Amazon Anonymous, Anyone?

(I hope I haven't offended anyone with the cheeky post title.)

But.

It's true.

My name is Smella and I'm an addict.

My Amazon spending is way, way, way out of control.  

I know I am not the only one struggling with this.  I hate  Amazon, and everything they stand for! I hate their packaging. I hate everything I've learned about labour conditions in their warehouse. I hate the quality of their products, and the preponderance of counterfeit.  I hate that their interface allows me to purchase impulsively, while zoned out on a screen.  I hate that this purchasing keeps me out of local business that I want to support. I hate that all the dollars I spend at Amazon on god-knows-what make me feel like I can't afford to buy well-made, sustainable products. 

But despite all this, I haven't been able to change my ways. 

 

I'm seeking Amazon avoidance tactics, accountability buddies, and if there's interest, maybe a group of YNABs to do a 30-Days-Without-Amazon challenge (yes, my orders are that bad, and that frequent, that 30 days is the longest break I can even fathom at this point).   

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  • I have a similar problem. I have a tendency to justify it as stuff we need. I’m on subscribe and save too, so...I get that sent every month on top of whatever I’ve justified. I’ve been a little better since starting YNAB in late March, but have been falling off the bandwagon lately. I would love to go 30 days, but I think I will have to start with maybe 2 weeks, then try to go longer from there. God forbid I have to cancel subscribe and save, and have to pick up laundry detergent at a brick and mortar store!😩

    I’ve done a little better by being granular with my categories. If it’s not there, I can’t spend it. I have to wait till the next month, if something doesn’t take priority over that order first. I browse a lot, and I really, really don’t like window shopping. But I just add stuff to my wish list instead of my cart. Sometimes, if the money is there, I order it later.

    Reply Like 3
      • smella
      • smella
      • 9 mths ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

      Budget-ish  I hear you.   I'm not buying anything glamorous. My last ten orders have been:  the hard to find granola bars my son eats, some professional development books for me, child-proofing supplies for cables and outlets, a reusable water bottle, and some potty-training transition underwear.    When we lived in NYC, we did a lot of subscribe and save, but now we live elsewhere and have a car, so I'm back to buying cat litter, diapers, shampoo, etc at the grocery store along with the rest of our food.   Yet the transition wasn't smooth.... I actually got a subscribe and save shipment of superfluous stuff (sunscreen, lotion, wipes) I had completely forgotten about not too long ago. Boy, was that embarrassing.   I have stopped all S&S but we are still prime members and the thought of giving that up is scary...

      I also looooathe the act of shopping, so the convenience helps.   But in theory, I want to move towards some habits that are more environmentally friendly if no more or less expensive, like:
      -buying things second hand whenever possible
      -riding my bicycle to brick and mortar shops 
      -stop shopping in general! 

       

      Want to try to give it a 2 week go?! And we can take the YNAB "roll with the punches" approach ;) 

      Reply Like 2
      • Budget-ish
      • Orchid_Welder.1
      • 9 mths ago
      • 3
      • Reported - view

      smella Sure! Let’s do it! Worst that could happen is I spend less money. And that’s a good thing. We can check back in here if we need to be pulled away from the cart. 

      Reply Like 3
  • I'm going to keep a running list (here!) of things I think I "need," for self-reflection purposes and to reassess at the close of the 2 weeks. 

    Reply Like 4
  • Similar problem here. My prime account ends in July, so I am hoping that will be motivation for No-Spend Amazon months. Having to pay extra for shipping, or having to get to a certain amount for free shipping might be deterrent enough. I do better with community challenges, so I am in starting July 1st.

    Reply Like 2
      • smella
      • smella
      • 9 mths ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

      veggiegeek Yay!!

      Reply Like 2
  • Contemplating this, as I've definitely gone a little overboard lately with organization/diy/hardware/decor items on Amazon related to my recent move (not helped by the fact that USPS change of address scored me a 10% off all Amazon purchases for 3 months coupon! Luckily that has finally expired, haha).

