See, It's All A Scam
The Market Ticker - Commentary on The Capital Markets
2017-07-25 10:43 by Karl Denninger
in Company Specific , 478 references Ignore this thread
See, It's All A Scam
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It is illegal under FTC regulations to display a "suggested retail price" that never, in fact, was a price you sold at, or which exceeds the actual "suggested retail price" the manufacturer provides.

Not only is this illegal at a federal level it is a rank violation of state consumer protection statutes, which bar deceptive practices.

Now it appears Amazon got caught doing exactly that on "Prime Day", and screwed you in the ass if you bought products during their so-called "annual sale":

Jason Jacobs, founder of Remodeez, a small company that specializes in non-toxic foot deodorizers and other odor stoppers, says he had an agreement with Amazon since 2015 on a suggested retail price of $9.99 for his products and was shocked after the tech giant almost doubled that on Prime Day to make it look like people were getting a discount, when they were actually paying full price.

“They showed the product at $15.42 and then exed it out to put ‘$9.99 for Amazon Prime Day.’ And on the final day, the price was like $18.44. So, we put a support ticket in right away and I rallied some friends through social media to go to their complaint board and complain,” Jacobs tells FOX Business.

There was no "deal" offered at all and in fact it is alleged Amazon showed an entirely fraudulent "suggested retail price."

This sort of practice should land Bezos in prison folks.  It's impossible to know exactly how many times Amazon has done this, of course, but that they did it even once is proof that they will do it.

Remember that retailers are free to set whatever prices they wish, including "surge" pricing, which Amazon has been caught using in the past -- while representing that it is the "best" price.

But this is an entirely different matter.  Suggested retail prices are not Amazon's to determine; they are the property of the vendor and to misrepresent those is a flat-out fraudulent (and illegally so) practice.

“I don’t think they are being malicious about it, it is just something that they need to tweak," he says.

Oh really?  Considering that Amazon gets a piece of every sale how do they get more of a piece?

Jack the price.

I didn't buy a thing during so-called "Prime Day" as I saw it for what it was: Get screwed by Bezos day.  I dumped my Prime sub some time ago, and it will expire never to be paid for again -- I've seen far too many so-called "deals" that really aren't and given that there is utterly no value at all to the $100/year cost.

If you believe this is not the case read this from the comments below:

My desktop PC in my office, my wife's desktop PC in her office, and a phone which for some reason doesn't have any info on it linking it to us, list three different Amazon prices for some items. The lowest price is displayed on my PC, which has a lot of ID info about me. I have **** credit, no money, no Prime membership, etc., so it's like Amazon KNOWS it can only get my biz with the lowest prices (usually a dollar or three under Newegg and other suppliers from which I buy)

Go ahead folks, get ripped off and especially if you buy a so-called "Prime" membership.

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User Info See, It's All A Scam in forum [Market-Ticker]
Vernonb
Posts: 1848
Incept: 2009-06-03

East of Sheol
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Hand-in-Hand let's not forget about those "tax-free" sales tax days to buy certain goods in the state w/o paying a sales tax for the period. In PA they are now pushing a day where consumers buy emergency supplies from vendors w/o paying a sales tax.

Gee I wonder what really happens here? Do consumers really think they are saving any money?

No what happens is an artificial demand is created during that period and demand drives pricing. Meanwhile the math incompetent zombies think they get a bargain as the merchants raise prices to put that extra cash in their pockets. What wasn't paid in taxes now winds up in the pocket of merchants as profits in excess of the demand pricing.

A tax free sales day is NOTHING but a gift to merchants but the sheeple are too stupid to realize they are the ones being sheared.

Nothing is free. With Bezos it is a fraudulent hide the salami shell game and the salami winds up inside the consumer's arse.

Is it not obvious by now that Amazon doesn't respect its customers.

Grovel worms before the awesome power of PRIME. smiley

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"Mass intelligence does not mean intelligent masses."
Jdough
Posts: 83
Incept: 2012-05-04

The Lone Star State
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Harbor Freight got hit with a class action for doing this kind of stuff with their "discount" prices. Gotta be some lawyers drooling over the kind of prize they would get from Amazon.

