Online Shopping - Social Anxiety Forum
 
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-25-2020, 04:47 PM Thread Starter
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Online Shopping


Does it bother you that a typical search engine's shopping tab might as well be called the Amazon.com tab? Because it bothers me!

It is as if companies like GoogleYoutube are in league with Amazon.com and eBay. By the way -- I said "GoogleYoutube" to remind people that Google and Youtube are the same company.

Monopolies stink! Monopolies are rubbish.

If you want to help fight back against monopolies, then I suggest that you deliberately make the extra effort of searching for online retailers which are independent from the Amazon.com and eBay marketplaces.

Many Amazon.com and eBay sellers have their own websites, which can often be found quite easily by searching for the name of the sellers.

One of my passions is showing people that all of this is in the mind; that everything is a mental phenomenon. Seemingly small but well-meaning choices/actions can result in big ripples in the universal waveform, so to speak, improving how things are for everyone.

It is terrible for a small group of businesses to become as influential as some (democratic) nation states -- as even those companies described as having "gone public" do not invite everyone to vote on company policy. They only invite those who have purchased shares in the companies to vote on company policy, and very rich people can buy extra votes if they purchase lots of shares.

Don't let civilisation go backwards by lazily buying goods from Amazon.com and eBay, simply because Google is trying to push you into doing that. Don't stand by and do nothing when big companies like Amazon.com, eBay, and Google try to become as powerful as some nation states. Private companies are not genuine democracies. A lot of people complain about the USA, but at least it has a codified voting system of one vote per citizen -- unlike Google.

I want to make something clear, however: like with recycling or going vegan for the sake of the environment, every little helps. I don't want to cruelly shame people for using those websites that I dislike. If some of you choose to do what I have suggested in this thread every so often -- but not on each occasion that you shop online -- then thanks for that. Doing a little bit here and there to improve civilisation is better than doing nothing.

Despite what I have said above, I feel it is important to mention that supporting brick-and-mortar stores is even better than preferring independent online retailers over Amazon.com and eBay. One reason for this is that keeping high street shops open facilitates people doing their shopping without unnecessary fuel expenditure: something which is vital for protecting the environment. Walking to the shops is best -- but at least using public transport cuts down on the amount of harmful gas emissions per driver/passenger compared with driving to the shops by car. (Companies like Amazon.com employ lots of couriers driving around in vans.)

P.S. I hate eBay much less than I hate Amazon.com -- as eBay has not attempted to be both the online marketplace and the online store. I actually support Amazon's streaming video service as a competitor to Netflix though, since doing so serves my goal of breaking up worrying business monopolies.
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-25-2020, 06:02 PM
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TBH I'm kind of tired of hearing about Amazon, they're great and all but they're getting to be too big, IMO. I'm tired of hearing commercials of people saying "Alexa do this and Alexa do that." It's not really that cool to me that you can tell this machine to turn the lights on or whatever.

To me Amazon seems to be what will end any kind of healthy business competition in the US. They've moved into the entertainment industry and now the grocery industry. Next thing you know it'll be electric cars and banking. Any jobs in retail industry will be out because it will all be online shopping with Amazon.

I do like Ebay though, but I don't do a lot of online shopping except when I'm looking for something in particular and they don't have it locally or the prices are better online. Especially things like shoes or other things that I can't find locally.

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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-27-2020, 04:47 PM Thread Starter
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I hate Alexa. It is like the "smartphones" with cameras on the front AND the back as well as built-in microphones -- which I also hate. Why make it easy for so-called security services to spy on the public?

Some dinky little shutter that goes over the integral cameras of smartphones is not good enough. People ought to insist on their internet-connected devices being produced WITHOUT built-in cameras and WITHOUT built-in microphones (so that the camera/microphone module is an optional extra component, which can be taken out of something like a phone, and placed in a drawer disconnected from any power supply).

I am not against useful technology such as smartphones, tablets, and voice-activated appliances -- but if those sorts of products seem like they came straight off the wish list of a totalitarian dictator then the public ought to refuse to buy them.

But that is my rant with regard to Alexa and smartphones over with.

A nice thing about eBay is that it enables the general public to buy and sell second-hand items very easily. But I am speaking of private individuals who want to make some money off of rehoming their unwanted bits and pieces; not those miserable people who go from charity shop to charity shop, buying up their stock to put it on their eBay "store".

If an online business has its own website as well as an eBay shop, then it is better to purchase goods direct from the seller instead of doing the same thing through eBay.

Basically I am urging people to reject monopolised online marketplaces and to seek methods of buying things straight from their preferred purveyors of merchandise -- even if that is awkward and inconvenient -- as some awkwardness and inconvenience is less bad than enthusiastically laying the groundwork for Skynet to actually happen. My point about Alexa and smartphones is along the same lines.
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-28-2020, 04:46 AM
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I shop to whoever has a better bargain and right now that's Amazon and Walmart.

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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-28-2020, 08:52 AM
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My dad has an Alexa and I'm surprised he has one cause those things can get hacked.
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-28-2020, 03:01 PM Thread Starter
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Amazon.com has been advertising tours of its distribution centres, which prompted me to think: "Does Amazon.com have a PR problem?"

It seems very unusual for a company like Amazon.com to throw money at free tours of storehouses full of oversized shelving units -- unless "woke culture" is turning against its business model.

Obviously I understand that people like to purchase goods cheaply. However, a biased search engine can make it seem as if Amazon.com and eBay are offering the cheapest prices, even though it is often cheaper to buy things from independent websites of sellers who also list their items on those marketplaces. Amazon.com and eBay charge fees to vendors who sell their items using those websites -- which is why the same items can be found on sellers' independent websites at less expensive prices. Amazon Prime has "free" shipping, but that's not actually free as accessing it requires getting a subscription to that service.
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