Amazon Prime = Teh Crack
If there was ever an enabling device in online purchases, it would be Amazon Prime, the little deal that company has where you pay $70, and in return, everything you buy for the next year gets shipped two-day, for no additional cost (i.e., feels like free, since you’re not coughing up after the first $70). Since two-day delivery is usually something like $4, if you buy 17 things (or so) off Amazon, you’re in the black with delivery charges. One suspects that if one were to look at Amazon’s analysis, one would find the average number of purchases off Amazon to be somewhat lower.
Not for this chump, however; a combination of poor impulse control and living in the middle of nowhere conspires to make me buy a lot of crap off of Amazon. Previously the shipping charges acted as something of a brake for my mindless acquisitions (because shipping rather significantly cuts into the price differential Amazon offers over bricks and mortar stores), but no longer. Last night I was having an e-mail conversation with someone about writer Barth Anderson’s debut novel The Patron Saint of Plagues, which came out in late March. What? I said to myself. Why was I not informed? Off to Amazon, bang! It’s on its way, and I’m very much looking forward to it. Two days ago, I had a hankering to understand the universe — I mean, really understand it, man — so off I went to Amazon, bang! And now I have Roger Penrose’s The Road to Reality on my desk (quick verdict: very interesting, lots of math). Two days before that, I learned that my favorite writer from The Simpsons, John Swartzwelder, has two novels out, The Time Machine Did It and Double Happiness. Bang! Amazon (quick review: funny books, not much story, though, and expensive for what are really novellas, not novels).
It’s an addiction, man. What keeps me from bankruptcy is the simple fact that I have not enabled “One-Click Purchase,” which I consider the most enabling enabler in all of enabledom. I fear the one-click purchase. It calls to me, like a siren. But the pummelling I would receive from the budget-minded wife when the Amex bill came in would be both fearsome and richly deserved. One has to know one’s limits. That would be mine.
And anyway, I’m already wrecking the Amazon Prime business model as it is. Hopefully some other schmoes are out there taking up the slack for me and not buying things with their Amazon Prime accounts, thus supporting my “ship those babies to me now” ways. I can only assume there are. Suckers.