Shopping Discussion

Competition Bureau is investigating amazon.ca

  • Last Updated:
  • Aug 18th, 2020 9:33 pm
19 replies
Deal Addict
Aug 10, 2019
2209 posts
18577 upvotes
I wonder if Walmart will also be investigated for their monopolistic practices.
Deal Expert
Aug 22, 2006
27311 posts
12944 upvotes
"impacting competition to the detriment of consumers and companies that do business in Canada."
Detriment to customers? No. Detriment to other companies? Yes.
No one else can ship anything in 2 days which is most of the reason I buy from them.
The ability of third-party sellers to succeed on Amazon's marketplace without using its "Fulfilment By Amazon" service or advertising on Amazon.ca.
You probably could succeed, but as a buyer, I usually filter out anything that's not fulfilled because it ships slower.
So I'm not saying you're gonna fail, but you're more likely to not succeed because why as a buyer would I choose something that ships slower and that I have to pay for?
There's other retailers that I could buy from if I wanted to do that. I shop on Amazon because it's 2 days for anything I can think of.
Any efforts or strategies by Amazon that may influence consumers to purchase products it offers for sale over those offered by competing sellers.
So does that mean we get to say goodbye to No Name?


At the end of the day, it's not like I WANT to buy on Amazon (that's a lie which I'll explain later) but there's no competition that offers anything even remotely close to what Amazon offers.
I can get stuff guaranteed in 2 days or less. Most retailers are in Ontario. Air shipping is expensive. Shipping is expensive actually so $100-200 minimums for free shipping aren't unheard of vs Amazon and Prime being $0 minimum.

Even from a customer service perspective, I've never had them promise anything and fail to deliver on that promise.

I'm finding that the more I shop anywhere else, the more I turn back to Amazon because it's convenient and I know immediately if they have an accurate stock.
While I get the concept of theft etc, most B&M stores don't have accurate stock counts. Even recently I needed a thing that Home Depot had 3 of. They had none.

I was literally in line waiting for customer service at Lowe's to get help finding a thing (at this point for over an hour) with Amazon open ready to buy for $10 more because I already wasted an hour with four different staff members not having any idea where a torch is. Finally someone not helping me overheard and pointed me in the right direction. I would have preferred to pay more and guaranteed have it in my hand without having to wander around a store for an hour without any useful help.
Jr. Member
Feb 22, 2011
138 posts
86 upvotes
Richmond Hill
Is there any online retailer in Canada which offers nearly as good a service as Amazon?

Amazon delivery is usually very fast and whenever somebody along the line screws up, their customer service resolves the issue quickly and painlessly. By contrast, my experiences with other online retailers are at best adequate, getting the order processed with a package received within one or two weeks time within the province. At worst, they can be an utter nightmare. I ordered a laptop from the Source about 4 months ago. It never arrived, and I had to wrangle with their customer service at the height of the COVID-19 shutdown to get them to figure out what had gone wrong and to resolve the problem. After submitting a complaint (which went unanswered), going to their live chat three times (which was completely unhelpful and kept referring me to the phone) and phoning them about five times, I will be receiving a refund come the next credit card statement.

On principle, I don't approve of a private monopoly over any service, but the fact is that Amazon is much better at selling stuff than any other online retailer I've dealt with, and arguably better than many conventional retailers as well.
Deal Fanatic
Dec 5, 2006
8107 posts
3599 upvotes
Markham
Alceister wrote: Is there any online retailer in Canada which offers nearly as good a service as Amazon?

Amazon delivery is usually very fast and whenever somebody along the line screws up, their customer service resolves the issue quickly and painlessly. By contrast, my experiences with other online retailers are at best adequate, getting the order processed with a package received within one or two weeks time within the province. At worst, they can be an utter nightmare. I ordered a laptop from the Source about 4 months ago. It never arrived, and I had to wrangle with their customer service at the height of the COVID-19 shutdown to get them to figure out what had gone wrong and to resolve the problem. After submitting a complaint (which went unanswered), going to their live chat three times (which was completely unhelpful and kept referring me to the phone) and phoning them about five times, I will be receiving a refund come the next credit card statement.

On principle, I don't approve of a private monopoly over any service, but the fact is that Amazon is much better at selling stuff than any other online retailer I've dealt with, and arguably better than many conventional retailers as well.
Monopoly is not illegal in both US and Canada.

They are looking for is whether amazon is abuse its power to block competition
Deal Expert
Aug 22, 2006
27311 posts
12944 upvotes
Alceister wrote: On principle, I don't approve of a private monopoly over any service, but the fact is that Amazon is much better at selling stuff than any other online retailer I've dealt with, and arguably better than many conventional retailers as well.
Exactly. It's not that they can't compete. They just can't compete.
I wish someone would step up and compete because eventually we're gonna be like "please return to your Primehouse for your nightly Primemeal, valued Primecitizen. Sincerely Primeident Bezos"

But so far, every other retailer sucks at selling.
Deal Fanatic
Nov 15, 2008
8560 posts
3270 upvotes
The scenario is like this:


I sell a product on Amazon for $100 and Amazon jacks me for $40 in fees so I make $60.

I start selling on Walmart Marketplace and no one is buying but at least the fees are only $20, so I am making $80 when I do make a sale.

I decide to sell my product on Walmart for $80 because the fees are lower and I still make $60 and maybe I will make more sales there where it is cheaper for me? I would love if customers went there.

