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Amazon is a professional seller, they should know better. Buyers are not professionals, they shouldn't have to. Depending on the country this is even enshrined in law (e.g. customer protection laws against accidental buying).



He's talking about it from the moral standpoint. Most customers will be able to tell that something is off when camera gear is that cheap.


Amazon is not a person, it's a company. Attributing moral to a transaction with non-person entities is frail itself. Does moral even apply here? What does it mean?


Interesting to compare this to religious morals: "Thou shall not steal" has nothing to do with the the victim, only the actor. In secular morality, things are more nuanced and the wealth/likeness/actions of the victim help determine how "bad" the act was. Amazon being large/rich changes things compared to a small m&p shop. See also: Jack and the Beanstalk, Robin Hood.


Interestingly, when I see the wikipedia page, the Jewish interpretation is nothing to do with stealing property, but by stealing person(kidnapping).

So the correct translation from Jewish tradition is thou shall not kidnap.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thou_shalt_not_steal


> Nevertheless, this commandment has come to be interpreted, especially in non-Jewish traditions, as the unauthorized taking of private property (stealing or theft), which is a wrongful action already prohibited elsewhere in the Hebrew Bible that does not ordinarily incur the death penalty.


> "Thou shall not steal" has nothing to do with the the victim, only the actor.

But in the context in which "Thou shalt not steal" was written, the punishment had to do with the victim: If you stole something, you had to pay back at least twice as much.


> If you stole something, you had to pay back at least twice as much.

"you" refers to the actor, not the victim. In that context, it also does not specify that it must be restituted to the victim.


I’m not the op but if you take morality to be an emotional thing then it does work: people (and primates) have an intrinsic sense of fairness.

But that is sort of a relativist position, most people talk about morality like it’s some absolute truth.


I bet you'd be ready to apply moral concepts to Amazon if Amazon deliberately ripped you off.


There is no attempt to apply moral concepts to a company, it is the customer holding the believe that some errors should be corrected while others should not. The fact that Amazon is a company and the debate about whether moral concepts can be applied to such entities is therefore irrelevant in this case.


Someone is responsible for that listing and the pricing it receives. The company operates collectively, but there is ultimately a human behind each sale. OP seems to be interested in the morality surrounding the treatment of the people involved, not the legal entity they’ve invented.


But it still a big difference at the end; if the customer lose money, that's money he or she cannot spend for himself/herself. Whereas on Amazon's side, all of the employees' wages will remain identical. The people at that company won't be impacted, just treasury of the company is. That's where the disctinction is important.


In some cases, yes, but to the extent that third parties sell on Amazon you could easily have a Chinese sole proprietor shoot himself in the foot. The concept carries up to multiple employees, it’s just diluted. Does dilution affect morality? I don’t know. I kind of suspect not though.


> The company operates collectively, but there is ultimately a human behind each sale.

Yes and no. Companies are "greater than sum of its parts" beings. Trading with "Roy's Used Camera Gear" sole proprietorship is essentially dealing with Roy himself. I'd say morality and basic human decency strongly applies on both sides here. A megacorporation of Amazon size? There you're dealing with an amoral artificial intelligence that uses humans as brain cells and bureaucracy as brain activity. This being does not follow any moral principles, and will happily screw you over whenever it's profitable for them.

Humans are involved in every activity of a corporation the way our neurons are involved in thinking; you don't say that neuron #24262934 is stupid because all it keeps thinking about is kitties. That neuron only conveys signals, and the thought originates and evolves across many of them. This also implies one is not absolved from moral responsibility to individual agents of a corporation. It's not the fault of a sales representative or a helpdesk clerk that the corporation made decisions that hurt you, much like it's not a single neuron's fault that your brain keeps thinking about cats.

Same thing in other words: a market entity seems to have two aspects - the human aspect, and the "emergent" aspect that's manifestation of market pressures incentivizing members of that entity. The human aspect is in scope of moral considerations, the market-emergent aspect isn't. As a company grows in size, the human aspect diminishes while the market aspect takes over.

(Note that this is a perspective I'm currently entertaining, but I haven't thought it through as thoroughly as I'd like. It seems to be a correct intuition, but it may have inconsistencies that I haven't realized yet.)


That's not necessarily true. There's nothing to say that this wasn't an intentional stunt to push Prime Day to the front of various deal websites by selling camera equipment to professionals as a loss leader.

The size of Amazon is such that they can afford to bleed heavily from selling mid range pro camera equipment at a significant loss whilst recouping the profit from all the incidental purchases and traffic that the attention brought.

I'm not saying that this is what happened, but marketing budgets run into the millions (especially for a highly promoted yearly event like Prime Day) and dropping a few hundred thousand on a scheme like this isn't so outrageous.


It goes both ways, something too cheap will also get you no sympathy when it ends up being fake or a knockoff. On a moral standpoint I think it evens out.


> Most customers will be able to tell that something is off when camera gear is that cheap.

It's Amazon, I expect them not to make any mistake. Theses prices are crazy, but they advertise Prime Day as a day of crazy deals.


I don't think there's really that much morally decadent in taking advantage of the mistakes one of the richest companies and quite morally dubious companies on the planet.


> Depending on the country this is even enshrined in law (e.g. customer protection laws against accidental buying).

Isn't that usually the case for the seller as well, i.e. obvious pricing errors allow the seller to void the contract?


As far as I know in Switzerland this is symmetrical and an error on one party's side that is considered to be "obvious" to the other party makes it possible for the disadvantaged party to void the contract.

Not sure about other countries.




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