Amazon will first analyze all your sales data, they will than attach reviews to your shop and finally they will oblige you to play by their rules or die (banned or killed by bad reviews) and either way they will grow thanks to your hard work.
I'm not joking, this is exactly what they have done (and keep doing) with "partners". Amazon is all but transparent and it has been growing like crazy during the last 6-8 years thanks to this exact strategy. Online is not enough anymore, they need to conquer local stores as well. The empire strikes back.
Brick and Mortar retailers are concerned about being able to conveniently accept payment and minimizing service charges for the convenience of accepting non-cash payment.
Ideally retailers wouldn't have to accept cards, they would only accept cash, cash = no service charge by a third party. However, that is the whole point of the financial industry to create an economy that permits middle men to take a percent of every transaction (as you say "grow thanks to your hard work"). Why have a store and sell anything when you can have someone else do the work and get a % of every transaction? But Amazon is not the first to do it.
Edit: Sorry, the idea of Amazon opening restaurants, coffee shops or tap rooms (which would also mean they start brewing their own beer) reminds me of this scene from Judge Dredd: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xFiDoOgRTpk (Now All Restaurants are Taco Bell)
Who knows where amazon will go.
The thing about Amazon is that every company who should be their competitor (Barnes & Noble, Borders, Wal-Mart) constantly botches it. They have the money to fend off Amazon. I guess that's what happens when bloated, dumb corporations get real, nimble competition.
It would be like if Amazon decided to take on Comcast selling cable TV. Comcast is huge, wealthy and established, but, and I don't think I would like this, but my money would be on Amazon because Comcast is rich but dumb.
amazon competing would be a win for consumers most likely since they are pretty actively customer focused. It would likely be a loss to the people selling through them though. I like amazon as a consumer for the most part but apparently their tactics and policies toward retailers is less than shining.
Having reviews next to your shop would only be worse for your shop if you aren't a good shop to begin with.
How about totally unfair, if not abusive reviews (http://www.modernluxury.com/san-francisco/story/the-toxic-ab...)?
Or a bunch of people ganging up to destroy a restaurant. Even if virtually none of the reviewers has ever set foot into the place? (http://evgrieve.com/2014/05/a-google-glass-feast.html)
A couple of bad reviews can destroy a business. No matter if they are true or not.
He responded politely, but basically said "people need to be allowed to forget that movie". So you are good.
For example, Google is under significant regulations as a result of the DOJ settlement, "To prevent abuse of commercially sensitive information, Google will be required to implement firewall restrictions within the company that prevent unauthorized use of competitively sensitive information and data gathered from [flight booking] customers."
While I think jack-r-abbit is accurate about many business not competing with Amazon, if Amazon begins using financial data to unfairly stifle retailer competition, then they are playing with fire, Anti-Trust lawsuits are not cheap.
Monopolies are bad, and since all the people on HN are the small business owner (or want to be soon), making people aware of what's going to happen is kind of important.
It's also not new: there are players trying to do this type of thing in every industry. You even see it in medicine.
If they become the only middleman, than the situation gets much worse as there are no longer any market forces to keep Amazon's prices to be close to their costs. The only force at that point is Amazon's good will to not make a profit.
"Last year, combined total volume of merchandise handled by Taobao and Tmall surpassed 1 trillion yuan, or about $160 billion, according to Alibaba. That figure was larger than Amazon’s $86 billion, according to RetailNet Group, or eBay’s 67.8 billion"
At that point Amazon controls your cashflow and your products and--in a sense--owns your business.
"Fast, reliable deposits.
Deposits to your bank account the next business day. Or spend your money at Amazon.com within minutes."
Obviously it's hard to compete with Amazon on commodity products, but it seems like they are lowering the barriers to entry for many unique retailers and small businesses.
Anyone who relies on PayPal today already accepts the risk of having their account/funds frozen, and there are already many horror stories of businesses having tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars locked up for a three-month investigation (only to go bankrupt in the interim).
ITS A TRAP! :P
This isn't an Evil Plot, it's just an attempt to leverage their existing payment processing abilities to get themselves a piece of Square's pi, much in the same way that AWS leveraged their existing IT infrastructure.
Could they mistreat retailers who are trying to make a living reselling boxed products? Yeah. But those retailers have mostly been killed off already by Big Box stores. This ship sailed long ago.
Hair cutting drone perhaps?
Within a few years cheques will be phased out in the UK. This means the only way to pay a carpenter, or a plumber is in cash or a money transfer. Money transfers to new suppliers always take a bit of faff to setup, and a card payment like this would often be easier.
Are cheques being phased out?
No. The Payments Council announced on 12 July 2011 that cheques will continue for as long as customers need them. A previously announced target for closing the cheque clearing system by 2018 has been cancelled.
How so? If I want to send money to a UK bank account to which I've not send money before, I:
1. Open my bank's app on my phone
2. Tap 'send money'
3. Type in the amount, the 6-digit sort code, the 8-digit account number, the person's name
4. Hit 'Send'.
It's a little slower than swiping a card, but it also feels safer, as I don't have to give someone physical access to my card.
Although why anyone would buy their decorative paper from the back of a van is beyond me.
This makes sense for more than just Foodtrucks. The pain of fees is a very real thing for retail startups and if amazon is also going to give us a terminal that can take the place of a $3k+ POS system, then I'd be seriously considering it.
Don't get me wrong, I give out 5 stars for every one I deal with. Mostly because I rarely realize I dealt with them. Things arrive on time and as advertised. Does this not happen regularly for some folks?
That said, I'm not sure I was aware there are actual reviews. I just check the scorecard.
On the other hand, Amazon is _both_ payment processor and merchant. First it gets transaction fees (due to its volume, I guess it is paying around 1-2% for card transactions) from merchants, not a lot, but I doubt it really cares or plans to earn money from transactions. Second it gets sales analytics, and third, it can adjust its online strategies to match the trends it sees in this data. I would say #2 and #3 would be the whole point of launching this.
They will come and stick reviews on your window or what?
If you sign up, it's a 1.25% pay rise for 18 months ... Yes eventually technology will eat your lunch, but that's coming independant of your signing up or no.