Special Report

17 Terrible Investments by Amazon

Source: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

Amazon WebPay
> Years operating: 2009-2014
> Business: finances

Amazon introduced its WebPay to compete with services like Venmo, allowing individuals to exchange funds. It was shuttered in October 2014 in the wake of poor adoption. The service would eventually be retooled and rebranded as Amazon Pay.

Source: kasinv / iStock Editorial via Getty Images

Amazon Wallet
> Years operating: 2014-2015
> Business: digital wallet

In 2014, Amazon introduced Wallet as a point-of-sale platform. It didn’t even last a full year. Among the app’s flaws were its reliance on QR codes and the fact that it did not hold credit or debit cards, only gift cards.

Source: Justin Sullivan / Getty Images News via Getty Images

Fire phone
> Years operating: 2014-2015
> Business: phone

Amazon’s fire phone was released to much fanfare, intended to take a bite out of Apple’s domination of the smart tablet market. It was an unequivocal failure, dinged by reviewers for its high price and lack of apps. It was discontinued less than two years after its launch, and in Amazon’s next financial statement, the company reported an $170 million writedown, citing the Fire phone’s sales as a primary reason.

Source: jetcityimage / iStock Editorial via Getty Images

Amazon Destination
> Years operating: 2015-2015
> Business: travel agency

The tech giant’s 2015 venture into hotel booking, Amazon Destination was short-lived, lasting less than seven months. At the time of taking the site down, Amazon did not give a reason for abandoning the project.

Source: AdrianHancu / iStock Editorial via Getty Images

Amazon Local
> Years operating: 2011-2015
> Business: daily deals

Some failed Amazon investments involve trying to venture into a market in which it was unable to knock out competitors that had already established a foothold or investing in shrinking markets. Amazon Local is one such example, where the company simply got involved in an industry that was on the way out already. Local was a daily deals app meant to compete with companies like Groupon and LivingSocial, both of which have also shrunk to a fraction of their former glory.

Sponsored: Tips for Investing

A financial advisor can help you understand the advantages and disadvantages of investment properties. Finding a qualified financial advisor doesn’t have to be hard. SmartAsset’s free tool matches you with up to three financial advisors who serve your area, and you can interview your advisor matches at no cost to decide which one is right for you. If you’re ready to find an advisor who can help you achieve your financial goals, get started now.

Investing in real estate can diversify your portfolio. But expanding your horizons may add additional costs. If you’re an investor looking to minimize expenses, consider checking out online brokerages. They often offer low investment fees, helping you maximize your profit.