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The federal head will possess, without limitation, almost every species of power that can, in its exercise,
tend to change the government, or to endanger liberty; the people will have but the shadow of representation, and but the shadow of security for their rights and liberties
Exppi
Posts: 63
Incept: 2013-10-15

PDX
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All these games with reference prices reminds me of the cheaperthandirt fiasco. At least then you got to see the screwing.
Inline
Als
Posts: 535
Incept: 2010-03-12

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Remember when Victoria's Secret got busted doing the same thing over a decade ago. They had three identical catalogs with different pricing.

Example: three pack of undies in a middle class zip code were $12, a better economically zip code got the same undies for $15, and in the well to do neighborhoods that same three pack was listed as $18.
Marc2mrkt
Posts: 494
Incept: 2008-04-12

Taipei
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That dude Kris @ektrit on twitter has been posting about this the past couple of days. There may be another angle to Amazon's pricing as well, that is .gov bailout as the ultimate goal. Here are some tweets I saved. Note, you have to read it from the bottom up.

Quote:

END OF THREAD

@ektrit
Aha, I understood how amazon functions, I understand Jeff Bezos now.

Amazon's Antitrust Paradox
http://www.yalelawjournal.org/note/amazo....

All in all, we shall see how this unfolds.

Jeff Sessions is backed up by Bezos' business enemies. This is fascinating.

The fact that Bezos is warring, it could mean that Amazon is NOT really at Too Big To Fail level, like Lockheed Martin, Boeing or Goldman.

So, the question is: Is Amazon to big to fail?
The answer to this question decides the fate of Amazon and Jeff Bezos

So, all in all we shall see.

Amazon wants to be treated like Lockheed Martin or Goldman Sachs, TFTF, too big to fail
However, if Amazon is NOT as "systemic" as it seems, and his business enemies want him destroyed, he could lose.

He's making no profit yet.

He may or may not succeed.

If Amazon is already "structural", chances are that he will succeed averting the break up of Amazon.

So, Jeff Bezos is paying big bucks to buy damning leaks from intel guys in order to use it against Jeff Sessions, hoping he won't sue Amazon

Jeff Bezos has become more and more aggressive as his losing business model is in danger of being crumbled by Jeff Sessions.

This is a kind of monopoly.
Now that DoJ has moved against Amazon, with FTC taking the first step with anti-trust laws.

Amazon controls 65% of all e-commerce in USA while losing money day after day.

Seeing that this plan could be derailed by competing oligarchs, Bezos bought Washington Post to use it as attack dog against politicians

The goal was to make Amazon "systemic" business, like Goldman Sachs and JPM for example.

Hence, force the Gov to bail them out all the time

JEFF BEZOS has built a business losing money year over year to simply gain market "structure", with millions of businesses depending on it.



Quote:


@ektrit
Jeff Bezos doesn't care about politics much. He cares about Amazon Monopoly. That is why he bought washington post, to protect Amazon. This explains why Jeff Bezos is paying big bucks for Intel leaks.He wants to portray this as political revenge.

@ektrit
Jeff Bezos is in utter panic. The Federal gov has moved ahead aiming to break up Amazon.

@realDonaldTrump
A new INTELLIGENCE LEAK from the Amazon Washington Post,this time against A.G. Jeff Sessions.These illegal leaks, like Comey's, must stop!

@ektrit
I don't see Amazon surviving until 2020 elections as one piece

@ektrit
It is clear that repubs want to break up Amazon. Jeff sessions is quite stubborn. He will now leak against Bezos.

Kris
Jeff Bezos doesn't care about politics much. He cares about Amazon Monopoly. That is why he bought washington post, to protect Amazon.

@DailyCaller
Feds Reportedly Investigating Amazon Because Prices May Be Too Good To Be True http://dailycaller.com/2017/07/21/feds-r....

Jack_crabb
Posts: 5246
Incept: 2010-06-25

Peoples' Republik of Maryland
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Quote:
So, the question is: Is Amazon to big to fail?
The answer to this question decides the fate of Amazon and Jeff Bezos


Too Big To Fail? Yeah, **** Rule of Law and all that...

