Re: Goats, Now Available From Amazon
This is definitely a cool idea, and just as with Google, you can see where Amazon expects this to synergize with their existing offerings - looking at the services website, it says that sellers' services will be listed alongisde related products on Amazon's main store. So, someone purchasing a new entertainment system will be served a link to a local home theater setup service through Services. Tying the payments (and therefore, bonuses earned through Prime subscription) together in itself adds a lot - we can see the thought of being able to buy everything through Amazon becoming a reality. That said, I appreciate that the system is in Beta, but Amazon still seems to have made some odd choices with it.
For example, they mention a price match which is great - but it's for the same seller only. What they don't mention is that they charge sellers per sale they make - likely, most sellers will raise their normal fee by exactly the amount of Amazon's surcharge. Seems like this could lead to a deluge of customers requesting $5 price matches. The vetting, the refunds, the rigorous tax compliance, all sound nice - but that amounts to barriers and cost for small businesses, so for now Services may either favor larger businesses (think Geek Squad) who already have jacked up prices or force small ones to raise theirs as well. I found most services simply unavailable in my area, and the ones that were seemed pricey - hundreds of dollars for home WiFi setup. I think Amazon should make it easier for smaller businesses & indepedentant contractors to get involved if they don't want to end up like Google Helpouts.