How to Stop Giving Amazon Your Money

It’s hard to imagine your life without Amazon. The company offers everything from online shopping to grocery delivery, audiobooks and streaming video – everything at your fingertips and at unforgiving prices. This is a particularly convenient place where almost anything you might need will be delivered to your door while you are in quarantine at home.

But Amazon also does a lot of things that you might disagree with. He has been criticized for years for using his workforce – a practice that has certainly not improved during COVID-19 . There are numerous reports of horror-dark things in fulfillment centers where his employees are packing orders. And good luck with the lease (or any notable public perks) if they open a store in your city.

If you’re willing to stop giving Amazon your hard-earned money, you definitely have a job, but it’s not impossible. Here’s everything you need to do to leave the company and never look back.

Unsubscribe from Amazon Prime

It is obvious. You won’t be using Amazon anymore, so you don’t have to pay $ 119 a year for free shipping, online streaming, and all the other services that come with Prime.

Amazon really makes it easy to unsubscribe. Just go to this web page and click the “End Membership” button. If you’ve never used Prime, you’ll even get a refund, although the processing will take a few days (if you’ve used Prime for a while, you’ve probably gotten more out of your benefits than you paid for them ).

Also, it’s worth noting that if you absolutely need to order something on Amazon in the future, you can still do it without Prime – you just won’t get free expedited shipping. What’s nice: Amazon’s unrivaled “free” shipping speed comes at an incredibly expensive price tag .

Stop using Amazon to shop online

Amazon certainly makes online shopping easier, but if you’re fed up with the company, you still have options. Walmart is one alternative, although it certainly has its own problems – many criticisms of Amazon apply to Walmart as well, and the latter has been in the game for much longer. The company certainly made tons of money selling weapons and ammunition (even if it stopped selling the pistol and some types of ammunition at the end of 2019).

If you have to shop at a large store, your best bet is probably Target, which refuses to sell weapons and ammo. The company also offers reasonable prices (often lower than Amazon) and free shipping if you use Target RedCard, which should help you get over the sticker shock when leaving the Amazon online store. Glassdoor reviews show that Target employees are generally happier than Walmart , although both companies rank lower than Amazon in this ranking, which is perhaps not too surprising when you consider that the score also includes ratings for thousands of well-paid white-collar workers .

Better than either of these options is to buy directly from selected brands or shop locally, which is especially important if you want to help small businesses survive the pandemic .

Replace Amazon Prime Now with … something

Amazon Prime also comes with Prime Now, a useful service for delivering certain household items to your door in a matter of hours. This is actually more of an advantage than a necessity, but if you’ve become addicted to Prime Now, there are several alternatives.

Instacart and Postmates , instant delivery app-based courier services, are available in select urban areas. However, Postmates was bought by Uber in July 2020, and Instacart employees went on strike against working conditions during COVID-19. It is widely recognized that delivery services are harmful to both retailers and employees alike, so you can’t replace Prime Now with a more ethical option (unless your local stores offer independent shipping).

Replace your Amazon Echo with a different smart speaker

The Amazon Echo is arguably the most common smart speaker out there, but there are alternatives if you’re trying to distance yourself from the company. Google Nest (formerly Google Home) is one option, although Google doesn’t have a perfect reputation either .

In this case, Apple’s HomePod is probably the safer choice, although you will sacrifice some features in the name of ethics. Considering the fact that a large number of words can falsely activate smart speakers , causing privacy issues, you might skip that word altogether.

Stream TV Anywhere Other than Amazon Fire TV

Our initial complaint with Amazon Fire TV was that it (like most other streaming boxes) offered NRATV, but that channel was shut down in 2019. This makes it easy to switch to Apple TV, Roku, or Google Chromecast with ease.

The Sony PlayStation or Microsoft Xbox platforms, both of which offer apps for all major streaming services such as Netflix, Hulu, HBO, YouTube, and others, are also good alternatives.

Undo Amazon Prime Video for Netflix, Hulu, and Other Streaming Apps

Amazon Prime Video is a great service, but there are plenty of other places to fix your TV and movies – provided you don’t mind missing Amazon’s original programming.

Hulu and Netflix offer many exclusive TV shows and original movies to watch, and you can use one of HBO’s many service options to watch HBO content without a cable TV subscription. There are also Disney +, Apple TV +, and an increasing number of network platforms. If you are missing the huge library of Amazon movies to rent, you can usually find what you are looking for on iTunes, Google Play, YouTube, or anywhere else that has them delivered to you for free .

