Amazon Prime Air

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AlyssaEimers's picture
Joined: 08/22/06
Posts: 6568
Amazon Prime Air

Amazon Prime Air: Delivery by Drones Could Arrive As Early as 2015 - ABC News

Is this something you would support? Do you see it happening reasonably soon? Would you be afraid your packages would break?

KimPossible's picture
Joined: 05/24/06
Posts: 3319

I'd have to know why its advantageous for a company to use this method of delivery? I'm not really sure i get it. Is it because it would make delivery faster so people don't have to wait as long? Is it more environmentally friendly? I'm not sure why it would be...individual machines per delivery doesn't seem environmentally friendly to me. I see that the safety issue hasn't' really been hammered out yet.

I'd need to know more about it to know if i support it or not

My packages breaking are the least of my concerns/questions as I'm assuming if they were damaged during delivery, amazon would replace them.

GloriaInTX's picture
Joined: 07/29/08
Posts: 4116

I'm sure it would be a premium service that would be very expensive. The faster the delivery the higher the price even now. So I very much doubt it would replace normal delivery, it would just be an option if you really needed it quickly for some reason. Most people aren't going to be willing to pay the extra cost for every day things.

KimPossible's picture
Joined: 05/24/06
Posts: 3319

"GloriaInTX" wrote:

I'm sure it would be a premium service that would be very expensive. The faster the delivery the higher the price even now. So I very much doubt it would replace normal delivery, it would just be an option if you really needed it quickly for some reason. Most people aren't going to be willing to pay the extra cost for every day things.

Then it would come down to the environmental/safety impact. If its just so rich people can get their sh1te faster (I have no patience for our society's impatience).....i want it to have minimal impact on everything else

Smile

Spacers's picture
Joined: 12/29/03
Posts: 4103

I so totally do not want a bunch of those things flying around my neighborhood! :evil: It's bad enough when we have a FedEx truck, a UPS truck, and a local courier van all blocking the street when they show up at the same time. Now we're going to add flying machines??? One of those hits one of my kids while they're riding their bikes or playing out front, there will be no Amazon left when I'm done kicking their ***.

KimPossible's picture
Joined: 05/24/06
Posts: 3319

Interesting blog post on this topic.

http://blog.hubspot.com/uattr/real-purpose-of-amazon-delivery-drones

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos runs one of the world's most notoriously secretive organizations. Yet last night he went on national TV and showed off a bunch of dazzling delivery drones that he says won't realistically arrive in the real world for another four or five years, which in realspeak means they're a decade or more away.

Why is this incredibly tight-lipped company suddenly showing off prototypes? The answer is that these drones were not designed to carry packages, but to give a lift to Amazon's image.
For one thing, today is Cyber Monday, the day when everyone goes shopping online. Amazon somehow got CBS and 60 Minutes to create a 14-minute free ad spot for Amazon on the eve of this huge shopping day.

Did Amazon control the timing of the story and insist that the piece must run on the night before Cyber Monday? Was this a condition of the deal in exchange for getting access to Bezos? I think you'd be naive to believe otherwise, but who knows? Maybe it was just a lucky coincidence.

But there's another factor at work here. Bezos and Amazon are still reeling from the recent publication of a not entirely flattering book by Businessweek reporter Brad Stone. The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon portrays Bezos as a ruthless tyrant and a "penny-pinching ballbuster," as Gawker put it.

As soon as the book came out, Amazon swung into action trying to discredit Stone. Jeff Bezos's wife MacKenzie Bezos published a scathing negative review of the book (on Amazon, of course) in which she claims the work contains "numerous factual inaccuracies." Craig Berman, VP of Global Communications at Amazon, issued his own statement blasting the book and criticizing Stone for not making an effort to get his facts right.

This is a very big deal. Amazon PR typically doesn't say anything to anyone. They're the most tight-lipped bunch in the business, right up there with Apple. Suddenly they were all over the place.

