I recently attended an American Bar Association convention, where the topic of Amazon.com’s website of the same name was one of the subjects being discussed. As a lawyer and even as a former attorney and as someone who have represented clients in defamation cases, the topic of how Amazon.com operates is worth exploring.
According to people present at the conference, Amazon.com’s website had been written about by all of the major media outlets except one: Fox News. In fact, the only outlet that seemed to be trying to figure out what Amazon.com was and what it was doing came from online reports that talked about how “Amazon.com,” a domain that is not registered but which was registered by Jeff Bezos himself. Of course, even as people were speculating about how to describe the website that looked to be made up of photos of planes, ships, snowflakes, and various objects, and which was described as “a dot-com based online marketplace,” Bezos himself gave a presentation on his own website, an organization that had the foresight to think it could serve as an online auction house.
Bezos told the conference that Amazon.com was designed to allow customers to be able to do some research and purchase products by searching for them using specific keywords. The auction website allowed people to purchase products without knowing the brand name first, Bezos said. He also told the meeting that customers did not need to pay any money for products that were purchased.
Bezos told the meeting that the goal of Amazon.com was to be able to provide its customers with instant access to millions of items. According to Bezos, such an endeavor would require them to acquire thousands of product databases from wholesalers and also to create thousands of products and accessories to sell. Bezos said that he did not see Amazon.com as a means to sell products to consumers. Instead, he thought that customers would find the website useful as a means to search and purchase products from one place.
In a presentation that he did not deliver at the meeting, Bezos told a group of conference attendees that while many of the features on Amazon.com would be interesting to people who are professionals in the legal and banking professions, the website was not intended to be used by ordinary consumers. Bezos noted that his only motivation for creating the website was that he did not like the idea of not being able to use a credit card to purchase products. However, he told the audience that he did not intend to make the site a means for people to buy items from Amazon.com. Instead, he thought that it would be useful as a means to search and purchase products from one place.
According to those present at the conference, Bezos told the crowd that his reason for creating the website was to avoid having to deal with the risks associated with purchasing products from the Internet. Of course, everyone knows that anything can be purchased over the Internet if the seller decides to sell it, so, why would you prefer not to do it? But, that doesn’t mean that people should also presume that the product will arrive safely to its buyer in this fashion. Indeed, the risks involved with buying online are really quite high.
The website that Amazon.com has developed is supposed to be a means for people to find and purchase products. While some may take that as a sign that the website is intended to be a means for ordinary consumers to shop and purchase products, those who are familiar with Amazon.com say that it is a good thing that the website is not primarily used as a means for average people to shop and purchase goods. It is actually rather a good thing that Amazon.com has not yet become the method for people to shop and purchase goods.
If there is a very good reason for the existence of Amazon.com, then perhaps the reason will be revealed when people ask, “What is Amazon.com?” As it is, we can only speculate about what Amazon.com is intended to be, and what the reasons are behind its creation.