I can’t tell a lie dear internet: I have been thoroughly spoiled by Amazon and, more specifically, Amazon Prime. A few symptoms of this:
- I routinely wait to purchase gifts for occasions until a few days before the event because, in my mind, shipping – all shipping – just takes a couple of days. Right?
- When other websites charge me for shipping, I am inordinately annoyed. If Amazon can do it for free, why can’t others?
- I’m always on the lookout for things that I can add to my Subscribe & Save items so that I can get a discount boost. I’m honestly going to be a little sad when the dumpling potty trains and I lose two of my staples (diapers and wipes).
- I will definitely re-evaluate my color selection if I realize that the one I’ve chosen is regular delivery and a different one is available with free same-day delivery.
- Actually going in to a store rarely crosses my mind now. Unless it’s Target. Love Target.
There are more symptoms, I’m sure. These are just the easy-to-document ones. I’ve become very dependent on Amazon for everything from diapers to duvets. However, there’s a downside.
Let me set the scene for you: your toddler goes through a brief, yet intense obsession with cramming your koozy into hiding spots. (And don’t laugh at me! I love my koozy.) Since you’ve been using the same koozy for over a decade, it’s a little… delicate. It doesn’t appreciate being so roughly loved on and starts to disintegrate. Literally. So you decide to get a new one. The problem is that the koozy market is saturated with flimsy replacements these days. You yearn for the “old days” of thick foam koozies when it hits you – Amazon! Sure enough, your search result yields a few viable options for old-school koozies (yes, it’s a thing, stop laughing). Amazing! A modern marvel! Huzzah!
Just to be safe, you start reading the reviews, nodding along and evaluating your choices. You decide you agree with the vast majority on the advantages of the thick foam style koozy and click purchase. Woo!
And then, it hits you: you really just read the reviews on koozies…. Reviews on koozies shaped your purchasing decision. Yeah.
Reviews are the best part and worst part about Amazon. Things I used to buy without hesitation or second-thought, things like toys and pillows and koozies, I now pore over the reviews for. I won’t buy items that haven’t been reviewed, even if it appears to be the same item (though, in the internet-age, that’s primarily to ward off knock-offs). I run items through Review Meta, a website that filters out obvious fake reviews. I can get so focused on the reviews, that I lose sight of the actual product.
A few months ago I decided I wanted an insulated tumbler glass. It was summer and we’d been visiting friend’s pools and several of the ladies had insulated, unbreakable glasses for their wine. Genius! I quickly started the hunt for one on Etsy, for personalization reasons, but quickly realized I could just buy one without my name on it. Done! I made the mistake of turning to Amazon though. This single move stalled my purchase for literally weeks as I hemmed and hawed and read reviews and reconsidered. All of this angst for a cup. I’d find a suitable style, only to read that people had problems with the lid fitting well. I’d find a different style and have my hopes dashed by reviewers with red wine stains from faulty seals. I’d spot yet another version and quickly come to my senses after innocent victims spoke of peeling color wraps – THE HORROR!!! And so, I flitted between choices and fretted over consequences like decision would decide the fate of hundreds of glasses of wine.
Finally, I took a step back and realized how ridiculous I was being. It’s a cup. It leaks some times. It’s like $15. If I don’t like it, I can try a different one or go back to my other glasses or just be my usual charming self who’s trying to explain to friends that this cup is awesome as long as you don’t have too much ice in it and you hold it at a certain angle and you wash it by hand and you only have drinks before moon rise because of the tidal forces and whatnot. Damn tidal forces, ruining a perfectly good cup.