Friday, April 17, 2009

The world of big business

The Amazon controversy continues for some. This author says that she's been censored by Amazon and isn't happy. Anytime a company is massive, like Amazon or Walmart, they have dominance. Naturally, they will use their size as a powerful marketing tool. They are able to buy in bulk and pass the savings along to the consumer. They are able to have the upper hand in negotiating with their suppliers. If a supplier wants to have their product available to millions, they are forced to play by their rules. Sometimes a few toes are stepped on in the process. For example, Walmart has strict cost guidelines which force many manufactures to cut corners with their products in order to stay within the Walmart pricing strategy. Sometimes this isn't always good for the consumer when a product isn't up to its usual standards or packaged in a smaller size. As far as Amazon is concerned, they are able to manipulate what they sell as well. They will favor the big publishers because that's where the money is. In the process, sometimes the smaller guys are shuffled around in a way that may not be fair. That is the way business is conducted, it isn't always fair. However, when Facebook decided to make some very unpopular changes, their users raised a protest. As a result, they decided to lean in favor of their users. They know where their numbers come from and how competetive internet business is. Amazon has listened to their customers to some extent. Amazon knows how to create a profitable business, which isn't easy in times like these. Nevertheless, they don't always play fair. It would be naive to think that big business is always on the up and up with its consumers. They wouldn't be on top of the heap if they didn't know how to play the game. Its up to each individual to decide what they want to do. Do they want to fight for the rights of a few? Its important to keep an eye on situations like this in case it starts to snowball into something big. Nothing big ever started out that way. It always starts out one step at a time. Walmart started with just one store. Amazon was a start up internet business once upon a time. That is why there are government and business watch dog groups, to keep the massive powers in check. Its the Democratic way.


Bryan said...

I know one thing for sure, big business doesn't need to be defended. They hold all the cards. Its up to us to watch out for us.

Jen said...

I can see both sides of the coin. I wouldn't want my kid to accidentally find questionable material on their site without it being properly censored. On the other hand, if its properly controlled, then these people should be able to market their books like anyone else. Maybe they need to start their own bookstore? But, then, they wouldn't have access to the millions of consumers at Amazon.