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Molon Labe
Where is Henry Bowman when you need him?
How many are willing to pledge this? We mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our Sacred Honor
Nadavegan
Posts: 23
Incept: 2017-05-03

The South
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No retailer - including Amazon - is too big to fail. They do not provide a service that cannot be easily duplicated elsewhere. Although I do not agree with "TBTF", I can understand why capital-intensive business like the automakers, or businesses with trillions of dollars of assets, like the banks, would receive government protection.

Retailers have neither leg to stand on. Buh bye Amazon.

Jack_crabb
Posts: 5246
Incept: 2010-06-25

Peoples' Republik of Maryland
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Nadavegan wrote..
Although I do not agree with "TBTF", I can understand why capital-intensive business like the automakers, or businesses with trillions of dollars of assets, like the banks, would receive government protection.


Please explain how you can understand the concept of TBTF. Some animals are more equal than other animals?

You must not believe in that quaint concept called Rule of Law.

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Molon Labe
Where is Henry Bowman when you need him?
How many are willing to pledge this? We mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our Sacred Honor
Ckaminski
Posts: 4149
Incept: 2011-04-08

Mass-Hole!
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Either we ALL operate in a capitalistic society, or none of us do.

Which do you want? A world where the government gets to pick and choose the winners? I sure don't.
Nadavegan
Posts: 23
Incept: 2017-05-03

The South
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Please read again - I clearly said I do not agree. That does not mean I cannot comprehend why others would justify it. Understanding both sides of an argument does not mean that one condones either side.
Jack_crabb
Posts: 5246
Incept: 2010-06-25

Peoples' Republik of Maryland
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I cannot "understand why [entities] would receive government protection."

Perhaps you meant "understand why [entities] WANT TO receive government protection."

If that is the case, I suppose we agree. Just note that words have meanings. TF has taught me well over the years to post clear, concise, cogent arguments. IT has served me well, not only here at TF, but throughout my life.

Again, not to beat a dead horse, but words have meanings, esp around here.

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Molon Labe
Where is Henry Bowman when you need him?
How many are willing to pledge this? We mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our Sacred Honor
Nadavegan
Posts: 23
Incept: 2017-05-03

The South
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I do not agree with

Words. Clear. Concise. Cogent.
Lenguado
Posts: 2057
Incept: 2010-01-12
A True American Patriot!
Orlando, FL
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Nadavegan - I got exactly what you meant the first time.

My interpretation of what you wrote:

TBTF = BAD, you do not support it.

Govt protection of companies that are key to the BEZEL = Also BAD, you do not support it. But you comprehend WHY the govt will protect the ones that contribute mightily to their campaign coffers, even though you disagree with it.

Not putting words in your mouth since I thought your posting was pretty clear.

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I just realized... they aren't saying, "Keynesian Economics"
they're saying "Kenyansian Economics". Grass Huts for everyone!
smiley
Welcome to historys first Double Dip Depression

Reason: spelling
Als
Posts: 535
Incept: 2010-03-12

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Oh it gets better, Ex Amazon IT specialist lets the cat out of the bag.

https://www.reddit.com/r/The_Donald/comm....

In 2011-2012 I worked for AWS on the PDX OPS team. We were responsible for the installation and upkeep of a newly created data cluster in Boardman, OR and Umatilla, OR known internally as PDX. These datacenters are different from others in that they only hire natural born citizens mainly because hidden away in these datacenters is a section known as PDT. Amazon has these datacenters under the purview of VADATA, Inc so the public doesn't directly know its an Amazon datacenter.

The PDT section is where the government hosts are located. Within this area you're not allowed to bring in ANY outside electronic device. Doing so accidentally can bring about a felony charge that carries a 10 year sentence, purposefully doing so can be upwards of 50. The security of these datacenters was so tight they even hired an ex-CIA officer to run security.