    However, I do have Subscribe & Save for my monthly cat food & litter purchases and do want to retain that, as I've found it a worthwhile convenience (& cost savings!) while I'm focusing on other things (I totally hear you about ultimately not wanting to support Amazon, but right now I'm not ready to let go completely!) :)

    I'd be in for attempting no non-S&S purchases through July, and also critically reviewing my upcoming S&S order to trim it of any unnecessary items that might have snuck in (as they too often do!), at least! :)

    Reply Like 2
    • Okay, went through my upcoming July 15th S&S order and skipped a few things that aren't needed or could wait another month. Here's what remains:

      1. 3 flavors cat food, one case each (they eat closer to 2 cases/month, but Amazon has occasionally been out of stock on one flavor or another lately so I want to stock up on one more case of each for now. Could probably skip these in August though!)
      2. Large bag kitty litter (these last somewhat longer than a month so I might be able to skip at some point)
      3. Small bag of kitty treats (Greenies) - *might* have enough on hand to skip this month, but at $2.12/bag I think I might play it safe rather than risk starting a war... ;)
      4. case of Soylent "coffiest" drink - this feels a little silly/indulgent but has proven to be a useful option for rushed mornings, so I want to keep doing a case per month for now, at least.
      5. pack of earplugs (essential for household harmony!) :)

      All have been entered as scheduled transactions in YNAB, and will be budgeted for with my paycheck on Friday. Let's see if I can avoid slipping anything else in!

      Reply Like 3
      • smella
      • smella
      • 9 mths ago
      • 3
      • Reported - view

      Resistant Punch Roller Sending strength!

      Reply Like 3
  • Hey folks! 

    3 days in to the detox and so far it's going much better than I imagined. I've actually decided to up the ante and do a full on shopping ban for the month of July (details in my journal).  I had been buying a ton of secondhand books on Amazon, and while the marketplace is a great and super affordable way to find obscure used titles, I ended up going to the library and checking out a nice stack which was the cheapest way of all.    I also snapped my Theraband recently (I'm a ballet dancer and use it to keep my ankles strong), and while I'd normally buy that kind of thing on amazon, I happened to be in a neighborhood yesterday that has a locally owned foot health/running shoe store and they sell therabands by the foot. 

    Reply Like 4
  • I haven't bought anything off of Amazon! Yet... I'm eyeing some water shoes for my son. One of his is beginning to get a hole in the toe. This is an acceptable relapse, right? 

    Reply Like 2
      • smella
      • smella
      • 9 mths ago
      • 3
      • Reported - view

      Budget-ish do you have any kids consignment shops in your neighborhood?  I nabbed some gently used Native shoes (those foam slip on that are way cuter than crocs but more or less the same idea) for my kiddo recently.  They were $14 which I consider a lot for used shoes but those suckers retail for $36 

      Reply Like 3
  • What a great idea!

    Maybe a developer out there could make a browser plugin that enforces a 2 week cooling off period. Add to cart, then be prevented from purchasing unless you come back 2 weeks later to confirm you still want the thing. Items could auto delete from your cart after 3 weeks. If you've forgotten about it by then, you don't need it. 

    Reply Like 6
      • smella
      • smella
      • 9 mths ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

      Scott cool idea, I'll try to get my partner interested 

      Reply Like 2
  • I'm ambivalently okay with the things I tend to buy on Amazon, but I am boycotting them for EU/US Prime week. We usually get six pounds of coffee and two dozen bags of peanut Bamba from them every month via Suscribe and Save, but I canceled this month's shipment and ordered directly from the coffee company's website instead. We'll live without Bamba for a bit. Depending on the outcome of the strikes, I might make that a permanent change.

    Reply Like 6
      • Samantha
      • Digital Strategy Manager and YNAB fangirl
      • Digigeek
      • 8 mths ago
      • 3
      • Reported - view

      crassusmoray  Live without Bamba?!? Actually, I've never had it because of food allergies but lived in Israel for a while and know so many people there and back in the US that couldn't imagine going without Bamba.  Hope everything works out and you don't have to make that a permanent change (though even more so, hope the workers get what they deserve. Now I need to go do research because I've been so absorbed in my own life, I forgot to see what happened with that, which is terrible.  

      Just needed to share my excitement over the mention of Bamba. Have a lovely day!

