“That’s when the ulcer started.”
July 16, 2018 10:59 AM   Subscribe

Today is Amazon Prime Day, a 36-hour shopping event invented to celebrate Jeff Bezos’s online marketplace dominance. As comrades around the world go on strike to protest Amazon’s workplace conditions, let’s take a look at the best Prime Day deals: The Motherboard Guide to Amazon Prime Day
posted by not_the_water (110 comments total) 26 users marked this as a favorite
 
Working for a (the) company that makes the Echo's major competitor*, Prime Day seems less about giving customers great deals then it is about getting a bigger hammer to try to drive Amazon's marketshare for their products.

Which isn't to say there aren't good deals for consumers, but Amazon needs people to buy its devices in order to sell its services and honestly they probably should just give Fire devices away, but they can't quite stomach that much of a loss, so they do these highly hyped deep discount sales.

It's absolutely true for our products as well as Amazon's (I may be cynical but I'm not a total hypocrite) but when you buy an Echo (or Fire or Kindle) Amazon is getting nearly as much benefit from you having it as you're getting from having it. It's like having your own tiny digital 7-11 right in your house. You'll never run out of digital media again! Also, you're now predisposed to spending money via Amazon than some other way. Which is maybe fine - you're going to rent Sleepless in Seattle again anyway, as a consumer it doesn't really matter to you where it comes from. So these deals aren't really a gift to you - they're about as beneficent as getting your first hit for free.

Don't think of Prime Day as saving $50 on a Fire TV (or whatever) - think of it as the beginning of a long-term relationship with a preferred media supplier.

* and my conclusion here isn't that you should buy our device and not their's, fuck it, buy nothing
posted by GuyZero at 11:10 AM on July 16, 2018 [22 favorites]


That's a good bit of truth, with a tasty bouquet of snark. I am doing my best to not do the fight club (or say anything) monologue about buying crap we don't want/need, because man "prime day" is the lunchroom conversation.
posted by k5.user at 11:12 AM on July 16, 2018 [1 favorite]




Great links. I've been trying to avoid Amazon altogether, but they've also killed so much local business that sometimes (not often, but sometimes) it's impossible to find things I need anywhere else (anyone know where I can find a fiberglass corrosion/scratch pen besides Amazon and stores that aren't in my area?). And of course, they've taken over so many other businesses that you have to consult a list to be sure your "Amazon alternative" isn't just another facet of the company. I wonder what it's like to live in a country with protections against this sort of thing...

A libertarian friend of mine got a job at an Amazon warehouse, and left a month later after trying and failing to organize a union to fight the horrible working conditions.
posted by shapes that haunt the dusk at 11:17 AM on July 16, 2018 [37 favorites]


Yeah, step one to Prime Day: Unless you have a disability that requires you to buy from Amazon, don't break the damn picket.

There is no step two.
posted by kafziel at 11:24 AM on July 16, 2018 [26 favorites]



A libertarian friend of mine got a job at an Amazon warehouse, and left a month later after trying and failing to organize a union to fight the horrible working conditions.

Lol. That really says it all, doesn't it?
posted by fshgrl at 11:31 AM on July 16, 2018 [50 favorites]


Never cross a picket line
posted by eustatic at 11:38 AM on July 16, 2018 [6 favorites]


Amazon has tricked us into thinking that mail order catalogs are cool.
posted by St. Peepsburg at 11:40 AM on July 16, 2018 [3 favorites]


Amazon has tricked us into thinking that mail order catalogs are cool.

It's a little sad but honestly I've always loved catalogs. It may be genetic or cultural or something.
posted by GuyZero at 11:48 AM on July 16, 2018 [22 favorites]


Amazon makes it incredibly easy for me to buy stuff I think I need. We had to swear off of it for monetary and ethical reasons. But we are able to do this because we are -bodied and I acknowledge that privilege.
posted by Kitteh at 11:49 AM on July 16, 2018


I recently spent WAY more than the price of the object trying to find a Kill-A-Watt at retail, working my way up from hardware stores that have been in business for 100 years in my large American city. I drove up and down the SF peninsula and all around the city for a ~$25 device, probably at least 100 miles in a car that gets 22mpg.

Fry's is the only place that carries them. I could have saved 30% on top of not buying any gas if I just went to Amazon.
posted by rhizome at 11:55 AM on July 16, 2018 [3 favorites]


Heh. Site is down. I'm just getting doggos
posted by mr_roboto at 12:04 PM on July 16, 2018 [7 favorites]


Amazon needs people to buy its devices in order to sell its services and honestly they probably should just give Fire devices away

That's pretty much how all these Alexas got into my house(s). For awhile last year it seemed that everything we ordered from Amazon came with one for free or for $9 or something crazy like that. Some of them are even plugged in.

I can see the creeping ethical problems with buying anything from Amazon, but it's getting very difficult to avoid, given that they're crushing all the local options of out business, after all.

I still do buy locally when I can, but never as much as I should.
posted by rokusan at 12:13 PM on July 16, 2018 [3 favorites]


Site is completely crashed.
posted by Sophie1 at 12:14 PM on July 16, 2018 [2 favorites]


I submitted a request to post this to MetaTalk, but if you are choosing to shop, don't forget to consider using a MetaFilter affiliate link to help fund MetaFilter:
posted by slipthought at 12:16 PM on July 16, 2018 [13 favorites]


Man, this is like 1996 when Amazon* would go down all the time. I'd almost forgotten what that was like.

Also, yikes: that was more than 20 years ago. This time Jeff is probably running around the office screaming and pulling other people's hair out.

* Amazon calls itself "Earth's Biggest Bookstore" and it's this new internet-only thing that has an almost-Strand level of books, but you order from your computer and they ship them to you in like a week. It's probably not going to last.
posted by rokusan at 12:18 PM on July 16, 2018 [7 favorites]


Amazon is getting nearly as much benefit from you having it as you're getting from having it. It's like having your own tiny digital 7-11 right in your house.

I'm almost tempted to get a Kindle Paperwhite to replace my Kindle Fire, because it only does books and doesn't have Alexa built in (which I didn't want or ask for). Is it weird to buy an Amazon product to avoid a different Amazon product?
posted by Foosnark at 12:22 PM on July 16, 2018 [3 favorites]


Is it weird to buy an Amazon product to avoid a different Amazon product?

