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Articles: Amazon is Starting to Piss Me Off

I don't watch too many commercials nowadays. Part of this is due to the fact that I don't watch all that much TV anymore. The rest of it is because I own a DVR, and tend to DVR everything and fast forward through all the commercials. I'm one of those guys that's making life harder for all the companies who used to increase sales solely by advertising on TV. But I did happen to catch an ad by Amazon showing how easy it is to take your smart phone and snap a picture or scan a barcode and immediately place an order with them for that product. Which is all fine and dandy, but I had to feel a little offended on behalf of brick and mortar retailers around the world when they showed a customer in a store scanning a product, placing the order with Amazon, and then happily putting the product back on the retailer's shelf.

In my mind, that crosses a line. Certainly not a legal one, but an ethical one. It'd be the same thing if I was looking at a website and a competitor programmed the ability to pop up their ad in front of me saying, "but here it is 50 cents cheaper! Shop with me!" Actually that already sort of happens with pop up ads and another annoying mechanisms, all of which I can't close fast enough.

Anyway, I sometimes shop with Amazon. But you know, I always want choice. I want local retailers. I want lots of competition. I don't want 800 pound gorillas throwing their weight around. I respect the amount of effort and investment it takes to place products on the shelves for customers. For Amazon to take that investment and encourage customers to take advantage of it but send all the money to them, well, it just feels a little icky. I'll be doing less shopping with them just because of that. They're already big enough anyway. Other folks deserve a little of the green Amazon is trying to grab all for themselves.

Lastly, I think about the "99 Percent" movement (which has morphed from the "Occupy Wall Street" movement) and I wonder how many of those folks leave their encampments and on their way home stop at WalMart or Starbucks or Home Depot or McDonalds or God-knows-who-else that is part of the chain that leads to Wall Street and the 1% richest, just so they can save a buck.

When you shop only based on price, you're not only shortchanging yourself, but you're also feeding the mega-companies, which all tends to flow to that top 1%. Other than products that have to be made by large corporations, like computers, cars, appliances and the like, there are always lots of choices beyond the mega-guys. If we all suddenly frequented local restaurants and shopped with smaller, privately-held companies, the money wouldn't be flowing so profusely to the 1%.

So protest all you want, but to effect real change, just think about where you're spending your money. That's the only real way you're going to create actual change.

Just sayin'.

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