      Reply Like 3
    • Samantha I actually started giving my kid Bamba to prevent allergies! There was an amazing study called the LEAP Peanut Study, which showed that kids who were exposed to peanut products (actual whole peanuts and undiluted peanut butter are choking hazards, so it has to be processed) starting around six months of age are vastly less likely to develop peanut allergies! Scientists noticed that Jewish kids in Israel who grew up eating Bamba had a low rate of peanut allergies compared to Jewish kids in the UK who weren't allowed to eat peanut products until toddlerhood. The study proved conclusively that Bamba was a great tool to prevent peanut allergy, so I started giving some to my kid once every few days, and now the whole family are big fans. They're essentially puffed corn snacks with peanut powder on them, so they're not the healthiest thing in the world, but they don't have any added sugar, and they're really tasty. For almost a year, my kid's word for anything delicious was "Bamba!" and he still calls cat food "kitty Bambas!" 

      Reply Like 3
    • crassusmoray Your kid sounds so adorable, as always 😄 Kitty bambas!!

      Reply Like 2
    • crassusmoray Ohh no I totally want to try these Bambas now, they sound amazing! :)

      Reply Like 2
  • I did not renew my prime membership, which ended on 7/28. I believe not having access to 2-day prime shipping will curb my amazon spending. I just made a spreadsheet with my amazon purchase prices for 2018 (Jan-July). I was SHOCKED that I spend $831 in "fun money" over 8 months on amazon alone. Even though I budget fun money and track it in ynab, I was not fully aware of how much went to amazon purchases. I'm excited to see how much less I will spend without prime. Planning on updating my spreadsheet through Dec.

    Reply Like 4
    • veggiegeek Not renewing Prime is a huge step, congrats! You got this!!! :)

      Reply Like 2
      • veggiegeek
      • veggiegeek
      • 7 mths ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

      Resistant Punch Roller 1.5 months in to "no prime" and, while I still use amazon for some things (and pay for shipping), it has been bulk groceries and book orders that were planned and "slept on" for 1-2 days each time. Feeling much more in control of my amazon spending without the "twitch factor" of having prime.

      How's everyone else doing?

      Reply Like 2
  • Reporting in for July with mixed success! 😅

    My plan was to stick to ONLY my S&S subscription order, as outlined below. But I'd forgotten I was almost out of my daily Vitamin D pills, so I added that one additional thing in - but removed the kitty treats to compensate (since I found an additional bag that was still packed from my recent move, so they're not going to run out anytime soon!). :) So that felt like a reasonable swap. And then one of the cat food flavors ended up being not available, so that felt like a win overall. :)

    But then, I ended up buying a gift for a bridal shower that I'd entirely forgotten to plan for, sigh.

    But NO random impulse purchases for myself of stuff for the house like I'd been doing so much of lately, so I'm still counting this as progress overall! :)

    My goal for August is to again limit myself to ONLY my S&S order, which I've whittled down to:

    1. The one cat food flavor that was out of stock last month (skipping the others since I have plenty on hand now, AND also skipping my normal litter order for the month since I've got plenty of that on hand as well!)
    2. The kitty treats I skipped last month :)
    3. Essential monthly earplugs
    4. Trying a different brand of protein drink in lieu of the Soylent this month
    5. Large bottle of omega-3 fish oil which I'll run out of this month.

    I'm pretty satisfied with how I've streamlined things down, so *fingers crossed* I can avoid any last-minute additions or random other purchases this month!

    How'd you all do for July?

    Reply Like 3
      • smella
      • smella
      • 8 mths ago
      • 5
      • Reported - view

      Resistant Punch Roller 

      Thanks for the check-in!

       

      I did great for July.  I thought it would be really hard to stay away from Amazon impulse purchases, but it just wasn't. I didn't slip up at all until July 31st, when I bought blackout curtains for my bedroom in a moment of sleep-deprived rage.

      I'm going to continue with the "no amazon" rule.   In July, I visited so many more local shops in my area and I really enjoyed it.  Yes, their good are more expensive, but I end up buying so much less when I can see the items before purchasing.

      My spouse doesn't want to cancel our (her) prime account because she has more obscure hobbies requiring more obscure goods, and Amazon is a big help there.  She's also reduced her purchases to <1 per week, though! 

