I’ve been loyal to Amazon UK. I’ve been using it for over a decade and I’d probably faint if I knew how much I’d spent with them during that time but when it comes to that gift you need in a hurry or the book you can’t find elsewhere or the DVD boxset your friend/cousin/brother must have it’s always been a great choice.
Recently, however, I’ve begun to see Amazon UK in a much more critical light. So much so that I have to conclude that Amazon UK is beginning to feel like the unreliable, not very impressive, not big on effort baby sister of Amazon.com. This is why:
1) You cannot gift Kindle books on Amazon UK.
2) The number of tags you can apply to a product is restricted on Amazon UK.
3) The availability of free Kindle books seems to be considerably restricted on Amazon UK compared to the range of free books (including contemporary fiction) available on Amazon.com.
4) Author Central UK doesn’t offer the same range of functions as Author Central US.
5) Amazon UK doesn’t allow you to add as much information to your profile as Amazon US.
6) Amazon US offers a substantially higher number of reviews on products because of the volumes they deal with, yet these aren’t shown on the UK version.
Amazon.com shows that there are a number of things that Amazon can offer that they’re choosing not to put on Amazon UK. As readers we might not immediately feel the absence of them but once you begin to spend any time on the US site, you do begin to wonder why we should be missing out here over the pond. Yes, we may be the poorer cousins when it comes to the money we put into Amazon as a whole but there are plenty of British filmmakers, artists, authors etc contributing towards the content that fills Amazon’s shelves and plenty of readers, listeners, viewers whose financial contribution enables Amazon UK to exist.
So, I’d be interested to hear your thoughts readers, authors, musicians and shoppers! Are you perfectly happy with Amazon UK or disappointed at losing out? Or are you in the US and feel that actually it isn’t as rosy using Amazon.com as we think? I await your comments with interest!