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Amazon Opens Virtual Bidding Service

Thursday, April 2, 2015

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Would you bid on a project without seeing it in person first?

Well, Amazon hopes so. The Seattle-based online shopping giant has launched a new marketplace to connect its 100 million U.S. customers to painters and other home-improvement contractors.

Amazon Home Services is now available in major U.S. metro areas, including New York City, Los Angeles and Seattle. Additional coverage areas are planned soon.

In announcing the expansion, Amazon said it would provide individuals with upfront pricing from contractors who are rated by real customers and vetted by the tech company.

Amazon Home Services

With the expansion beyond physical and digital goods, Amazon says it wants to make purchasing professional services as easy as buying products.

Moreover, the company says it will offer a "happiness guarantee."

"If customers are not satisfied at the end of the service, Amazon will work with customers and the pro to ensure the job gets done right or provide a refund."

Services offered include home improvement, computer and electronics, lawn and garden, lessons and automotive.

New Program Skeptics

When it comes to home-improvement services like painting, Amazon’s new model has some skeptics.

© iStock.com / Banksphotos

Services offered include home improvement, computer and electronics, and lawn and garden.

Jeff Dupont, the owner of Sound Painting Solutions in Seattle, has been beta-testing the platform for free for a couple of months.

He told GeekWire that while he considered himself an early adopter of technology, he needed to be able to touch and feel things before issuing a bid.

“I refuse to bid,” he said. “I’m third generation. I’ve been in business a long time. If I paint walls, I got to touch them. Dry wall is going to take twice as much paint, for instance. For me, that’s why I have a hard time bidding like that. It’s just not meant to be.”

Human interaction with a customer is also important when trying to win over a client’s trust and business, according to Dupont.

Last but not least, Amazon is charging the contractors between 15 and 20 percent of the final project’s price, which Dupont and others say is too large of a cut.


Tagged categories: Bidding; Business operations; Contracts; Online tools; Paint application; Painters

Comment from Michael Kramer, (4/2/2015, 7:28 AM)

I like the shot of the worn out roller cover. That is probably how most coating contractors will feel after getting involved with this system.

Comment from john schultz, (4/2/2015, 8:44 AM)

In Miami we get contractors who bid on projects who have no idea what paint is being used, what or how many colors, the condition of the surface, etc. Even the architects and designers can't say much less write a specification. Happens regularly here. I have no idea how they stay in business.

Comment from Chuck Pease, (4/2/2015, 9:42 AM)

Funny that they show a picture of a painter using a blown our roller cover and rolling shake shingle siding. Certainly not the most effective way to go about it. Put a spray gun in his hand. Amazon 15-20 % cut. Somehow I don't think many guys will use this system at those rates!!!

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