Thursday, January 8, 2015

Free Stuff from Amazon

Because we're new parents and because I hate going to shop anywhere, we've been living our lives one shipment at a time.

I'd say it's worked out pretty well (except the one shipment of diapers that somehow never made it to our building) - but I have to say one recent experience left me a little confused.

We'd recently had our baby girl, right before the start of Hanukkah (otherwise known as Jewish-Christmas). And because you don't want your newborn daughter to forget her first Hanukkah - you have to make sure to buy her eight presents. You might argue that as a newborn, a baby is unlikely to be consciously aware of any gift you get them in their first month on Earth. And if you were to argue that, you'd be like me, and apparently, you would be 100% wrong.

So we ordered eight gifts - all of them small - and most of them on Amazon - for our girl's first Hanukkah.

And they arrived pretty quickly thanks to Amazon Prime.

But the weird part was with one of our gifts, a set of baby slippers that look like little Hippos.

We decided that we wanted to return said Hippos to Amazon. Fine. No big deal, I was told to file it as a return on the website and print out the requisite shipping label to return the goods, we'd get a credit on our account.

Sounded easy.

So I went to the computer and found the order in question, we still had the small box, so returning it wouldn't be a problem.

But after I checked the box to return the item, that's when things got weird.

Amazon basically said, 'Here's your money back, don't worry about the Hippos, we don't want them back'

The web site said our credit was processed, and it also said not to worry about returning the item.


For a dominating e-commerce company to basically give money away, seemed a bit strange. Jeff Bezos didn't become a billionaire by giving away stuff for free (he became a billionaire by selling stuff for slightly above free and investing all the profits in getting bigger)

I was so confused, I took a picture of the screen to make sure people would believe me.

Now - this could make economic sense. It's quite possible that for a $7.99 item, it's not worth it for Amazon to pay for shipping back to their fulfillment center and then for restocking it (in fact that's likely the case)

But now we have these Hippo booties...and we didn't pay for them...and we don't even really like them...but they're I guess we win?

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