I almost don’t know what to say about this, I’m so stupefied by it.
This Saturday, December 10th, Amazon.com is offering up to $5 off a purchase through their site if you use their barcode scanner app to scan an item in a physical store somewhere, then turn around and purchase the item on Amazon. Basically, they’re paying people $5 to run their local shops out of business.
I know that I often rant and rave on here about how much I hate Jeff Bezos and Amazon and how they’re making things impossible for booksellers, but this goes much further than just independent bookstores. This sort of thing is a blatant attack on any local business in your community that sells anything that Amazon also offers. Think about that for a second. I know that many readers/visitors to the Catapult are Amazon shoppers. I get it – this is just the way of the world, the way of our current economy. I shop online too, although just not at Amazon. They make it easy – but keeping dollars in your community isn’t about just making things easy. At a time when unemployment is still hovering around 10% nationally, is it a good idea to take more jobs away from people? Is losing the local businesses in your neighborhood and taking much needed tax revenue out of your community worth a lousy 5 bucks?
I happen to be lucky enough to live in a community that has a thriving small business sector and I can’t imagine it losing all of that. (Last week, a cash mob descended on one of my favorite stores around the corner. That’s what I’m talkin’ ’bout, people!) Nor can I fathom having the gall to walk into someone’s shop – a place of business that they’ve more than likely poured their heart & soul into – and picking out the items I will later purchase from a giant, faceless conglomerate website. Are you looking at yourself right now? The fact that there is even a physical location for you to walk into is argument enough for you to stop what you’re doing!
So this Saturday (every day, really), rather than using an app on your phone to take sales away from a local business, put your phone in your pocket and take out your wallet instead. Support your local business and help your community thrive.
If you’re on Facebook, please join the burgeoning Occupy Amazon movement started by Kim Gavin from Powell’s Books in Portland. This battle is all about awareness, everybody, so tell your friends. Thanks.