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Amazon versus Screwfix

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Dave Moore

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Hi,
Just been looking at electric mitre saws and was comparing prices. I was looking on Amazon as I had some vouchers from Xmas but I had been looking at prices before Xmas. I was looking at the Evolution R255. Before Xmas Amazon price was around £179 and I thought I might get a bargain in the new year sales. It actually went up in price to about £199. Looking at Screwfix I managed to get the saw and the saw stand (normally £60) for £177. Looking on Amazon today the same saw without the stand is £249! Pays to look around and not just click and wait for the delivery man.
Regards, Dave
 

Lonsdale73

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Amazon ceased to be the site for cheapest or best deals some time ago and at the start of this year some items rocketed in price.
 

robgul

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That goes for evilbay as well, though sometimes dealing direct actually costs more.
Trend router cutters is an example I found - Trend Direct via ebay was cheaper than Trend Direct direct - about 12.5% - that's odd as they would be paying a % to ebay??
 

TheUnicorn

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the real money saving items (no claim about quality there) are shipped from china, takes forever to get to you, but cost a fraction of the uk price. The ridiculous savings seem to have stopped in the last couple of years though, I remember not that long ago buying 100 cable ties, delivered, for 12p. Between covid and brexit delivery times seem to be ridiculous so I'd be keener to use UK vendors at the moment. For tools, I'd much rather use screwfix than amazon, much happier knowing I can take it back in person and have a replacement item in minutes, also as you've said, very often a better price
 

Noho12C

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I'd be keener to use UK vendors at the moment. For tools, I'd much rather use screwfix than amazon, much happier knowing I can take it back in person and have a replacement item in minutes, also as you've said, very often a better price
Good point.

I used to buy a lot from Amazon, but got fed up with their attitude (not paying their taxes thanks to some dodgy fiscal schemes) and it seems since few years that their website is just a chinese sh*t catalogue.

Needed to buy a funnel, and this is a good example :
Walfos 3 Pack Red Silicone Funnel

No need to worry that the funnel may damage the health of your families !
Here at WALFOS, the quality of our products and the satisfaction of our clients are the two greatest passions of our brand, therefore we do our best to bring you top quality items at competitive prices.


Something else that bothers me is the lack of information regarding the country of origin. Hard to spot where there product is coming from.

Anyway, I'm nowadays trying as much as possible to avoid Amazon and products made in the far east, and opt for UK or EU made (whenever possible)
 

CaptainBarnacles

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I stopped using Amazon years ago. Their prices were significantly inflated (no doubt to account for their huge 'Prime' delivery overheads) but more than that I don't like what they stand for, where the profits go, how they treat their workers (apart from the ones in the TV adverts, they have lovely lives as we all know!) and how they have impacted our high streets.

I know that you can't fight the forces of economics and that eventually evil will triumph over good but for now I'm trying my best to support my local tool shops. Their ticket prices may be higher than their online competitors but after a bit of banter they will usually get within a few quid and I'm happy to pay that bit more in the hope that they'll still be in business next week/month/year/decade when I really need them.

Once these tool shops have gone they will not come back. Screwfix and Toolstation will rule supreme and there will be one in every town (and they have their place, I use them occasionally) but when it comes to buying tools I love my local tool shop, when it comes to hardware I adore my local hardware emporium, it's the kind of place that really does have everything and they know where it all is. Both are family owned, both do good deeds in the community and both would be very sorely missed if they were forced to close their doors.

I know that for many of us in lockdown, shopping online has been a necessity but don't forget that most local tool and hardware shops have remained open for click and collect and my local even offered same-day delivery - beat that Amazon! Sorry for the rant but I have one last point; have you ever bought a mitre saw (or similar sized lump) which became faulty when you'd just disposed of the box and had to return? Try safely packaging that sort of lump for the courier to collect - it's not easy and it'll probably take you longer than nipping down to your local tool shop.
 

Lonsdale73

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... one last point; have you ever bought a mitre saw (or similar sized lump) which became faulty when you'd just disposed of the box and had to return?
Oddly enough, when my new lathe died a matter of weeks after buying it, I did think "Good job I kept the original packaging." Which promptly disentegrated when I tried to put the lathe back into it.

Re: local shops. Where I used to live, I was blessed with TWO hardware/tool stores, staffed by people who actually knew what they were talking about. One of them was literally just across the road from from the first house I bought and I still own and regularly use the bradawl bought from there to hang the net wire to give some privacy when I moved in with next to nothing to my name. The other was where all my wood came from, mostly for projects from when I was still at school. Used to tickle me that someone had drawn a smily face on the dust extractor bag. Sadly, both stores now long gone.

