What’s more confusing to me is that more people don’t dislike Amazon (or maybe Amazon has found ways of censoring opposition online?). Here are the reasons I have completely avoided Amazon since 2015:
- It’s not convenient. Most of the things purchased on Amazon -especially clothes- can be done faster and more reliably by just going to a physical store. For clothes, the sizing isn’t reliable enough to guarantee a good fit without being tried on first, which means you’ll have to return items— and they’ve been known to ban people who return ‘too many’ items. As much as we like to pretend it’s convenient, we all know we’re just creating an excuse to experience the novelty of having things delivered.
- It’s not cheap. Amazon has a reputation for being the cheapest place to buy anything, but I don’t know why. Traditional retailers regularly beat Amazon’s prices in-store and online. In fact, Kmart has started dedicating entire sections of its stores to items that are drastically cheaper there than on Amazon (they make a point of showing the price difference). I recently purchased a football team-branded locker for $17, which was $80 on Amazon. Also, most of their “deals” require an Amazon Prime subscription, which isn’t cheap either. Most of the things a Prime subscription gets you can be gotten elsewhere for cheaper, like the $4.99-a-month Spotify + Hulu bundle for students combined with Sears and Kmart’s Shop Your Way MAX, which is now free and offers similar shopping perks to Prime.
- It’s not unique or original. Most of their shopping concepts already existed at Sears (often considered the “original Amazon”) and still do, including the pickup machines, online marketplace, social shopping features, etc. Even the Amazon Basics line looks like a trashy imitation of Sears’s Kenmore, Craftsman, and DieHard lines, all of which are famous for their quality. And the shopping features on the Echo? Yeah, Sears already made a device that did that years ago; it’s called the Kenmore Alfie.
- Most importantly, Amazon is a terrible company. It’s terrible for everyone: customers, American taxpayers, Amazon employees, the businesses who sell on Amazon, the businesses who compete with Amazon, and even the businesses that don’t do either. Amazon already has a monopoly on much of our economy, but because of the way it operates it evades antitrust laws and doesn’t pay taxes. It is an almost profit-free company because it spends billions of dollars on *taking down the competition*, i.e. literally every other business, with predatory pricing. Its workers are treated like robots, not even being allowed bathroom breaks at times, and the employees working desk jobs regularly complain of a spectrum of grievances. The retail industry is largely dead thanks to Amazon, killing millions of jobs and turning bustling, glittering town centers -for many, the cultural focal point of their communities- into abandoned wastelands. Pretty much the only person who benefits from Amazon is Jeff Bezos, who has quickly become the wealthiest human of all time at the expense of all those other groups. At this rate, we’ll soon have no choice in where we shop for goods and services, and starting a business will be an exercise in futility, effectively killing innovation and forcing millions of people to work at profitless jobs. This isn’t even an exaggeration; it’s the consensus of pretty much all economic analysts.
So, there you have it. There’s plenty of other, more specific reasons to hate Amazon, but these are some of the biggest, broadest ones. Hopefully anyone reading this will rethink their use of Amazon in the future.