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Messages - WayOutWest

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121
Good on them!  I wouldn't even begin to know where to get the uplink from.  I know one WISP service near here gets theirs from KAMO (Kansas & Missouri electric co-op headquartered in Vinita, OK, about 40 miles from here) but there's lots of hills between here and there, whereas the owner of that WISP provider has pretty much flat land between him and Vinita OK.  Only reason I know that is because of the time that I was a subscriber of his and told him I lived at my sister's house (at top of hill) and then I bounced the signal down the hill from her house to me.  The equipment I used, though, is now old tech and easily hacked.  To this day haven't found any inexpensive gear that performs anywhere near as well as that old ParkerVision router did (mfg claimed 1 mile range).  :(

At one point there was cable tv out here, but that company never would do internet (because they couldn't readily get a high speed uplink) and it got bought out by Adelphia, which went under.  Adelphia got bought out by Time Warner, but they never connected up to these cable tv lines out here and now the lines are abandoned. They're still attached to the various poles all over this area, but nobody using them.  Hmm.. .

Since the electric co-op owns all the poles, no paying for space on the poles to run the lines, no having to pay for electric to run the service, and no having to hire linesmans to maintain the lines since they already have a crew for maintaining the electric lines.  A nearby co-op ran the numbers and just having the fiber optic link to a house out here raises the market value of it by $10,000. 

To me it seems a no-brainer to want it.  Young people would be more willing to move into the neighborhoods and thus filling up the older homes that are sitting around vacant with for sale/rent signs on them, it would increase the resale value of the homes, it increases the rental price of homes, it would encourage home builders and businesses to move into the area (which in turn means they'll pay more for the vacant land which hasn't seen an increase in market price in a couple of decades), etc. 

I really think the big problem is that we have too many old folks in charge of things at the co-op, who don't even know what an inturn-nut is and think the world wide web has something to do with giant arachnids.  ::)
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drop down for fruit ripeness preference. E.g. bananas it has choices of yellow, slightly green, or green.  Of course, slightly yellow isn't a choice.  I like to buy a mix: a couple of yellow, a couple of slightly green, and a couple of slightly yellow.  Can't do that with their options. 

Town I'm in, most people commute to Tulsa for work.  With evening rush hour traffic, that's an hour and a half drive (w/o rush hour it's 35 mins).  So, by the time you leave work (whether you got off at 4 or 5) and sit behind the wheel for 90 mins, you don't want to deal with going into a grocery store.  But what pick up time does the Reasor's in my town offer? 1pm. smh  I really think they decide to offer it to show that they have services that some of the other stores don't, but at the same time don't really want to do it.
123
Working now.  Great find! Very helpful instructions regarding the new shipping templates.  Thanks! :D!
124
You certainly would. 

Yeah, options where I live are very limited, which is extremely frustrating.  AT&T even has a fiber optic line running right by our neighborhood (two lots away from me, in fact), but it's to link two townships together (after the old crossbar switching station got taken out by a tornado, which until the mid 80s  was a step x step system -- the kind where you use rotary & only dial last 4 digits to make a call), and they still haven't tapped into the fiber optic line for consumer use.  :(

Only options here are WISP (wireless internet provider, but house is in a bit of a valley so cant see the signal from area WISP providers), satellite, cellular (which has very limited options, especially when you start looking at data hotspots), AT&T DSL, or *ack* dialup :o   I keep hounding the electric co-op to please start providing fiber optic, but it falls on deaf ears (meanwhile other area co-ops are doing it).
125
One of the services Amazon announced is the ability to place your grocery order online and then pick it up on the way home.  Like several stores, a local grocery store (Reasor's) has the same type of service (where you can go online, put in your order, and then pick it up later--on your way home, etc.).  And, like Publix's delivery service, Reasor's online ordering hasn't really taken off. 

Some of the reasons Reasor's pick up service hasn't taken off is that while you can input specific requests regarding your produce, it's still a little limited in your options (they use a dropdown menu); the selection the store has online is limited, they charge a $5 pickup fee; the website is a little awkward (they use shopouraisles.com) and stores have limited times you can pick up your order. For example, my local store only offers 1pm for pick up times.  ::)  If people are going to do pick up, most are going to want to get it on their way home from work in Tulsa, which means around around 6pm.

