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December 06, 2007

MY EARLIER POST ON FREE SHIPPING and Amazon Prime produced this email from reader Travis Corcoran:

I'm an entrepreneur (I launched SmartFlix.com and grew it to about $1 million/year in revenue...with no venture capital!), and last month I launched HeavyInk.com: sort ofan Amazon.com for comic books, graphic novels, etc., crossed with the social networking aspects of Facebook.

I've been insistent from the get-go that we offer free shipping on everything. You can come in, order a comic book for $1.99, and you get a 20% discount, and free shipping.

Yeah, we lose big money on the person who orders one comic book.

...but the value proposition is so simple and compelling, that we get tons of customers, who soon start buying enough stuff that it's, on average, worthwhile.

Bezos was/is right!

And reader Kathleen Hay emails: "Surprisingly, new parents tell me Amazon Prime for diapers is the cheapest possible and great because you don't have to leave the house." Plus, as I've noted in the past, it's environmentally friendly!

UPDATE: Reader Fred Butzen emails: "I was sold on Amazon when I found I could go on it, and with a few clicks of the mouse send stuff to my son, who at the time was with the Army in Iraq. It still amazes me. I've heard a genius defined as 'the man who has a profound grasp of the obvious'. That sure sounds like Jeff Bezos." I'm a fan. And so is Cranky Greg, even though he's, well, cranky.

ANOTHER UPDATE: Reader Chris Farley emails: "I second DRJ. He told my EXACT story, except I finished all of my Christmas shopping, plus birthdays for my wife and twins, well before Thanksgiving. Heck, I’ve got everything wrapped and ready to put under the tree and it isn’t even decorated yet!"

I wonder if this tends to appeal more to men, who tend not to enjoy shopping for its own sake?

MORE: Reader Kimblerly Stresing emails:

After reading your feedback from men on Amazon, and your statement "I wonder if this tends to appeal more to men, who tend not to enjoy shopping for its own sake?" I felt I just had to respond.

I have been using Amazon as my primary source for Christmas shopping for quite a few years now. I love shopping just as much as the next woman, and I find that shopping Amazon is a far more satisfying "shopping experience".

For instance, I needed to purchase the new Steve Martin biography, for my Father-in-Law. In the "related items" area (which I ALWAYS check out) there was a children's book by Steve Martin. I had no idea he had written a children's book! Well, needless to say the book ended up in my cart, for all of the toddlers on my list!

For a person who enjoys shopping that "related items" category is pure heaven!

There are many reasons that I rely on Amazon for my shopping, and the shopping for shopping sake is definitely part of it!

I stand corrected.