Amazon is definitely good at disruptive business practices. It’s first round of offering books over the Internet has changed book buying for many of us. But now, it’s offering a new way of buying that doesn’t involve the web at all. A NY Times article describes how you can now text-message the UPC or ISBN of an item to Amazon which responds with two prices for that item. If you want either one, you can text back a 1 or a 2, or you can text ‘M’ back and get more options.

Amazon TextBuyIt, which launched late Tuesday, lets people text the name of a product, its description or its UPC or ISBN to 262966 (that’s ”Amazon” on the keypad) from anywhere their cell phones work — including from inside physical stores” (¶ 2).

Retailers better look out, because now shoppers are going to be even more prepared to negotiate the price posted on an item when they go shopping. This situation reminded me of a previous article on NY Times about how people are negotiating pricing at large electronics stores, using quotes from web sites to get the best deal they can. Now people don’t even need to negotiate prior to showing up in the store. And retailers are going to have about 5 minutes to make a deal or lose it to Amazon. And I’m sure other internet sites will implement similar technology before too long…unless Amazon has a patent on it. 🙂

It also makes me wonder how many retailers are investigating the use of cellular disrupter technology today. 🙂

— Associated Press. (2008, April 2). Amazon Launches Text-Message Shopping. New York Times.

— Richtel, M. (2008, March 23). Even at Megastores, Hagglers Find No Price Is Set in Stone. New York Times.