Author Topic: Unhooking from Amazon?  (Read 1900 times)

mxmoney

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Unhooking from Amazon?
« on: August 12, 2018, 03:46:00 PM »
I'm an Amazon addict. I've made steps to change this behavior but it's so difficult to resist the temptation to just order something and have it come to me two days later. Currently I buy most of my pet and home supplies on Amazon as well as all sorts of stuff I don't need (not so much this month as I am doing a no-spend month). What tips do you all have for unhooking from the Amazon train?

lizzzi

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Re: Unhooking from Amazon?
« Reply #1 on: August 12, 2018, 04:30:12 PM »
PTF. I don't have the answers--I'm probably worse than you!

terran

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Re: Unhooking from Amazon?
« Reply #2 on: August 12, 2018, 04:45:12 PM »
Assuming Amazon is the cheapest place to get the things you've listed (although that seems unlikely from my own experience) then buying those things might not be so bad as they sound like things you need, but if they're leading to other spending because you're putting in an order anyway, then probably worth quitting amazon for awhile to break the habit.

A couple of thoughts:
  • drop prime so you can't get it as fast and you need to add up to $25 to get free shipping
  • remove your credit cards so you have to enter them from scratch whenever you want to order something
  • change your password to something hard to remember and don't remember it, so you have to do a password reset to get in
  • institute a 3 day rule where you wait 3 days between wanting something and buying something
  • put it in your wishlist instead of ordering and see how long you can leave it there

Dr Kidstache

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Re: Unhooking from Amazon?
« Reply #3 on: August 12, 2018, 06:20:53 PM »
No suggestions to offer but I sympathize. I just finished reading Nomadland by Jessica Bruder for a book club & I'm feeling awfully uncomfortable about Amazon's labor practices now....

cats

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Re: Unhooking from Amazon?
« Reply #4 on: August 12, 2018, 06:34:33 PM »
I think the suggestions above are good, particularly ditching Prime and imposing a 3-day moratorium.

Aside from pet stuff, what kinds of things are you buying? Perhaps do an inventory of your existing possessions and see if you already own something similar or similar enough. You could also resolve to check loca used options (Craigslist, NextDoor, FB marketplace) to see if you can find the item used first. It is amazing how much stuff people have that they wind up barely or not at all using.

Another thing that really curbs buying impulses for me is to think about whether or not I really want to have to move or later get rid of XYZ (I have had to move every 2-3 years of my adult life).  Getting rid of and moving stuff is a PITA. Better to avoid getting it in the first place if you can.

Finally, I really recommend checking out The Story of Stuff: https://storyofstuff.org

Retire-Canada

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Re: Unhooking from Amazon?
« Reply #5 on: August 12, 2018, 08:57:27 PM »
It doesn't matter where you are buying stuff from so much as it matters what you are buying. Are you actually buying items you regret/don't need? If so that's a problem. Whether you bought those items on Amazon or at the mall isn't really the problem.

letired

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Re: Unhooking from Amazon?
« Reply #6 on: August 12, 2018, 10:57:05 PM »
I've quit Amazon for ethical/political reasons and because I think Jeff B has waaaaay too much money. If that is motivating to you,  there is a ton of bad press out there to help! For inspiration, read up on the working conditions of their warehouse workers, their shady house brands, and their support of far-right/Nazi websites.

On a more practical level, its a lot easier when the relevant stores are nearby, or you can make the relevant plan to go there when convenient. I keep a list on my phone of things I've run out of so I remember to pick up a replacement the next time I make a trip to the store. I fortunately have a pet store very close by so its easy to stop there after work if I need something for the furball. What kind of home supplies are you getting from Amazon?

firelight

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Re: Unhooking from Amazon?
« Reply #7 on: August 12, 2018, 11:08:47 PM »
So..... I was an Amazon person two years back when I had my first kid and was super dependent on Amazon to deliver every single thing for convenience (didn't want to take baby to store, yada yada yada). But then I realized I was spending too much when my credit card bill had almost every line item as Amazon. Here are the things I did:
1) quit prime
2) made sure my husband went through everything in the cart before I pressed buy (by the time he got to reviewing it, the moment had passed and I didn't need any)
3) turned off one click buying
4) when Amazon had a sale, I deleted my Amazon app and moved all promo mails to trash
5) (most importantly) I bought Amazon gift cards for myself on my bday for $100-$200 and deleted my credit card info from my account. So I had to use the gift card money. Once that was gone, it was gone and no more Amazon shopping till my next bday. This forced me to be way more conscious of what I was buying and find other sources.

Having Target nearby helped too. But I don't have quite the same pull with target website. So I've successfully broken the habit. Hope this helps.

Villanelle

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Re: Unhooking from Amazon?
« Reply #8 on: August 13, 2018, 12:07:21 AM »
As others have covered, it's only really a problem if you are buying things you otherwise wouldn't, or paying more for things you could get cheaper elsewhere. 

If that's the case but there are a few things you can get a better price on from Amazon, consider deleting you credit card info from Amazon, preloading it each month with an amount that will cover the stuff you actually want to purchase from Amazon, and then know that when you are out of Amazon credit, you are out of luck until next month.  So if you spend about $40/mo on pet stuff, you get a $45 gift card.  You subtract any remaining balance from the next month, so if you only spent $36, you buy $36 to get you back up to $45, and repeat. 