Nope. From their side of the fence this is called a portfolio strategy and it exists for exactly this reason. It keeps consumers happy and shuts potential competitors out.
posted by GuyZero at 12:23 PM on July 16, 2018 [17 favorites]


I have in some ways felt definite regret that Amazon has been such a boon for me personally. I've managed - mostly - to only buy what I legitimately need. And by the way, no way in hell will I ever get any sort of Echo-style or IoT devices, nor have I ever desired the kinds of things that show up as Prime specials; hell, I'm not even a Prime member. But the site has allowed me to comparison-shop for "best of breed", or at least best of the middle of the pack, of whatever item I'm looking for, especially in the usual scenario of there being only meager pickings on offer locally. Early on, i.e. pre-Amazon, I learned the hard way not to take it on faith that the proffered model is the most reliable, durable, best-performing one available (with only occasional exceptions such as Sears Craftsman tools). And I have to admit that not being forced to pay retail+markup boutique prices for acceptably-good items, when those are even available, has been nice. It's comforting to feel like the tools I've got for living will be reliable and allow me to continue to get along despite any future economic turns of fate I might experience.

Which is not to say I'm defending them; mostly just recognizing the dual horns of my personal dilemma.
posted by Greg_Ace at 12:23 PM on July 16, 2018 [6 favorites]


I can see the creeping ethical problems with buying anything from Amazon, but it's getting very difficult to avoid, given that they're crushing all the local options of out business, after all.

That's the thing. In one of the articles linked in the post is this one:
Amazon Prime Is a Blessing and a Curse For Remote Towns
What are you to do if your town has no small or even large businesses to go to in order to purchase your necessities? I'm all for calling Amazon on their shit but aside from not spending money with them what exactly are your options when your options are few to none?
posted by Ashwagandha at 12:24 PM on July 16, 2018 [7 favorites]


Amazon calls itself "Earth's Biggest Bookstore" and it's this new internet-only thing that has an almost-Strand level of books, but you order from your computer and they ship them to you in like a week. It's probably not going to last.

OMG I can get every import Pixies single right here from my computer! This is completely nuts! Fuck the record store.
posted by mr_roboto at 12:24 PM on July 16, 2018 [9 favorites]


I recently spent WAY more than the price of the object trying to find a Kill-A-Watt at retail, working my way up from hardware stores that have been in business for 100 years in my large American city. I drove up and down the SF peninsula and all around the city for a ~$25 device, probably at least 100 miles in a car that gets 22mpg.

Fry's is the only place that carries them. I could have saved 30% on top of not buying any gas if I just went to Amazon.


Or ... ordered directly from the manufacturer? I mean, if you're waiting for delivery anyway.

The links are plentiful as to just who's paying that 30% for you.
posted by kafziel at 12:24 PM on July 16, 2018 [7 favorites]


Foosnarks the e-paper Kindles like the Paperwhite are still miles better than the Fires for reading. So much easier on the eyes, and so much more beach-friendly.

Fires are just budget iPads, and it shows.
posted by rokusan at 12:27 PM on July 16, 2018 [12 favorites]


OMG I can get every import Pixies single right here from my computer! This is completely nuts! Fuck the record store.

This is bringing back unhappy memories of the record store I used to work at. I can't tell you how often people would complain that stuff was cheaper on Amazon, and we'd have to explain that Amazon was charging less than the wholesale price because it would encourage people to shop with them instead of with local stores like us. Like, we would have had to take a loss to match Amazon's prices. Most of the time, the customer walked away thinking we were overpriced, and didn't buy anything.

That store closed in 2010 after 35 years in business.
posted by shapes that haunt the dusk at 12:29 PM on July 16, 2018 [31 favorites]


What are you to do if your town has no small or even large businesses to go to in order to purchase your necessities? I'm all for calling Amazon on their shit but aside from not spending money with them what exactly are your options when your options are few to none?

Organize to overthrow capitalism and establish a new socialist and/or parecon system that actually serves to meet people's needs rather than racking up obscene profits for a tiny elite?

This might not seem practical or immediate (and in certain ways it's not--i.e. we all have to figure out how to survive within the current reality) and at the same time I honestly think it's crucial that in our imaginations and conversations we acknowledge that another system is totally possible and stretch ourselves to consider what it might look like--because everything humans make starts with people thinking and dreaming about it.

Or, as Ursula K. Le Guin said, “We live in capitalism. Its power seems inescapable. So did the divine right of kings. Any human power can be resisted and changed by human beings. Resistance and change often begin in art, and very often in our art, the art of words.”
posted by overglow at 12:33 PM on July 16, 2018 [43 favorites]


creeping ethical problems

You don't even need to care about buying market share or driving brick and mortor stores out of business.

You can just reflect on the huge library of neo-Nazi literature that Amazon sells (via Prime, no less). Feel free to do those grim Amazon searches, if you're not at work.
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 12:34 PM on July 16, 2018 [4 favorites]


You can't do those searches because 38 minutes into the sale, the site is still down.
posted by Sophie1 at 12:38 PM on July 16, 2018 [1 favorite]


I seldom use Amazon specifically because of the labor issues (I do have a subscription to WaPo, however), but what's the strategy behind boycotting during Prime day, and how will they determine the effectiveness of their effort afterwards?
posted by Selena777 at 12:39 PM on July 16, 2018 [1 favorite]


I wish it would stay down.
posted by shapes that haunt the dusk at 12:39 PM on July 16, 2018 [5 favorites]


Amazon is a disaster for worker's rights, they treat their employees like absolute shit.
posted by odinsdream at 12:41 PM on July 16, 2018 [7 favorites]


A number of gamers and journalists are also expected to participate in Monday's boycott, which calls for supporters to avoid using or visiting any of Amazon's services or sites, from shopping to streaming.

Those other companies include Whole Foods, Twitch, Goodreads, imdb.com, Zappos, audible.com...


Wow. I am a sometimes gamer and a sometimes journalist and I have been somewhat inadvertently participating in a life-long boycott of all of these sites*. Yay woke me.


*Save imdb: it is still the easiest way to learn, "what else was that person in that I recall them slightly from?" I reckon looking at that now and again is not boosting Bezos' bank balance too much.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 12:46 PM on July 16, 2018


The boycott is an act of solidarity with multiple European unions who are striking during Prime Day. Striking during Prime Day is designed to maximize the leverage that workers have.
posted by overglow at 12:47 PM on July 16, 2018 [11 favorites]


I used to buy online for the Long Tail. Now I buy online because of disability.

I have been trying to buy from someone besides Amazon. Lately I am having best luck at Overstock. Please tell me Amazon doesn't own them.

