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Tuesday, 2 June 2020

Oh My Amazon.


It is so hard not to buy products from Amazon. They are cheap and apt at delivering fast products. Anything you want can be brought to you within days. Not to mention, they gave me the platform to publish my own books for free. Amazon sure are a trooper.

And yet, they don't pay their taxes, hurt smaller businesses by dominating nearly every commercial market, and have horrific stories of workers being treated poorly. We're living in a world where major corporations have reign over us all; Google, Apple, Amazon, and Facebook. Very ironic that I'm an apt user of three of those platforms.

What are we to do? I sit in my room, spending hours lounging on websites, looking up various IPL Hair Laser Removers. There are plenty of quality ones priced at between £150-£200. I want to pay using ClearPay, a payment option that I didn't know existed until this morning. (It allows you to buy products in installments, interest free.)

I tried to compromise. Amazon have plenty of IPL devices with fantastic reviews, at half the price, and with my prime free trial (don't think I've ever even paid for Amazon Prime; why bother, when they offer free trials five times a year?) it would arrive tomorrow. But I thought; if I go through a beauty retailer and pay with ClearPay, at least I don't pay all the money upfront, and can still avoiding using Amazon.

But when I tried to buy this IPL device, ClearPay won't let me pay. They reject the payment, for reasons I'm unsure of. So I'm torn. I tried refreshing the page; even tried turning off my VPN. But this message flashed up:



So, with a heavy heart, I went to Amazon and bought the cheaper, Zon-branded IPL hair remover. And then when I went on Facebook, I saw an advert for the heysilkyskin hair remover that I had seen advertised on Instagram (which I was initially going to buy, but figured shipping from the US would take too long, plus I wanted to research other brands).

Anyway, the point of this story is that it feels like Amazon always wins. And the reason? Because they are brilliant. You can buy the same product for half the price and next-day delivery. They don't take payment from your account until the item has been dispatched.

Amazon are a fantastic service, which makes it really tough not to use them. But to anyone who is a regular Zon shopper, here are some tips:

Avoid buying books from Amazon. With the exception of a few eBooks and books I couldn't find elsewhere, I only buy books from charity shops and brick-and-mortar stores now. Obviously this isn't possible with the virus, so I can recommend Hive and Waterstones in the UK, which still have their deliveries running. These are ethical businesses that pay their taxes and put the public first.

Try and buy products directly from the source. I know, miss hypocrite here, but at least I tried...okay 'haha.' If you want to buy hair products, buy them from a shop that sells hair products. If you want to buy electronics, go straight to the electronic store. Amazon is a distributor; it distributes products made by third parties at a cheaper price. You can go to Amazon to find where the product came from, and then go to that online store. Sure, it may be a little more expensive, but hopefully if you're using ClearPay they won't reject you.

Don't buy clothes from Amazon. Come on, how many clothing stores are there out there? No one needs to be buying clothing from Amazon, considering

Consider alternatives to Kindle. More hypocrisy; I actually bought a Kindle the other day (although I may well return it/give it to my Mum and buy a Kobo for myself instead).

I would love to axe all my books from Amazon and just directly sell them myself or via other retailers, but sadly I'm not financially apt enough to do that yet. They've provided me with a great platform to get me up and running.

I will say this; if you want to buy mine (or anyone else's) books, the fiction paperbacks are available via Waterstones and Barnes and Noble:

Every Last Psycho
https://www.waterstones.com/book/every-last-psycho/9781916132627
https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/1129787251?ean=9781916132627

Anne
https://www.waterstones.com/book/anne/9781916132603
https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/1131690174?ean=9781916132603

Around Midnight
https://www.waterstones.com/book/around-midnight/9781916132689
https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/1136380306?ean=9781916132689

And the eBooks are available via Kobo, Barnes and Noble Nook, Google Play, Apple, and many others:

Every Last Psycho
http://books2read.com/b/everylastpsychonovellas

Anne
http://books2read.com/b/annezarinamacha

Around Midnight
http://books2read.com/b/aroundmidnight

Single Broke Female
http://books2read.com/b/singlebrokefemale

Art is a Waste of Time (also available to download for free HERE)
http://books2read.com/b/artisawasteoftimepoetry


Further reading:

https://stallman.org/amazon.html

https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2020/apr/27/how-to-avoid-amazon-the-definitive-guide-to-online-shopping-without-the-retail-titan

https://www.greenamerica.org/blog/10-reasons-not-shop-amazon-prime

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I'm Zarina Macha, an author, blogger, and musician from London. I write about stuff on the internet 'cos having opinions is fun -- if you want to join the games, please note your thoughts below. All thoughts welcome, even if they're mean (just no spam links please -- can't tell you what a liability those are to remove).
I've also published three YA fiction books and two poetry volumes. To check em out, copy and paste this link into your browser: https://books2read.com/ap/R5m11A/Zarina-Macha