In the shadows, these little itinerant hands scour the great surfaces of rural America.
It’s an understatement to say that Amazon is an ambitious company. The company known as “Everything Company” totally dominates the e-commerce sector and its ultimate goal is simple: to satisfy all the desires of its customers.
From a plastic gadget to a few cents, a rolex set with $50,000 diamonds or furniture, clothing, food: any item must be available for sale online. Also read Amazon’s biggest competitor? The simplicity
It is quite easy for Amazon to source widely available products. But what if an Internet user wants something very specific, such as a product exclusively sold in certain competing brands, or another whose production is finished?
The answer: an army of small, precarious hands, which has found a way to make a living by filling any gaps in the platform.
These “Amazon nomads”, as the American website The Verge nicknames them in a beautifully illustrated report, travel the country in search of the rare pearl. Driving their vans, these shadowy travellers scour second-rate supermarkets to find sought-after products on which they hope to make a small profit for their resale via Amazon Marketplace. Also to be readThe garbage bins of technology millionaires, treasures for the homeless
These people are often lonely men who sometimes wander for several months, without a specific destination, on the small American roads: “When I go to the highway,” explains Chris Bond, “I don’t know if I’m going to turn east or west, I do as I feel.”
The important thing is simply to stay away from large cities, where commercial brands are too crowded. And to be discreet – loading dozens of game consoles in the back of a van can quickly look suspicious.
Cat food and pajama bottoms
Once a Walmart or a campaign Target has been identified, you have to keep an eye out and choose what can be resold at a good price, often consumer products that have become rare over time.
Cat food that is no longer produced is in high demand. Walmart’s old pajama stocking model, which is considered more comfortable than the new one, represents a good return on investment. The same goes for some nail polishes. Read alsoVinted, when the circular economy is not working properly
To ensure the value of a product, nomads can scan it through an Amazon application to find out its value on the platform’s Marketplace. Then, all that remains is to deduct the purchase and shipping costs and decide if the sale is worth it. For example, a model of the Jurassic Park Jeep represents a profit of six dollars. Chris Anderson, one of the nomads followed by The Verge, piles twenty of them in his cart.
These shadow salesmen and women are not Amazon employees. Not even uberized auto-entrepreneurs. They don’t get a penny from the e-commerce giant, but they just use his platform. However, Amazon has an interest in these people finding this kind of product for its customers in order to remain the site where you can find as many rarities as possible – as well as products available everywhere else.