One afternoon, while reading articles about Snowden leaks, I get a ticket of a PDT host being utulizied by the CIA that had a failed Network Interface Card (NIC). I replaced the card, loaded the firmware and got the host to assimilate to the rest of the network. To verify I fixed the issue I used a RedHat Linux command to show what other hosts the host I was working on was connected to. I had to use a special command known as "sudo" to give me temporary admin privileges to run the command.

What I got back from that command was seeing this host was connected to PRIVATE hosts. When I was first hired I was explicitly told that I should report any instance of a PDT host connecting to a PDX host as it was unconstitutional. I suspected maybe other hosts were like this and found other CIA and NSA hosts doing the same thing. I immediately reported it to the datacenter manager and he told me not to worry.

After that I noticed a lot of weird things outside of work. My phone would make odd noises when I was calling someone. Numerous occasions I had planes follow me. One time I took a walk around town and this helicopter was following me almost the entirety of my walk. I tried to be out as long as I could and the helicopter left to refeul and came back to find me. I also had someone logging into my bank account on a recurring basis. I would get a text notification everyday at 6am that someone logged into my account. I spoke with the bank IT staff and got them traceroute the request and it was coming from Langley, VA. After this the logins into my account immediately stopped.

Nevertheless my contract wasn't renewed and my career in IT has stalled since then. My suspicion is I was placed on a blacklist. I am also an unusual IT technician in that I have experience in working in DC having a lot of facetime with politicians and other powerplayers. I was in a unique position to understand the technology AND the significant political impact that this could have on the rest of America.

I can no longer sit idly by and be quiet. What I saw is a crime of the highest order and this was over six years ago. Now the datacluster has grown leaps and bounds and is much more compartmentalized. God only knows what the hell they allow now. I'm done living in fear what happened and I feel ashamed to work on technology that serves to limit and constrain all of us. I only did what I thought was true, just and patriotic and I was punished for it. Amazon is just as much of the swamp and President Trump has every reason to go after them. MAGA
Tickerguy
Posts: 149426
Incept: 2007-06-26
A True American Patriot!
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Big shock. NOT.

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Winding it down.
Marc2mrkt
Posts: 494
Incept: 2008-04-12

Taipei
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After reading the follow-up on the link ALS posted, it looks as though Bezos already has TBTF status with the .gov...

Quote:

"Yo Fam,
I worked there as well. We probably know each other. In fact, we do, I am certain of it. Pretty tight knit crew back in those days. We all hung out together. Saw the same sights. Rattlesnakes in Perdixes, yes? Drunken hijinks at the Desert River Inn?
I have one of those jackets too. Mossy Oak camo.
To all reading this story, I CAN CONFIRM EVERY LAST ****ING WORD.
NSA hosts were unambiguously named like "nsa-data-collector-2001.pdx2.amazon.com". Aboard them were tools for terminating VPNs and hopping aboard as root on each and every server in the whole of Amazon, including the EC2/VPC services. Similar hosts existed for CIA purposes as well.
Around the time the "Govcloud" environment came online, Amazon scored its sweetheart contract with the CIA, and built them a facility in N. Virginia. At the same time, Amazon replaced much of its middle and upper management ranks with former government types with security clearances, and became deeply compartmentalized just like the federal government. Jeff Bezos was also a Bilderberger around this time.
Everything you host on AWS can be spied upon by the CIA and NSA as a trivial matter. Host accordingly."
Dennisglover
Posts: 715
Incept: 2012-12-05

Huntsville, AL
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Als wrote..
my contract wasn't renewed and my career in IT has stalled since then
Well, since April 1 here's what's happened:
My Company helped me to get on Family and Medical Leave Act job protection for 12 week. The day FMLA protection expired my job also disappeared. Okay. Before that happened the five Solaris 10/11 servers I managed were decomissioned, and all of their activities were transferred to Nutanix systems operating under Oracle Linux 7.

That's just fine, since I set up the auto-update on those servers months ago. It was working pretty well the last time I saw it, several months ago. I hope it is still working well now. (I sure wish I could buy that Sun-branded hardware, one or two of them anyway, from the .GOV, but they're probably buried so deep that no one can find them now.)

Okay.

