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Walmart.com versus Amazon.com

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Just wanted to post a FYI to you all.

I've been an online customer of Amazon.com since 2003.  I've been a customer of Walmart since they opened a retail store in my hometown back in 1992. I consider myself a savvy shopper, and I am not an impulse buyer.  I research, compare, then make an informed decision before I commit to a purchase.

Now that you know a little about me and my shopping let's get on to the meat of my post and recommendations.

For years I was an advocate of Amazon.com due to the low prices, convenient online order system, and free 2 day shipping (after you pay your $99 annual fee).  Amazon has enjoyed an unchallenged throne for at least the past 15 years if not more.  No other online retailer has provided the type of services that Amazon has.  eBay, Overstock, Jet, and several others have tried to compete, but each of them lacks the same resources that Amazon provides to a consumer.

However, there is a shift in the marketplace, and the there is a competitor ready to challenge Amazon's throne.  Walmart has been studying Amazon's model, and over the past 2 years they have developed a similar system with similar products, shipping, and services.

Over the past 2 months before I commit to an order from Amazon I have been creating similar orders on Walmart.com.  In most cases Walmart.com has provided me with a cheaper overall cart price.  Let me give you an example of a recent order that I compared on both sites before committing to the order on Walmart.com:

Amazon.com Shopping Cart:

$25.30 (ships in 2 to 4 weeks) - Lucas Heavy Duty Pistol Grip Aluminum Grease Gun Kit

$20.76 (in stock) - Allstar Performance ALL11017 Bleeder Bottle with Magnet and Check Valve

$6.38 9 (in stock) - Prestone AS401 DOT 3 Synthetic Brake Fluid - 32 oz.

$4.98 (ships in 2 to 4 weeks) - Lucas Oil 10005 Red 'N' Tacky Grease - 14 oz.

$10.37 - Shipping & Handling (in not an Amazon Prime member)

$4.07 - Tax

TOTAL: $71.86

 

Walmart.com Shopping Cart:

$20.93 (arrives between May 1-5) - Lucas Heavy Duty Pistol Grip Aluminum Grease Gun Kit

$19.06 (arrives between May 3-6) - Allstar Performance ALL11017 Bleeder Bottle with Magnet and Check Valve

$6.38 (in stock) - Prestone AS401 DOT 3 Synthetic Brake Fluid - 32 oz.

$4.98 (in stock) - Lucas Oil 10005 Red 'N' Tacky Grease - 14 oz.

$0.00 - Shipping & Handling

$0.69 - Tax

TOTAL: $52.04

Cost savings of choosing Walmart.com? $19.82

Not only is Walmart.com saving me $19.42 in shipping & handling fees, but if I wanted to I could have picked up some of these products in-store today!  I choose to just have them shipped to my home because it is more convenient, and saves me time & gas.

Now I'm not a 100% advocate of Walmart.  Believe me Walmart has it's own issues, but I just want to give you guys and gals this info so you can make an informed decision while online shopping.  I'm happy to see that Walmart is going to challenge Amazon.  I like competition and it's good for the economy.  Monopolies like what Amazon has come to enjoy over the past few years can be deadly for consumers.

Happy shopping gang, and I hope I've provided you with some food for thought.

Jake

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Had been doing similar trial and error evaluation of Walmart vs Amazon being a long time and frequent customer of Amazon. In addition to the competitive prices, Walmart's pickup at store was convenient option for me on a few occasions. I have done Walmart orders online in US and Canada. Most were messed up.

Last year in Canada I ordered two cartons of six bottles of oil. Got a package of two single bottles despite the fact that they were not even selling single bottles online in Canada, and that oil was not available at their Canadian stores at all (online only, in cartons only). Tried again to get another two cartons of six bottles, the same thing happened. I had to send both partial orders back to get two refunds as they could not reconcile and charge me only for the four single bottles delivered, nor send me the missing bottles. I ended up crossing the border to the nearest US Walmart store that had the Mobil oil I was after. Total waste of time. At least I've got the two refunds promptly after the returned partial orders got to their warehouse which was another two weeks of watching that monkey on my back.

