1. Rachel

    Kind of similar to what you mentioned above. I decided not to renew my amazon prime membership last year for several reasons. Mainly because of the unethical practices that you alluded to, but also because I found myself purchasing from them more often because of the free shipping incentive. It was too easy to throw something in my cart and mindlessly purchase it, only for it to arrive a couple days later and me to question why I even thought I “needed” it. Now I typically let items sit in my shopping cart for a few days before I buy something, kind of like a cooling off period to see if I truly need it. Or I just go in person to purchase it locally. I would bet that has saved me a few hundred dollars this year.

  2. Ellen

    Penny, brava for speaking the truth! You are a wise woman. I agree wholeheartedly with all that you write! And I enjoy your informative posts!

  3. I’ve always been adamantly against paying for shipping but also against spending extra money to bulk up the purchase for the minimum spend unless I actually needed the item. If I couldn’t meet the minimum spend, I’d just walk away from the cart. That’s partly why I preferred Amazon years ago, I could make decisions based on just the cost of the item without a minimum spend entering the equation. Of course now that’s actually a negative so I’ve been reevaluating my approach to the decision making.

    I’ll calculate whether it costs more to meet the minimum spend with something I can use or to just pay for shipping. Also, now, I will actually accept the cost of shipping for small businesses which is also new for me but worth it now that I can afford to make those choices.

    • I recognize that we are in great spot to be able to welcome small shipping charges. As an unintended consequence/perk, I’ve also found myself spending less on other things to accommodate the shipping charges. I suspect the fact that we are trying to buy less overall is really helping us make some of these choices. And of course, earning more money helps too!

  4. I’m trying to buy less from Amazon, but it is really hard. It takes more searching to figure out just where to buy some things, though we have been doing more buying directly from the manufacturer webpage after finding what we want on Amazon (just got a bath mat from gorilla grip, for example). Sort of the reverse of people finding what they want in brick and mortar stores and then purchasing on Amazon.

    We’ve gotten to the income/wealth point where I no longer close the cart when shipping costs are higher than expected, but I will still definitely add things to my cart to qualify for free shipping (hello Ann Taylor insane covid sales and Bath and Bodyworks hand sanitizers when they’re doing a free shipping special), which is probably a good thing as I generally under-purchase. (I apparently don’t underpurchase hand sanitizer though– we have a large army of hand sanitizer, probably as a symptom of covid-related anxiety and the need to feel like I’m doing something. But I convinced myself I could get fall scents if I give away the gawdawful minis that smell like Axe Body Spray that I was never going to use. Next week they’re doing in-class exercises on probability so I think I’ll throw in some hand sanitizer minis as prizes, assuming we’re still teaching in person.)

    • Ahahaha! The hand sanitizers will be scooped up right away if they’re anything like my students. They were obsessed with B&BW sanitizer pre-pandemic.

  5. *Coming out from under the rock*

    Am I the only one that hasn’t gotten Amazon Prime yet? I feel that these “free shippings” are just yet another way companies like Amazon to get you to buy more stuff.

    That’s why for the most part we look around locally to see if we can get the stuff at local businesses first before buying from Amazon.

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