Why Oprah’s Favorite Things® List Is Raising Questions

Editors note (11/8/17): We are pleased to share that since we began this consumer advocacy outreach, the “Oprah’s Favorite Things” gift listing has an update on its website. Each company gift item has a direct link to order from the merchant, rather than just through Amazon. Win one for small businesses.  And, there is an “ad choice” informational icon button on the “Available on Amazon, Shop Now” banner. However, on the main Amazon page, there still is no clear messaging explaining whether there may be an affiliate marketing component, as best that we can determine. We are unsure if there is “clear and conspicuous” full disclosure information of a possible relationship, if it exists, between the gift guide and Amazon?


  • Did Amazon’s market power lockout small businesses from making Oprah’s Favorite Things® list if a gift item is not available on Amazon?

  • Did Amazon’s influence perhaps even invalidate the credibility of the famed gift guide “handpicked by Oprah,” when you compare it with American Express’ Shop Small® Small Business Saturday® to help and promote shopping at local businesses?

  • Are O Magazine editors aware of the impact for potentially only choosing items listed on the Amazon platform?  Can customers directly buy from the merchant? Although, its website has a link and banner advising that Oprah’s Favorite Things are “Available on Amazon, Shop Now.”  We do not have the answers to these questions but are interested to learn more.  [Editors note, we reached out to identify the criteria for being listed and if products profiled must be available on Amazon? No reply yet]. 

Preamble


We are staunch Oprah Winfrey loyalist advocates. Her inspirational, humanitarian and career of helping so many is legendary.



For two decades, a bright spotlight is again shining as 102 of the pioneering entrepreneur’s “Favorite Things” gift list is announced. We congratulate all our fellow entrepreneurs as they prepare for the “Oprah Effect” to churn out life-changing new orders from this year’s mention.


The Power of Amazon


Were small businesses shut out from being considered for Oprah’s Favorite Things® gift directory because they were not listed on Amazon.com?



In 2014, we almost made the list. After being asked to send the contributing style editor at O Magazine our ScanMyPhotos.com photo scanning box to digitize her photos, we were nearly there. [Since 1990, we have digitized 400 million pictures.] Then, we got word she and her editors “loved it.” Better yet.

 

We geared up for the December listing, but just weeks prior to the coveted edition, lamentably, we learned ScanMyPhotos did not make the cut — nor did she. All her pictures were scanned and hundreds of dollars spent to rush the media review kit — with overnight delivery, along with every extra scanning service included. Her departure from the magazine was an obstacle, but we persevered, never gave up and tried, again and again, to help get noticed and digitize generations of family photos.



ScanMyPhotos.com Fill-The-Box Online Ordering

This year, we noticed something different, and of concern.


As we see from this page, are all the gift ideas available for ordering under a unique Amazon special Oprah’s Favorite Things page? Are independent small businesses who are not selling on Amazon excluded from consideration?


The Problem


Because if all the items are available on Amazon, it shuts out many innovative small businesses — which only sell directly to consumers — from making the famed list. At ScanMyPhotos.com, we looked into selling on Amazon but chose to stay independent to personalize each order and boost direct relations with our customers. The reason? Photo scanning is highly personalized, emotional, requires extensive concierge-level assistance and extra care.


Did many lose out because they aren’t selling on Amazon.com?


We missed being listed, but, over the years, we had feature media profiles from scores of other prominent outlets, including The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, and even AARP The Magazine’s Top Tech Gifts.


The Question?


Were other innovative businesses with equally creative gift ideas that are not listed on Amazon get overlooked?


Epilogue


We love Oprah and no hard feelings, especially if we missed something here.


Everyone at ScanMyPhoto’s looks to 2018 as we try, try again. As there are still 3 1/2 trillion analog photos to scan, and the average household has 5,500 snapshots. So, we hope you will still have your pictures digitized to preserve all your nostalgic family memories — even without us making the cut… this year.

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