Also, is it just me or are the online clothing stores been getting thinner lately? I have been mail order clothes since before online shopping was a thing, because I am a hard to fit size and the mall never had anything for me. But the pickings are getting slim.
posted by elizilla at 12:53 PM on July 16, 2018 [2 favorites]


Site is completely crashed.

Maybe I haven’t been around enough to maintain my status as MeFi’s resident conspiracy theorist, but I still have my commemorative Faraday cage mesh T-shirt.

With that in mind, it occurs to me that Mr. Bezos is not on the best terms with a certain US president, who happens to be meeting with another specific world leader... one who keeps a rather skilled hacker army on retainer... at this exact hour... on Amazon Prime Day.
posted by rokusan at 12:54 PM on July 16, 2018 [12 favorites]


Also, is it just me or are the online clothing stores been getting thinner lately?

I am also experiencing this problem as I get older. It’s even impacting the clothing already in my closet somehow.
posted by rokusan at 12:56 PM on July 16, 2018 [10 favorites]


I did not renew my Prime account this year, so no Prime Day for me. I still shop at Amazon from time to time, I don't have an ethical issue with the company. I just don't think it is worth $119. I've been buying my most of my books elsewhere, too, despite (because of) the only bookstore in my town having gone out of business. We do still have a video store!

Prime Day is always over-hyped, I find. Last year I bought a cat tree for my new kitty. It was $50 and I have not seen it priced that low since. So that was a baller move by me and it has bought much joy to my purrball. I bought myself boring stuff like bedsheets. There wasn't anything "cool" like gamer shit.

I think a lot of brand wisely avoid participating in Prime Day. Offering discounts on Black Friday or Columbus Day makes sense because it applies to multiple stores. But doing so to just to benefit Amazon isn't a smart business move.
posted by riruro at 12:57 PM on July 16, 2018 [2 favorites]


the e-paper Kindles like the Paperwhite are still miles better than the Fires for reading. So much easier on the eyes, and so much more beach-friendly.

Friendly reminder that there are non-Kindle electronic paper e-book readers available. While I normally find the Wirecutter's reviews useful, the primary criterion for their "best ebook reader" article is essentially "does it buy e-books from Amazon?" Surprise, the Kindle wins.

Referring to all facial tissues as "Kleenex" hasn't ended with nobody being able to buy other brands of tissue. Acting as though Kindles are the only kind of e-book reader might eventually result in not being able to buy any others, and I am not on board for that future. Generic accessibility for e-books should not be optional.
posted by asperity at 1:01 PM on July 16, 2018 [14 favorites]


I ordered the one things I was after - an Instant Pot - before I saw anything about the boycott or the pickets in Europe.

I'm not renewing my Prime membership. So far it's gotten me free shipping on stuff I don't know if I actually need (they stopped carrying our preferred cat litter which was a big selling feature for getting prime in the first place), a sub to the somewhat neutered Canadian version of Prime that we only every used to so watch Ms Maisel, and a sub to twitch prime that I also don't use.

I've got a kindle so I'll still be part of the amazon sphere of influence but this is our last prime day and the beginning of a less amazon-focused shopping future
posted by thecjm at 1:03 PM on July 16, 2018 [1 favorite]


I recently spent WAY more than the price of the object trying to find a Kill-A-Watt at retail

My local libraries offer power check meters for loan (they're at least partly funded by the local energy company). Same with infrared cameras to check home insulation. Since I'm probably not going to need such a device more than occasionally, this is a pretty awesome service and it's worth checking to see if other libraries offer it.
posted by asperity at 1:11 PM on July 16, 2018 [9 favorites]


Amazon's great for pictures of dogs today but not much else.
posted by octothorpe at 1:16 PM on July 16, 2018 [2 favorites]


requisite Amazon Blue comment
posted by theora55 at 1:17 PM on July 16, 2018 [1 favorite]


Is the strike taking place in USA or just Europe? All the news coverage I'm seeing is about Spain and Germany.
posted by theorique at 1:20 PM on July 16, 2018


If only Amazon had access to some sort of huge, scalable web services provider, they wouldn’t be a-crashin’ so hard on their big day.
posted by Huffy Puffy at 1:22 PM on July 16, 2018 [25 favorites]


Or ... ordered directly from the manufacturer?

My local libraries offer power check meters for loan

As stated in the comment, my goal was to buy it at retail. That's how you keep local businesses around.
posted by rhizome at 1:24 PM on July 16, 2018 [6 favorites]


16 isn't even a prime number! Screw 'em. I'll give them my money another day.
posted by Burhanistan at 1:37 PM on July 16, 2018 [1 favorite]


Is the strike taking place in USA or just Europe?

The strike specifically covers Amazon in Europe, but the strikers have called for a worldwide boycott as a gesture of solidarity.
posted by tobascodagama at 1:39 PM on July 16, 2018 [1 favorite]


Amazon has tricked us into thinking that mail order catalogs are cool.

I remember in my pre-Internet days, the library had this book called The Catalog of Catalogs.It had a kajillion descriptions and addresses to send away for mail-order catalogs. Growing up in the middle of West Nowhere with the nearest doctor and proper grocery store about an hour's drive away, it was a whole shiny new world!
posted by The Underpants Monster at 1:41 PM on July 16, 2018 [16 favorites]


I drove up and down the SF peninsula and all around the city for a ~$25 device, probably at least 100 miles in a car that gets 22mpg.

Do you or the stores you drove to not have telephones?
posted by Thoughtcrime at 1:43 PM on July 16, 2018 [10 favorites]


Amazon is slogging it in Australia. This is surprising to me since it is a captured market eager for options.
posted by jadepearl at 1:52 PM on July 16, 2018


"free deadmau5 PUBG Crate for trying Twitch" is not the cyberpunk I was hoping for
posted by GuyZero at 1:59 PM on July 16, 2018 [11 favorites]


90% of what Italian Amazon is Prime-Daying is off-brand stuff. Combine that with Reply All’s recent dive into its losing battle with fake products and listings, and you know you’ll be better of giving it a miss...
posted by progosk at 2:02 PM on July 16, 2018 [4 favorites]


So, Amazon's US outage must be affecting things in Australia ? Unable to sign in to prime video. Also, Amazon's app on iPad is a bit sluggish. The sign in issues are for both Australia and VPN.
posted by jadepearl at 2:17 PM on July 16, 2018


... lost 1/3 of my "saved for later list", can't add half the things I'm trying to (non prime day related), site is crashing 1/2 the time. Sigh. I'm in PDX. People are walking the sidewalks in this insane heat, blinking up at the sun, sweat dripping down their sobbing faces and quivering chins

Thanks Obama
posted by Auden at 2:21 PM on July 16, 2018 [5 favorites]


One of the few independent big box retail stores in this area closed and that was my go to for picking up electronics, physical media products (yes, I still prefer bluray/cds for some things as opposed to streaming). So now it's either I drive an hour away or purchase from Amazon.ca or the local Wal-Mart. I'm not a huge fan of Wal-Mart either but it is the closest thing to what this store once offered. So with each and every purchase that I make at either Amazon.ca or Wal-Mart, I know that I'm only further ringing the death bell for a smaller Canadian retail outlet.