This year in Florida, I've order two items for pickup at the local store. One item was (supposed to be) in local store stock, another had to be shipped to the store from somewhere. They split the order into two pickups. When the second item arrived and was available for pickup, the first in stock item was still being processed with no updated on the availability date. I cancelled the order without picking up anything from the store. They canceled the order but refunded the second item only. I called the customer service, the rep said she refunded the missing amount for the first item, still showing as being processed, while we were on the phone but the refund never showed as a credit on my credit card. I ended up having the dispute opened with AMEX, and then AMEX has refunded the missing amount as they had no reply to their inquiry back from Walmart at all.

Bottom line for me ... the better price does not matter if I cannot get the order right or on time, and I end up wasting time and effort trying to get the order corrected or shipping the stuff back, or I need to chase my money after vendor's processes or systems fail. Walmart has a long way to match Amazon's agility, functionality, speed and transparency of the order processing and shipping.

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Just recently ordered a 20lb navy anchor from amazon. It came, driver left, I opened box and anchor was broken in half. Went through thru the hassle of returning. Bought exact same anchor from WalMart with free store pickup, was 13 bucks cheaper and I inspected it before I signed for it, not broken. Luckily the WalMart is les than 2 miles from my house so this WalMart transaction was far better than amazon. I buy a lot from amazon but they are not always the best or cheapest.

 

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Luck is always best.  :)\

I view both as middle men passing the order to a true retailer. Both just take a percentage of the markup for themselves. They do nothing to complete the order in most cases. The customer does ALL the paperwork both ways.

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I know I'm in the minority, but my business generates so many credit card points, I fund virtually all my hobbies with them (well, I didn't buy the boat with points). I'll even pay a higher price if I'm using points because it's essentially free. You'll see merchants testing price threshold on Amazon because they know there are points shoppers there. Until Walmart phases in shop with points, Amazon has a captive market. Just my 2c.

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And Richard has a great point, trust goes a very long way these days as convenience is king. If you can't trust the vendor to get the transaction correct, then convenience is not had. 

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FWIW, if you are a frequent AMAZON customer, use smile.amazon.com instead of regular www.amazon.com .

This way you will be able to chose your favorite charity and AMAZON will donate a small portion of the profits from your orders to that charity. I have indirectly contributed over $50 to Wounded Warrior Project over the last two years. A small contribution but it adds up when more people do this ... my stats and the overall impact are shown below:

Your purchases here at smile.amazon.com will support Wounded Warrior Project.

You've placed 138 orders supporting charity at smile.amazon.com so far.

Generated by you
$57.20
as of April 22, 2017

All charities have received
$46,126,473.56
as of February 2017

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Slapshot-

Thanks for the info. I'm pretty dedicated to Amazon and getting more so everyday.  We have two Amazon distribution centers nearby, plus a third one for Amazon Prime Now.  In most cases if it's available for Prime Shipping, we get it the next day or sometimes even the same day at no charge.  Our Prime Now service just started delivering wine and beer, too. Yesterday I ordered four bottles of wine and they arrived an hour and a half later.   Prime Now even had a flash sale on a bunch of bananas for a penny, so we added those to the order, too!  

I'll check out Walmart and probably do some comparison shopping just for fun. 

I just love logistics done well!!

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1 hour ago, newboat2016 said:

Slapshot-

Thanks for the info. I'm pretty dedicated to Amazon and getting more so everyday.  We have two Amazon distribution centers nearby, plus a third one for Amazon Prime Now.  In most cases if it's available for Prime Shipping, we get it the next day or sometimes even the same day at no charge.  Our Prime Now service just started delivering wine and beer, too. Yesterday I ordered four bottles of wine and they arrived an hour and a half later.   Prime Now even had a flash sale on a bunch of bananas for a penny, so we added those to the order, too!  