Worse, the spin campaign didn't work. Stone's book became a best-seller, and even won the prestigious Financial Times and Goldman Sachs Business Book of the Year award.

Now, suddenly, for no apparent reason, this company that never tells anybody anything about any future products, ever, is showing off prototype drones that are years away. This is like Apple inviting Charlie Rose in to show off that 60-inch TV that it may or may not ever actually manufacture and sell to the public.

Why the change in policy?

Counter Punch

This is about shifting the narrative. The first spin campaign didn't work, so now you do what PR people call "closing one door and opening another." You deflect and distract.

You line up Charlie Rose to do one of his famous softball-tossing puff pieces, and while he's there you trot out some amazingly impossibly cool new technology to dazzle the folks in the cheap seats.

You let Jeff Bezos appear on camera being all goofy and happy and looking like the world's friendliest little nerd, talking to Uncle Charlie about how much he and his band of happy elves at Amazon just love exploring and tinkering and innovating. Let Bezos do his weird laugh, which you can catch in the final minute of this video:

Smoke and Mirrors

Years ago I read a book about how the Spanish conquered the Incas in Peru and converted them to Catholicism. The trick, they discovered, was to fill the churches with mirrors and pieces of glass, and then light lots of candles, which produced some dazzling effects. It was, quite literally, smoke and mirrors.

Same here. Amazon's non-existent drones are soaring all over the blogosphere. This morning they were the top story on TechMeme, the influential aggregation site. Business Insider, which counts Bezos as an investor, had a huge photo of an Amazon drone at the top of its homepage, plus five other stories about Amazon, including one that says the drone announcement was just a way to gin up publicity around Cyber Monday.

Business Insider also ran a slideshow of photos of Amazon delivery centers, and put the Amazon drone story at the top of its list of "10 things you need to know this morning," and published a link to a story on Quartz about the Amazon drones.

The only place the drones aren't soaring is here in the real world. In fact the FAA says it could be 2026 before these things are really in use. But who cares? These drones weren't created to carry packages. They were created, and put on display, to boost sales and buff up a CEO's wounded pride. Toward that end, they worked like a charm.

Those of us who work in marketing should offer a tip of the cap to our peers at Amazon. These marketers just coopted a major TV network and got 60 MInutes, a legendary investigative journalism program, to carry their water for them and help bury a book that contains some serious, and critical, journalism. Depending on your point of view, that's either incredibly depressing or incredibly brilliant. Maybe both.

mom3girls's picture
Joined: 01/09/07
Posts: 1537

I dont get it, why do people need things automatically? But I did hear that environmentally they could have a huge impact as Drones have no carbon emissions.

Spacers's picture
Joined: 12/29/03
Posts: 4103

"mom3girls" wrote:

I dont get it, why do people need things automatically? But I did hear that environmentally they could have a huge impact as Drones have no carbon emissions.

It would just be different environmental issues with drones that don't run on a gas engine. They would have to run on some kind of fuel cell batteries which can wreak havoc on the environment if not properly disposed of, like if they crash into a creek or a watershed, or even onto a street and aren't properly cleaned up. Is Amazon going to track them down & clean up the mess? I don't see that happening. There are also significant environmental issues in the manufacturing process of most batteries.

mom3girls's picture
Joined: 01/09/07
Posts: 1537

"Spacers" wrote:

It would just be different environmental issues with drones that don't run on a gas engine. They would have to run on some kind of fuel cell batteries which can wreak havoc on the environment if not properly disposed of, like if they crash into a creek or a watershed, or even onto a street and aren't properly cleaned up. Is Amazon going to track them down & clean up the mess? I don't see that happening. There are also significant environmental issues in the manufacturing process of most batteries.

I agree, but the show I was listening to this morning was using this in favor of drones.

