DeAmazoning and DeGoogling Part Deux


First, an update on ye old degoogling, which started at the end of 2020.

And it goes without saying... Anything but Chrome! Ditch the Chrome browser! Mozilla Firefox


I have also begun parting ways with another nepharious Internet villain... yes, I speak of the Amazon. We only use Amazon for purchase and streaming, we don't have their weird devices integrated into our home and life, so that simplified matters. We're gonna let Prime expire without renewal, which is easily done since I no longer shop there and rarely use their streaming service.

Getting away from Amazon is mostly psychological. I had to divorce myself from the notion that the Amazon marketplace is convenient and that saving a few bucks here and there on items and shipping was truly "worth it." Amazon isn't convenient if I'm constantly having to scrutinize listings to make sure I'm not buying crappy or fake items from dubious third party sellers and it's widely understood Amazon reviews can't really be trusted. Once I started actively buying directly from manufacturers and specialty shops I realized I really had done myself a disservice by using Amazon. Even though I have the "inconvenience" of ordering from different storefronts and possible shipping charges, buying confidence alone is worth it.

I now order physical books from (so long AbeBooks). Games come from shops like Cardhaus and Gamenerdz or FLGS. Most of this year's Christmas shopping was done at Target, Walmart* (brick and mortar), Etsy, and a few hobbyist shops. It did require planning ahead to make sure items purchased online would arrive on time but my main shopping day was yesterday and everyone was able to ship within 2 weeks. Price-wise, I've found buying at specialty shops in particular evens out when you factor in selection and buyer confidence. Most retailers have really competitive shipping and shipping costs have truly been negligible. For example, I bought a Midori Traveler's Passport Journal for Marlin and while I paid slightly more for the journal itself at Goulet Pens, the inserts were less and they had a much greater variety of inserts. I knew the items would be authentic. I threw in a bottle of ink (Noodler's Southwest Sunset!) with confidence, since I know Goulet Pens packs their boxes so well. I would not risk purchasing ink from Amazon or an Amazon seller if I thought the ink would be combined with other items.

The last sticking point has been ebooks. I kept chugging along with my old Kindle partly because it technically worked and partly because I thought it was the only way to access library books. I finally pulled the trigger on a Kobo reader when I realized Kobo was fully integrated with Overdrive. Obviously Amazon-exclusive books will still have to be bought through Amazon and read on Kindle, but going forward any book that is published wide will be purchased through a DRM-free retailer or Kobo if that's not an option.

I actually don't use many of the bajillion companies that Amazon gobbled up. I did stop using AbeBooks, which was easy since I don't really read many physical books anymore but Better World Books is an alternative. I ditched my Goodreads account in favor of TheStoryGraph, which allowed me to import my Goodreads data.

It's my hope those who are on the fence about ditching the Zon will consider it. Years ago the convenience was truly hard to beat but Amazon has pushed so many retailers to make changes to shipping and logistics to compete with Prime I honestly believe it's a stretch to say Amazon is truly a more convenient option today. I think the reality is Amazon is a habitual choice, not a better one.

* Reading u/Longjumping_Ad_8814's post, Nintendo Switch Pro Controller 3rd Party Scam/Fake via Walmart Website, confirmed my unease about purchasing from Walmart online. Purchases should be ships from/sold by Walmart.