Amazon to sell more stuff in 2008
Just like 2007
This afternoon, during a conference call with industry analysts and reporters, Amazon chief financial officer Thomas Szkutak gave the world a peek into the company's plans for the coming year. "In 2008, you know, we're going to do more of what we did in 2007," he said.
That's right, Amazon plans to sell more stuff. "We're going to make sure we have great prices across all our categories and geographies - as was reflected in our Q4 results." Q4 results were pretty good.
In the quarter ending December 31, 2007, Szkutak announced, Amazon's net sales hit $5.67bn, a 42 per cent increase from the fourth quarter of 2006. Even if you leave out the $0.20bn boost that came courtesy of fortuitous foreign exchange rates, sales increased a full 37 per cent. This translates to a 112 per cent profit increase, from $98m in Q4 2006 to $207m in Q4 2007.
In 2007 as a whole, net sales increased 39 per cent to $14.84bn, and net income leaped 150 per cent to $476m. This was the company's fastest annual growth rate since 2000. And in 2008, the company expects net sales of between $18.75bn and $19.75bn. That would an increase of between 26 and 33 per cent. Szkutak plans to sell lots more stuff. But you knew that. ®
Amazon Not So Good
Most Canadians using Amazon don't waste time at amazon.ca because the selection is so poor and the prices so much higher. We instinctively turn to amazon.com in the US, whereupon we get bitten by an exceptionally stupid example of mal-design.
When you log on to amazon.com, it knows what country you are in. Yet the amazon system is happy to let you fill up your shopping cart with goods they will not ship outside the US. (Only if the listing includes "international shipping available" will they ship ex-US.)
When you then go to check out, you get the Highly Illuminating error screen "there is something wrong with your order." I kid you not.
Given such overt stupidity, you can't help but wonder what hidden stupidities infest the Amazon system . . .
Ebay has analogous stupidities involving knowing what country you are in but not acting on the information. AFAICT, all these big e-commerce sites are like this, and the sooner they get ousted by an outfit in, say, China, the better.
At least Amazon is not yet so full of the fraud that is utterly prevalent on Ebay. I'm sure there is some, but not to the same scale. I've been selling on Amazon lately and found it much less of a hassle, not having to deal with mails about almost everything I sell, from Prince Abu Dabu asking if I'll take a wire transfer.
How good is Amazon?
I have recently tried to buy some goods from Amazon UK and had a seriously bad experience. The website did not work correctly and showed some very serious potential security problems. I have not, even after eventually getting call from a real person in Ireland, had a satisfactory explanation of what went wrong.
Needless to say, I am now an ex customer.
No Pay Pal in sight.