Amazon vs curbside pick-up: Which is better?

Photo by Mackenzie Schuler

Amazon is no doubt one of humanity’s most convenient technologies of the past decade. You need a gallon of cod liver oil? Give it a day. How about a seven-foot cardboard cutout of Sean Penn’s Harvey Milk? Samuel the Haitian neurosurgeon will have that to you by morning.

However, Amazon is an ethical nightmare. We know this. They don’t pay their employees nearly enough and are constantly threatening them with termination. 

It was revealed in a 2018 article by Business Insider that Amazon’s United Kingdom employees sought urinary refuge by doing their biological business in water bottles out of fear of being punished. 

Yet, their alternative of not drinking water and risking dehydration is much worse. At the very least, employees have the right to satisfy their basic needs. 

Just for one second, disregard Amazon’s negative effect on the economy, environment, animal welfare and their constant tax dodging. When a company or organization fails to support their staff of employees with the bare minimum of human etiquette, we have a bigger problem than a couple dead foxes.

Amazon knows their goal: profit. Of course, this is every business’s goal. Without menial profit, a business really never lasts very long. 

The issue is that Amazon prioritizes profit over every other facet of their business and industry. I won’t go too much into the ethical faults of Amazon but it won’t take you long to find thousands of claims on your own.

Here lies our dilemma. Amazon is convenient as hell. Just about anything under the sun can be purchased through their services and with the majority of our physical economy shut down, we don’t have a lot of options.

But as with most things in life, there’s always another option. Curbside pick-up and delivery services are in full fruition. There are plenty of local services that remain open and willing to serve.

Indigo! for example, remains fully functioning for curbside pick-ups. Sure, Heather Reisman doesn’t need any more of our money, but it sure beats supporting that sneaky little bastard Jeff Bezos.

Local, independently- owned businesses remain open for pick-up as well. Norris Bakery located in Kitchener is open every day of the week and gGod knows I’m not going a year without coffee cake.

And when it comes to convenience, what’s better than same- day pick-up? Rather than waiting a couple days for your inflatable Siberian husky, ring up your local Canadian Tire and see what they have in stock.

Before defaulting to Amazon, do some research of what businesses remain open in your town. Just because something is convenient doesn’t mean it’s always your best option.

At the end of the day, there’s no perfect solution. These massive, corporate businesses are highly flawed and local, independent businesses are struggling. By no means is this an individual resolution.

So, here is my best suggestion. Support those local businesses as much as possible. If they have what you need, do what you can to purchase from them.

If that isn’t a viable option, look into curbside pickup from larger, yet local shops. It beats the convenience of Amazon and is relatively safe. The majority of what you need can still be found around Waterloo and Kitchener.

And as your last resort, head to Amazon. If your favourite brand of Omega-3 supplements is for some reason not available at your local health food store, I definitely won’t be the one chastising you for giving Bezos a call.

It should be a given that we as a society prioritize our local economy. I don’t care where you shop, just try your absolute best to shop local.

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