Amazon has long had a trade-in program for gadgets, books and media but it wasn’t until last night that I realized just how badly they were cheating their customers.
Last night I was buying a number of books for my mother. She’s a construction manager, and due to a shift in her works ite she needed to get a new set of the standard reference manuals (in this case, mainly legal books form Wolters Kluwer). As I added the books to the cart, I kept seeing things like this:
Yes, Amazon is trying to sell me a $300 book and buy it back for only $14. Either they are doing some pretty powerful drugs or they must be assuming that I have been recently been lobotomized. Which do you suppose it is?
Now, I have known for some time that the offers Amazon made via their trade-in program were never very good, but this was the first time I’d seen one which was clearly not in the customer’s interest.
The $14 credit offered above is clearly exploitative. No one with half a brain would take Amazon up on it, and that makes me wonder if perhaps the entire program is designed to take advantage of fools. It’s certainly not intended to offer a fair deal; the $14 credit for this book can tell you that.
While I am all in favor of Amazon making the best deal they can, I don’t think it should be quite this one-sided. This is an example of Amazon using their more powerful position to exploit the customer, and one-sided abuse never sits well with me.