Two Managers at Amazon Debating “Add-Ons”

Manager 1: Add-ons* will prevent us from losing money on sales, making us more profitable.

Manager 2: But what about Bob? Bob comes to Amazon, wants to buy a connector and a cable and is willing to pay the shipping, but he can’t because it doesn’t amount to $25 and the connector is an add-on. Now we’ve kind of annoyed Bob, and he goes elsewhere to buy them. Is it worth it? What if Bob doesn’t come back?!

At this point it’s not clear whether manager 1 would say this:

Manager 1: Bob will be back because not losing money on sales means we keep the lowest prices. Bob will be back. Bob doesn’t hold a grudge if it means paying more. Ask the airlines.

Or this:

Manager 1: If Bob is too cheap to have $25 in material needs, then good riddance.

And it probably doesn’t matter which response he gives, as both are true and valid reasons why I’m too cheap for Amazon to really care about me as a customer.

Design lesson: Focus on the core, even if it means in the end that not all your customers are happy.

* Add-ons are items that are small and cheap enough that Amazon doesn’t even consider it worth their time to send them out unless they are part of a larger order totaling at least $25. In this case, I needed a right angle TOSLINK connector and a TOSLINK cable. The connector, which was only a couple of bucks, was an “add-on.” That and the cable together didn’t even come close to $25, so I ordered them elsewhere.


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