It’s Amazon prime day, but if you have the ability, please, please try to put that money into a local store.
Hand to heart I am trying my best to cut my relationship with Amazon out entirely, but sometimes it just doesn’t work.
It’s hard to ask the consumer to carry the moral weight of our economy, but putting money in local shops stimulates the economy, generally has a lower environmental footprint, supports the emotional well-being of members of your community, and prevents more money going into Amazon’s coffers. They have made billions during this pandemic – they don’t need your money.
Local businesses do, and they appreciate it dearly.
My issues with Amazon, in no particular order:
Amazon itself pays little or no taxes.
Amazon is able to offer almost everything at such a low cost that local businesses struggle to compete. This creates a situation where small businesses often have to join the Amazon marketplace to save their business. However, these small businesses are subject to tenuous marketplace conditions as Amazon’s marketplace search can hide competitors’ products.
While Amazon does create jobs, these jobs are objectively bad. Described as “brutal”, this isn’t just about an uncomfortable work environment – Amazon workplaces are unsafe. And Covid-19 has made things worse.
Amazon is incredibly damaging on the environment. Their fast shipping is amazing for consumers, but are so bad for the environment. Amazon for the most part, trashes their returns.
In summary, Amazon creates a cheap, fast marketplace for consumers to find everything they could possibly need. It’s an incredible resource for busy parents, people with mobility issues, and for people who need to keep their personal costs low.
As I said before, it isn’t fair to put the weight of fixing the problems of our modern consumer world on the shoulders of consumers. It isn’t fair to say to someone who is struggling to make rent should pay more because a multi billion dollar company doesn’t pay enough taxes. It isn’t fair, but it’s the best we can do.
Please, if you can, if you don’t need amazon to make ends meet, if you don’t need Amazon to help you fill the gap in your budget, if you don’t need Amazon because you have physical challenges getting out to a store, please try to cut back or cut out your Amazon shopping.
Article: Your Complete Guide to living an Amazon-Free Life in 2019 (Fast Company)
Article: How to Avoid Amazon: the definitive guide to online shopping – without the retail titan (The Guardian)