As someone who runs a small business, it’s important to me to try my best to shop with other small businesses. Over the years I see more and more companies get run out of business by large corporations coming in to undercut the mom-and-pop shops. As more and more companies get consolidated into larger businesses consumers are going to end up getting screwed in the long run. The fewer options we have to purchase from, the easier it is to jack up prices because where else are you going to go? Next time you are looking for something, check with small businesses. One thing I do is use Amazon to search but then look up the sellers online to see if they have a website. If they do, I order direct from them. Also, when it comes to Amazon pricing is usually higher than in other places. eBay is also a place to discover and buy from small sellers, but they too are part of the big business problem but they are the lesser of 2 evils.
Post up some of your favorite small business sites to shop with (even your own if you have one) and what you like to buy from them. Here are some of my go-to places for some things on my Small Business list page here: My Favorite Small Business List
Customer service is also something that usually is lacking when you buy from large companies. I cannot tell you how many times I have had issues with an order with a large business and they won’t help solve the issue. For some reason, most large businesses think that “good customer service” is just giving someone their money back or a free return label. This is not service, this is telling the customer to pound sand. What happened to fixing the issue? If you tell a customer to return a product or just give them their money back their actual issue is still there.
Amazon in particular is known for treating their workers like shit but so many people I know buy from them for all their online purchases. They will virtue signal every chance they get but they outsource jobs from the US to other countries for support while also selling used products as new. Amazon has also steamrolled small businesses that sold on their own platform. If you have a hot product and sell it on Amazon they will copy it and possibly kick you off of their platform so they have less competition. Amazon also doesn’t really care if the retail side is profitable because they have AWS backing up the losses and slim margins. Their goal is to drive everyone else out of business until they are the only option, even if that means selling things at a loss for a while to starve out competitors.
Now that Amazon is dominant they are letting quality control slip as well as doing potentially illegal practices such as selling used products as new to customers. Amazon is going downhill. They keep sending people used products when they order new ones. When you contact them they will rarely do anything other than give you a pittance of a partial refund or tell you to waste your time as well as packing materials to return it. Recently, I had my own Amazon account get blocked from leaving reviews because I kept posting reviews that Amazon was sending out USED products as new. They also did not like that I called out products that were stolen designs that sellers from china were selling on their platform. This is probably due to them not wanting people to see a pattern of them doing this. As a result, I’ve canceled my Prime membership and will not be renewing at all.
Did you know that when a 3rd party seller uses Amazon they lose about 20% or more of what you paid for that product? Did you know that if a customer damages a product and returns it to Amazon it’s not Amazon that takes the loss because of Amazon’s own policies but they put all of that cost on the seller? If you sell on Amazon, they make the rules and control you. If they decide that you are no longer wanted on the platform because they want to snuff you out they can do it.