I'll check out Walmart and probably do some comparison shopping just for fun. 

I just love logistics done well!!

No problem.  I'm just providing information.  I love to data mine, and compare the results. 

You are right Amazon still has a leg up on most competitor with Prime, digital offerings, and some other services you mentioned.

I'm just happy to see another challenger like Walmart jumping into the fray to keep things competitive.

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We use both. Since we live 20 miles from town we use Walmart.com for heavy or bulky items. Dog food, paper products, oils, antifreeze, filters, etc. Amazon seems to be more of a specialty item source. The wrought iron outdoor garden hangers, Quicksilver parts, solar hot water blending valve, etc.

Walmart has "So Far" done a good job. We ordered some canned foods from them and received several dented cans so we do not order food products anymore but other than that our only issue with Walmart.com is they will ship an order in several packages delivered on different days. Our biggest complaint with Amazon is long delivery times on some items and separate charges for items in a single order. Since we normally use a checking account to pay for the online orders it is clumsy to keep up with four or five different "Hits" on the checking account for one order.

As far as online vs brick and mortar. I would prefer to NOT have to go into the local Walmart. I don't mind grocery shopping in the store (we prefer our local Piggly Wiggly) but don't care for the major marketers, that includes Home Depot and Lowes.

Joe

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7 hours ago, newboat2016 said:

I just love logistics done well!!

Ditto ... I've been with Amazon since their humble book reseller beginnings some twenty years ago. Observed them grow and change, and constantly improve. There were short lived hiccups and frustrations, but the customer service never failed me to resolve any of the issues right there on the phone or in a quick reply to my email. The website was always kind of simple and low key, nothing flashy, but constantly evolving and getting better as their back office systems and logistics became second to none.

The key to taking a full advantage of what Amazon offers is being a Prime member. Then one gets the one- or two-day free delivery, the regular free delivery is available to everybody now, I believe. They even have Sunday delivery now thru the arrangement with USPS ... Sunday and USPS, imagine that.

One thing worth keeping in mind is that not all items for sale on Amazon are sold and shipped by Amazon. Most items are being offered by multiple vendors that are rated right there on Amazon site. Although Amazon keeps watchful eye on the transaction and tracks those shipment, it is the individual vendor that is responsible for any problems. I have seen a number of incorrect, used, or otherwise not good items, with some shipped via different shipper than reported to Amazon. Just recently some Joe Blow from PowerSports in Texas provided to Amazon USPS tracking number for a hitch delivery, but what arrived was an invoice with hand written note on it in broken English saying that the hitch is being sent via UPS and no tracking number. Joe Blow is gaming the system and falsifying records for reasons only known to him ... not Amazon. Only thing I can do is to report this to Amazon and rate and review the vendor on Amazon site for others to be aware.

For this reason I always try to select Prime offerings from the list of available vendors even if the cost is slightly higher, or select items sold and shipped by Amazon, or at least items offered by a vendor but shipped by Amazon from Amazon warehouse ... this info is available during item/vendor selection process. Then Amazon takes the full responsibility for correcting any problems instead of just monitoring customer/vendor dispute, and stepping in when all else fails.

While the order is being prepared, being shipped, and then fulfilled, the detailed updated info about shipments and transactions is available on the website. The same detailed shipments and transactions info is available as printable invoices (it actually prints well formed page unlike many others) that list all shipments for the order with all related charges. The Amazone transparency and paper trail, if one needs it, is another reason for worry free shopping online with them.

Anyhowe, I will continue using and testing Walmart, and other vendors. There are many good speciality vendors with well working systems ... Harbor Freight, Hodges Marina, Boat Zincs, ASAP (parts for techs), Jamestown Distributors, just to name a few. Marine Parts Express in not one of them ... ;)

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I never use the largest names in anything. Reason. Their sole purpose is fast, total destruction of any competitor & destroying the slim margins of small companies. So they will go out of business.  Retail murderers.