      Reply Like 5
      • Alia Gee
      • Let me explain... No, there is too much. Let me sum up.
      • Pink_Keyboard
      • 1 mth ago
      • Reported - view

      smella I cancelled my prime in December, but my partner kept his, too. I'm trying to see it as a safety net- if there's anything in our shopping lives that absolutely MUST arrive in two days, i'll ask him to get it. 

      Reply Like
  • This is definitely one for me.  I just counted up my orders.  So far in 2018 I've placed 69 Amazon orders and I haven't even started shopping for Christmas.

    I just deleted my debit card from Amazon so I'll have to type out the numbers each time (to slow things down) and I deleted the Amazon app from my mobile phone

    Reply Like 2
      • veggiegeek
      • veggiegeek
      • 6 mths ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

      Diana Deleting the app was key for me. Not renewing prime has also been helpful. Nothing like confronting the numbers to keep it real! Good luck!

      Reply Like 2
  • I've been having Ethics-Related Feelings about Amazon lately & have been trying to figure out how to replace them for some purchases, especially for subscribe & save and free shipping.

    In the US, I figured out today that Target has a thing called REDcard membership that gives 5% off almost everything, plus free shipping (with 2-day on a lot of stuff).  There's no annual fee, but the card has to be your payment method.  They have a credit version, as well as a debit version that links up to your checking account.  Their subscribe & saves are also 5% off, and the discounts DO stack.  I transitioned my amazon S&Ses over and... they were all cheaper than Amazon.  They also have the option to convert an upcoming S&S to an in-store pickup..  I am pretty impressed & planning to move a lot of general merchandise business over.

    Again in the US, both Chewy & Petco have pet-related subscribe & saves.

    Reply Like 5
    • Sarah Jon It's not that hard to do.  Everyone is modifying their business models to allow for BOPUS (Buy Online, Pick Up in Store) at no extra charge with a short shipping delay, if any.
      You are right in that many things are available at the same or better prices.

      Reply Like
  • I've been struggling with the same problem, except for me it's mainly books. I read a lot, and buy even more. Which is actually an ethical problem, since I don't want to kill of those small brick-and-mortar bookshops. My plan: once christmas shopping is done I'm going to ask my other half to change my password. This will hopefully force me to walk into an actual bookshop and place an order.

    Reply Like 3
    • Neko Have you considered a Library?  They have a lot of books and if they don't have it, they can get it for you.  Saves a lot on buying & storing of books.

      Reply Like 1
  • Sarah I've gotten my book spending under control by using the public library's e-book collection. I've still purchased things they don't have or that have a long hold time, but they've probably saved me at least $1000 in less than a year. If you have library access & you're willing to read some things on your phone/tablet/computer, you could cut down on the ones you don't really care to own after reading & support independent shops for the strange, unexpected, and re-readable. I keep track of the library books through goodreads.com so I can find them again when bits surface that I'd like to revisit.

    Reply Like 2
      • Scott
      • scott
      • 4 mths ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

      Sarah Jon great plan! I love my local library, including their ebooks. Note that good reads is owned by Amazon, soooooo be careful. :-)

      Reply Like 2
      • Alia Gee
      • Let me explain... No, there is too much. Let me sum up.
      • Pink_Keyboard
      • 1 mth ago
      • Reported - view

      Scott really? Argh!

      Reply Like
  • Yes! Turning off my amazon prime on Mar 1, very afraid as students we love the free shipping on books, but hardly use it. And the spending is out of control!

    Reply Like 3
      • Neko
      • neko
      • 2 mths ago
      • 3
      • Reported - view

      Green Tape  I ditched my Prime account in January after I realized I made 77 purchases through the site in 2018. That amounts to 1,5 purchases PER WEEK 😱 I also set my password to some random gibberish using pwgen, then wrote the password on a piece of paper and tucked it away in a folder. Now I have to dig out the info and type a 12-digit-string every time I want to buy something. I hope this will curb my impulse spending.

      Reply Like 3
      • veggiegeek
      • veggiegeek
      • 2 mths ago
      • 3
      • Reported - view

      Neko Good for you! Let us know how it goes. I totaled up the $ spent during 6 months of Prime (before I cancelled) and was in the neighborhood of $850!!! I never thought to look at the number of purchases (which I will do now). While I still buy from Amazon, I no longer have Prime, so I have significantly decreased both the total $ spent and the frequency of purchases. No regrets for cancelling Prime. Now, just need to see if I can use Amazon less in general. 

