U.S.? The product remains in the Amazon warehouse until it's purchased on Amazon's website and then shipped to you. If a product remains in an Amazon distribution warehouse for more than thirty days, the company pays storage fees to Amazon. Thus companies are encouraged to ship fewer products more frequently to avoid these storage fees.That's an awful lot of transportation and a heavy environmental impact.
On top of all that, Amazon pockets 15% of the selling price. If a company offers you a discounted price, Amazon still collects 15% of the original selling price.
Where does that leave the small, family-owned and operated company? Well, NOT selling on Amazon Prime - it isn't a cost-effective option. Amazon NOT Prime can be an effective marketing tool for a small company. It can make a product visible to a large number of potential customers, but for that product to appear on the first few pages after a search, a company would need to pay Amazon for advertising - Amazon pockets yet more of the small company's profit...
If you believe that small, family-owned and operated companies are essential to our economy, you'll want to ensure that it is the small company that profits most from your patronage - not a big business such as Amazon. You can do that by purchasing directly from a small company's own online store or by picking up the phone and talking to the real people who make the real product. They'll be delighted to hear from you - we always are.
Please share your thoughts. We'd like to know what you're thinking.
P.S. I'm no saint. I admit that I too occasionally shop Amazon Prime.