Amazon price bot does another trawl of Walmart (as it constantly does) and discovers my item is listed for $80 on Walmart when it is $100 on Amazon.

Amazon sends me a seller alert warning me that my product is selling for less elsewhere and I should lower my price.

Amazon BURIES my listing until I lower my price so that for all intents and purposes, my product is "gone." Any kind of search keywords won't dig it up unless I am willing to go through pages and pages of results. If I want to find it I have to use an external search and Google '"my product" site:amazon.ca' The only people who will find it are those who have already put it in their Cart or Wish List (shoppers, this is a good argument for keeping a large sloppy Wish List going at all times).


(And another common scenario is that the seller tries to sell at $60 at their own website because they don't have to pay any fees on that, and again in response Amazon hides all their listings on Amazon.)


Amazon is the best place to sell, period, if you want to sell volume. What Amazon is doing is leveraging its power to create a single universal price for a product across all channels whether Amazon owns them (.ca, .com, etc.) or not.


YES, Canada's Competition Bureau needs to look into this. We do not want this.
Deal Addict
User avatar
Sep 13, 2007
3949 posts
4404 upvotes
GTA
Does the Competition Bureau have any real teeth? 2.5 years later and still no charges laid or fines levied in the bread price fixing crime. Amazon must be terrified.
Deal Fanatic
Nov 15, 2008
8560 posts
3270 upvotes
Kfox wrote: Does the Competition Bureau have any real teeth? 2.5 years later and still no charges laid or fines levied in the bread price fixing crime. Amazon must be terrified.
Competition Bureau could have fined Loblaws $25 M but Loblaws ended up shelling out $150 M in $25 bread gift cards and they are still facing a $1 B class action lawsuit on this.
Deal Addict
Dec 20, 2018
3404 posts
2694 upvotes
smartie wrote: Might be competition bureau should spend more time on telecommunication companies
They have..many times, just like gas companies

But they can't just make up evidence that doesn't exist
Penalty Box
Feb 22, 2016
4266 posts
3784 upvotes
smartie wrote: Might be competition bureau should spend more time on telecommunication companies
Pardon wrote: I wonder if Walmart will also be investigated for their monopolistic practices.
Add Costco and Loblaws to that list. Way too dominant.
Friendly reminder: The Golden Arches fast food chain is McDonald's, not MacDonald's. Thank you for your attention.
Deal Fanatic
Dec 5, 2006
8107 posts
3599 upvotes
Markham
lecale wrote: Competition Bureau could have fined Loblaws $25 M but Loblaws ended up shelling out $150 M in $25 bread gift cards and they are still facing a $1 B class action lawsuit on this.
How many of those 25 dollars actually get to customers hand? Just curious
Deal Expert
Jan 7, 2002
20370 posts
13943 upvotes
Waterloo, ON
Kfox wrote: Does the Competition Bureau have any real teeth? 2.5 years later and still no charges laid or fines levied in the bread price fixing crime. Amazon must be terrified.
lecale wrote: Competition Bureau could have fined Loblaws $25 M but Loblaws ended up shelling out $150 M in $25 bread gift cards
Proving price fixing and similar collusion is difficult without one party "ratting out" the others. As I recall, the Competition Bureau gives a "plea deal" to the first party to "rat." In the case of the bread price fixing case, Weston (Loblaws) was the "rat" who fingered Sobeys and Metro. In exchange Weston was given immunity from criminal prosecution. That's why no charges were laid against them. Of course it doesn't explain why Sobeys and Metro have not [yet?] been charged.

As for telcos, there doesn't have to be any conspiracy or deliberate collusion. One carrier, say, bHell, raises their rates by $5/month. Robbers and Telus follow suit shortly thereafter. Was there a conspiracy between them? Or maybe Robbers and Telus matched bHell's rate increase because they knew their customers had no viable alternatives. Or maybe they just have a tacit understanding that they'll change prices--up or down--in lockstep? A similar situation likely exists with gas stations. Good luck proving criminality under the Competition Act.
veni, vidi, Visa
Member
Oct 9, 2011
472 posts
167 upvotes
Alceister wrote: Is there any online retailer in Canada which offers nearly as good a service as Amazon?

Amazon delivery is usually very fast and whenever somebody along the line screws up, their customer service resolves the issue quickly and painlessly. By contrast, my experiences with other online retailers are at best adequate, getting the order processed with a package received within one or two weeks time within the province. At worst, they can be an utter nightmare. I ordered a laptop from the Source about 4 months ago. It never arrived, and I had to wrangle with their customer service at the height of the COVID-19 shutdown to get them to figure out what had gone wrong and to resolve the problem. After submitting a complaint (which went unanswered), going to their live chat three times (which was completely unhelpful and kept referring me to the phone) and phoning them about five times, I will be receiving a refund come the next credit card statement.

On principle, I don't approve of a private monopoly over any service, but the fact is that Amazon is much better at selling stuff than any other online retailer I've dealt with, and arguably better than many conventional retailers as well.
I am happy with my orders from amazon and their customer service most of the times but if it's electornic, I would rather buy from best buy instead. While I don't need most items in 1 or 2 days, amazon shows the fastest delivery time frame when you place the order, but after placing the order, the earliest delivery time get pushed back a day or 2 and they add a range of extra week. It happened a few times for me already. Whereas Best Buy, their estimated delivery date is always 2-3 days, but parcel almost always show up the next day. Plus, it's much easier to return to bestbuy if there's something wrong with the item.

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