      Reply Like 3
      • Neko
      • neko
      • 1 mth ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

      veggiegeek I assume they intentionally designed the amazon purchase history to only show what you bought, but not the total sum for the month.

      Reply Like 2
  • I typically will move items out of my card to "save for later".  Once a week, I go back over the list (usually removing a few items, woot!).  Then, I have Friday as my Amazon Day, and everything arrives just once like a mini birthday.  That seems to marry budgeting and convenience, at least for me.  YMMV.

    Reply Like 1
  • I missed this topic when it originated 7-8 months ago, but I'm cheering y'all on.

    In 2017 I spent $1700 on Amazon, mostly on my Prime card (at 28% interest, gack!). Between Prime two day delivery and the 5% "savings" I was ordering any time the whim struck. In 2018 as part of my YNAB new leaf I changed my preferred payment type off of my Amazon Prime card and over to my regular debit card and ended up spending $600 for the year. I canceled Amazon Prime in December and have now been no-spend on Amazon for over two months. It can be done!

    Reply Like 3
  • Is amazon really that bad? I, frankly, despise shopping. I'm at work all day and I want the weekends for quality time, not looking in shops. I made 313 Amazon orders in 2018, and I don't think more than 20% of the purchases were spurious.

    The goods are cheap, reliable, good quality and I get top ups of the things I *know* I will need, in a timely manner. As long as you shop mindfully and with intention, every one is a winner.

    Yeah yeah local shops - but face it, they're dead for anything other than convenience goods  over the medium term (up to ten years) anyway and nothing you do will stop that. And environmentally... is there a real difference between you getting in your car and a delivery driver dropping 150 parcels in a. day? I reckon they probably come out on top there.

    Time is the only thing we can't have more of. So if you can buy it back with convenience, sometimes it's well worth doing.

    Reply Like
      • Neko
      • neko
      • 1 mth ago
      • Reported - view

      Tetsugaku If you got your spending in check this might work for you, but as can be seen from this thread, a lot of people are prone to impulse spending. In regards to driving: not everyone lives in an area/country where you have to drive to a store. I live in the so called Ruhr area of Germany which is the most densely populated region of Germany (and the fifth largest in Europe). The last thing we need here is more cars. Also, working conditions for parcel drivers are shit here in Germany, these people are definately not coming out "on top" with increasing numbers of online shopping.

      Reply Like
      • Kombucha Kid
      • Slate_Gray_Router.1
      • 1 mth ago
      • 5
      • Reported - view

      Tetsugaku local economies present far greater opportunities for social connectedness, which is one of the social determinates of health. Every persons situation is different and I have no qualms with the way you use Amazon to improve your quality of life, but there are more factors that the ones you listed (also Amazon has refused until just this past week to release carbon footprint data, so it's been impossible to test your hypothesis on energy consumption, and that level of secrecy is a strike against them in my book.)

      E-commerce probably isn't inherently good or inherently evil. But a lot of Amazon's corporate practices are suspect, and the people in this thread want to reduce their dependence on a corporate giant they see as having a harmful effect on their own lives and communities. 

      Reply Like 5
      • Tetsugaku
      • Tetsugaku
      • 1 mth ago
      • Reported - view

      Kombucha Kid that’s all admirable stuff - my real point is, is it worth bothering? Because the odds, and the money, is really stacked against all of us. 

      Reply Like
      • Kombucha Kid
      • Slate_Gray_Router.1
      • 1 mth ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

      Tetsugaku fatalism is a choice. So is optimism. One is better for my mental health than the other. 

      Reply Like 2
      • Tetsugaku
      • Tetsugaku
      • 1 mth ago
      • Reported - view

      Kombucha Kid THat's not fatalism, it's Stoicism, the courage to understand what is, and is not, within, our control. Amazon will eat the world. Accept that you cannot change it.

      Reply Like
    • Tetsugaku I can change it for me and walk away from Amazon.
      You don't change the world from the top but setting an example for those around you and having that ripple out.
      In the meantime I get to meet people, have fun conversations, and be a little more social interactions because of it.  Regardless of how much you do get out and about, the more you do the better off you are for it.  It's a core component of long term Happiness, people.  Even the little interactions can make a difference.

