Absurdly Driven looks at the world of business with a skeptical eye and a firmly rooted tongue in cheek. 

Amazon has done a wonderful job of persuading people it's the only place to go.

In our heads, we've largely been persuaded that if we want the best price, Jeff Bezos's company is the simplest solution.

It used to be, for example, that Amazon Prime Pantry was a fine idea. You could get what you wanted for seemingly a fine price and then stuff the rest of your box with really cheap things such as bottles of water.

Yet Amazon will change things on customers in a trice. Somehow, Prime Pantry is a bit more complicated now.

Constant change is part of Amazon's way.

Last Monday, for example, thousands of Amazon vendors got out of bed, ready to do another day's business through the site.

They discovered they were no longer doing business through the site. In one chilling swipe, their orders were gone.

As Bloomberg reported, the move created panic among many of these vendors.

It says Amazon didn't want to buy from these vendors anymore, preferring them to sell through the site's Marketplace.

It's more profitable for Amazon, after all.

It's a lesson for anyone trying to do business through a hugely powerful medium. 

Don't expect it to do anything other than whatever happens to suit it at any moment. 

One day, it might feature your product. The next, it might disappear it.

The drily commercial might say that these vendors simply got used to an easy life. They enjoyed what so few in the world manage these days -- a certain sort of security.

Yet the decisions Amazon makes will always seek to favor Amazon. For a while, the presence of these vendors informed the perception of Amazon as ubiquitous and all-offering.

Now, Amazon doesn't need them so much, so it would prefer them to sink or swim on their own. Oh, and Amazon can more closely control how much vendors charge when they're on the Marketplace.

Naturally, Amazon reacted politely when asked about this move: 

We regularly review our selling partner relationships and may make changes when we see an opportunity to provide customers with improved selection, value, and convenience.

Yes, not a single Heh-Heh-Heh.

Decisions such as this aren't, of course, merely a warning for vendors.

They're a warning for customers, too.

The retail world will only become more complicated. Amazon's competitors are now trying to offer better delivery. 

In a twist, Amazon is creeping ever more steadily into the physical world.

Why, only last week, rumors emerged that the retailer is creating a brand new grocery brand, one that will find its place in urban locations and be significantly cheaper than Whole Foods.

Amazon gives to consumers. It also takes away. There's evidence, for example, that its delivery business is showing signs of strain. So much so that Amazon would now like customers to name just one day in the week for deliveries.

Yes, Amazon is a customer-oriented business. 

It's also a data-driven business that believes everything -- and, perhaps, everyone -- has a price. For some customers, that price may increasingly become a little higher.

Or, indeed, the things that some customers want may suddenly not be there at all.

Published on: Mar 10, 2019
The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.