We Hansleys are spoiled by our Amazon Prime membership. Personally, I love being able to get whatever I want delivered within a day or two without having to drive anywhere or having to talk to an actual person. Its only limit is groceries, even though Amazon now owns Whole Foods and allows you to order groceries online for pick-up at your local store. However, I like to pick my own produce. After all, how can I count on a store lackey to know how ripe or unripe I want my avocados?
In the back of my head, I knew there had to be a downside to the greatness of Amazon. How are they able to keep prices and delivery so low and so efficient? Easy: they treat their warehouse workers like crap. Here’s a short list of articles for you to read if you haven’t heard all about it:
- “Amazon Warehouse Workers Say They Have Been Working Without Air Conditioning, Experiencing Exhaustion and Dehydration.” Money. June 6, 2018.
- “Under pressure, afraid to take bathroom breaks? Inside Amazon’s fast-paced warehouse world.” Seattle Times, July 4, 2018.
- “Exploited Amazon workers need a union. When will they get one?” The Guardian, July 8, 2018.
- “Accidents at Amazon: workers left to suffer after warehouse injuries.” The Guardian. July 30, 2018.
As with several things in my life (e.g., I love bacon, but feel horrible when I see the piggy truck going down Interstate 40 as they are led to the slaughter), there’s a whole lot of cognitive dissonance going on here.
I had the opportunity to break away from Amazon today, and LORD DID I TRY. I need to buy a massaging stick that was recommended to me by my PT/massage therapist yesterday during my session to figure out my hip issues (I’ll write on that another time). He had something called the Muscle Hook (here I go, linking back to Amazon! I’m incorrigible!), which is an amazing tool that helped me get right into my iliacus muscle and beat it into submission.
My massage therapist told me I could pick this up at my local Target – huzzah! Here was my opportunity to provide money to a local (or at least more local than Amazon) store and workers, versus continuing to line Jeff Bezos’ pockets! Off I drove to the Target at Southpoint, which was a terrible idea because the traffic from RTP to Southpoint on I-40 was horrible after work. Still, I was proud of myself for wasting time and gas to go not support Amazon!
Guess what? They didn’t have the damn hook. (But they did have some spectacular avocados. I bought three.)
I was unwilling to give up, so I drove to the Target off of 15-501. Guess what? They didn’t have the hook either. (But I did pick up a red pepper to make some gazpacho, since the other Target didn’t seem to have any.)
I’m now home and grumpy. And guess what? I am, in fact, going to buy the darn Muscle Hook off of Amazon after I post this. Because I tried to be good, but there’s only so much pointless time-wasting I will do to find something local. It doesn’t make me feel happy to purchase it from Amazon, but at least I’ll be able to work on my hip muscle in approximately two days (thanks to free two-day shipping).
Question: what would you have done (or have done) in this circumstance? If you use Amazon Prime, are you troubled by it? Or is it just me? Inquiring minds want to know!
10 responses to “Amazon vs. Shopping Local.”
I would have checked Target’s inventory online to see if they had it in stock and then decided if I was going to pick it up or get it on Amazon. (Looks like there are some at Brier Creek.)
I didn’t think of going to Target until I was on my way home; otherwise I might have done. Thankfully someone else suggested that before I bought it on Amazon; I just bought it from the Cary Target, which is not too out of the way for me from work.
I probably would have called local running shops to see if they had it before stopping by. I would much rather support Bull City Running than Amazon (or Target). Some places will also order for you, if you’re not in a hurry (see: Ace Hardware and the bizarre air filter size we need that nobody carries). After that though. . . I’d also use Amazon. I don’t think they’re that amazing though. Convenient, for sure. But I feel a little dirty buying from them. (I also don’t want to eat at chains… But my dog gets Purina from a Big Box store, not a mom and pop pet boutique so…clearly I’m a bit of a hypocrite!)
I thought about doing Bull City Running, but that night it was already after 7pm and they were closed (plus I was so tired of driving everywhere). I ended up getting it the next day at the Cary Target after looking it up online (which ironically ended up being faster than Amazon, since I would have had to wait two days). As an FYI, the Muscle Hook is A-MAZE-ING.
We buy dog and cat food at Barnes Supply on 9th Street, so supporting local there. But everyone has to figure out where to draw the line, and so much of it is a process.
Lol about the air filter! Is that in the new house?
I’m the rare person who does not have a Prime membership. The thought of paying extra for the privilege of getting something quickly and without a shipping charge irked the accountant in me. I will use Amazon as a last resort. I’m fond of using my phone to find what I’m looking for, and then taking an adventure to go get it.
One of the benefits of Amazon Prime that we like is that it comes with Prime Video. There is one awesome show we love on it called THE MARVELOUS MRS. MAISEL. But truthfully, we didn’t get Prime for that reason – it was just a bonus. It is, indeed, our laziness and desire to get things super fast without having to pay extra shipping.
Angie has Prime for the video too. I shot my TV when I got back from Peru. Well, not literally, but I put the doors back on the entertainment center and prefer the silence now. I found while in Peru that I was overly stimulated and distracted. Not so much these days. Created space I needed.
The prices and selection on amazon are fantastic and returns are easy. And free. I use my daughter Claire’s Prime account . I recently bought a ton of dorm items on amazon. (I’m not driving all over town in traffic looking for Twin XL!). Don’t feel guilty! There will always be a niche for local face-to -face , but online shopping is as inevitable as the progression from horse to car /aviation.
Glad you got what you needed! I’m picky about sheets and comforters, so I need to feel them and really look at them before buying, so I personally wouldn’t buy those online from anyone, including Amazon, unless I already know the exact item I need and have experienced it before. For us, Amazon excels when you know what the exact thing is you want and can get it delivered. We just bought off Amazon a pseudo Go-Pro (Akaso Brave 4) that was recommended by Heiko, and it was awesome to just be able to get it without figuring out where to find it locally.
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