      Reply Like
    • Tetsugaku A few things I found that differ from your experiences.

      Most prices for the items I buy at Amazon are no better and quite often worse than what I can get locally, often on the same day.

      Local shops are hardly dead.  They are re-aligning their business models and some are beating estimates.  How this plays out in 5 years we will all have to wait and see.

      The Amazon carbon footprint is horrible.  It's not hard to figure that out as probable but the fact that Amazon has refused stock holder requests to determine their footprint for years should tell you something more on the subject.  They don't want you to know that the 2-day shipping is worse than the alternatives.

      2-day shipping doesn't support the economy of scale that longer shipping methods can provide but those costs have been buried because people are just a little impatient.  If you have a delayed shopping method (30 day list or whatever) then waiting for 7 day deliver is not going to kill you.

      I dropped Amazon Prime.  I still buy from Amazon but not where I can fetch it locally for often better prices.  But if you are willing to wait for the 7-12 day shipping, it's still free for most things and not rushed through on smaller less efficient transportation.

      You're argument about taking advantage of convenience so you have time for yourself sounds, and I apologize for this, like bullshit.  We can all claim benefits from the convenience of coal and child labor to provide us with cheap power and clothes.  I think we, as a society, are starting to take notice of such conveniences as being too expensive in a longer view.

      Reply Like 1
    • Tetsugaku You sound grumpy.

      Maybe you should avoid the local economies because all those people who have customer facing jobs would prefer to deal with humans who don't consider the exchange of goods a services a hassle and have a less fatalistic view on life.

      I would like to add to Kombucha Kid observations that the highest level of job satisfaction is often found with people involved in customer facing jobs and less so to those tucked far away from the actual customer.

      Going shopping doesn't require you spend money on things you don't need but it's a lot of fun to see what crazy stuff is out there and occasionally find something that "sparks joy" in your life.

      For myself, I'm less impulsive at the store than I am at the computer.  I believe this has to do with the exchange process.  Studies have shown that credit cards are the least painful way to spend money whereas cash is the most painful.  It's all gloriously psychological and I won't bother with any of that except to suggest that clicking "Buy now with 1-Click" might be a lot easier than taking out a credit card.  I don't think the surveys covered that but I'm betting it's even less painful than plastic.

      Reply Like
      • Tetsugaku
      • Tetsugaku
      • 1 mth ago
      • Reported - view

      Cadet Blue Nomad I think you fundamentally misunderstand.

      Stoicism is knowing what you can, and can't affect with any certainty. Not fatalism.

      Maybe you don't realise quite how large the revolution is, this isn't industrial revolution scale, it's a hundred times larger. Amazon is already the most convenient way to get anything and most of the time compares well on price. Once they are able to deliver things without a person, and that's a couple of years away, no more, the price and convenience will become even more attractive, something that only happens with scale.

      You may think you can support local businesses, but you're pissing in the wind. Stop bothering.

      Reply Like
      • Tetsugaku
      • Tetsugaku
      • 1 mth ago
      • Reported - view

      Cadet Blue Nomad And to add - all of these local shops are going to be run by robots within 5 years anyway, economics demands it.

      Reply Like
      • Tetsugaku
      • Tetsugaku
      • 1 mth ago
      • Reported - view

      Neko Oh I can walk to a shop in 5 minutes, that's not the point. The point is I want that 5 minutes back, I want to make a purchasing decision from work and have someone else deal with all the hassle of getting it to me, I don't want to have to go to a shop and choose something from whats available, I want to choose from everything, and get the right thing.
      Deliveries, given they put 150 in a van, actually has a lower carbon footprint than individual journeys, given most of them are in some sort of transport.

      Reply Like
      • Ben Khaki Storm
      • YNAB book topics online: https://support.youneedabudget.com/r/q5w48j
      • Khaki_Storm.1
      • 1 mth ago
      • Reported - view

      Tetsugaku based on this thread, we just purchased very basic stuff from Walmart with free delivery. It's the same brands, same price, and with a min order, free delivery. It saves us time and gas. My wife really likes the idea. However, I want the Star Trek replicators or George Jettson style shopping (projector takes your sizes, shows you how the clothes will fit, and automatically delivers it replicator style). 