I deal with locals first. Then slowly move up the retail chain.    What do you think  a monopoly on any product will do to prices ?    People paying for Merc or Volvo  parts at a marina are charged monopoly prices for a automotive part.  True Some do not know or bother to shop for boat parts prices.

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2 hours ago, Chaparral Rider said:

Walmart is going to start with completely free shipping on ten thousand initial items in conjunction with their ownership and leverage of the Jet.com model.  

Yes. This is exactly what I was talking about when I initially started this post.  Walmart has acquired Jet.com, and this acquisition is part of Walmart's model to be Amazon's top competitor.

FYI, in case you didn't know Jet.com's found was a former Amazon employee. Walmart is aware of who Marc Lore is, and what he brings to the table.

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So many times the shipping cost on amazon doesn't work with the cost of the item and I sit there trying to think what else I can add to the order to get free shipping.  Not interested in the video content part of Prime and so don't have it.  As far as Walmart philosophy...it's Amazon that's putting brick and mortar out of business these past years.  Was on Jet.com one time just to check it out and it's kind of interesting but the item I was searching for was cheaper on amazon even when I added things to the cart and the price on that item went down.  

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Amazon is just so #%^$&%$ convenient, they get my money. They do a great job and only rarely do I ever have to return something. Anyone that makes my life more simple gets my money.

Walmart on the other hand:  order online, pickup at store. Our store has a "online pickup" line, but after waiting at the register for 10 minutes for an associate to help me, I'm told "the line isn't active yet, so you have to go to (the back of) the returns line."  I tried Walmart a few times and never, ever again; I'm left with a feeling they could give a rats rear about the customer.  

Sometimes it's not all about price. 

Maybe Walmart can turn things around with their purchase of Jet, but I won't be the guinea pig on that one. 

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Totally agree on bad service. The help in my store is usually  handicapped in some way. Nice to hire some. But not with large delays. Walmart may get a $ 10,000 tax write off for each person. 

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I ordered a pair of nylon marine shoes to wear on the boat or when I jump off via Amazon. It took roughly 3 weeks. I'm thinking what's taking so long.  Are these coming from the factory?   I just received them the other day, straight from the Chinese factory with the Chinese return address on them. Gave me a chuckle.

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Ordered Hiway pegs for bike from Amazon came on slow boat from China 2+ weeks, email claimed they were delivered via USPS NOT after phones calls to" ahem cough" US based sales office (simple voice mail box & emails that were obviously being sent/returned from China) got pegs. The mounting hardware/brackets from ebay were delivered W/in 5 days! Had a lot of good experience W/Amazon as W/Wally World.  So  today looked on Amazon that is selling transom Quick Silver Switch kit from Great Lakes Skipper before S&H was more than kit W/S&H from Great Lakes Skipper.!! If dealer doesn't give me a better deal will order from GLS. It's my money & I want it now, Oh wait that's JG Wentworth :D

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Both Amazon and Walmart are part of a well-developed retail market, in both online and offline business. Overall, Amazon has advantage on Walmart, especially when it comes to third party sales and markets. But Walmart can come to grips, especially if they continue to develop the resources as https://ioscout.io/product-tracker and digital marketing opportunities that they offer to sellers.

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On 4/28/2017 at 2:47 PM, SST said:

I ordered a pair of nylon marine shoes to wear on the boat or when I jump off via Amazon. It took roughly 3 weeks. I'm thinking what's taking so long.  Are these coming from the factory?   I just received them the other day, straight from the Chinese factory with the Chinese return address on them. Gave me a chuckle.

It's funny, I just reread this thread. In regards to my marine shoes I bought via the great Chinese distributer, they S-U-C-K-E-D! The horrible smell they gave off was putrid.  Smelled like a cadaver sitting around for a few days. It got so bad I threw them out. I bought replacements from WM......at the store.

Rereading this thread has reminded me why mfr'g is being driven to China which is leading to the disappearance of the brick and mortar stores.  

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