Two object lessons in the last week from two transactions. On Thursday of last week I ordered a new battery for my laptop online from an eBay vendor. I paid an extra $20 for overnight delivery. Promised delivery was Saturday, since it was late on Thursday when I ordered. They used USPS for overnight delivery. It is Wednesday, and I am still waiting for the battery to arrive. According to the tracking it took until Monday to get to San Francisco and then until Tuesday to get to the post office in Sunnyvale where I live, so I expect it will arrive today, Wednesday. Way too late, as I am already on the road and did not get the battery I needed in time.
On Saturday, I ordered two books for my wife on amazon.com. They promised two-day delivery, which meant Tuesday. They shipped via UPS. The books arrived on Monday MORNING, a full day plus in advance of my expectations.
Two lessons: First, the post office, which is desperately trying to compete, is proving themselves completely unreliable as a priority shipper. (And btw, our office park mailman skipped our office today … as he does about once each week for unknown reasons, again proving their unreliability to us). Second, the eBay vendor is demonstrating why it is so difficult to compete with the likes of amazon.com. They use a substandard vendor, while charging full-premium shipping prices. Even if they refund the entire purchase price and shipping I am unlikely to use them again. I needed a battery on Saturday, not a free battery when I get back.
It’s not that hard to compete if you just do it…