      Reply Like
      • Tetsugaku
      • Tetsugaku
      • 1 mth ago
      • Reported - view

      Cadet Blue Nomad I'm in the UK 🤫

      Reply Like
    • Tetsugaku So there is no comparable stores to WalMart or Target?
      I was in Scotland, but mostly north so there's not much to compare to someplace like London.

      Reply Like
      • Tetsugaku
      • Tetsugaku
      • 1 mth ago
      • Reported - view

      Cadet Blue Nomad there’s nothing that has the breadth of products and guaranteed delivery, on a day and location of my choosing next to Amazon. Maybe John Lewis but they don’t even have a store in Sussex. 

      So im faced with not getting the things I need. Or using amazon. Life is very short then you die. I’m not going to waste what life I have left avoiding the perfect solution because of middle class guilt :)

      Reply Like
    • Tetsugaku in your case you don't really have a choice for many things you buy.

      Hardly had anything to do with this middle class guilt so I'm not sure where that enters into it. You'll have to explain that one.

      But I understand your situation where Amazon wins because of a lack of alternatives.

      In many cities of the US there are often alternatives within a couple miles that we pass daily.

      In the largest cities prices are so high that Amazon can easily compete or even undersell the local alternatives.

      It does mean that each person has their own set of conditions and to decide accordingly.

      Reply Like
      • Tetsugaku
      • Tetsugaku
      • 1 mth ago
      • Reported - view

      Cadet Blue Nomad I have plenty of choice an opportunity. I just think it’s pointless to boycott Amazon in any basis given that they’re going to eat retail in its entirety over the next five years. I just accepted that early

      Reply Like
  • I love this. 

    Several years ago I realized I had an amazon problem, so the first thing I did was limit myself to one order a month, and no more than $100. That really helped. 

    But then I started feeling guilty after the treatment of warehouse workers came out. When it became a local issue (Amazon HQ2 coming next door), my political mom group started talking about boycotts. The nice thing was, a lot of us are not in a position we can completely boycott, but spending less there still feels like a win. 

    I've been using Target and Costco.com for toys and household goods, and thriftbooks for books. They have free shipping over $10, so the only tradeoff i had to make was time- it took 5 days for the books to arrive, instead of 2.

    In fact, i've used Amazon so little and so mindfully lately, when there was an odd payment that I didn't recognize, instead of thinking I pre ordered a book and forgot about it, I called customer service and discovered someone had stolen my debit card. Whee!

    I'm glad i'm not the only one who struggles with it. I still feel like most shopping is a chore rather than an event, so Amazon made it painless. Maybe the better solution is not to avoid pain, but change how I feel about shopping?... hmmm

    Reply Like 1
  • Despite of the fact that I think I am still an Amazon addict (average of 100 orders ./ 6 months... but 60 may be subscribe and save items) I've been quite successful using the 30-days delay list trick to reduce the impulse buying. Putting things in the list gives me the kick, but 90% of the time I forget about those things and end up not buying them after the cool-off period

    Reply Like 1
    • Bored Torpedo This is a good practice.
      Have you considered dropping the Subscribe & Save items for purchasing in local stores?  In my experience the prices are usually the same or better when I shop local.

      Reply Like
      • Bored Torpedo
      • Gadget Addict
      • bored_torpedo
      • 1 mth ago
      • Reported - view

      Cadet Blue Nomad Maybe there, not here (Miami). I have a supermarket just across the street and three around 5 mins walking... all of them have higher prices. And the concept of local store is... disputable. Most of the grocery shops are big chains.

      Reply Like
    • Bored Torpedo Even big chains have to employ someone around the corner.

      I agree that some areas, that are disproportionaly expensive, will have a huge benefit with Amazon.  Unfortunately, that's probably true in most major cities (not suburbs and smaller towns).  It is unfortunate that people live in places where massive incomes cover very little.

