It is a rainy Thursday evening; you are bored and have absolutely nothing interesting to do, you are scrolling down an endless social media news feed. And then your gaze wanders to your laptop, and you remember you saw an ad for a cute little mug/shirt/sofa (choose as necessary) and immediately go to Amazon's site to buy and order it. (And it would be awesome, if possible, to receive it the next day because you really really need it.) It is unusually convenient to buy stuff from your couch without the need to drive to the store and face dull salespeople and wait in line to pay for it. Not to mention you do not have to worry a little bit about taking it home. You just have to click, pay and wait a day or two. Magnificent, isn't it? Really? Is it really magnificent? Let's rewind a little bit and think about what just had happened.
Of course, you did not actually need a new cute little mug/shirt/sofa, nor did you need it on a rainy Thursday evening. Because we are bombed with ads and commercials every single second of our lives, we start to believe we need things. But we do not need them; we want them: and here comes Amazon supporting this excessive consumerism. There is a major and significant difference between need and want. The fact you were bored and you had your laptop and credit card lying around, does not justify the impulse shopping at all.
Have you ever thought about trying intentional living? Intentional living is, among other things, honestly thinking about what you are buying and what is the purpose of that particular item. Do you actually need it? Will you use it regularly or barely at all? Do you have something of similar purpose already at home? Where will you put it? Ask yourself those questions every time you see something cute you just have to buy. Do not go online shopping only because you are bored. Read a book, bake a cake, find a hobby. The possibilities are endless.
Furthermore, suppose this is not enough to discourage you from pointless buying from Amazon; keep reading, there are plenty more reasons to consider.
2. From an ecological point of view, Amazon makes a tremendous negative impact on the environment. Think about the number of vehicles delivering ordered stuff, how many kilometers they make, the amount of packaging needed for it, and on and on. For example, how many recipients really repurpose or recycle those delivery boxes?
3. It is not 100% quite clear what Amazon does with the returned items. Some of them are sold to liquidation companies, but some of them end up in a landfill. And the majority of that is brand-new and never used! Someone just tried it out, decided it was no fit for whatever reason, and returned it to Amazon, and they threw it away. Horrible!
4. When buying from Amazon, in 9 out of 10 cases, or even more, you are not buying from local producers. This significantly impacts your community since you give your money to someone somewhere (probably, a big international corporation) rather than a neighbor with a little store. If you buy locally, the whole community benefits from it.
5. Moreover, if you buy internationally, Amazon will not pay taxes to your local economy. Your country has absolutely no benefit from you buying on Amazon. International companies such as Amazon are in no way obliged nor have any reason to pay the tax to your country. And we should definitely be supporting national and local economies! When the companies pay local taxes, this money is used for the benefit of that particular country, not paid to directors and shareholders of the multinational company.
6. Amazon's relation towards its employees is a topic of its own. Countless stories were published in different places about how Amazon mistreats their employees, forcing them to work long hours without even a decent break. How about their salaries? Can they make a decent living with it?
Suppose none of this is enough for you, and you like the convenience too much, these points will definitely reassure you.
7. Is it really such a great deal, as it seems at first? Probably you can find it somewhere for less. It happened more than once that the same item was more expensive on Amazon compared to other stores.
8. Reviews. Nowadays, it became very challenging to determine whether the review was written by an honest buyer who actually bought it. Maybe it was written by someone who is a professional review-writer who never actually saw the item and never purchased and tried it.
9. When buying on Amazon, you cannot try out clothes or shoes nor feel the fabric under your fingertips. Yes, the review says the towels are so soft, but can you really tell by just looking at the picture? Not to mention the actual color. The color shown on a screen can, in some cases, significantly vary compared to the color in real life under natural light. Of course, you can return the item you do not like, but we are simply returning to points 2 and 3. And everything else after that. It is a vicious cycle.
Of course, not all online shopping is terrible. If you make conscious buying decisions and purchase from responsible sellers, you are not doing a bad thing. Environmentally cautious sellers take care of the packaging material, do not use excessive amounts of plastic, and sustainably take care of the item upon its return.
To sum up, when you need something, of course, you can look it up online, but when you put it in a cart, wait at least 24 hours. After that, if you still want and need it, buy it. In this way, not only will you save money you would otherwise spend on impulse shopping, but the impact you make on the environment will be significantly lower. And repurpose the package in which the item came, or at least, take it to the recycle bin!