But it's hard to justify driving for a 45 minutes to 1 hour to buy local. That requires time/fuel/money that I do not always have. I applaud people who can find a way around these types of things, but it's not easy in smaller towns. I live in Niagara Falls, and while it's not the smallest town in this area, it is still much smaller than a sprawling megaplex like Toronto. I try my best to buy local when I can, but lately it's just corporations everywhere.

One of the few places I've managed to keep my spending local is with smaller restaurants, sandwich shops, etc.

*sighs*
posted by Fizz at 2:23 PM on July 16, 2018 [11 favorites]


But it's hard to justify driving for a 45 minutes to 1 hour to buy local. That requires time/fuel/money that I do not always have.

I live in St. Louis, which is not exactly small. My 9-port USB hub died Saturday morning. I spent three hours checking shops for a replacement, which wound up being two 7-port USB hubs and a power strip from from Best Buy -- and the cables on it were so short I had to plug them both into my laptop's 4-port USB hub anyway.

So that cost me about 3x what a single 13-port USB hub would have online.

The advantage Amazon has there is convenience, reviews, and fast shipping vs. "maybe it'll arrive in the next three weeks" from eBay. But I've decided it's worth poking around a little bit online before automatically relying on Amazon for everything.
posted by Foosnark at 2:44 PM on July 16, 2018 [4 favorites]


I am so isolated that our closest WalHell is 35 miles away, Target is nearly 100. Don't even get me started on Costco. We are at the end of the supply chain so all retailers price accordingly. We have an indie bookstore but it's mostly right-wing military fantasies and romance. The nearest libraries are jokes. Having a Prime membership is a goddamn necessity.

That said, I am fine with participating in striking. Plus, the deals today suck.
posted by Ber at 2:46 PM on July 16, 2018 [4 favorites]


The advantage Amazon has there is convenience, reviews, and fast shipping vs. "maybe it'll arrive in the next three weeks" from eBay.

Yeah, the trouble is that Amazon's model is really good. Shipping is cheap, fast and reliable. Warehouses can store 100x what you can store in a huge big box retail store. Amazon doesn't even have to figure out what to stock - they allow third parties to use their infrastructure, real and virtual, for sales and fulfillment.

The downside is they run their warehouses like hellholes to keep costs down. It's entirely possible that this isn't necessary and the price increase from improved labour conditions are minimal.

That they severely damaged local retail is to some extent inevitable. WalMart did the same thing before them.

The question is how do we make the inevitable transition to internet retail work for both workers and consumers.
posted by GuyZero at 2:51 PM on July 16, 2018 [14 favorites]


Yeah, the trouble is that Amazon's model is really good. Shipping is cheap, fast and reliable. Warehouses can store 100x what you can store in a huge big box retail store. Amazon doesn't even have to figure out what to stock - they allow third parties to use their infrastructure, real and virtual, for sales and fulfillment.

The downside is they run their warehouses like hellholes to keep costs down. It's entirely possible that this isn't necessary and the price increase from improved labour conditions are minimal.


It is in fact guaranteed that these things are not necessary and the price increase from improved labor conditions would be zero, even negative, if you don't take Jeff Bezos's nightmarish personal income as a necessary condition of the equation that must not be touched.
posted by kafziel at 3:08 PM on July 16, 2018 [17 favorites]


Bezos' net worth is mostly from the stock increasing in price and not salary. He only makes $80K a year apparently.
posted by GuyZero at 3:15 PM on July 16, 2018 [3 favorites]


Sigh. I buy all my ebooks via Amazon because there is no other option, and because these days I only buy ebooks due to my dislike of clutter, but everything else I buy literally anywhere else. Amazon.com.au is more expensive than buying from bricks and mortar stores anyway, unless you need like, a thousand of a thing. Like a diode or a specialised valve nipple or something.
posted by turbid dahlia at 3:21 PM on July 16, 2018 [1 favorite]


Thank you to those acknowledging privilege and especially disability when talking about Amazon. I really ADORE the convenience, price, and selection of Amazon because I'm disabled and it's very difficult for me to just go shopping and I don't have an unlimited budget. But lately I've been trying to avoid it as much as I can.

However, SO MANY things are literally only available there OR are available at a much cheaper price. For example my compression socks which I need for medical purposes or supplements. Sites that sell them have them for way more money than is reasonable and some brands only sell on Amazon and nowhere else. The same photo backdrop I got for $15 would probably be priced up to $50 on a photography site. I am able to get stuff for my small business for a reasonable price and quickly.

However beyond the ethics, I've also cooled to them for how they treated me as a customer. They randomly shut down my ability to post reviews and removed all of mine because they claim I received product or discounts in exchange for reviews. I never did. I hate "fake" reviews. And I couldn't ever get to to a real person to discuss it with. I was in the top 8K ranking of reviewers and used to buy tons of stuff from them. And I've heard of people having all of their accounts shut down for no good reason which includes tons of stuff like grocery and audible and sometimes logins for other accounts. But we can't talk to a human to clear it up. And now I feel totally terrified of making one wrong move and having my account shut down.

And then there's the issue of some stores literally not carrying basics anymore. We checked Smiths, Target, and Walmart and couldn't find a damn pour top sugar container in any of them. A fucking sugar container. There have been quite a few things that I view as "basic" that you'd have to go to a specialty shop or try 5 stores just to find lately.

That said, I did buy something today. A swimsuit in a larger size as the one I got is getting a bit tight. I didn't do it because of Prime Day. I did it because there were 4 left in stock and it's one of only a couple bathing suits that actually fit after trying on at least 15 and scouring through literally thousands across multiple sites.

