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Old 03-25-2020, 07:01 AM
Napier is offline
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Does online shopping for nonessentials during pandemic create hardship?


I'm reluctant to shop online for nonessentials because I picture the net effect would primarily be to burden people who are already working too hard.

But is that correct? If there's a huge employment shift, and people from businesses that have suffered (perhaps restaurants) now have to find new jobs, the bigger effect could be to provide opportunities where they are needed.

So which is it?

I'm happy to shop or not shop. We're talking non-essentials, but things I would be buying online if it weren't for the pandemic.
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Old 03-25-2020, 07:09 AM
Si Amigo is offline
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You are keeping the economy afloat. That guy on eBay selling that thingy you always wanted but don't need probably needs the money to buy essential items. You sir are a Patriot!
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Old 03-25-2020, 07:15 AM
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I figure as long as the retailers are happy to ship it out you're fine. Amazon let me know for my latest shipment that as they were non-essentials the shipping time would be longer. That's fine with me. Plus I ship it to a locker so less exposure for the delivery driver.
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Old 03-25-2020, 11:38 AM
Manda JO is online now
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I've been curious about this too. I've been ordering friends stupid little things on Amazon just to help with social isolation.
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Old 03-25-2020, 12:11 PM
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Are people getting restaurant meals delivered or prepared for pickup getting essentials?

I think the ability to order anything online preserves sanity. It also allows people to keep working. More people are being hired to handle online purchasing or delivery.

Life goes on. And in the event of catastrophe, whether personal or national or worldwide, the need for any kind of normalcy is good for people.


~VOW
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Old 03-25-2020, 12:51 PM
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There are two types of Amazon shipping: Prime (shipping handled by Amazon) and Marketplace (shipping handled by the individual sellers). Amazon is delaying Prime shipping for non-essentials. But there is no problem buying non-essentials from Marketplace sellers because they are probably only selling non-essentials. eBay would be comparable to Amazon Marketplace--so again no problem ordering from them.
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Old 03-25-2020, 01:24 PM
Do Not Taunt is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PastTense View Post
There are two types of Amazon shipping: Prime (shipping handled by Amazon) and Marketplace (shipping handled by the individual sellers). Amazon is delaying Prime shipping for non-essentials. But there is no problem buying non-essentials from Marketplace sellers because they are probably only selling non-essentials. eBay would be comparable to Amazon Marketplace--so again no problem ordering from them.
There's two different things that you've blurred here. There's who is handling the logistics and there's how the item is shipped.

Who is handling the logistics can be Amazon or 3rd Party. 3rd-Party listings can still use Amazon's logistics (this is called FBA, or Fulfillment by Amazon), and on rare occasion Amazon will use 3rd Party Logistics (this is called drop-ship.) To be clear, I'm considering any carrier contracted to deliver a package to be logistics on behalf of the shipper.

For Amazon-handled logistics, they now have a whole panoply of options: same-day, next-day, two-day, regular ground, super-saver, etc. They are happy to make all of these options available to anyone who will pay for it. Prime is a program that, among other things, buys you faster shipping for a flat annual or monthly fee for many items.

With the coronavirus mixing everything up, a few things have changed. Amazon has officially told 3rd party merchants that they are only accepting certain types of goods into their warehouses. This is for FCA, and doesn't affect 3rd party listings where the merchant handles their own logistics. It's not clear how it affects Amazon-owned inventory. Secondly, 'non-essential' items are getting promises that are many days, weeks, or even a month out, even if they're in-stock. Amazon clearly seems to be prioritizing essential items even for things already in their warehouses. Lastly, and unofficially, it is rumored that Amazon is favoring their Prime members over non-members.

I would say: order whatever you want. If it's a burden, the logistics handlers can prioritize as appropriate.
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Old 03-25-2020, 01:25 PM
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There are a couple things I'd love from Amazon, but I've been putting it off because I've heard shipping is dreadful. I don't pay for Prime so I'd already expect things to take a week and a half or so.
  #9  
Old 03-25-2020, 03:06 PM
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We are about fully stocked with non-essentials; what we buy now are mandatory consumables. Yes, the vacuum cleaner that arrived via UPS a couple days ago is necessary to keep the dust down so we don't choke. No, I'm not buying more guitars online, damaging the luthier's trade but freeing-up truck space for canned-food deliveries.
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Old 03-25-2020, 09:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PastTense View Post
There are two types of Amazon shipping: Prime (shipping handled by Amazon) and Marketplace (shipping handled by the individual sellers). Amazon is delaying Prime shipping for non-essentials. But there is no problem buying non-essentials from Marketplace sellers because they are probably only selling non-essentials. eBay would be comparable to Amazon Marketplace--so again no problem ordering from them.
I'm a 3rd party Marketplace seller, and while my overall sales volume hasn't changed much, the nature of it has. I'm selling a lot more craft magazines and guides, and things suitable for homeschoolers, than I usually do.
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Old 03-26-2020, 08:02 AM
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I've had the same question, and I've also been holding off on non-essentials.

My concern is less about Amazon, or Kohl's or whoever I'm buying from. I figure if they are willing to sell, they can handle it. My concern is with the actual shipping and delivery. If the UPS driver is running around delivering my bird feeder, and my neighbor's new socks, and some other guy's new living room set, and whatever other completely non-necessary stuff we buy, does that mean we're making our other neighbors wait longer for their toilet paper and medications, and the laptop their kid needs to do school from home?

Not to mention, I'm asking that UPS employee to continually go outside, potentially risking their life each day, while I'm safe at home and ordering new shoes because I'm bored.

So I haven't been ordering online.

I'd actually love for someone to come on and tell me why this thinking is wrong. I saw a bunch of cute stuff on sale today lol.
  #12  
Old 03-26-2020, 08:07 AM
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Originally Posted by Manda JO View Post
I've been curious about this too. I've been ordering friends stupid little things on Amazon just to help with social isolation.
Will you be my friend?
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Old 03-26-2020, 08:11 AM
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I ordered a new battery for my electric scooter. I don't need it, but I am anticipating that I will in a couple of months. I have no idea what kind of economic landscape we will have in the next two months. Maybe the store I ordered from will still be around, but maybe it won't.
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Old 03-26-2020, 09:11 AM
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Hey, that cuticle cream I ordered from Amazon was absolutely essential! With all the handwashing I do, my cuticles are cracking and bleeding!


~VOW
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Old 03-26-2020, 09:19 AM
Manda JO is online now
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Originally Posted by monstro View Post
Will you be my friend?
I thought we were!
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Old 03-26-2020, 09:45 AM
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I thought we were!
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