Disclaimer- While I tend to post about decorating and home design, I wanted to share our thought process behind our recent decision to end our Prime subscription and for the most part, purchasing anything from Amazon unless it was not available anywhere else.
About a month ago, we received notification that our Prime membership was up for renewal. Andy asked me if we should renew. Now there’s a question I hadn’t thought about. After all, who doesn’t have Prime and how could I live my life without it?
In an April 2018 article, Bezos revealed that 100 million people pay for Prime globally. Further analysis in a Forbes article estimates that Prime subscriptions could add around $18 billion to Amazon’s top line by 2020. $18 billion folks. Bezos alone is worth $147 billion. There are an estimated 7.6 billion people on this planet. You get where I am going with this.
I started thinking more about Bezos and Amazon. About the reports of the conditions of his workers. About the fact that Amazon warehouse workers are paid around $12 an hour, making around $30K a year, while Bezos’s salary is $1.6M a year. The fact that, up until very recently, you heard nothing about Bezos’ philanthropic efforts. Seriously, in comparison to Bill and Melinda Gates, he’s done minimal.
Then I started thinking about all the countless business that make a business out of being an Amazon business. About the businesses that Amazon is killing. About the fact that people are just purchasing shit because it’s on Prime Day or can be there in two days causing an overuse in raw materials and an increase in the amount going to landfills. The fact the Bezos, the world’s richest man, purchased a newspaper.
Then I looked at a history of Amazon acquisitions and mergers. Zappos I knew about. But Ring, as in the video doorbell, I did not. That explains why there are no other options on Amazon.com. Which brings me to my next point and the main driving force behind our reason to end our relationship with Amazon: Amazon is attempting to take control of American commerce. If 100 million people pay for Prime and 1 million of those people are in the market for a video doorbell and they shop on Amazon, because after all, who doesn’t, what do you think they are going to buy? Why the only thing being sold to them- a Ring doorbell.
I know this is just one small example that exists right now. And sure, people could shop elsewhere. But I am convinced that many people think Prime is a deal. That somehow the two-day shipping makes it all justifiable. So, people flock to Amazon. And where the people go, the businesses go. And where does a percentage of each sale from a business go on Amazon? Why back to Amazon of course.
Then there is Alexa, another way Amazon is attempting to take control of commerce. Let’s face it, most people are lazy. If they had the option to say “Hey Alexa, order my grocery list,” and it would magically appear on their doorstep in two days, they would totally do it. Of course, it wouldn’t be all the groceries, only those available in Amazon. You know, like Whole Foods Whole360 brand which is now owned by Amazon.
Bottom line, I think Amazon, and Bezos for that matter, is starting to become too powerful. No single person (and I am not a socialist) should have enough money to give a billion to every person in the word while still remaining a billionaire. There should not be only one single, majority platform for all things. There should not be a voice-operated machine that could control what we purchase in our homes. Let alone one the that listens and could easily report back keyword data.
$120 a year for two-day shipping on crap I do not need or can get locally and for commercial-free music is not worth what could happen in the end. Seriously, how much longer is it until Amazon is selling a Brawndo equivalent and telling us it’s got what we need? Electrolytes. And a Ring doorbell. And this Whole360 pizza.