3/16/18

Why I'm No Longer Shopping At Amazon.



I'm no longer shopping on Amazon.

I shop online a lot. I like the convenience, and the ability to lay in bed in my pj's and order anything and everything and have it brought to my door.

I buy a lot too many books and more often than not, the prices are far more competitive on Amazon. I want to support smaller, independent book stores, but I'll be honest: I also want to maximize the number of books I can afford to buy. Half.com used to be my in between, but that mysteriously disappeared in the night last year and I haven't found a proper equivalent since.

I use Amazon to buy text books for Grad School. I use it to buy health care and personal products that I can't find easily in stores. It's weird because while I feel like I *do* live in a large enough city, sometimes it's impossible to find what I'm looking for. Between Amazon and eBay, I'm generally able to find anything. Amazon has essentially become my google when it comes to online shopping. I always check there first. When it's time to do holiday shopping for family, we all make neurotic Amazon lists to try and ease the stress of finding each other gifts. 

But in recent years, shopping at Amazon has started to irk me. I'm part of a prime membership so theoretically I'm able to get items with two-day shipping. Honestly, that stopped happening at least a year ago. Now things come in a week or so - prime or not. In most instances, I can wait, but there have been times I ordered something prime and needed it ASAP (ex: textbooks). When they don't arrive when they should it's annoying. Especially if you're paying for it. There's all sorts of other features with a prime membership, but that access is limited to the main account holder. Weird. Netflix lets all users access their product. Otherwise, what's the point?? 

But my gripe with Amazon goes well beyond shipping. That's more my first world problem. I actually can wait longer... I just don't care for false advertising.

I feel guilty supporting the Amazon machine. The internet has absolutely changed our world and the landscape for retail. Amazon is not the sold proprietor, but they have influenced this evolution far more than others. They're aggressive and they're everywhere, in everything. First there was Walmart, and then there was Amazon. Together, I'd argue that these two stores have completely rearranged the world of retail. Small businesses (read: smaller than Amazon) struggle to compete and we see store after store close its doors. I don't want to continue feeding this mega machine. I'm giving up convenience for a slightly clearer conscience.

What really frustrates me though, are the facts that Amazon not only continues to advertise on hate mongering website brei*bart, but they also refuse to remove nra TV despite a significant public call for them to do both. There's a difference between allowing free speech, and perpetuating hate groups. In my opinion, both are absolutely hate groups - without question. After Parkland, the public outcry over association with the nra grew (rightfully so), and I waited to see how Amazon would respond. So many large companies spoke out and announced they would be severing ties. Amazon didn't and I haven't purchased anything on their site since. Now, I think it's clear that they aren't going to respond. They seem to opt for the theory that they can ignore public outcry and continue on unscathed. Maybe they can. I know that my no longer shopping there isn't going to put a dent in their massive operations. But I also know that I can't continue to support a company like Amazon. They allow for terrorist operations to utilize their site, and advertise to hate groups. I won't continue to give them my money.

This means that I will also stop utilizing their affiliate program. I have used their program for a couple years here on this blog, but that will cease today. Any post made from here on out, will no longer utilize Amazon affiliate links. I do not want to profit from a business profiting on hate.

I know everyone has opinions when it comes to issues like this. When it comes to gun control and reform, people get hostile. I don't really care all that much about the potential consequences of getting political on my blog. You are entitled to your opinions, as am I. My opinion is that we needed gun control years ago. I'm inspired by what these young children are doing and I think that they have achieved more momentum and focus than any politician has done over the years. My opinion is that, if you receive money from the nra, that I cannot, and will not vote for you. Gun control should have happened decades ago and it didn't. We haven't come close. These children are pissed and have every right to be. I hope that they are the change makers we need.

So that's where I stand - I hope that you will join me in giving Amazon the boot. I hope this post at least made you think. If you want to know what else you can do, please visit Everytown, or check out the upcoming March For Our Lives happening across the country.

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