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Goats, Now Available From Amazon
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Li Tan
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Li Tan,
User Rank: Ninja
4/5/2015 | 9:59:03 PM
Re: New Services
This is a good start - Amazon is trying to offer more and more services to ease people's daily life. To me this is more or less like O2O concept - using tools/apps online to get the services/product offline.
StaceyE
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StaceyE,
User Rank: Ninja
4/5/2015 | 12:37:24 PM
Re: New Services
@ Thomas

Absolutely! We learned the hard way when we bought our house and had to have our septic system replaced unexpectedly. We used homeadvisor.com (who claims to screen the contractors they refer to you), and we were left with a big hole in the front of our house, a failed septic system, and a contractor that disappeared with the $7,000 down payment. We had to take him to court, which he did not show up for and we were awarded a default judgement. Now he owes us $85,000 including attorney fees of just over $5,000. The judge added a large amount to our judgement for pain and suffering and the stress he caused our family and because we found out through the proceedings he had worked under 15 different business names in a four year period, and had been sued more than 25 times in a 15 year period by people he had scammed all over the country. The Better Business Bureau had nothing on the guy under the company name we knew him by. Now, of course he is MIA and we will probably never recover our money...but it just shows that you can't trust something just because a website claims to have checked it out.
jastroff
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jastroff,
User Rank: Ninja
4/1/2015 | 4:23:54 PM
Re: New Services
Really good point -- >>  I would love it if this service makes hiring a plumber as easy as buying a bag of dog food and having it shipped to my house.

We would like to see this succeed as well as Amazon does other things, so it's better for us all around. Then again, a plumber is not quite the commodity pet food is, so, it may never really be the same

I have a very good plumber, but he's in Westchester, NY.
jastroff
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jastroff,
User Rank: Ninja
4/1/2015 | 4:21:24 PM
Re: The music of grazing goats
Maybe the goats were just a stalking horse (pun intended)!
jastroff
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jastroff,
User Rank: Ninja
4/1/2015 | 4:20:23 PM
Re: New Services
>> Choice is an interesting thing. Most people think the more options they have, the better. In most cases, it's the opposite. So having less choice is better. In CL's case, what they offer works.

Sounds like you are talking about choices and boundaries (options). You seem to be in favor of boundaries. If that works, that's fine. In the case of CLs, more choices might be better. I'm sure they are on the way.
zerox203
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zerox203,
User Rank: Ninja
3/31/2015 | 10:00:24 PM
Re: Goats, Now Available From Amazon
This is definitely a cool idea, and just as with Google, you can see where Amazon expects this to synergize with their existing offerings - looking at the services website, it says that sellers' services will be listed alongisde related products on Amazon's main store. So, someone purchasing a new entertainment system will be served a link to a local home theater setup service through Services. Tying the payments (and therefore, bonuses earned through Prime subscription) together in itself adds a lot - we can see the thought of being able to buy everything through Amazon becoming a reality. That said, I appreciate that the system is in Beta, but Amazon still seems to have made some odd choices with it.

For example, they mention a price match which is great - but it's for the same seller only. What they don't mention is that they charge sellers per sale they make - likely, most sellers will raise their normal fee by exactly the amount of Amazon's surcharge. Seems like this could lead to a deluge of customers requesting $5 price matches. The vetting, the refunds, the rigorous tax compliance, all sound nice - but that amounts to barriers and cost for small businesses, so for now Services may either favor larger businesses (think Geek Squad) who already have jacked up prices or force small ones to raise theirs as well. I found most services simply unavailable in my area, and the ones that were seemed  pricey - hundreds of dollars for home WiFi setup. I think Amazon should make it easier for smaller businesses & indepedentant contractors to get involved if they don't want to end up like Google Helpouts.
pcharles09
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pcharles09,
User Rank: Ninja
3/31/2015 | 9:31:42 PM
Re: New Services
@jastroff,

Choice is an interesting thing. Most people think the more options they have, the better. In most cases, it's the opposite. So having less choice is better. In CL's case, what they offer works.
Thomas Claburn
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Thomas Claburn,
User Rank: Author
3/31/2015 | 7:52:42 PM
Re: New Services
>It would be great if they could make hiring a TRUSTWORTHY plumber as easy as ordering the bag of dog food.

Alas, assessing people can't be scaled or automated. Recommendations from friends are probably still the best metric for hiring contractors.
StaceyE
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StaceyE,
User Rank: Ninja
3/31/2015 | 3:27:38 PM
Re: New Services
@vnewman2

It would be great if they could make hiring a TRUSTWORTHY plumber as easy as ordering the bag of dog food. I have learned my lesson about using online contractor referral services. Even if the referrel service checks out the contractor with the Better Business Bureau, you still can't be sure you're getting a reputable service professional.
StaceyE
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StaceyE,
User Rank: Ninja
3/31/2015 | 3:25:02 PM
Re: The music of grazing goats
@ Charlie

When I was growing up my aunt always had a couple goats around her property, it was much easier than having my uncle keep up with the landscaping!
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