I would love more variety on other online and in store shopping sites. And I would love for Amazon to not take advantage of everyone around it.
posted by Crystalinne at 3:32 PM on July 16, 2018 [11 favorites]


If Amazon doesn’t want to pay taxes or have competition then it should be nationalized as a co-op and run for the benefit of people of the United States.
posted by The Whelk at 3:41 PM on July 16, 2018 [29 favorites]


Well, Amazon already provides a cloud service for US intelligence agencies. It's called the AWS Secret Region.
posted by FJT at 3:54 PM on July 16, 2018 [3 favorites]


I've been using newegg.com as an alternative to Amazon for electronics and computer parts and accessories. We also have a Microcenter in town and they have a lot of stuff I used to think was only sold online, but it's a bit of a drive.

Amazon's not the only game in online retail. I'm trying to avoid them, and I usually look for alternative sources in this order:
  1. physical retail of any type (e.g. Target, Best Buy, Barnes & Noble),
  2. less specialized online retail (Newegg, aliexpress1), then
  3. specialist online retail and manufacturer websites.
Usually I can find what I'm looking for without too much trouble. Oftentimes it's even worth the effort because the item's cheaper and/or I can get it faster.

1 half of the products on Amazon "marketplace" come from aliexpress anyway, just heavily marked-up.
posted by cosmic.osmo at 3:59 PM on July 16, 2018 [13 favorites]


"Those other companies include Whole Foods, Twitch, Goodreads, imdb.com, Zappos, audible.com...

Well, if you are going to go that far, that means boycotting Amazon Web Services, which means not using most Internet companies smaller than the likes of Facebook or Google. In fact, the website you are looking at right this second is hosted on Amazon.
posted by sideshow at 4:17 PM on July 16, 2018 [6 favorites]


Well, if you are going to go that far, that means boycotting Amazon Web Services, which means not using most Internet companies smaller than the likes of Facebook or Google. In fact, the website you are looking at right this second is hosted on Amazon.

Avoiding Amazon entirely on the internet is not realistically possible, no. That's how monopolies tend to work. But these particular, specific high-traffic, high-advertising sites? Which striking workers have specifically asked that people boycott in solidarity and support of their strike?

There is no ethical consumption under capitalism, but come on, don't make me tap the sign.
posted by kafziel at 4:24 PM on July 16, 2018 [19 favorites]


half of the products on Amazon "marketplace" come from aliexpress anyway, just heavily marked-up.

Arbitrage isn't a dirty word...

'Cause what you see, you might not get
And we can bet, so don't you get souped yet
Scheming on a thing, that's a mirage
I'm trying to tell you now, it's arbotrage

posted by GuyZero at 4:27 PM on July 16, 2018 [3 favorites]


Came in to post what cosmic.osmo said. I've recently moved some previously Amazon-it-without-thinking purchases back to Target and other brick-and-mortar retailers with online presence after realizing that they're price competitive on things like housewares.

NewEgg is great for tech.

And also, Amazon DGAF about product authenticity.

I'm hardly above an Amazon purchase -- I probably never will make it a blanket boycott, particularly after watching my decade boycott of Walmart have precisely zero impact on anything -- but I'm pleased to say I have some habits of looking elsewhere before buying and those often reward not only my social sensibilities but my pocketbook.
posted by wildblueyonder at 4:29 PM on July 16, 2018 [1 favorite]


Do you or the stores you drove to not have telephones?

here's how it works when i call around to various big name pharmacies in nyc looking for lactaid: first of all, i'm HoH so it's already a fucking nightmare before i even pick up the phone. if someone actually even answers at the 5-6 CVS/Duane Reade/etc within walking distance of my house, i ask if they have lactaid fast act tablets, not the chewables, in boxes of 30 or more. i give them the various UPC codes to make it easier for them to look it up in their computer system. most of the time they don't know what this is. i have to repeat myself numerous times and ask them to repeat themselves numerous times, until both of us are miserable. i am put on hold. no one returns to the phone. or worse, someone else picks up the phone and the entire horrible exhausting conversation must begin anew. i long for sweet icy embrace of the grave. i call another store. the same thing happens. again and again.

finally someone says "yes, we have this item in stock" and i say DOG BLESS and go to the store. this causes me physical pain, as do all activities involving any kind of physical movement, because my spine is made of broken glass and screaming. however, i find that the store in fact has only a single box of the vanilla chewable lactaids which make me gag. i can purchase this single box of 12 tablets, which covers 2 dairy-containing meals for me, for $24.99. at this point i would rather give a passer-by that $25 to just straight up murder me right there in the vitamin aisle.

meanwhile on amazon the tablets i want come in boxes of 60 for $11. i can order 20 boxes at a time and not worry about it again for months. i get that they suck, that their business practices are shitty, that they are abusive employers working to enrich someone who could literally set half his fortune on fire and still be the wealthiest man who ever existed. i'd like that not to be the case. i'd also like to be able to walk to 10 different stores in one day but that's never going to happen. i'm going to depend on amazon for the rest of my life. imagine how fucking worthless that makes me feel.
posted by poffin boffin at 4:29 PM on July 16, 2018 [58 favorites]


Yeah, "Why don't you just call?" sounds great on paper until you're scrambling to find a last-minute plush Minecraft creeper for your kid's birthday. This plush is only available at Target and none of the people you can get a hold of at any of the stores anywhere in the area have the training/experience to help you figure out if they have it on their shelves or not. Meanwhile the website swears up and down that these stores have it in stock but so far each and every "in-stock" store you've dragged your ass to actually has bupkis. Oh, and Amazon has something identical to this "Target Exclusive" item along with about five other variations, all with free two-day shipping.

I was going to suggest "Talk to the store manager and get them to order what you want" but after reflecting on my experiences with what passes for retail these days it's no wonder Amazon is cleaning house.
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 4:42 PM on July 16, 2018 [4 favorites]


Oh, and Amazon has something identical to this "Target Exclusive" item along with about five other variations, all with free two-day shipping.

This is because third-party Amazon sellers explicitly go into Target to buy exclusive items and then sell them on Amazon.

Planet Money, Episode 629: Buy Low, Sell Prime

posted by GuyZero at 4:44 PM on July 16, 2018 [7 favorites]


Jeff Bezos Tables Latest Breakthrough Cost-Cutting Idea After Realizing It’s Just Slaves *

*The Onion, though it's close enough to real fact to get lopped in with horseshoes and hand grenades.
posted by yunhua at 4:50 PM on July 16, 2018 [7 favorites]


so, is it just me or are the online clothing stores been getting thinner lately?

Online versions of stores seem to have decided to serve a larger range of sizes for women's clothing, and I love it!

