Why Amazon is Problematic and What you can use Instead

Why Amazon is Problematic and What you can use Instead

There has been a lot surrounding this year’s prime day. The 36-hour-long celebration of consumerism rubbed a lot of people the wrong way. In addition to being a late stage capitalist move, there have been ongoing workers strikes across Europe. These strikes have been in retaliation to the low standard of living Amazon warehouse workers have, and the grueling working conditions they are under. Many people have their hearts in the right place, but they don’t know how to avoid this mega corporation. People don’t realize that there are a lot of options out there, and while you may not be able to totally cut it out of your life, you can at least try.

 

It is important to keep in mind that this issue should not have any political lines. Every single person on this planet should appreciate and advocate for higher minimum wages. Even cynically, more people with more money allows more flow through the economy. 1,000 millionaires will buy 1,000 more smartphones than 1 billionaire, so you can look at this like an economist and it still checks out.

Jeff Bezos Looking Smug and Stupid

The main platform the workers are advocating for can be broken into 2 things. The big one is their desire for Amazon providing them with a higher wage (especially for full-time workers). The other equally big one is their desire to lower the high quotas Amazon requires, which are so high some workers will not take bathroom breaks to meet expectations. This is especially sour when you think of how rich their CEO is. Jeff Bezos is now the richest man on the planet with a net worth of 150 Billion Us Dollars. He makes enough money in 1 day (with stock included) to buy every single house in Seattle. No matter what side of the party line you are on, we should agree that no man should profit that much off of the sweat of other people.

 

So now you want to stop using Amazon products. Either in solidarity with their workers or if you (like me) are a wannabe revolutionary socialist with some strict morals. But what companies are you going to have to stop using? It is quite a few more than you think…

 

Amazon’s BranchesAmazon dot com logo

The biggest part of this conglomerate is their retail website, which some may think is pretty hard to avoid. The storefront sells thousands upon thousands of things ranging from weird raunchy toys to books to computers. The company sold 178 billion dollars worth of tat in 2017, so it is pretty entrenched in our society. “Where else will I be able to get my Life Size Danny Devito Cutout?” I hear you ask, well… a lot of places it turns out.

The google express, ebay, and a brick and mortar store logo

eBay

Their biggest competitor remains eBay. This is a titan for both auctions and regular purchases of all manner of things. They have a lot of deals and coupons so you don’t have to feel like you are missing out on all those sweet prime day sales. eBay has some great deals, and through their auctions, you can find some amazing deals for people who don’t know what their stuff is worth. I love getting stuff on eBay, and their interface is pretty freaking great, I would say better than Amazon’s.

Google Express

Google Express is also a service a lot of people seem to forget about. It exists as an aggregator of local stores that can deliver to you, and that means two great things for you.

  • Basically everything ships free
  • Almost everything has two-day delivery

This means saying goodbye to paying for the prime subscription you have and forgot to turn off autoplay for. And since it is built off of stores in your area, you are putting some money into your community, instead of Jeff Bezos’ Scrooge McDuck money pile.

Just go to a Freaking Store ya Lazy

This is semi-sarcastic because not everybody has the time to actually go to a store several times a week, and it is much easier to order a thing. However, if you have the time, visiting a store will allow you to get out of your house and do some social interaction. Now I’m no fan of social interaction, but it is useful for helping my anxiety and improving my social skills. The stores also have sales, and then you don’t even have to wait for shipping too. I know this knowledge is obvious and seems dumb to point out, but consider checking out a local tech store to get your latest dongle.

Twitch logo

Twitch is going to be pretty hard to avoid. They have some sweet exclusives like the Overwatch League that you can’t get on other streaming platforms. Also, your favorite streamer might not use other platforms, so you kind of have to use them. I would say Twitch is one you can use, but if you don’t mind too much, check out some other streaming platforms. Other platforms you can use include Caffeine, Mixer, Youtube Live, and a billion other ones. Again this one is not the worst thing to use, but It’s still best not to buy their stuff.

Comixology Logo

Comixology is a great way to get comics online. This is a bit more niche, and thus a bit harder to replace, but there are still some good options. Comic Extra is a great source for Marvel, Dark Horse, and DC comics, and there are tons more to fit your niche. If you don’t require the online element, consider visiting a comic shop. Most comic shops are local joints or small chains, and supporting them supports the artist that made them, and the store itself. Comics are a great art form, and you should support those creators directly instead of supporting Amazon.

 

Jeff Bezos diving into a big pool of golden coins

I didn’t really even scratch the surface of all of the companies owned by Amazon. Some of them -like Amazon Web Services- are so ingrained in our internet that it would be near impossible. However, If you find yourself aimlessly browsing Amazon for some sweet deals on an Alexa, try going somewhere else. Going to another site or place for your products might help you put money in your community, or even find some better deals.