I don't know if Amazon is going to do a better job or not, but if they're going to start that service, they're going to have to do a better job than the locals, and the local shops are going to have to up their game and improve their systems.
126
from NY Post
Hallmark sues distributor for selling ‘unauthorized’ cards

Hallmark is suing a Long Island distributor for allegedly selling 8 million “unauthorized” Hallmark cards on the cheap.

The 73 truckloads of cards were supposed to be destroyed, not resold. . .
(continue reading)
127
Amazon, you're broken, again.  Guess I'll have to try later to view.  Got the following error message when trying to follow the link:
128
They talk as though Amazon Fresh was innovative, but it's really no different than phoning up your local grocer and having the delivery boy bring it, something that people in the bigger cities have been able to do for decades, though the availability of that service has declined.

IMHO, the big hurdle with Amazon Fresh has been the inability for the customer to screen out bad produce or produce that wasn't ripened to your liking/needs. With the traditional delivery service, you can ask for them to pick according to your needs (e.g. slightly under ripe bananas or fully ripe bananas).  If the delivery person brings produce you don't care for, you can reject it at point of delivery. Though I've never used Amazon Fresh, I would imagine that it's not as easy to say to the delivery person things like, "I don't like these 3 bananas, so I'm only taking these 2".
129
^ Truly!

We're all more than qualified for that job. Yet another instance where my having crappy AT&T DSL really sucks!  :(   Heck, right now even a google search results page is taking nearly 2 mins to load  :(
130
Makes me feel even better about the fact that (thanks to late deliveries) I haven't had to pay for my Prime for 2 yrs now, ha! 
131
The increasing problems appear to be systemic rather than isolated to the customer support team in India.  Warehouse workers doing a poor job of packing (if they even put it in a box, it's becoming increasingly common for them to simply slap a shipping label on the item itself), more and more items shipped by Amazon are showing longer than two days for arrival, seller support seems to be getting increasingly worse, and to top it off their prices seem to be getting higher and higher. 

Used to, items sold by Amazon were fairly competitively priced. Even when they were higher than locally, the price difference was small enough that the convenience of having it delivered to your door more than made up for it.  Now, though, it seems that their prices are getting higher and higher. 

They also seem to be carrying lesser quality goods.  Some manufacturers will make different grades, so to speak, of their products for different markets (TJ Maxx is one such market).  For example, I ordered some jeans from Amazon and they were way thinner than what is sold locally. 

To top it off, they're adding sales tax to more and more states, even when they don't have a physical presence in that state. (Yeah, the consumer is supposed to remit those taxes voluntarily, but. . . )  The sales tax doesnt get added to items sold by 3P sellers, even when it's FBA (unless the seller opts for tax to be collected), so there's that.
132
So in other words we can expect to see even more brands restricted from 3P sellers, as they like to use the counterfeit claim for legitimate goods, simply because they were bought outside official channels (e.g. bought at retail stores), and more false counterfeit claims.
133
They may have lost money on "their books" from the Diapers.com purchase, but how much more did they gain from limiting competition?

To me, Amazon is an antitrust case just waiting to happen. If only someone in government had the guts to do it. I'm remembering Standard Oil and the AT&T Bell network.
Yeah. Agreed.  Heck, when Diapers.com started up, Amazon sold diapers below cost in order to drive them under, when that didn't work, but did succeed in driving the value down significantly, they bought 'em.
134
* Amazon Central / Re: Amazon lowered its free shipping minimum to $35
« on: March 01, 2017, 10:26:36 AM »
I really dread having to pay $99 for Prime (I still have yet to pay it thanks to all the free months due to late delivery that Ive gotten  :h0035)

For some walmart items, the price difference is big enough that people are using walmart to dropship to their AZ customers. Of course the customer might not be too happy when they see walmart as the return address. . .   I bought an item not too long ago that was that way. I ran the numbers (after seeing it was dropshipped) and it would have been $5 or $6 cheaper for me to have bought it direct from walmart (paid $30 on AZ.AZ was out of stock but 3P seller had it at similar price to what AZ normally sells it for).

