The Uselessness Of Amazon's Announcement That Kindle Is Its Best Selling Product

from the details,-details dept

A few folks have sent over some version of the story that the Kindle is outselling every other product on Amazon. Of course, that’s somewhat meaningless, as the folks at Gizmodo smartly point out. Because you can only get the Kindle via Amazon, and that makes the number completely different than other products:

When Amazon tells you that the Kindle is the highest-selling product on Amazon, you’re supposed to think of it as you’d think of anything else: as a strong, reliable metric in gauging how well a product is doing in general. The thing is, there is no “in general” for the Kindle. There is only Amazon. Anyone who wants a Kindle and doesn’t normally shop at Amazon has to make an exception. Anyone who wants a Kindle and doesn’t normally shop online has to make an exception. The Kindle didn’t outsell the iPod Touch–not even close.

Filed Under:
Companies: amazon

Rate this comment as insightful
Rate this comment as funny
You have rated this comment as insightful
You have rated this comment as funny
Flag this comment as abusive/trolling/spam
You have flagged this comment
The first word has already been claimed
The last word has already been claimed
Insightful Lightbulb icon Funny Laughing icon Abusive/trolling/spam Flag icon Insightful badge Lightbulb icon Funny badge Laughing icon Comments icon

Comments on “The Uselessness Of Amazon's Announcement That Kindle Is Its Best Selling Product”

Subscribe: RSS Leave a comment
fogbugzd (profile) says:

Also the #1 crippled product at Amazon

It is still very proprietary and DRM’d. Lately the have made some tiny holes in the walls surrounding the Kindle and its books, but I am not about to buy into a system that is designed to make it as difficult as possible to read the books I have paid for in the manner that I want to. There are a lot of other systems available, although I am still waiting for someone to get it right.

bob says:

DRM and Revocation

When I own a book I can give it to someone else to read.
When I own a book I can sell it.
When I own a book the publisher can not stop me from re-reading it.
Until I can do that with a kindle, it holds no value to me.
With very few exceptions I buy old books that were on the best seller list last year.
On trips when I want to read a book I go and buy a used one.
The Gutenberg project has many books I have yet to read also.

Brooks (profile) says:


And there’s a local ice cream place whose number one selling ice cream is this salted-caramel-chocolate blend. But, because other ice cream places also carry vanilla and chocolate but don’t carry this unique flavor, clearly this unique flavor isn’t all that popular.

Is it just me, or does this article boil down to “Breaking news: sales of premium products at exclusive outlets not representative of global commodities”?

Anonymous Coward says:

I find so troubling.

On one hand, they have so many products I need, and I don’t have to dish out my credit card number to everyone on earth.

On the other hand, each product page comes with an ENORMOUS WALL OF TEXT AND IMAGES, uncustomizable, unavoidable, and generally featuring stuff I do not want – Kindle versions of books. MP3 downloads of music.

I wonder if current web browsers still allow you to merge your own style sheets in — a lot of display: nones; clean up Amazon’s display.

Derek Kerton (profile) says:

I Love Amazon, but...

As a shopper, I buy stuff at Amazon maybe 4 times a week.

And I love the Kindle from a geek perspective. But I hate it from a DRM perspective. I think it’s too expensive, and it has too limited functionality, though that’s a matter of taste.

But with respect to the Kindle’s sales figures, they have always kept the actual sales numbers secret. This is normally the trick of companies that are selling unimpressive volumes. Amazon has claimed great success, without backing it up. See this story, and my comment from July 2009:

What is MOST interesting about that link is if you read the reply to me from the article author, Paul Rasmussen. It indicates that as early as July, Amazon had claimed that the Kindle is its best selling electronics product. Is the recent Announcement from Amazon actually news, or just a re-hash of the same old top-seller stat?

Hans says:

It's probably still impressive

Don’t pretend to be so naive. Of course it’s overhype, it’s a press release, which is advertising, not journalism.

But think for a minute how much stuff Amazon must sell, and consider what it means for Kindle to be the “#1 bestselling product across all product categories”. Even for just for November.

I don’t and won’t own a Kindle because when I pay for information or entertainment, I own it, not license it.

Derek Kerton (profile) says:

Re: It's probably still impressive

Yeah, but it’s a store selling their own product. Isn’t that a little like Sears saying they sell more Craftsman tools than any other brand?

My take is this: If you want the market to be impressed with how many Kindles you’ve sold, don’t play games by massaging some statistics. Just tell us the @#$%#$% number.

Otherwise, with all due respect to a great webstore, STFU.

Add Your Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Comment Options:

Make this the or (get credits or sign in to see balance) what's this?

What's this?

Techdirt community members with Techdirt Credits can spotlight a comment as either the "First Word" or "Last Word" on a particular comment thread. Credits can be purchased at the Techdirt Insider Shop »

Follow Techdirt

Techdirt Daily Newsletter

Techdirt Deals
Techdirt Insider Discord
The latest chatter on the Techdirt Insider Discord channel...