I confess, I sometimes buy things at amazon.com.
I confess, I feel guilty about this.
(sidebar: I confess, I’m old enough to remember when amazon was pretty much just a big long menu with a jungle-themed black and white banner, are you?)
This morning I wrestled mightily with that serpent-of-guilt. Here’s the story: I’m taking a spring term class through Stanford’s continuing studies department, and I needed to order the required texts. Normally when I buy poetry, I like to buy directly from the press that published the collection, or from the author’s website (I also try to patronize my friendly, neighborhood, independent bookseller whenever I can — usually for non-poetry books). But when I have to buy a whole bunch of books, I don’t want to pay separate shipping fees for each one. My go-to store for big batches of books is Powell’s, an independent bookseller in the Pacific Northwest. Not local, but regional, and independent.
This morning when I visited the Powell’s website and made my selections, the website grouped my books into three shipments, each with a $3.99 shipping charge. Ouch! I guiltily toggled over to amazon to see what their charges would be — what a deal: free shipping! Still, the guilt, the nagging guilt, the suffocating, nagging guilt! I went back over to Powell’s to see if I could find a way to weasel out of all the shipping charges, and what do you know but I found one. If you group your order into one shipment (slower) instead of several (faster), the shipping costs go way down. So, in the end, the Powell’s order ended up being less expensive than the same books would have cost on amazon, despite amazon’s free shipping.
I confess, I’m so glad to have saved myself from amazon guilt.
I also confess that sometimes I still buy things from amazon, especially around the holidays when I’m shipping things all over the country. And also when I’m trying like anything to avoid a trip to the shopping center in the College Town. And I still feel guilty about it.
Why am I writing this post? I guess because I just want to say that, sometimes, if you can wait and if you try hard, you can find away around the behemoth that is amazon.
And also because, I confess: I’m dying to know if other people have amazon guilt, too. Reader, tell me I’m not alone!