Just when you thought you had seen and heard it all, Amazon takes on a brave move to take business away from small business owners. This has caused small business owners to complain to the Retail Industry Leaders Association about the unfair competition.
Amazon has released a free app for iphone and smart phone users so that consumers can then go into any brick and mortar business, find something they are interested in, scan the bar code and see if Amazon has it at a lower cost.
This is the reason that small business owners are so mad. This is not really comparison shopping, it is more of a search for Amazon by users of the app. If the shopper finds what they are looking for, instead of buying it in the store, they will go home and order it online, get a discount for using the app and avoid paying sales tax.
And, to top it off, the new app comes out just before Christmas when all shoppers are trying to get in last minute purchases as cheaply as possible. Many business owners see it as an unfair advantage to Amazon. It could hurt an already shaky economy for small businesses.
The price checker app will check multiple items simply by scanning the bar code, taking a picture or speaking out loud what the product is. Of course, the product has to be an exact match. You can’t compare a Sony Playstation to a Nintendo. But, it is still easy to see why business owners are hopping mad. If a lot of shoppers use this new price checker, all they are going to do is visit several stores, compare the prices in the store to what Amazon is offering, and then a potential sale is lost.
It’s not that business owners don’t want Amazon to have any customers, it’s the fact that it is an unfair advantage. Brick and mortar businesses have to have prices a little higher because of sales tax. Amazon customers do not have to pay sales tax.
All in all, Amazon is not on the friendly list where small business owners are concerned. But, hopefully, most shoppers will want it now no matter the cost and still buy it while they have their hands on a product instead of having to wait for it to come in the mail. Especially here at Christmas when the mail service will be way behind and a chance of a present might not arrive in time.