Since its founding, the company has attracted criticism and controversy from multiple sources over its actions. These include: supplying law enforcement with facial recognition surveillance tools; forming cloud computing partnerships with the CIA; luring customers away from the site's brick and mortar competitors; placing a low priority on warehouse conditions for workers; participating in anti-unionization efforts; remotely deleting content purchased by Amazon Kindle users; taking public subsidies; claiming that its 1-Click technology can be patented; engaging in anti-competitive actions and price discrimination; and reclassifying LGBT books as adult content. Criticism has also concerned various decisions over whether to censor or publish content such as the WikiLeaks website, works containing libel and material facilitating dogfight, cockfight, or pedophile activities. In December 2011, Amazon faced a backlash from small businesses for running a one-day deal to promote its new Price Check app. Shoppers who used the app to check prices in a brick-and-mortar store were offered a 5% discount to purchase the same item from Amazon. Companies like Groupon, eBay and Taap.it countered Amazon's promotion by offering $10 off from their products. The company has also faced accusations of putting undue pressure on suppliers to maintain and extend its profitability. One effort to squeeze the most vulnerable book publishers was known within the company as the Gazelle Project, after Bezos suggested, according to Brad Stone, "that Amazon should approach these small publishers the way a cheetah would pursue a sickly gazelle." In July 2014, the Federal Trade Commission launched a lawsuit against the company alleging it was promoting in-app purchases to children, which were being transacted without parental consent.
“My hands hurt all the time. I can’t even write,” Sharon Bleach, a Staten Island Amazon employee, said outside City Hall Wednesday. Bleach, 60, has worked at the company for only a month, and said she is forced to work with boxes stacked up all around her. She worries there would be no way to escape in the case of a fire or accident. In response to Bleach’s concerns, Robinson said she should talk to her managers and that “all exits and walkways are clearly marked and kept clear.” She added that Amazon surveys all workers each month about their perceptions of safety conditions.
The braintrust at Amazon recently launched Amazon Handmade, a service that allows you to sell your handmade wares to the Amazon audience. Currently, for a 12% referral fee, you can sell your handmade jewelry, home products (artwork, baby bedding, bath, bedding, furniture, home décor, kitchen & dining, lighting, patio, lawn & garden, storage & organization), party supplies and stationery on their platform. While Amazon hopes this new service will eventually become an Etsy killer, it currently offers artisan sellers a large number of potential buyers for a reasonable cost. If production capabilities have you concerned, don't fret, as you can set your own production time (up to 30 days) on every product you make. Also, it's worth noting that product UPCs and professional photos are not required to get started.
Retail arbitrage isn’t for everyone, because it involves a lot of research and time to find places that are having crazy liquidation and clearance sales (there are even sites you can subscribe to that will give you the inside scoop on where to go for the cheapest liquidation sales), plus it will most likely involve driving to the retail location to pick up the items.
When on Amazon, head over to this page to start shopping their warehouse deals. Amazon grades the merchandise in their warehouse to help you make a better decision on what you want. They are New, Like New, Very Good, Good, and Acceptable. I would stick with the first three when buying anything. I was able to save $75 off a camera lens for my wife just because the shipping box was damaged. It was labeled new, but since there was box damage, they couldn’t sell it at full price.
"The longer you're here, and the more you build, and the more you collaborate, the more you become personally passionate about our mission," says Mike Bundy, who started out in a temp job stacking pallets at Amazon's first fulfillment center in 1997. Today, he manages a 300-person software organization. "I feel like a founder of the company. I feel a great deal of personal pride in what we’ve done."