Newest Review: ... for a product on google 90% of the time amazon comes up and is always the cheapest! The website is easy to use to search for ... more
Flow of Excellence
Member Name: Goonerette89
Advantages: Customer service, selection of books/CDs/films, returns policy, simplicity, sometimes the prices
Disadvantages: Some things can be expensive and review rating system is petty and unfair
Amazon.co.uk is of course an online store selling products including books, music, films, clothing/lingerie, groceries, electrical, furniture, sport, computing, stationary, office equipment, music downloads and so on. I have ordered so many things off Amazon it is impossible to keep up although I've slowed down with the purchases this year as many of you will understand, things are financially tougher than ever.
Amazon began as a bookstore in the USA - and was indeed named after the river - and like many niche companies it has grown into a major online international retailer - the largest in the world, in fact - with websites not only in its original homeland but also here in Europe - UK, Germany, Spain, Italy, France as well as Canada, Australia, Japan and China. Polish, Brazilian, Dutch and Swedish Amazon stores are on the way. Founder Jeff Bezos is a man to which I am thankful and he deserves every dollar he earns.
Its UK website is set out nicely in crisp white background with their iconic orange colour and a big search bar and drop downs of different shopping departments, and also lists of recommendations suited to your individual needs - based upon what you view and buy. Recently the website has changed and is now in line with its flagship site (can you describe a website like that?): amazon.com.
Amazon.co.uk is easy to find what you want. Just type in your title or key words of what you want to browse in the search bar and within a second, you'll be given a list which you can alter around to suit your needs; determined by price or review ratings. If you need to you can narrow down your search via department (music, film, clothing, etc.), price, size and so on depending on what you're searching.
I remember first buying something on Amazon a few years ago via a mobile phone. It took ages to order since it was an old phone but the excitement of receiving the package was oh so exciting. I have ordered in bulks at Christmas and so on, probably annoying the poor postman who has to keep delivering box after box to my door each day but there is always something exciting about getting an Amazon delivery which is odd as their items are delivered in the least inspiring brown cardboard packaging possible - albeit it is very well packaged.
I know that a lot of people will be with me on this: without Amazon I'd be lost as it is one of the few places that caters to my interests and indeed, most people's interests. To exemplify, if you go in the average HMV on the high street and look at the jazz section or folk or reggae and so on, you'll be disappointed with the choice. I am, anyway.
Most CDs are just greatest hits packages as well; if I want a folk album or an obscure soundtrack, my first idea is to type in A, m, a... (Google Chrome tends to do the rest) and off we go to Amazon. If it's being made still and is not htere, I'd be surprised. This would be a good opportunity to tell you about my embarrassing purchase; a year or so ago, I became nostalgic and bought the Spice Girls' self-titled debut on CD at 1pm on Amazon Marketplace, as I'd lost the childhood cassette.
Prices on CDs are usually cheaper compared to high street stores and usually under £10; downloads are often a lot cheaper though which is a shame personally as I rarely download. I have heard their downloads can be cheaper than iTunes.
I have bought a lot of classic films on Amazon; again, something which is a struggle to find on the high street. Again if it a film that has been made and still being released, there is a very high likelihood of it being available on Amazon and at a good price. Again, to exemplify it, I remember going in HMV with my friend and finding Goodbye Mr. Chips (1939 original) at about £12. A whopping £12. A film that is seventy years old (okay, with remastering). I got it on Amazon at under a fiver. Admittedly not all of the films are cheap, though. 'Pandora's Box' of 1927 is nearly £15. 'Camille' (1936 remake) is also over £10, amongst many more. However I'm thankful to Amazon just because they make them available. I have bought a lot of films on here and my mum has also brought a few TV series, old and new - from the '70s through to the current day.
I have bought books as well as miscellaneous items such as a shopper and mobile phone cover. My parents have bought shoes and erm, paint rollers. We've never done any grocery shopping here as we do it, happily, at Tesco's website and in another supermarket but there's something I find strange about having groceries on Amazon. I assume that you order them the same way you do with everything else so I cannot envisage doing a whole grocery shop that way, without a list of favourite/usual products and items I've never even heard of but maybe I'm wrong. I can understand why they've expanded; in fact, they are expanding like Tesco, but only in the opposite direction and at least you don't have to have them plonk a massive superstore at the end of the street, ergo killing off any local characteristics or peace.