      Reply Like
  • I love anything that gives peeks into how Amazon operates...this article on how Amazon addresses (or doesn't) copyright and counterfeit items is long but kind of fascinating. 

    https://www.inc.com/magazine/201904/jeff-bercovici/amazon-fake-copycat-knockoff-products-small-business.html

    Reply Like
  • I recently unsubscribed from Amazon Prime and found out a few things as the result.  Anything less is just kidding yourself, I was staring at Amazon Prime with this intention for months.  Also, remove the app from you phone entirely.  If you only have a phone, still remove the app.

    Most items for sale at Amazon are also sold locally or from other (local) stores online who will ship it to you or a local store for pickup.  This has a few advantages because you are actually supporting local businesses even if that business is a chain.

    Most items are for the same price or cheaper.  There are exceptions but they are a minority.

    I can still get free shipping but it takes 5-7 business days.  If I can't wait, I can usually pick it up nearby or through online order/in-store pickup.

    I have had one exception to this in 6 months.  For that I found one of my Amazolics and had them ship it to me in 2-days.

    It's actually pretty easy to break from Amazon once you 1) delete the app and 2) cancel your subscription.

    Reply Like
      • Tetsugaku
      • Tetsugaku
      • 1 mth ago
      • Reported - view

      Cadet Blue Nomad well - it is if you can be bothered to put up with that much hassle. I however don't have the time to plan the pennies quite so much - time is money. It's not worth the admin and overheads to do so much work so save 50p.

      Reply Like
      • Tetsugaku
      • Tetsugaku
      • 1 mth ago
      • Reported - view

      Cadet Blue Nomad You think that link is so useful it was worth posting twice? The world is much much bigger than the USA, thank god. And Amazon are world wide leaders by a very very very long way. They will automate humans out of every part of the chain and they will win because they are big. And I welcome it.

      Reply Like
  • I have placed 220 orders since January of 2018 until  end  of February  of 2019.  Yikes. Some of it is groceries, some of it is staples like cat food and cat litter and a lot of it is items I would normally buy from Target. I live in the Bronx and in my neighborhood we have one grocery store and a million dollar stores. The closest Target is a 30 minute train ride and 15 minute walk away. 

    2018 177 orders

    2019 39 orders

     

    2005-2012 I made less than 30 orders total

    2013 77 (year we moved to NY)

    2014 24 (year delivery people wouldn’t deliver packages to my 5th floor walk up)

    2015 54

    2016 153

    2017 214

    Yikes  we also use it to buy my husband’s work equipment, Xmas gifts for people around the country and I donate food and such to shelters.  Plus we do rent videos on Amazon. But overall whatever I would normally purchase from a Target or Walmart is through Amazon .

    My goal is to do less overall purchases and of course spend less money in general .

    Reply Like
      • jennie_hi
      • jennie_hi
      • 1 mth ago
      • Reported - view

      jennie_hi since January we have spent $1326.52 through Amazon. This includes Amazon Prime, Amazon Fresh and Amazon Now. This does include about $150 worth of gift cards. 

      Reply Like
  • We do use Subscribe and Save for some things (researched, to make sure they're cheaper than local) Also, I have been watching some of the Amazon Original shows, that come free with Prime.  I was wondering, for any of you who have dropped Prime, are you able to still watch Amazon Original shows (like maybe pay a fee for the show?)  Or do you completely lose access to them?  Not that it would be a deal breaker, but I do enjoy some of those shows.

    Reply Like
  • It's been 7 months since I last used Amazon. It's hard to imagine that just 2 years ago I was a Prime user using everything including Video, Music, and obviously shipping for all my consumer addiction needs.

    Getting off Amazon was easy once I realized that I can imagine a world without Amazon.

    I live in Queens. The same Queens that was about to give $3 billion for Amazon's HQ2. Now that crisis is averted, it reaffirms how lifting it was to me to give up Amazon. I started to give my dollar a job (like any good YNABer) to not only give them a purpose, but to work ethically as well. I realized the discount I was getting is the result of human misery and unethical competition, and there is no reason I should be giving money to company who couldn't care less about social responsibility. Jeff Bezos is a womanizer and immoral character who imparts his ways to the companies he owns, which is starting to creep on Whole Foods and Washington Post as well.

    Lastly, you can find almost everything with Target, Best Buy, you local stores, and other online retailers. Most of them will honor Amazon's prices so you can rest well knowing your money won't be going to the giant abusing every conceivable flaw of capitalism.

    Reply Like 1
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