Also, if you are a boredom shopper, find something with which you can quickly replace the urge to browse Amazon. Always have a book nearby to pick up and read, or tell yourself that when you feel the urge to Amazon, you will go for a walk.  Or bake cookies or do a Sudoku puzzle or whatever you find to be a tempting, quick distraction. 

eostache

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Re: Unhooking from Amazon?
« Reply #9 on: August 13, 2018, 09:27:41 AM »
Remove your credit card or payment info from your Amazon account so you cannot just click and buy. I put things in my cart but then they may sit for a while until I feel up to actually paying.

Cranky

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Re: Unhooking from Amazon?
« Reply #10 on: August 13, 2018, 12:23:45 PM »
We're a one car family, and Amazon has made my life so much easier! But I keep a running list of stuff that we need/want, and at the end of the week I look at it and decide what we *really* need, what I can pick up on the weekend's errands, and what I don't really care about after all.

MrGville

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Re: Unhooking from Amazon?
« Reply #11 on: August 13, 2018, 06:09:35 PM »
A friend of mine used to order everything on Amazon as well, but recently stopped / cut back significantly because she realized how much packaging/waste was left over for each of her orders.  Amazon boxes are clearly recyclable, but she felt much better walking to the store and buyer her items with no additional packaging. 

austin944

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Re: Unhooking from Amazon?
« Reply #12 on: August 14, 2018, 11:29:05 AM »
I've quit Amazon for ethical/political reasons and because I think Jeff B has waaaaay too much money. If that is motivating to you,  there is a ton of bad press out there to help! For inspiration, read up on the working conditions of their warehouse workers, their shady house brands, and their support of far-right/Nazi websites.

There are also allegations that Amazon deals unfairly with their white collar workers:
https://www.nytimes.com/2015/08/16/technology/inside-amazon-wrestling-big-ideas-in-a-bruising-workplace.html

Of course, there are two sides to every story, and not every business acts like a saint.

Bayou Dweller

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Re: Unhooking from Amazon?
« Reply #13 on: August 14, 2018, 12:06:30 PM »
J U S T S T O P S P E N D I N G

Okay I had to do it - finally had an opportunity to :)

But I think what a lot of people said above makes sense, especially with quitting prime. Don't be afraid to do it. You lived without it before.

Another thing is: go read more MMM! Read his stuff on delayed gratification and investing for your future-self. You're depriving your future self of a kick-ass FI life!

ebella

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Re: Unhooking from Amazon?
« Reply #14 on: August 14, 2018, 12:26:49 PM »
I've quit Amazon for ethical/political reasons and because I think Jeff B has waaaaay too much money. If that is motivating to you,  there is a ton of bad press out there to help! For inspiration, read up on the working conditions of their warehouse workers, their shady house brands, and their support of far-right/Nazi websites.

There are also allegations that Amazon deals unfairly with their white collar workers:
https://www.nytimes.com/2015/08/16/technology/inside-amazon-wrestling-big-ideas-in-a-bruising-workplace.html

Of course, there are two sides to every story, and not every business acts like a saint.

Yeah I really struggle with Amazon for ethical reasons.  I'm also pretty pissed that they are raising the Prime subscription rate.  I don't overspend and, as a one car household, it is sometimes easier to buy there and, especially since I live in a building downtown, I don't feel as bad about the ethical ramifications of having things delivered rather than getting in my car and driving.  BUT I am super concerned about their ethics.  I try to counteract it by using Amazon Smile whenever I order.  I dunno if that helps but yea I have mixed feelings.

letired

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Re: Unhooking from Amazon?
« Reply #15 on: August 14, 2018, 04:59:54 PM »
I've quit Amazon for ethical/political reasons and because I think Jeff B has waaaaay too much money. If that is motivating to you,  there is a ton of bad press out there to help! For inspiration, read up on the working conditions of their warehouse workers, their shady house brands, and their support of far-right/Nazi websites.

There are also allegations that Amazon deals unfairly with their white collar workers:
https://www.nytimes.com/2015/08/16/technology/inside-amazon-wrestling-big-ideas-in-a-bruising-workplace.html

Of course, there are two sides to every story, and not every business acts like a saint.

Yeah I really struggle with Amazon for ethical reasons.  I'm also pretty pissed that they are raising the Prime subscription rate.  I don't overspend and, as a one car household, it is sometimes easier to buy there and, especially since I live in a building downtown, I don't feel as bad about the ethical ramifications of having things delivered rather than getting in my car and driving.  BUT I am super concerned about their ethics.  I try to counteract it by using Amazon Smile whenever I order.  I dunno if that helps but yea I have mixed feelings.

To add to the discussion: I don't know what the _most ethical_ or best choice is. I think all of my choices have negative effects. For Amazon, I've placed less weight on the convenience factor, and raised the weight of my desire to have more of my money circulate in my local economy and the weight of my desire to not contribute in my personal life to one of the 'biggest' corps on the planet, which means buying more from physical stores in person. That means I burn more fossil fuels driving, which is pretty negative. It also gets me out of the house and interacting with other humans more, which is pretty positive. Weighting all the factors is frustratingly personal and imprecise, but did get me to quit Amazon!