In August 2018 I closed my Amazon account, fed up with their tax avoidance antics, concerned about the things they do with the personal data they collect, and pissed off that I’d been paying for Prime for several months without realising I’d agreed to it. So how’s life a few months down the line? Is everyday life survivable without Amazon?
I’m happy to report that I haven’t noticed the difference. Yes, they stock every product you could possibly imagine. But I can buy whatever I need from countless other places, from independent businesses that pay their taxes and don’t use dodgy marketing practices.
A steady stream of negative reports about the company haven’t helped me feel any friendlier towards it since I quit. They’ve been accused of poor warehouse working conditions, a ruthless white collar working culture, monopolistic ambitions and more. Before I jumped ship it was beginning to feel a lot like doing deals with the devil. Amazon had nothing to do with my personal values. It just didn’t have the same moral code.
I used to buy a lot of second hand books via Amazon, now I pop into a charity shop whenever I’m near one to buy books. I used to buy a lot of aquarium equipment and supplies from Amazon, now I buy them through Ebay for the same price. The same goes for light bulbs, art materials, electronic gadgets… everything I used to buy there, I get somewhere else.
Since I joined Amazon, at least ten years ago, I must’ve spent many thousands of pounds there. Now I spend all of it elsewhere. They’ve become too big, too powerful, too impersonal and far too liberal with my data to care about. Dropping them was painless and guilt-free. I wasn’t the least bit emotionally invested in the brand, and I’m glad to say it’s still painless being Amazon-free. I definitely won’t be back.