Bye, bye, Jeff Bezos! Exiting Amazon now.

Photo by Jingjie wong on Unsplash

About four weeks ago, I posted the article Killing my Amazon Account describing my project to stop using Amazon during the next 90 days.

Well, 28 days later I killed my account!

A few things happened in the last weeks that let me push the fast forward button on this project.

Alternative shops are available

I found a solution for every item I regularly bought at Amazon.

  • My cats are now happy customers of zooplus which offer a subscription for cat food at a better price then Amazon does.
  • I found a retail shop with affordable prices for shoes and clothes for tall and big guys. Besides that, I also found two german online stores that are also offering affordable prices.
  • Same applies to band-aid and gauze compress.
  • Stationery isn’t a problem anymore. I ordered a remarkable 2 notepad, and until November I have enough paper notebooks left.
  • Computer and tech gadgets are a bit of a problem. Local electronics retail shops suck. So it takes some more effort to find the goods I desire in various online portals.
  • I have found solutions for most of the services I use from AWS for my personal projects so that I can easily terminate my personal Amazon account.

Watched another documentary

But I also watched another documentary on ZDF Weltmacht Amazon – Das Reich des Jeff Bezos, that covers Amazon and its business model. Again, nothing really new to anyone interested in technology. But I learned a lot about the impact that Amazon has on the global retail economy and also on all other areas of the economy. Monopolies never were a good idea for us or the economy. Diversity has always been the engine of good change.

And of course, the current fight between the EU and Facebook, where Facebook threatens the EU to close its European business if the EU is not allowing them to transfer our data to servers in the US, influenced me too. And last but not least, the widely discussed Netflix documentary The social dilemma also had an impact.

Talking about the impact the documentary The social dilemma had in general and not just on my habits as a customer is a good topic for another post.

Analysed my data

Let me make one thing clear: It is personally okay for me if an online shop analysis the products I buy and how often I buy them. Based on this, it can offer discounts or new products that might fit my desires. This is how a good shop operates online or offline.

Analyzing the data I retrieved from Amazon, they did a whole lot more:

  • They track my video viewing habits. Not only what I read and watch, but also when, how often and how fast, when I press the pause button. And so on.
  • The same applies to my reading habits on a Kindle.
  • They kept all my Alexa data.
  • Detailed protocols when and how they send me notifications.
  • An older data export also contained the referrers from where I surfed to the Amazon shop page.
  • Detailed browsing and search history of the products I looked at.
  • And so on and so on.

At the same time, I requested my data from Apple too. My wife and I are heavy Apple users and use a lot more services from Apple then we use from Amazon. Apple basically knows, when I bought something and the data, I store with their services. Compared to Amazon, they store almost nothing about me. Especially no Siri data is kept.

All the above aspects made it easy to decide to kill my personal Amazon account completely. Bye, bye, Jeff.

Excursus: Personal vs commercial use of AWS

It may sound inconsistent, but for commercial use, I still think AWS is a good solution that must always be considered. The background is that an anonymous company account, which is exclusively linked to AWS resources, and a personal account through which all types of consumption are run, are two completely different things when it comes to data. So you also have to decide with varying criteria of evaluation.