This page is currently being written – 17 March 2020
1. Price-maximizing aggregators will collapse?
The two strategies used by aggregators to take our money are at odds with each other – one is to increase prices, the other is to reduce them.
This begs the question as to whether maps which raise prices can compete with maps which lower prices. At some point buyers will presumably learn of the existence of the latter and the trade will leak to them.
This has been happening for years – buyers who shop at the mall (because they like the experience and physical mode of product discovery) but pull out their phones to purchase from Amazon.
Other maps which cannot match the price reductions and convenience will fold?
2. The economy will collapse?
Like parasites killing their host, aggregators may bleed our economy dry. It’s possible that we’re already in an economic death-spiral in which we:
- save money by buying more of our goods from low-cost aggregators (Amazon, Wal-Mart, etc.), but
- find our incomes reduced as those aggregators homogenize our economy and take our money, efficiency and opportunities (and therefore we must save more money by going back to step 1):
We’re shopping our way out of jobs – saving money at the cost of the opportunity to earn a living.
The canary in the coalmine was small town America and Wal-Mart.
Amazon Stranglehold (a report by the Institute for Self-Reliance)
Radiating death – how Walmart displaces small businesses
Walmart’s future workforce: Robots and freelancers
Amazon is going to kill more jobs than China did
Return to Collateral Damage