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Gabe / on Mon, Nov 15 2004 at 11:40 pm

Child’s Play needs your help!


***** SUPER UPDATE!!!*****

WORD FROM AMAZON IS THAT THEY ARE TESTING A FIX NOW. THE PROBLEM SHOULD BE FIXED SOON. I’M TURNING OFF THE LASER AT THIS POINT.

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*****UPDATE!!!*****

I CHANGED THE EMAIL ADDRESS FOR AMAZON AT THE BOTTOM OF THE POST. SO IF YOU MAILED THEM USING THE OLD ONE, AND IT BOUNCED USE THIS NEW ONE.

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It is time again for me to call upon the awesome might of our combined readership. Today we need to focus the PA laser directly on Amazon. Let me explain to you the problem we’re having with the hospital wish lists this year.

Here’s the issue: Amazon sells Amazon inventory, Merchant partner inventory, and Market (user/small business) inventory. Some Merchant inventory (like Toys R Us) is shipped out of Amazon-owned warehouses. Some Merchant inventory (like GameStop and Office Depot) is shipped out of Merchant-owned warehouses. *All* Market inventory is shipped out of the user’s home/warehouse. The Merchant’s system is supposed to be a good thing because the Merchant with the lowest price “wins” the buy box—basically the lowest price floats to the top. Too bad this system perfectly wrecks Amazon’s Wish list system.

The problem is that Amazon’s privacy policy doesn’t allow it to give out Amazon customer addresses to third parties without the address-owner’s consent. So if you order a game, and GameStop wins the buy box on Amazon, and you want to ship it to yourself—that’s no problem since you’re giving consent to Amazon to pass your info to GameStop. But if you try to order that game off of a buddy’s wish list (or a hospital’s wish list), and GameStop has the lowest price and wins the buy box—Amazon balks because Amazon doesn’t know if your buddy wanted GameStop to have his address. So the order just shuts down and cannot be completed.

It’s fucked up because there’s no work-around. The wish list creator can’t specify that only Amazon-owned inventory be made available through the wish list. And the creator can’t give explicit permission that his address be allowed to be shared. That’s the really messed up part: we state the hospital’s address right there on every single page of the (public) wish list yet Amazon doesn’t recognize that fact at all.

What this all means is that if you put a game on your wish list, most likely no one will ever be able to buy it for you since 1/2 the games on Amazon are sold by GameStop, J&R, and other Merchants that ship out of non-Amazon warehouses. Everyone knows that games are the most-wanted items on any kid’s, and most adult’s, wish list. Amazon is helpfully preventing Santa from getting this message.

If everyone writes in and tells Amazon that their system is jacked, then maybe they’ll get a clue, fix their broken system, and stop losing what must by hundreds of millions of dollars in game sales.

Purchasing games for sick kids is a huge part of Child’s Play. This wasn’t a problem last year and so probably 80% of our donations last year were games. This year it’s really hurting Child’s Play and we need to get this problem solved quick. So with that said I need all of you to hit this address

[email protected]

and tell them to fix their broken wish list system. Feel free to cut and paste my post here or just provide a link. I suggest we all use the same subject line. Let’s go with “Fix your busted Wish Lists!”

Get everyone you know to hit them up on this. We really need to resolve this so that we can make this year’s Child’s Play a huge success.

-Gabe out


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