With Boston confirmed as a contender for Amazon HQ2, the e-commerce giant has been on my mind a lot lately. (For the record, I believe that Amazon HQ2 would make it harder for Boston startups to innovate, and to attract and retain talent.)

I’ll admit, I’m an Amazon Prime member. I use Amazon, a bunch. But, it’s not suited for my most essential retail purchases. When there is something I want, really want, something I care about (and invest a lot of time, money, and emotion in finding), I never use Amazon. Amazon is perfect for the “oh, I forgot to get the {insert something trivial here} stuff” that I used to buy at a big box store. That’s why Amazon is perfect for my toilet paper, but not for the purchases I really care about.

Here are some things I’ve bought on Amazon:

– 100 coffee filters…not coffee beans though, too many good local sources. Hi George Howell Coffee!

– 200 plastic beer cups… skip the beer, because illegal, and Heady Topper is not going to flash sale on Amazon anytime soon.

– 500 Pre-wrapped drinking straws… but not the glasses, because local stores like Olives and Grace sell etched glassware made by actual Bostonians.

– Random replacement cable for my TV soundbar… RIP Radio Shack!

Things I would never buy from Amazon:

– Furniture… Netflix is too compelling for a couch that doesn’t sit me right.

– Appliances… Not until Jeff’s drones can safely wire a 220v dryer plug.

– Outdoor gear… Buying the wrong skis would not only ruin my weekend but also damage my feet. Not worth it. Also part of the fun is talking about the best ski spots with local shop employees.

– Footwear… I coach my daughter’s soccer team, and keeping up with a bunch of 10-year-olds (but not necessarily needing to run a marathon) is hard to explain to a service bot.

– Flooring… because I can’t possibly pick the right style based on little photos of carpet that come in thousands of shades of beige.

I buy things on Amazon that I don’t care if I get it wrong because God knows I’d never return anything to Amazon. Do they even allow that?

What I’m saying is that local retailers hold the key to the considered purchase. And Amazon holds the key to…well, toilet paper. When you buy things that matter, look to your local retailer to truly understand your needs, and help you find exactly the right fit.

Shop local! Believe in retailers.

Related Content:

Boston Doesn’t Need Amazon HQ2

Why Amazon Spark Misses the Mark on Customer Experience

The Return of Brick-and-Mortar: Amazon Buys Whole Foods


Categories: Industry News

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