Okay this is just stupid. Why would the world’s most popular online shopping site decide to make it that much harder to buy stuff? Well, hello to Amazon’s new “Add-on Items”.
I guess this has been around for awhile now but Amazon must have rolled it out over a fairly long period of time as I’ve not encountered it before–until the other day. As far as I’ve been able to understand this insanity on the part of the Amazon decision makers, an Add-on item can only be shipped with orders that are a minimum of $25. The kicker is that these orders have to be actually shipped by Amazon and not some other seller who happens to have a “store” on Amazon. Considering that Amazon was specifically designed as an online outlet for other retailers to sell their goods online along with items directly sold by Amazon, this now makes things unbelievably difficult for many buyers. What were they thinking?
Now, I buy most of my online goods from Amazon, especially computer parts, and Amazon’s prices and availability are usually the best for things like that. For instance, last year I needed to replace the hard drive in my wife’s desktop PC. This required the hard drive itself, the SATA hard drive data cable and an older style 4-pin to SATA 15-pin power adapter cable. The cables themselves came to less than $10 for both and were shipped with the hard drive ($60) even though the cables were shipped by Amazon and the hard drive was shipped by another company that sold through Amazon. And the shipping was free due to the entire order being above $25.
This might be a good time to mention that I’m not a Prime member. Just a regular guy who has a long standing Amazon account.
Fast forward to last week, I finally decided to order another hard drive for my desktop PC (identical to my wife’s), not because my current one was failing but because the current one is a older, slow 1.0 TB/5400 RPM hard drive that is really meant for storage rather than running various operating systems (I’m a multi-boot type of guy). Besides, I feel the need for speed. Now this should not have been a problem as I had dutifully bookmarked the pages for said hard drive and cables at Amazon from the last year’s purchase. So no problem, right?
Thanks to Amazon’s change in business practices, I was not able to order the cables I needed even though the hard drive that I had selected was $75. The reason being was that the cables were now considered “Add-on” items (see the image above for an example) which could not be shipped due to the total order of Amazon shipped items being less than $25. In other words, the two cables were both Amazon shipped items and together came to a total of only $8 ergo, no ship.
Everyone get that? I had a $75 hard drive in my cart but Amazon refused to ship me cables I needed for said hard drive because of the fact the hard drive was not shipped by Amazon. It was bought from a business who sold through Amazon and was shipped from that business itself. If I wanted the damn cables I would now have to buy another $17 or so of Amazon shipped items I didn’t need just to get the two cables for the hard drive.
In short–order cancelled.
I dug through my paperwork and found my old login particulars for Tiger Direct. I’d been buying computers and computer parts from them since the middle 1990′s when all they had was a mail catalogue. I went to Amazon a couple years ago simply due to Amazon having a better inventory of older style computer parts and accessories plus slightly better prices. Not any longer I’m afraid due to just about every single computer accessory, such as various types of computer cables, now being marked as a bloody “Add-on Item”.
Nice job, Amazon. What else can you do for us?