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.
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!