Amazon Anonymous, Anyone?
(I hope I haven't offended anyone with the cheeky post title.)
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).
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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:
- 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!)
- The kitty treats I skipped last month :)
- Essential monthly earplugs
- Trying a different brand of protein drink in lieu of the Soylent this month
- 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
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 phoneReply
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
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
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
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
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
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
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?... hmmmReply
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 periodReply
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.Reply
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
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)
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
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
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