Prime Day

June 21, 2021

Prime Day

Time for my annual, unsubtle reminder that PrimeDay is an excuse for Amazon to get millions of dollars of free advertising and use their leverage to continue to crush small, independent, & local businesses. I know this past year was a hard one; if you needed to shop at Amazon or other big box retailers for accessibility or safety reasons, or even to save money in a tight economy, I get it. That's not what I'm talking about.

I'm talking about the ways Amazon creates this annual day (or days) to make you think they're doing you some kind of favor by offering minute discounts on high-profit items (admit, you're disappointed in what's on sale anyway). By celebrating how they crush small local businesses by offering bulk discounts that no one can match. By spending millions of dollars to fight against workers unionizing, all while continually trying to make more delivery & packaging robots to eliminate more jobs.

I know lots of folks work for Amazon and are out there packaging and delivering items. I have worked as a delivery driver and I know how hard this work is. I'm certainly not upset at them, the people who are underpaid and overworked, just trying to make a buck. Amazon could pay workers double what they make, allow unions, give everyone benefits and the best healthcare on earth, and it would barely make a dent in their profits. But they don't. And they never will.

When you spend money at Amazon because it's easier, or because you can save a few dollars, you're not keeping money in your community. That money goes into the pockets of literally the richest man on earth, not your friends, not your neighbors, not even the workers at Amazon.

So before you shop at Amazon today (or anytime), think about if there's a local business you can support. Someone who hires people in the community, people you can develop a relationship with. Doesn't it feel better to walk into a store where you know the cashier, or buy something from a favorite maker at an art market? Now more than ever, we can all use that human contact, and the knowledge that we're helping people in our community. If you can afford it, please, PLEASE shop local and shop independent. Thank you.

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