As for everyday purchases that are FBA Vs. walmart, I'd rather go with AZ even if a tiny bit higher. Why? Because walmart takrs forever and a day to deliver on an unspecified day, whereas with Prime I know I'll have it in 2 days (or will get a free extra month of Prime).
135
* Amazon Central / Re: Amazon lowered its free shipping minimum to $35
« on: February 26, 2017, 08:46:15 AM »
Call me dense but I just dont get the whole walmart buying jet thing. I guess that's because I dont care for jet.  One thing I dont like is their whole 'the more you buy the more you save' model. Why cant I get that same savings if I buy 1 or 2? Also many items on jet arent any cheaper than other places and I find their website to be clunky. If walmart wanted a better ecommerce site, they could have easily revamped their crappy site.

Amazon lowering their free shipping minimum causes me to think their plan of converting people to Prime wasnt as big of a success as they had hoped.   Which, there are people that dont care for the streaming stuff Prime gets you and that dont shop Amazon enough to justify the $99 fee (or who simply cant afford the $99 fee). My mom is one of those ppl. Thanks to my sharing my Prime she does get the 2 day shipping benefit. If I wasnt sharing it, she simply would buy even less on Amazon than she does rather than paying the prime fee or the shipping upcharges.
136
* Amazon Central / Re: Amazon will build its own $1.5 billion air cargo hub
« on: February 14, 2017, 04:30:21 PM »
From the first article, "an Amazon subsidiary based in Beijing is now operating as a freight forwarding provider, arranging cargo shipments to the US for Amazon merchants based in China", which explains how so many sellers in China are readily finding their way to Amazon.

Interesting, but not surprising, to learn that Amazon is building this hub.  It wouldn't surprise me in the least to learn that their long game is to be the next UPS and overtake the shipping industry.
137
* Amazon Central / Re: Amazon collecting sales tax in 11 additional states
« on: February 14, 2017, 04:12:16 PM »
Excellent point.  I sometimes end up spending nearly an hour with a customer. Usually it's just 20-30 mins, but still, that translates into lots of lost productivity. Not to mention all the times I spend 10-20mins with a customer, only to have them not buy anything.

At the Kansas State Fair, we're in the bldg at the end of the row, furthest away from the main action on the fairgrounds.  Used to, I could work it by myself and still have plenty of time to polish all of the jewelry, restock inventory, and even make earrings and necklaces.  Now, because of more foot traffic to our bldg., it takes two to run it.  It's not that sales have increased, it's just that we have more foot traffic. 

My point is, there's a high number of customers that a B&M gets that simply don't buy anything, but they do require attention.  In the case of the Kansas Fair, our labor could be cut by half if one eliminated the non-buyers (which would be about the same with online Vs. a relatively busy B&M).  Add to that the time that's required to assist the customers that do buy stuff (time spent describing the product, letting them examine it, showing them pieces that match their wants/needs, helping them find an item they like that's in their price point, helping them find coordinating pieces, etc.), and that's a huge amount of labor expense that a B&M has Vs. what an online shop has.
138
* Amazon Central / Re: Amazon entering auto parts marketplace
« on: February 10, 2017, 02:43:37 AM »
It wouldn't be the first time Amazon has had a company drop ship for them. I've gotten an item or two in the past that were listed as sold by/ shipped by Amazon, but ended up being shipped by someone else.
139
* Amazon Central / Re: Amazon collecting sales tax in 11 additional states
« on: February 10, 2017, 02:40:09 AM »
You're absolutely right. The online retailers will find ways to cut prices even more if need be. Some will merely force the manufacturers to sell at lower prices, others will find other ways to cut their prices -- negotiate lower credit card rates, negotiate lower shipping costs with FedEx & UPS, trim staff, etc.
140
* Beyond eBay & Amazon / Re: For anyone who can get to Lancaster, Ohio
« on: February 09, 2017, 01:52:08 PM »
Just read this. One of the pallets even had some Sig Sauer pistols  :o wow! All those pallets make me wish I lived closer
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