I usually shop at Landsend.com for my clothes and I've been so happy to see that petites all the way up to extra large sizes (anything over size 12 in women's) are now offered. They even sell "Tall" pants for extra long legs. I worried it was a temporary thing, but Landsend seems committed to serving a much larger size range than brick-and-mortar stores of the past. Though often the larger sizes can only be purchased online.

Talbots is another store that seems dedicated to serving a larger range of women's sizes than in the past.
posted by honey badger at 5:04 PM on July 16, 2018 [4 favorites]


Yeah, "Why don't you just call?" sounds great on paper

Indeed. I had this conversation at work last week because I was attempting to pick up an item at a local store, Best Buy. I wanted to experiment with the Google Home mini (we can talk about the problems of AI in another thread). I tried to contact Staples and was in a phone loop where the machine would pick up, I'd pick a specific department and it'd ring endlessly for 5 minutes and then loop me back into the main machine. This happened 3 times and after 15 minutes, I gave up.

I then called Best Buy to do the same thing. Fortunately, someone answered and after 10 minutes I was able to request my item be placed on hold for pick up later in the afternoon. I get why people get frustrated and end up going on line and I also realize it's not the store's fault. They're probably hurting due to online sales and as a result are understaffed. So they have 1 person likely doing the work of 3 or 4 and who has time to answer the phone when you're busy working as a cashier and stocking shelves and answering the phone and all for what I'd imagine is pretty terrible just above minimum wage pay.

Ugh, I fucking hate capitalism.
posted by Fizz at 5:09 PM on July 16, 2018 [14 favorites]


It may be genetic or cultural or something.

You can't send Amazon an email asking for a hockey sweater for your six year old in idiomatic quebecois french.

A website is also little help in an outhouse.
posted by bonehead at 5:10 PM on July 16, 2018 [4 favorites]


You can't send Amazon an email asking for a hockey sweater yt for your six year old in idiomatic quebecois french.

Jeff Bezos wouldn't send the wrong fucking sweater like that loser Timothy Eaton.
posted by GuyZero at 5:14 PM on July 16, 2018 [2 favorites]


I had already decided on not renewing my Prime membership when it expires later this month. Not only not worth the money, but also? Amazon just plain sucks now. Its search sucks, its product descriptions are a laughable attempt at coherent language and I have absolutely zero faith in any reviews, which are largely bought and sold like the shitty trinket they're hyping. Just done.
posted by bologna on wry at 5:17 PM on July 16, 2018 [4 favorites]


I realized a couple of weeks ago that a couple of OTC medications that I had on subscription at Amazon are actually significantly cheaper from Walmart.com.

Amazon has made WalMart a better option.
posted by COD at 5:57 PM on July 16, 2018 [1 favorite]


A klepto friend of mine celebrated Prime day by stealing us $50 lunches from the Prime-festooned Whole Foods at Bryant Park. I usually discourage his shoplifting, but this I ate with relish, both figurative and literal.
posted by Beardman at 6:01 PM on July 16, 2018 [10 favorites]


ctrl-F Powells -- no? really? ok

Periodic reminder: the largest independent bookstore in the world is based right here in beautiful Portland, Oregon. I know the site gets a few pennies on Amazon referral links, but when you need books, please consider supporting Powell's.
posted by Two unicycles and some duct tape at 7:50 PM on July 16, 2018 [12 favorites]


Thanks for this reminder that not only is Amazon terrible, it's getting worse. I was going to check out Prime specials but ugh no, and I'll wait till after to order anything just to not participate - and try harder to stay away from shopping there where I can.
posted by blue shadows at 8:15 PM on July 16, 2018 [6 favorites]


If you're in the Bay area two local stores I can recommend is Books inc in the city and Book passage in Marin and the Ferry Building. There is also an independent store in West Portal that on their birthday this year had llamas for children to pet. Which was weird and cool. The Books inc on Van Ness has a large sale section that's always changing, I've gotten some great books at low prices there.
posted by Homo neanderthalensis at 8:28 PM on July 16, 2018


If you like the e-ink Kindles better than the competition there's a pretty much endless supply of used or unwanted Kindles on ebay/craigslist/whatever if you don't want to give money directly to Amazon, and the .epub files you get from non-Amazon ebook stores or publisher websites are generally trivial to convert to the Kindle format.
posted by edeezy at 8:40 PM on July 16, 2018 [7 favorites]


If you want me to shop at places other than Amazon, make those places equally fast and convenient. This is capitalism, alas, but even so I will shed no tears for Target, or Walmart, or Home Depot, or the entirely non-existent “local” stores that aren’t near me.

$55 shipping my ass.

Here’s an easy alternative: pay me $1000 and will guarantee (via escrow) that I will not purchase a damn thing from Amazon for a solid year.

Seriously. You can be funded by anyone you want, I’m perfectly OK if Target funds it.
posted by aramaic at 9:58 PM on July 16, 2018 [2 favorites]


Who can beat Amazon on variety of niche products though?

For example, I have a less common smartphone. I needed a new protector cover case today. Amazon has dozens with fairly detailed reviews. Yes there are a few forums with a review here or there, but nothing like what Amazon has. And there are absolutely no brick and mortar stores that would carry this for me.
posted by k8t at 10:04 PM on July 16, 2018 [4 favorites]


So will Metafilter also discourage posting links to The Washington Post?
posted by Ideefixe at 11:20 PM on July 16, 2018 [2 favorites]


Wow, people get so defensive the moment anyone suggests that it might be good to give up convenience for one day in order to potentially improve the lives of the underclass. Sure, it's easier to shop on Amazon! Sometimes people really do have no choice, okay, that's fine! But let's not undermine the efforts of striking workers trying to pressure a behemoth corporation into letting them have regular bathroom breaks.

I promise you, Jeff Bezos does not need you to defend him. He is fine. Nobody is attacking you personally for giving up and using one-click instead of Googling the manufacturer to buy your pasta maker or whatever. What this boycott is about is trying to wrest the smallest iota of power and dignity from a corporation that tries very very hard to make sure its workers have neither.
posted by storytam at 12:26 AM on July 17, 2018 [27 favorites]


Jeff Bezos is basically the Jared Leto character in Blade Runner 2049 at this point. I get that some people don’t or no longer have the luxury of not dealing with Amazon, but I do and I will exercise what little choice I have in this wonderful late capitalist society of ours by spending my money elsewhere until that becomes impossible.
posted by The Card Cheat at 3:55 AM on July 17, 2018 [5 favorites]


Even if you can look past the labour and economy-killing problems (which many people have no problem doing, and some of us do reluctantly) Amazon has turned into a scammer's paradise, and it's not even worth it anymore. I needed to buy kids socks last year and spent over an hour, because most of the listings were horrible third-party reseller listings without appropriate information. I filtered out anything not available for Prime, and now the biggest store in the world had exactly one two packs of socks for kids, and they cost the same as what I could have bought them for at the mall. Never mind buying anything more complicated than socks, all the reviews are fake, the details are wrong, and you are more likely to get a cheap knockoff than the real thing.

