Just read this horrifying story from Gawker this morning. I felt a little sick from it. Amazon will pay you $5 to go into a local store, scan an item with your smart phone, leave empty-handed and buy that item on Amazon. Disgusting, you say? Of course it is. What’s worse is that the comments after the article indicate that several people are completely in favor of it!
Amazon can be a useful tool occasionally if you’re in a tough spot financially. But when it says that it purposefully wants to cut the throats of the little businesses in your town… how can someone be okay with that?
Those little stores exist so that they can give you something that you can’t get from an online retailer: personal attention! I work for an outdoor sports retailer on the Midcoast when I’m not writing to my heart’s content. At this store, the first thing we are concerned about is making sure the customer not only finds what they are looking for but knows about the product and is confident in their purchase. We remember faces and names, we invite them back because we value their business. We enjoy selling to them because they are our friends and neighbors.
Allot of these little stores carry items you can’t find anywhere else. Allot of them have been cornerstones in communities for many years. To think that Amazon is, in a sense, “hiring” you (or “buying” you, if you prefer) to go into these places and do research for competitive pricing at Christmas time is unthinkable.
Joshua Bodwell, the president of Maine Writers and Publisher’s Alliance was not impressed with Amazon’s behavior either. He has started a petition against Amazon’s campaign to undermine brick-and-mortar stores this holiday season. If you value your community stores and the people who work in them, please sign this. http://www.change.org/petitions/amazon-stop-your-predatory-practices-against-american-brick-and-mortar-stores-2
I, for one, am glad that I live in a small rural community and have the chance to support my local businesses on a daily basis.
What are your thoughts? Feel free to share.
With that in mind, good morning and happy writing!