Some parallels with Jessops of Leicester. When they had the one store in Leicester, it was like an Aladdin's cave of goodies, staffed by (mostly) guys who not only had the knowledge and intellect of university dons but looked like the belonged in wood panelled rooms and lecture halls. Then they modernised, the showroom becoming as bright and sterile as an operating theatre, all the old heads replaced by pimply-faced box-shifters who didn't know one end of a camera from the other. They had a branch on the high street of many major towns and cities, their initial bargain basement prices forcing the closure of many independent retailers who just couldn't compete on price. Ironically, when they eventually collapsed, one branch had the audacity to put a notice in the shop window, saying "Thanks amazon"!
 

akirk

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I have mixed views - if you just buy without thinking from any source, then you may pay over the odds - but keeping an eye on pricing can find it cheaper at different times - I bought a router from Amazon which fluctuated in price but the price I bought it at was the cheapest in over 5 years and way below any other supplier - using websites such as camelcamelcamel.com can help understand pricing... there are a lot of clever algorithms sitting behind the pricing of a site like Amazon, but in fact that can work in the buyer's favour as well as against - if you learn how those algorithms work then you can play them to your advantage - the same can work on other sites where for example, putting an item in your basket (while logged in), but leaving it there can trigger an email offering you an incentive to buy...

I don't have a lot of time for the arguments about Amazon not paying taxes - they act completely legally and always have done - if the government wants more money in taxes then they perhaps need to be slightly more intelligent about how they frame the law! So, I don't have an issue buying from them. I do like supporting local businesses, but not all help themselves - we needed some garden supplies this weekend, and garden centres are allowed to be open, so we went down to our local one - no, they had chosen to close other than ordering and collecting - and you can only order by email or tel. - so no online shop, no idea as to what they have in stock or available - a complete amateur guessing game. The chap on the gate was very unhelpful - every question from us was met with 'oh no, you can't do that...' so we went to another garden centre which was open, covid safe in how they operated, and had answers to all our questions, plus the items for us to buy - yes I would like to support our local business, but they were making it very hard!

When ti comes to prices, there is also the convenience factor - there is a time cost in visiting a store, click and it turns up with Amazon etc. is very much easier... what local stores need to do is move to an online and offline combined presence and offer both...
 

gregmcateer

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there is a time cost in visiting a store, click and it turns up with Amazon etc. is very much easier... what local stores need to do is move to an online and offline combined presence and offer both...
The challenge for the local store is of course setting up their online presence, easier than it was, but still not challenge free for a little 'open all hours' setup.
Then the BIG challenge - getting their ship up the search engine views. Plus of course taking the hit on free/ almost free delivery expectations. 🤔
 

akirk

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The challenge for the local store is of course setting up their online presence, easier than it was, but still not challenge free for a little 'open all hours' setup.
Then the BIG challenge - getting their ship up the search engine views. Plus of course taking the hit on free/ almost free delivery expectations. 🤔
That is a key part of what I do for our clients - and it is much cheaper to start than expected, though more expensive to do properly than expected!
 

jcassidy

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I do buy fairly regularly of Amazon.co.uk but now with Brexit, I'm cancelling my PRIME subscription because the library is now strictly limited and I'll have to pay customs on most of what I'd typically buy. That said, nabbed some Sarretts squares just recently which were featured here.

The point I actually wanted to make, as regards taxation. By law, Amazon company officers have an obligation to be fiducially responsible, i.e. not to pay taxes unless required by law to do so. Just like any other company. So, by definition, Amazon are required by law to pay exactly the correct amount of tax - i.e. the absolute minimum - as required by law. Which is another way of saying, Amazon pays exactly as much as the Government want Amazon to pay.

So don't direct ire at Amazon for following the law. Be that for taxes, for how they treat their warehouse operatives, for how they exploit 'gig economy' workers - everything they do is perfectly legal, and the government makes the laws, so by definition, everything they do is what the government want them to do and indeed what the government are encouraging.

As an aside, I once accidentally overpaid income tax to Revenue, and got a severe shallacking from an official over the phone for complicating his job as I was then required to submit some other form to get the overpayment back blah blah blah. I then got another call from another official querying this form, which I had been instructed by the first official to file!
 

Phil Pascoe

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My b.i.l. got in a spot of bother years ago when the Inland Revenue owed him £1500 and he owed them £1300. They wouldn't pay him until he paid them. Don't ask me how that worked, but it happened. :)
 

jcassidy

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My b.i.l. got in a spot of bother years ago when the Inland Revenue owed him £1500 and he owed them £1300. They wouldn't pay him until he paid them. Don't ask me how that worked, but it happened. :)
I had a bad accountant, but then I got a good one* and managed to avoid any more issues for years and years. Work in the public sector now so I couldn't afford an accountant.

* i.e. one that emails you to say "John, you need to pay Revenue X next week". Then emails you to say "John, did you pay Revenue that tax bill?". then emails you to say "John, we checked and it doesn't appear you paid that tax bill", and then "John, we paid Revenue out of your account", which is what I wanted him to do in the first place! LOL
 

FranWood

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Camel camel is a good price tracking alert website for Amazon - it is very useful and you cane set alerts.👍
This was going to be my suggestion too and something I often use. Just stick the Amazon url of the item into the box at the top of uk.camelcamel.com and you can see the price history and decide if it's a good purchase at this time.
 

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