Forget Audible, take your audiobooks somewhere else

Audible was a best-in-class audiobook provider long before Amazon bought Audible in 2008, so it’s a bit of a shame, but if you love listening to your books, there are tons of other competing services to choose from . For starters, you can get free audiobooks from your library via Overdrive. If you still can’t find what you want, don’t want to wait in line at the virtual cash register, or simply prefer to own your books, you can also pay for another audiobook service.

Scribd offers a pretty good price for just $ 9.99 for “unlimited” electronic and audiobooks and magazines. That’s better value than Audible, which charges $ 14.95 a month for one free audiobook every month, plus the ability to buy more at a discount. Audiobooks.com, which operates on a similar “monthly loan” model, is another strong choice and currently offers you three free books upon registration. We also like Hoopla , which is similar to Overdrive and free, and Libro.fm , which requires a paid subscription but supports local independent booksellers.

Replace your Kindle with a Kobo or Nook

Speaking of books, you’re going to have to give up your beloved Kindle if you really want to cleanse your life of Amazon and its universe of products. Believe it or not, Barnes & Noble still makes Nooks ; The most recent black and white e-ink models are surprisingly good machines . You can also try Kobo if you want to support a weak e-book brand instead.

Sadly, dropping the Kindle will likely mean paying a little more. Amazon e-books start at $ 89, while alternatives from Kobo and Barnes & Noble will set you back at least $ 119.

Replace Ring with another smart doorbell

Amazon bought smart doorbell startup Ring for $ 1 billion in 2018 and has begun forming troubled partnerships with local law enforcement by giving them access to video and audio from Ring doorbell cameras.

If you are already using the ring, you can replace it, and if you are just thinking of buying a smart doorbell, you can cross it off your list.

Google is also making a smart doorbell called Nest Hello. If you’d rather avoid Google too, you can try a lesser known brand. Here are a few options to consider, ranging from $ 50 to $ 170.

Again, maybe you don’t need a video camera built into your front door? Just a thought.

Stop shopping at Whole Foods

In case you forgot, Amazon bought Whole Foods back in 2017, so your Amazon cleanup will have to include a supermarket chain to really get rid of all your dollars. Try to see this as an opportunity to shop at local stores and maintain your nearest grocery store, corner market, butcher, bakery, etc.

And if that’s not an option, well, there is always Trader Joe’s (although TJ’s is n’t considered the friendliest company either ).

Opt out of Amazon Web Services

If you run an online business, chances are good that you are relying on Amazon Web Services to support your website. If you want to make a change, Google (also troublesome) and Microsoft offer their own similar services for online computing, storage, and networking.

The cost of all three services can fluctuate quite often as Microsoft, Google, Amazon and others try to crowd out each other, so you’ll have to compare features and prices yourself.

Stop using Amazon Prime Music and Amazon Music Unlimited

Amazon offers two different music streaming services and it can be difficult to tell the difference between them. Prime Music comes with Prime for free but offers a limited selection of music, while Music Unlimited is a paid service ($ 7.99 / month with Prime, $ 9.99 / month without) that’s pretty much identical to Spotify or Apple Music ($ 9.99 per month each).

If you are using Prime Music, you will automatically lose it when you cancel Prime. For Amazon Music Unlimited, you’ll have to do a little bit of digging through the menu ( here’s a guide from Amazon ) to complete your subscription. Once that’s done, just sign up for Apple Music or Spotify and you’re done.

Oh, is that all?

If you’ve just got to the end of this article and start thinking twice about getting Amazon out of your life, we don’t blame you. The company offers so many different types of products and services that it will be difficult to completely get out of them. (We didn’t even mention that the vast masses of the Internet, including many of your favorite non-Amazon websites, run on Amazon server farms .)

But if you don’t like Amazon’s ethics, then it’s worth the time and effort to distance yourself (and your bank account) from the company right now. The longer you wait – and the more Amazon takes root in your daily life – the harder it will be to leave in the future.

This article was originally published in March 2018 and was updated by Emily Long on July 8, 2020. Our updates include: updated links, added current news, rewritten sections to reflect current prices and features, including new recommendations for alternatives to Amazon, revised introduction.

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