A Life Without Amazon…?

Is that even possible?
Well, obviously it is.
But it is a little scary how quickly Amazon has become our ‘go-to’, for not just books, but for pretty much everything.
They are often the cheapest option, the service is quick, and they have most things you might want.
Happy Days.

Well, no, not really.
I am sure you are all more than aware of the stories of alleged tax avoidance, and there was a recent Panorama programme that exposed their less than ideal working conditions for their employees. AND I read a great piece in the Guardian online the other day about a David and Goliath style fight the owners of Lush have been having with Amazon, that they have won.
In the past, I always used Amazon. I was kind of aware they were a ‘big corporation’, and that they hadn’t been that great about paying their taxes, but it didn’t concern me enough to make a stand and not use them. Partly out of laziness, and partly out of tightness, if I’m being honest. During My Make Do and Mend Year, I obviously used them less, but what I did use, on the site, was the Amazon Marketplace, where people can sell secondhand books.

And then I read a blog post by Rob Hopkins on the Transition Network site, about the day he closed his Amazon account, and it really bought it home to me, and for the first time, it occurred to me, that maybe, there could be a Life Without Amazon.
I am not anti-big business. I am more, pro-small business. Businesses that pay their taxes, and treat their employees as we would all wish to be treated. And don’t ride rough shod over other, smaller business, just because they are the biggest.
So, earlier on this month, when hubby announced there were a couple of books he wanted for his birthday, I resisted my initial urge to do the easy, cheapest thing, and turn straight to Amazon, and I did a little investigation first.
And to my delight, I found some wonderful sites! Not hugely more expensive than Amazon, and in fact, in one case, actually cheaper!

I used Hive, to get a copy of The Hairy Biker Curry Book, (new, but on behalf of my mother in law, so I am excused!).
This is a great site, that allows you to nominate your local bookshop to receive a percentage of the income from the book, and also allows you to pick up from there too, if you want to avoid P+P (although it is free on orders over £15).

And I used World of Books to get a secondhand copy of Cooking on a Shoestring (fabulous book-I love it!). There is free UK delivery, and they were actually cheaper than the secondhand ones on Amazon.

So, I can conclude, that there can indeed be A Life Without Amazon. From Rob’s post, it looks like it is quite hard work to actually cancel your account-there is no simple cancel, or unsubscribe button. But I think I am going to take the plunge.

I am sure that with a bit more research, I will discover many other fabulous sites, or even, heaven forbid, actual shops (!) out there. If anyone has any recommendations, please do let me know, and I will compile a list, for any other hardy souls who care to join me in my Amazon Free Life!

41 thoughts on “A Life Without Amazon…?

  1. Amazon is a last resort for us. I use to use Play.com, but havent used them since they moved their operation from the Channel isles.
    The bestest by far place I use for books is The Book People, theres not much I cant get on there and what I cant get there I use good old eBay.
    You can live without Amazon, honest. :o) x

  2. I use Abebooks as a great resource for 2nd hand books [especial old out of print ones] They help promote small booksellers too and like Kiwijo, I find The Book People useful for newer stuff I might want to give as gifts
    blessings x

  3. We have that here in the Netherlands with bol.com. From pregnancytest to studybook, from wineglasses to hairdye…. Their service is great but because of them a lot of shops will disappear. I started buying there when they were still very small, but now they are taken over by Ahold, which is like… everything I do NOT stand for…

    So I deceided not to buy there again…. I go to the library for books, to the thriftshop or my mom, to ebay… I can do without them 🙂

  4. I try really hard not to use amazon now. It’s difficult when things are obviously cheaper but I always remember that I’m voting for the future I want to see when I spend my money. I don’t want to be complaining that amazon has the monopoly on everything – so I make sure I support the small businesses out there to help ensure that doesn’t happen : )

    • I agree with you, it is hard when you know that they are probably the cheapest. But I just have to keep reminding myself, it’s not all about the money-there are lots of more important things, and I want to ensure that my actions follow my beliefs. So I can’t really use Amazon in all good conscience.

      • Living in Australia has certainly helped me ; ) (They don’t have it here and it’s expensive to post from UK) But it’s still almost a reflex when I’m looking for something to check on Amazon just to see the price. I don’t want that kind of reflex, I don’t want to waste my time!

      • I think they may be in the process of setting up but right now if people want to shop on Amazon they can choose between US and UK – same for kindles etc. Isn’t it reassuring to know that actually they aren’t everywhere and there are small corners of the globe where they haven’t reached yet?!

  5. You are so right about amazon shopping, we get sucked into the cheap prices and free delivery! I did Xmas shopping on it, and feel so guilty, all because for the first time ever I wasn’t organised and left everything too late! I have just shopped for 5 birthdays and never touched the computer, used local shops and a bit of charity shop goodies for all, and boy do I feel better about myself! Keep us all on the right track Jen, you are doing a grand job! Sue x

  6. I won a Kindle last year so I have an Amazon account, but I have not bought a book or anything else from them. I use the Free booksifter every morning to find the new free books for that day, download any I fancy, I have not run out of reading yet. Any well known authors books I want to read I borrow from the library. Anything else I could buy on Amazon I use there search engine find a private seller selling what I want and contact them direct. I won’t be closing my account but they won’t make money from me.

  7. I’ve never joined the Amazon craze so can honestly say that it hasn’t bothered me one bit! I generally use independent second hand book stores, which often means a 6-12 month wait before I can access one, but the waiting is half the reward! Either that or I borrow from the local library. You really can have a happy, engaged and fulfilling life without Amazon:)

  8. Dear Jen,

    Thank you for this informative and inspiring post. This amazon thing is a bit like the Hundredth Monkey effect! I started my quiet, but half-hearted amazon boycott after seeing the Panorama programme, but chickened out of actually closing the account. Your post now, and reading Rob’s post too from your link, persuaded me to go the full hog and I have now closed my account completely and (hopefully) for good. Thank you for inspiring me to take a stand.

  9. Great post! I am boycotting Amazon currently, although for different reasons (you can read more about those reasons here:http://adadcalledspen.wordpress.com/2013/11/28/reasons-why-amazon-should-withdraw-to-train-up-a-child-from-sale-now/) and started the boycott just before Christmas. I have to say it made Christmas shopping much harder but I actually thought more about what I bought people as a result! I found base.com was very good for CDs and DVDs, very prompt delivery and not too much more expensive. I love the idea of Hive but haven’t used it yet – I think I will do so in the future though.

  10. Definitely going to check out World of Books – thanks! I know what you mean about Amazon… I used to have Prime and it was so handy when I was in the last stages of pregnancy and dealing with a newborn, but yet there is so much wrong with what they are doing to independents, pushing prices down like supermarkets, and that’s not even starting to talk about the whole corporate tax issue…

  11. Pingback: Aduki Bean Curry, 19p, The Hive & Approved FoodsThrifty Lesley – 1 person, 1 day, £1

  12. Pingback: Amazon Alternatives | My Make Do and Mend Year

  13. Pingback: Zero Waste Week-the end..? | My Make Do and Mend Year

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s