Monday, November 5, 2012

Guest punch: Amazon.com

This punch was read at a recent Punch Party. It's written by a former Amazon employee who prefers to remain anonymous, as Amazon has been known to be mad vindictive.



As we enter Q4, that all-too-important time period that can make or break retailers and determine their worth to investors, I would like to step out from behind my laptop and punch Amazon.com in the face. 

As a former Amazon employee who has also spent a few dozen hours and hundreds if not thousands of my hard-earned dollars with them, I feel obligated to remind us all why, during this ho ho holiday season, we should boycott Amazon.

I’m not sure when I began to hate Amazon. Was it when, on my second day of work as a marketing contact for publishing houses, they handed me a Powerpoint called “the Cheetah and the Gazelle” and asked me to “take down” the publishers by asking them to spend more of THEIR hard-earned money with Amazon?

Or maybe it was when at least half of the independent bookstores in the country went out of business when they couldn’t offer their hardcover bestsellers at 30-percent off? Hmmm, I wonder what discount Amazon received vs. oh, say, Queen Anne Books [editor's note: QAB closed its doors on Oct. 31]? Or perhaps Amazon was able to sell books at a loss as long as you filled your shopping cart with needless items in order to get free shipping. Oh wait! I think it was last Christmas when Amazon faced backlash from small businesses for running a one-day deal to promote its new Price Check app. Shoppers who used the app to check prices in a brick-and-mortar store were offered a 5-percent discount to purchase the same item from Amazon.



Oh Amazon! You make it so hard to not buy from you with your free shipping and endless ‘tail,’ i.e. selection. Even when I try to buy from an independent retailer or dotcom, whoops! There you go, snatching them up because you couldn’t merely allow yourself some friendly competition. You needed to take them down and OWN them, obliterating our retail choices. Nice kitty… (As an aside, if you think you’re buying shoes from Zappos, think again. Amazon! ShopBop? Amazon. And Quidsi, the company that Amazon bought in 2010? It runs the sites Diapers.com, Wag.com, and YoYo.com.

) And it's not even that you don’t play fair, it's that you wield your power to further your own cause, even when it hurts others.

And Jeff Bezos, would it KILL you to give some money to the community in which you live? Must you choose not to donate any funds and in fact, not even pay taxes to the states in which you do business? How crafty you are at saving us—and yourself—money.

So remember, you CAN vote with your dollars. You CAN choose good vs. evil. You CAN send a message to Amazon by choosing to shop locally and giving the money to those who deserve it—your local shopkeepers, your neighbors, your friends, your city.

3 comments:

Yet Another Steve said...

Hate to say it, but Barnes & Noble aren't exactly my "local shopkeepers." They're the ones who elbowed all the little independent booksellers out of the way, and I can't feel too badly about seeing Karma swinging around and clopping them in the back of the head.

KW said...

I'm on a quest this Christmas to not shop at Amazon for people, except one person (he requested an amazon gift card). I'm actually going to shop as much as I can and then send the package.

Anonymous said...

I'm pretty surprised that you have this post up but yet still have links to Amazon books on your blog entries.