I’ve been using the new ecommerce site Jet.com for a few weeks and so far I have found the selection to be about 20-30% of what Amazon offers. For example you can buy rice cookers but not from Black & Decker. I was intrigued by the site when I heard the CEO on CNBC say the company loses 15-20% on each sale and becomes profitable around 15 million users. I immediately started pricing items on the site and found great savings over Amazon. Of course this is shocking because Amazon doesn’t even make money on the products it sells. So how is their room for a low-cost supplier to undercut them?
I think I may have found out why prices are lower. When I tried to check out on my most recent order, I got a repeated error message. A call to the call center was answered promptly – I made the call after I got nowhere with email. Basically, I received an email response which led me to believe a call was a better option. The call center operator explained all I had to do was delete my credit card number and re-enter it and that should fix the problem. It did.
A few days later, I was sent a tracking number from FedEx which didn’t work when I clicked it. It is tough to see how you can screw up something so easy.
Basically – here is the situation… Jet.com is in Alpha. Use it and save some money. But expect startup glitches. The first three months of the service are free then it costs $50 per year. If you Google a bit, you can find a free annual membership.
The company has explained it will only make money on the membership fees – not the products. It will be interesting to see how the company does – if you are Walmart – etc. – you can’t allow Jet.com to fail. I expect a lot of retailers working with Jet to ensure they become a viable competitor to the behemoth from Seattle.