I hope this letter finds you in good health, and want to tell you I’ve been an avid buyer of Amazon literary products for many years. However, despite my love of the Kindle reader, which stores hundreds of electronic books and permits instant adjustment of lighting and type size and the spontaneous purchase of any of millions of books in your inventory, I’m becoming increasingly disenchanted with you. For years I’d heard but didn’t dwell on reports that Amazon’s employees are forced to work too hard at repetitive physical tasks and subjected to more stress than necessary. I think what I periodically suspected was that you have a ravening hunger for money that – along with brains, hard work, and luck – has enabled you to become by far the richest man in modern times and perhaps ever. Let’s be honest and concede that a nice guy, no matter how talented and diligent, would never accumulate a hundred fifty billion dollars of wealth. I realize you had to part with thirty-five billion in a recent divorce settlement, but that’s not what’s driving you to price gouge during the current coronavirus pandemic.
No, what you’re doing now only comes from greed. People are dying in the United States and all over the world and as the carnage accelerates here and in Europe and people stand in long lines outside markets to try to buy essentials like hand sanitizer, toilet paper, and dried beans that simply aren’t on the shelves. I’ve several times queued up at six-forty-five a.m., prior to a seven-to-nine o’clock grace period for senior citizens, but I’ve yet to find any of the aforementioned products. I’ve still got a little of each left, but what then? That’s it. I’ll see what Amazon’s offering online. What other source is there for many of us?
What I started seeing about two weeks ago was very discouraging. I bought a ten-pack of toilet paper for fifteen bucks. There was no shipping charge but there was a wait of four to seven weeks. If I’d needed the product faster the shipping would’ve been thirty-five bucks. That’s not a misprint. Thirty-five bucks to ship ten rolls of TP scheduled to arrive in a less-than-rapid three weeks. Really, Jeff, do you need those extra dollars, beyond a healthy profit, on both the product and shipping? This morning a study of Amazon TP offerings suggests you have eased prices a little.
That leads us to hand sanitizer. Amazon advertises a lot of it and it’s quite expensive. I selected a two-pack, about five ounces for three dollars each. With a shipping & handling fee of ten bucks – a lot of your money comes from shipping, doesn’t it? – and tax, I paid more than seventeen for two small plastic bottles scheduled to arrive in five to eight weeks, not very fast considering the cost and small size of the product. What do you think of that, Jeffrey B?
I love pinto beans and other beans and don’t know what I’m going to do when I run out because I don’t eat much meat and beans are my primary source of protein and the damn grocery shelves are always barren. I’ll have to be able to stretch the pension check to be able to afford some Bezos beans. I’m leaving out brand names but here’s a two-pound package for fifteen dollars plus six for shipment that would arrive in about three weeks. I know, buy more and pay less. Here’s a seven-pound bag for forty bucks, pretty steep even with free shipping that may be glacial.
Wait. What’s this? A twenty-pound bag for sixty-five bucks and free shipping scheduled to arrive next week. That’s a good deal, Jeff, and I just bought it. No kidding. You may be joining the fight.