Fuck Amazon for running local stores out of business and then shitting the bed so badly.
posted by arcticwoman at 4:58 AM on July 17, 2018 [13 favorites]


Wow, people get so defensive the moment anyone suggests that it might be good to give up convenience for one day in order to potentially improve the lives of the underclass.

Seriously, the strikers aren't asking anybody to boycott Amazon in general, they're just asking people to boycott Prime Day.
posted by tobascodagama at 5:33 AM on July 17, 2018 [5 favorites]


Seconding Powell's! Powell's is amaaazing and they even ship overseaaaas!
posted by sacchan at 7:37 AM on July 17, 2018 [1 favorite]


Wow, people get so defensive the moment anyone suggests that it might be good to give up convenience for one day

Maybe if the framing were just "please don't shop today" instead of the heaping dose of smug "you're a terrible person for using Amazon and have you ever heard of a phone?" that accompanied it, there'd be less pushback.
posted by TwoStride at 8:07 AM on July 17, 2018 [6 favorites]


My most regular Amazon order is drugs for my dog- stuff the vet insists she needs but isn't prescription and the vet doesn't know where you're supposed to get it, which whatever?

And Petsmart doesn't have it, and I'm feel weird being *encouraged* to shop at big box stores in this thread anyway and I end up ordering it from Amazon because she needs this shit every month and it's on Prime.
posted by Squeak Attack at 8:31 AM on July 17, 2018


For example, I have a less common smartphone. I needed a new protector cover case today. Amazon has dozens with fairly detailed reviews. Yes there are a few forums with a review here or there, but nothing like what Amazon has.

Read the Amazon reviews, use Google to find the item elsewhere, and order! However, be mindful that many many Amazon reviews are fake, especially for items like cell phone cases, and need to be viewed with skepticism. Fakespot.com is a fairly convenient tool to check them with.

If you do this, Amazon has literally nothing to legitimately complain about. They've long benefited from people using physical retail stores as a showroom, only to make the purchase later on Amazon.
posted by cosmic.osmo at 8:37 AM on July 17, 2018 [4 favorites]


My most regular Amazon order is drugs for my dog- stuff the vet insists she needs but isn't prescription and the vet doesn't know where you're supposed to get it, which whatever?

I've had really good experiences with Chewy which for all I know is just as bad but they consistently carry the only slightly niche pet stuff I order on a regular basis, whereas Amazon either doesn't have it or only has it sometime, with the price jumping all over the place for some reason.
posted by vibratory manner of working at 9:51 AM on July 17, 2018 [1 favorite]


Maybe if the framing were just "please don't shop today" instead of the heaping dose of smug "you're a terrible person for using Amazon and have you ever heard of a phone?" that accompanied it, there'd be less pushback.

You could take this as an opportunity to look for alternatives. In the overwhelming majority of places, for the overwhelming majority of people, they do exist. And no, the slight convenience is not worth the exploitation and abuse of the people striking.

In situations of disability and isolation, as mentioned above-thread, where there really genuinely is no other option but turning to Amazon, nobody faults those who have to. That's what monopolies do, they deprive people of choice. That's part of what protest against Amazon is about. But that doesn't mean people in positions of privilege get a pass to lean on saying "other places aren't as fast or convenient" or "literally pay me if you want me to change" or "you're too smug for me to want to listen". That's bullshit.
posted by kafziel at 10:03 AM on July 17, 2018 [6 favorites]


I feel like we lose the thread of the conversation if we start talking about who is being smug or whatever, assigning motivations or attitudes based on assumptions about each other. The point is that Amazon is in some ways totally indispensable, and there is bound to be some friction over that as long as there aren't viable alternatives. I get why people feel attacked for continuing to use Amazon while people talk about a boycott, and I get why people are frustrated by what looks like excuses, but it seems sort of pointless to focus on that kind of stuff. This isn't a fight between one group of consumers and the other, it's a fight between a global public and the corporate monopoly that has forced us to have this conversation in the first place. Amazon will obviously do better the more people use it, but the point is that they've positioned themselves so pretty much everyone has to use them in some capacity or another. Boycotts area great for calling attention to the issue, but boycotts alone will never solve it without something like government intervention (and I don't think anyone is expecting a Prime Day boycott to kill Amazon). Maybe we should be talking next steps instead of worrying about whether someone bought something on Amazon when there might have been an alternative.
posted by shapes that haunt the dusk at 10:18 AM on July 17, 2018 [8 favorites]


Chewy which for all I know is just as bad

It's owned by petsmart, so it's basically just big-box, and I'm sure you already have existing preferences about that. Plus they seem to automatically match Amazon's prices and they have excellent customer service.
posted by mosst at 10:20 AM on July 17, 2018 [1 favorite]


Maybe if the framing were just "please don't shop today" instead of the heaping dose of smug "you're a terrible person for using Amazon and have you ever heard of a phone?" that accompanied it, there'd be less pushback.

You're not a terrible person. And at the same time Amazon is doing terrible things to the world. Amazon is hurting and exploiting people and communities. And that's true, to a lesser or greater extent, to pretty much all capitalist businesses and institutions. It's hard and painful to look at this. I know I sometimes tune it out because it feels overwhelming.

And I also know that doing so ultimately only serves the growing dominance of Amazon and other mega-corporate-monopolies. Like, on the one hand, it's true that "there is no ethical consumption under late capitalism" and like we need to avoid shaming each other and letting ourselves be divided by relatively minor choices. And, on the other hand, we do have some power and some ability to sway things, to both engage in harm reduction by (when/if we have the capacity) shopping at less-bad options. And, also, to band together to increase our collective power. Like, imagine if there were consumer unions who coordinated with worker unions to make coordinated shopping strikes in support of specific demands?

Anyway, it's complex and confusing and intense. It's hard to be present with both our power and our powerlessness, hard to factor in all the many elements of impact and need into the decisions we make (especially when we're stressed and overworked and worried about our own survival and stability). And hard, too, at least for a lot of us, to really know the truth, the space between, "yes, this choice that you made has impacts that are harmful" and "you yourself are a beautiful human being whose intrinsic worth is not up for debate, stuck in a terrible maze (like all of us) where it's very challenging/impossible not to make some harmful choices."
posted by overglow at 11:45 AM on July 17, 2018 [2 favorites]


Do you or the stores you drove to not have telephones?

