Quidsi could now taste its own blood. At one point, Quidsi executives took what they knew about shipping rates, factored in Procter & Gamble’s (PG) wholesale prices, and calculated that Amazon was on track to lose $100 million over three months in the diaper category alone.
This isn't just cutthroat, it's a sickness on America. I don't exactly know how to stop it, but it's ruining the country. At least in MI, and I think in other states, too, it's illegal to sell alcohol below cost. Maybe there should be a rule about doing this to consumer products as well. Doing things like being unafraid to lose $100M in a quarter is why people get paid shit wages, and why I as a taxpayer am required to support these mega companies whether I like it or not (full disclosure, I do buy from Amazon from time to time; don't buy from Wal-Mart for any reason). These companies have the luxury of knowing that they can do shit like this, because the employees they have to squeeze to make it all work are going to qualify for WIC, Medicaid, Free Lunch, Welfare, etc, all things that are totally avoidable if a living wage is guaranteed. The opposite end of a living wage is that we don't get diapers (or food, or shitty plastic toys) at prices that are below cost. I don't see Bezos as a business genius. I see him as a pervert who has figured out a way to beat a corruptible system. I'll continue to use Amazon for the good things they offer (for example, just this week I bought a product called Apoxie Sculpt, which is an epoxy-based modeling clay, for an art project I'm working on; I just can't get that shit elsewhere; same goes for a lot of small edition books I buy). They offer me access, so for that I am grateful. Wal-Mart, on the other hand, offers me nothing, so I have no reason to go there. Ever. Amazon has a great thing going, but they need some serious regulation to tamp down their empire.