I’ve made peace with the knowledge that Amazon will eventually take over the world, and you should too, because it will make the takeover a lot smoother for Jeff Bezos. I do a lot of my shopping online, and 9 times out of 10, I can find what I’m looking for on Amazon. I’ve bought flour on Amazon. My dryer sheets are from Amazon. My shoes are often from Amazon, because I guarantee that the shoes you want on Zappos are cheaper on Amazon. If I’m gifting you, I likely bought your gift on Amazon, unless I am re-gifting. I’d like to spread my money around, but Amazon just makes it so damn easy. They pack your stuff in “frustration-free packaging,” vacuum-wrap your books, and deliver everything on time and in one piece.
But the real beauty of Amazon is Amazon Prime. I think it costs like $80 a year, but what you get is this: free two-day shipping on many (but not all) of the items you’ll be shopping for, including heavy items like this, my new toilet. Don’t ask me why one toilet is packaged in two boxes. That is a mystery for my contractor to figure out. Here’s all I need to know: this sucker cost 40% less than MSRP, nothing to ship, and arrived on my stoop in two days. Assuming there’s actually a toilet in there when my contractor opens the box(es), that will be approximately my 340th successful shopping experience on Amazon. How’s that for a track record?
What Amazon knows is that when you have free two-day shipping, you’ll find excuses to do all kinds of stupid shopping on Amazon. So it is that I once ordered a clip-on webcam for my laptop for $2.40. It looked like a cheap toy you might pull out of a vending machine with a claw, and worse, did not work, but I don’t hold that against Amazon. I hold it against the manufacturer, and me, for believing that a webcam that costs less than a Slurpee would be capable of transmitting my image to my brother in Seoul. Before you start yowling about the environmental impact of shipping such an item, consider that if I hadn’t ordered it from Amazon, I would have driven around to five stores looking for a webcam, so there’s that. Also, it came in a really tiny box.
But forget all that, because now, there’s Downton Abbey. I recently started watching the show, two years after everyone else, and discovered that if you have Amazon Prime, you can watch HD episodes of DA through Amazon Prime for free, with no ads. What? Yeah, that’s right, Amazon sells streaming video, and if you have Amazon Prime, you can get a lot of it for nothing. So you can return that DVD of “Just Go With It” that you’ve had molding in your house for the past 8 months–you know, the rental that’s costing you, at $13.99 per month, something like $112.00–and cancel your Netflix subscription.
Hey Amazon! Take me to your leader.