GloriaInTX's picture
Joined: 07/29/08
Posts: 4116

"Spacers" wrote:

It would just be different environmental issues with drones that don't run on a gas engine. They would have to run on some kind of fuel cell batteries which can wreak havoc on the environment if not properly disposed of, like if they crash into a creek or a watershed, or even onto a street and aren't properly cleaned up. Is Amazon going to track them down & clean up the mess? I don't see that happening. There are also significant environmental issues in the manufacturing process of most batteries.

I imagine the drones would be pretty expensive and probably have a GPS or some kind of locator on them. I don't see Amazon just leaving one out there if it crashed, plus they would have to retrieve the package that was with it.

ClairesMommy's picture
Joined: 08/15/06
Posts: 2299

Could you imagine people trying to shoot them out of the sky or otherwise try to bring them down and steal the goods? No thanks.

KimPossible's picture
Joined: 05/24/06
Posts: 3319

"ClairesMommy" wrote:

Could you imagine people trying to shoot them out of the sky or otherwise try to bring them down and steal the goods? No thanks.

Yeah the more i think about this, the more i'm pretty sure its not truly serious.

Spacers's picture
Joined: 12/29/03
Posts: 4103

I forgot to mention last night that I love that article you posted, Kim! Smoke & mirrors indeed. We're all talking about drones instead of about what's wrong with Amazon.

Alissa_Sal's picture
Joined: 06/29/06
Posts: 6427

Oh good, can we talk about what is actually wrong with Amazon? Cuz this new "Add on" policy where they won't sell you certain items until you buy more than $25 worth of items is for the birds!!!

GloriaInTX's picture
Joined: 07/29/08
Posts: 4116

"Alissa_Sal" wrote:

Oh good, can we talk about what is actually wrong with Amazon? Cuz this new "Add on" policy where they won't sell you certain items until you buy more than $25 worth of items is for the birds!!!

I figured liberal people would be all for that kind of policy because it is more environmentally friendly. It is ridiculous how much packing and shipping go into a $5 item with all the boxes and bubble wrap and transportation costs. I'm not saying I like it but I can understand some of the reasoning behind it.

KimPossible's picture
Joined: 05/24/06
Posts: 3319

I don't know a lot about this add-on policy but my guess is that it has more to do with their thin margins business model then it has to do with environmentalism. These items would probably be too expensive for them to carry and ship unless they bundled them with other things. Selling things for the cheapest price possible and gaining only small returns comes with its caveats.

ETA But if we want to talk about whats wrong with amazon, i heard an interesting piece on the radio a month or two ago about what its like to work as a fetcher in their warehouses. It sounds awful.

Alissa_Sal's picture
Joined: 06/29/06
Posts: 6427

"GloriaInTX" wrote:

I figured liberal people would be all for that kind of policy because it is more environmentally friendly. It is ridiculous how much packing and shipping go into a $5 item with all the boxes and bubble wrap and transportation costs. I'm not saying I like it but I can understand some of the reasoning behind it.

I agree with Kim - the explanation given by Amazon was that it was too expensive to ship those items. I honestly wasn't even thinking about the environmental peice of it. In my case, I was trying to purchase an item that was not an add on item, plus an accesory for that item that was an add on item. They were willing to sell me the first item, but not the second item since the total cost of the first item (before you added the cost of the add on item) was under $25. If you added the cost of both together it was $25, but that wasn't good enough. My thought, whether we are talking about environmental costs or shipping costs, is that since they were willing to sell me the first item, they could have easily just thrown the second item in the same box.....

Instead, I canceled the whole order and just went to a store and bought the item plus the accessory, so I guess they got their wish. It doesn't cost them anything to ship nothing at all. Blum 3

KimPossible's picture
Joined: 05/24/06
Posts: 3319

"Alissa_Sal" wrote:

I agree with Kim - the explanation given by Amazon was that it was too expensive to ship those items. I honestly wasn't even thinking about the environmental peice of it. In my case, I was trying to purchase an item that was not an add on item, plus an accesory for that item that was an add on item. They were willing to sell me the first item, but not the second item since the total cost of the first item (before you added the cost of the add on item) was under $25. If you added the cost of both together it was $25, but that wasn't good enough. My thought, whether we are talking about environmental costs or shipping costs, is that since they were willing to sell me the first item, they could have easily just thrown the second item in the same box.....