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TANSTAAFL
Nadavegan
Posts: 23
Incept: 2017-05-03

The South
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Lenguado, bingo.
Radcondive
Posts: 452
Incept: 2010-09-16

Charleston, SC
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Man, I hate being ignorant, but could someone (Gen?) translate what Als posted for those of us that are not computer literate/savvy? I think that it says that google is hip deep in the spying of CIA on Americans (?) but it could just as well mean that the toast was burnt by the toaster. Little help/clarification?
Tickerguy
Posts: 149426
Incept: 2007-06-26
A True American Patriot!
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Quote:
Man, I hate being ignorant, but could someone (Gen?) translate what Als posted for those of us that are not computer literate/savvy? I think that it says that google is hip deep in the spying of CIA on Americans (?) but it could just as well mean that the toast was burnt by the toaster. Little help/clarification?

Not Google.

Amazon.

Oh, and you might want to consider the articles I wrote on how trivial it is to steal ANYTHING (including encryption keys) if you have root access to the server running a hypervisor.

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Winding it down.
Radcondive
Posts: 452
Incept: 2010-09-16

Charleston, SC
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Ah, sorry about the goggle/amazon mess-up. I consider them both evil. so that data center was to allow someone to see everything going on someone else's "cloud hosted server" because they had the root access? I am well aware of the articles that you have written and even though I don't understand everything, I do try to absorb as much as I can and learn new stuff every day. Was that the statement that they were connected to "private hosts" and the pdx to pdt thing?
Tickerguy
Posts: 149426
Incept: 2007-06-26
A True American Patriot!
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Quote:
so that data center was to allow someone to see everything going on someone else's "cloud hosted server" because they had the root access?

Correct.

ANYONE with root access to the hosting server CAN TRIVIALLY ACCESS THE MEMORY SPACE OF EVERY HOSTED CLIENT UNDER THE HYPERVISOR and this means that there is NO SUCH THING AS A SECURE ENCRYPTION KEY USED ON ANY SUCH DEVICE, EVER, PERIOD.

Once a key is stolen unless you DETECT it was stolen you will not know to change it AND IT REMAINS VALID UNTIL IT EXPIRES, IF IT EVER DOES. If that key is a CERTIFYING AUTHORITY you can now TRIVIALLY create NEW credentials that the system will accept BUT ARE ENTIRELY FORGED.

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Winding it down.
Ckaminski
Posts: 4149
Incept: 2011-04-08

Mass-Hole!
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For the uninitiated.

You take a server. Well call it a Dell Super4000. This has CPUs, memory, basically a bigger version of the one you probably have on your lap or desk, possibly a 100x more powerful.

On this runs a special program called a hypervisor. This is like a special DOS, who's ONLY purpose is to create FAKE computers that timeslice the physical CPUs and shave off a chunk of memory and storage. It then boots Linux, or Windows inside that fake computer.

That fake computer (virtual machine or VM) running Linux with 8GB of ram and 2 cpus holds the keys to your kingdom, and is the most secure network connected thing that could possibly exist.

EVERY SINGLE BIT of memory in that computer can be accessed by the hypervisor running it.

OTHER VMs running on that hypervisor may ALSO be able to access all of your magic if the hypervisor (or the CPU) has a bug.

The hypervisor can read EVERYTHING on that machine, including unencrypted data in memory. Most have features that allow live migration of a VM from one physical PC to another, if you have to do maintenance, for example. You can reboot a hardware host with 100 VMs on it with nary a blip in service.

I put nothing in the cloud I'm willing to lose unless it's encrypted (and never my keys).
Reluctantdebtor
Posts: 287
Incept: 2010-03-05

ohio
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My desktop PC in my office, my wife's desktop PC in her office, and a phone which for some reason doesn't have any info on it linking it to us, list three different Amazon prices for some items. The lowest price is displayed on my PC, which has a lot of ID info about me. I have **** credit, no money, no Prime membership, etc., so it's like Amazon KNOWS it can only get my biz with the lowest prices (usually a dollar or three under Newegg and other suppliers from which I buy)
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