Amazon Marketplace allows individuals / companies to sell products, new or used and this includes personal postage and packaging which can be a real take on sometimes alas Ebay but I have used this service - such as with the Spice Girls CD - and is usually very good. I have ordered a CD from a seller on the American one once and the delivery was quick and fine. You're able to rate the seller after your buying experience - on delivery time and so on - and also the best rated sellers usually appear first when you are browsing a product. Marketplace sellers will be on the main Amazon page of product you're viewing so you're able to compare Marketplace sellers' prices to Amazon's.
Amazon's delivery is of typical standard financially but they do offer Super Saver Delivery which offers free delivery on items delivered to the UK or many parts of Europe within 3 to 5 business days - although there is a £25 minimum spend in Europe. There is also an option of next day delivery which is the most expensive but having used this, this is great. With the exception of one thing I have ordered through Amazon themselves, everything has been delivered punctually and perfectly. It can vary with Marketplace sellers, though. I ordered something from a seller who took two weeks. The only thing with Amazon that never arrived on time was a DVD in December when we had that problem with snowfall - two years ago? Anyway, having sent an email to them politely stating we hadn't received our DVD - a festive gift - they sent back an email apologising, blaming the snow (understandably so) and they promised that if it never arrived by a certain date as they were running behind, I should tell them and they'd send another. It arrived on that very day.
I also ordered a package or two by mistake once and following the instructions to sending the package back, I received a very prompt email letting me know the money had been refunded. This was sent about two days after sending the product back via the Post Office. Perfect!
My third and only other encounter with Amazon's customer service was again, exceptional. I spoke with a member of staff via the online chat service to cancel something and the very polite man on the other end cancelled it there and then, no questions asked.
Every product has a review option, so like here, you can review what you bought and watched/listened/read/used/wore and mark it out of five, plus put a few words of why you loved or didn't like it.
This can be very frustrating because so many people never review the product, they review the service and others just put a sentence. They also have a scoring system which mostly unlike here, becomes personal/biased. If you put a sincere, two star review which is well written and constructive, you'll probably have a review which is '2 out of 20 people found this review helpful' - in other words, eighteen people who own it already and disagree with your opinion so have no need to vote.
However, if you do a review which says: "This is probably the best album I have ever listened to !!!!!!! Amazing tracks, beautiful voice, guitars are rockin;!!!!!!!!!!! Buy it now!!!!!!!!!!!!!", you may get about nine out of ten helpful votes. Funnily enough there are reviews who review everything who are precious about this and there is a competition to be one of the best reviewers. Then there are a few narcisstic trolls posting one star reviews on classics which mean that the fifth star on the overall score isn't entirely filled in. Shame. On Dooyoo this is discouraged with minimum worded reviews, rules and the rating style and so on but Amazon never really do anything about this. On here you may disagree wholeheartedly with every word but if the content is good, you rate positively - if only Amazon were to bring in such rules because the reviews become unhelpful and meaningless otherwise but I understand they are also a shop who wants to sell so I doubt they will do anything that alters the amount of positive reviews there.
When you order you can do it the long way or the tempting-you-to-buy-more-because-it's-addictive-an d-easy 1-Click short way. 1-Click is where you set your settings to one payment method, address, delivery etc. and when you find a product you want to buy, rather than placing it in the basket and going through the usual blah, blah, blah online checkout method you click the 1-Click button and there, you've ordered it in one click, literally. Or alternatively you can do the traditional, safer method with the item(s) in your basket and choose your credit or debit card, then choose which of your stored addresses you want to deliver to, then when you want it delivered. You've also got a choice of having your item gift wrapped, should it be a gift - this at a small price.
You're able to just log onto your account to check the progress of your parcel and they also send you emails updating you and of course, confirming your purchase.
Amazon's online rival is Play.com which can sometimes be cheaper and who also offer free delivery and a wide range of shopping departments (I cannot compare customer service as I've had no interaction with it) but Amazon is the first port of call whenever I want a boost to my film, music or book collection because I know that: 1. whatever I want will be there nine times out of then and 2. your comeback should you have any problems with a product or service is good. Someone even got an instant refund on a download, which is impressive - just because he never liked the quality of sound.
I only hope we keep this level of customer service as Amazon become all the more successful in the years to come.
Summary: Brilliant store which in every way deserves its status as the biggest and best in the world.