– AMAZON, the con.

If you value any of the following: creativity/ democracy/ freedom/ self-sufficiency/ the planet, then be seriously concerned about AMAZON.  Along with all the other oppressive regimes, it is seeking to return us all to the dark bad days of serfdom, a new Middle Age.

Even worse for screwing its workers & suppliers than the multinationals who blazed the trail, destroying entire cultures in their wake, AMAZON now seeks to take one step further, to levy a tax on each of us, via a bogus VAT scam.

Just when you think you’ve found the best deal possible, including free door-to-door delivery, and are about to press that “place the order” button, take one final look at the total amount you’ll be paying.  Suddenly it has grown bigger.  VAT has been added.  Except this isn’t.  Welcome to AMAZON’s new tax, typically 4% extra on books, 10% extra on food, and who knows what else for other goods.  Unless you know the current VAT rates you’ll be none the wiser, but be assured not one penny will ever reach the exchequer (HMRC have refused to comment).  And you can’t do anything about it.

I used to admire AMAZON.  They created a customer service that always served you, and done what we’d all got too lazy to bother with, worked out a really simple way to tell the world what they had for sale.  But it didn’t stop there.  Then they got greedy.  And suddenly things have changed big time at headquarters.  They’ve turned into the worst kind of parasite imaginable, one that is going to end up killing its host, us.  Unless we do something.

What can we do?  I propose starving them.  Follow their example and instead of being so passive.  set up our own local buyers group, to purchase wholesale for ourselves.  You don’t need to be a business or legally set-up, most companies just require a minimum order.  SUMA for example, offers their entire vast catalogue at 35% less than AMAZON and just 2 – 3 households buying 3-6 months worth of what they need could easily meet the criteria.  This also has the knock-on effect (including the savings from not having to shop) of reducing our need for money.  Less of that in circulation in turn takes the pressure off the planet’s precious resources.  At the same time we can also create an internet site (wordpress.com) to promote local businesses, in conjunction with a regular venue where people can meet them (aka a farmers market).  This way prices are much lower, the seller has far fewer overheads (like having to rent and run a shop) and there is no middle-man to pay, they in turn get a better deal so don’t need to sell/ make as much either.  It is mutually beneficial.  This also encourages people who have a surplus or wouldn’t have otherwise ventured into making/ growing things to sell.  It’s the way forward.  On these and so many other levels.

Meanwhile, if you have had a bad experience with AMAZON please feel free to share it by leaving a comment below.

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