Nope. I live in the only major metropolitan census tract that received the invention of the automobile before the telephone (which we still don't have). Weird, right?
posted by rhizome at 12:46 PM on July 17, 2018 [2 favorites]


Jeff Bezos wouldn't send the wrong fucking sweater like that loser Timothy Eaton.

True, but Monsieur Bezos did send me a jar of pickled herrings and 2 years worth of Chinese B vitamins once, neither of which I ordered. Thankfully the parish priest didn't hear me cursing or I'd have more then a few rosaries to do.
posted by Ashwagandha at 3:54 PM on July 17, 2018 [3 favorites]


Kimberly Bell has a twitter thread that acknowledges the problems of Amazon, but also points out that most indie bookstores don't carry romance.

She hitting at something that I've often felt weird about in discussions of supporting my own local indie bookstore. I hold most of my meetings outside of my office at said bookstore, because they have a great cafe and I want to support local businesses. But I also find very few of the books I actually want to read there. I'm primarily a genre reader and the nearby Barnes and Noble has a lot more of the books I read in stock.

Is there a good way to approach one's local indie bookstore and say "have you considered being slightly less highbrow?" Or should I just acknowledge that they have a successful niche audience for lit fic and really nice art books and I'm not in that niche?
posted by JustKeepSwimming at 6:39 PM on July 17, 2018 [7 favorites]


My local bookstore is very heavy on genre and romance, but I still find it frustratingly off-putting. Its niche seems to be the "pan for gold" shopper, which is to say that the place is very overcrowded and messy and I get stressed trying to find books as I weave my way around stacks on the floor, totally weird stocking methods in terms of what's available, and an equally disorganized staff. The last time I was on a "I should support my local bookstore!" kick I went in to ask for a currently-popular series. They were out of stock and promised to order copies for me and call me when they arrived. They never called. I followed up: "Oh, I guess we lost your form." So then I ordered from Amazon and got the books without hassle in two days.
posted by TwoStride at 6:46 PM on July 17, 2018 [2 favorites]


Chiming in real quick to say often you can buy books directly from the publisher or author! With romance small presses that's actually even better, since you can choose your ebook format, a lot of them are DRM free and more money goes to the people and presses that publish your kind of literature. My experiences are mostly with queer and "multicultural" (which is what the category for "has nonwhite people" is called I guess) romance which is mostly small press so YMMV.
posted by storytam at 7:13 PM on July 17, 2018 [3 favorites]


JustKeepSwimming -- What if you said something like "I'd rather shop with you than Amazon, and I was wondering whether you'd consider stocking [genre fiction of your choice]"?

I'm a voracious reader of mystery/crime fiction, and I've yet to encounter an independent bookstore that didn't have a healthy selection of same. It sucks that some genres are welcomed and others are dismissed. It's not like every detective novel I've ever read is an work of art -- 9 out of 10 of them are just a fun evening's entertainment.
posted by virago at 7:20 PM on July 17, 2018 [3 favorites]


most indie bookstores don't carry romance

That has definitely been something I've noticed in many indie bookstores. But! I am super psyched about the romance event one of my local independent bookstores is holding this week! I'll get to hear Beverly Jenkins read! And lots of other authors I've read and some I haven't yet. So excited! Anyway, it'd be good if there were more events like this when the RWA convention isn't in town.

I will not be buying any of these authors' ebooks via Amazon. I was disappointed when the indie bookstore hosting this event stopped selling Kobo readers linked to their store so they'd get a cut of anything bought from Kobo with that device. I had to order my new reader from elsewhere and wait for shipping. Still a better device with better library and Calibre support.
posted by asperity at 8:36 PM on July 17, 2018


Amazon Warehouse Strike in Spain Reportedly Results in Police Clashes, Arrests

The workers at the Madrid facility, nearly half of whom are temps, had previously gone on strike in March. This week, they are demonstrating not only against what they said were grueling work conditions, low compensation, and conditions placed on time off, but the expiration of a collective bargaining agreement in 2016 that Amazon has taken advantage of to chip away at previous levels of benefits, according to the Financial Times.
posted by mediareport at 5:20 AM on July 18, 2018 [10 favorites]


Last week, I ordered a gathering foot for my sewing machine from Amazon, to use on my costume for a show that opens on August 3rd. It was originally supposed to be here by now, but the estimated arrival date was just changed to between August 1st and August 19th.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 1:27 PM on July 18, 2018


I can't afford to pay $80 local for what I can have delivered to my door for $20 via Amazon. I'm also not having to be anywhere near staff that knows nothing about the products they are selling.

Add in the predominant attitudes in some dying rural areas against other races/religions/sexual orientations, and political beliefs; ... yeah. I have -zero- problems watching the dust gather on their shelves; and their stores and towns slowly go away and die.

Those without vehicles; or without what might be considered to be a normal ambulatory range of movement; Amazon is again fulfilling a need.

I dislike large economic beasts as much as the next person. If going without or paying 300% more is the alternative; Amazon is a good thing to have available.
posted by Afghan Stan at 7:32 PM on July 18, 2018 [2 favorites]


When it comes to Amazon, now I know how vegans feel about omnivores. Very few people have no other choices. Most people have choices they don't like. It's definitely hard (or impossible, under capitalism) to live a completely ethical life, and someone can surely pick mine apart, but Amazon is a relatively easy concession for most people I know. Imagine working your parent or child or partner to exhaustion to save $20 on a doodad. Can we not have empathy for people we can't see? We're mostly leftists on this site and we have no problem feeling empathy for e.g. refugees. I'm not saying the situations are directly comparable, but we've known about problems at Amazon warehouses for years.

I'm not going to go on about how my choices are better than yours but I will just say that it is possible for many more people to live without Amazon. In the case of a childless able-bodied person living in a city, it is very easy. Even if you are broke, which I am.

I am not a vegan, but I know vegans and they have educated me about the consequences of my choices. I have been making more thoughtful choices, if not always the most ethical. I stopped buying eggs from factory farms, for example, and I eat beef perhaps once a month now. I hope we can continue to have conversations about Amazon so at least people will think about why that kitchen gadget is $20 cheaper and whether it'd still be worth it if someone you knew got fired for not picking it from the shelf 0.5 seconds faster.
posted by AFABulous at 9:17 AM on July 21, 2018 [10 favorites]


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