Instead, I canceled the whole order and just went to a store and bought the item plus the accessory, so I guess they got their wish. It doesn't cost them anything to ship nothing at all. Blum 3

Yeah i wonder what the logic behind the $25 minimum is. Why cant' they just say you must buy a non-add on item in order to buy add-on items...regardless of price. The minute you purchase one non-add on item, you know have a shipment that is going to the customer no matter what.

Alissa_Sal's picture
Joined: 06/29/06
Posts: 6427

"KimPossible" wrote:

Yeah i wonder what the logic behind the $25 minimum is. Why cant' they just say you must buy a non-add on item in order to buy add-on items...regardless of price. The minute you purchase one non-add on item, you know have a shipment that is going to the customer no matter what.

Exactly! It makes no sense to me. It also seems particularly ill thought out to sell an item plus it's accessory but not be willing to sell them together.

Spacers's picture
Joined: 12/29/03
Posts: 4103

What makes no sense to me is when I say, I can wait for my items to ship together to get the lower shipping cost, and then they send out three separate boxes for three separate things anyway. And why does everything have to be packed in a larger box with bubble wrap? Whenever I send something that's already in a box, I just wrap up the box in plain paper & stick a label on it. They could have Amazon-printed paper and buy (or invent) a machine to do the wrapping quickly and then the person just slaps the address label on it.

mom3girls's picture
Joined: 01/09/07
Posts: 1537

I tried to order a new phone cover for DD it was only like $4 and it wasnt through their amazon warehouse but it was through it was through an outside vendor, they would sell it to me by itself, but it wouldnt be here for almost 2 months. I said forget it and just went to USCellular and bought it

GloriaInTX's picture
Joined: 07/29/08
Posts: 4116

"mom3girls" wrote:

I tried to order a new phone cover for DD it was only like $4 and it wasnt through their amazon warehouse but it was through it was through an outside vendor, they would sell it to me by itself, but it wouldnt be here for almost 2 months. I said forget it and just went to USCellular and bought it

That means it was coming from China.

Spacers's picture
Joined: 12/29/03
Posts: 4103

"mom3girls" wrote:

I tried to order a new phone cover for DD it was only like $4 and it wasnt through their amazon warehouse but it was through it was through an outside vendor, they would sell it to me by itself, but it wouldnt be here for almost 2 months. I said forget it and just went to USCellular and bought it

This might be part of the reasoning behind the "add on" policy. Amazon is no longer just selling things; they are facilitating sales for outside vendors that can't afford a sales team running an up-to-date website. You can't pack three things into one box when those three things are in three different company warehouses.

ClairesMommy's picture
Joined: 08/15/06
Posts: 2299

"Spacers" wrote:

This might be part of the reasoning behind the "add on" policy. Amazon is no longer just selling things; they are facilitating sales for outside vendors that can't afford a sales team running an up-to-date website. You can't pack three things into one box when those three things are in three different company warehouses.

Exactly. I had DVDs that I bought for DD (purchased at the same time) off Amazon.ca and I received them from different locations. Amazon just acts as the middle man a lot of the time.

eta - I think drones are just for homeland espionage.

GloriaInTX's picture
Joined: 07/29/08
Posts: 4116

"ClairesMommy" wrote:

eta - I think drones are just for homeland espionage.

I think drones should only be used to kill pigs. Smile

Air hogs: Drones secret weapon in hunt for feral pigs | Fox News

This one made me lol.

Walmart to Install Surface-to-Air Missiles on Store Rooftops to Shoot Down Amazon Drones

http://www.rockcitytimes.com/walmart-install-mini-surface-air-missiles-store-roofs-shoot-amazon-drones/