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Monday, December 19, 2011

New Chrome App Reminds You Not to Buy from Amazon.com

Posted by on Mon, Dec 19, 2011 at 12:01 PM

San Francisco bookseller Marcus Book Stores created a new Chrome app called "Amazon, huh?" that reminds you what you're about to do every time you visit Amazon.com. A little bubble pops up that reads:

When's the last time Amazon brought one of your favorite writers in to read from her work — for free?

When's the last time Amazon recommended a book based on your actual interests, not a bunch of data they've fashioned into a half-assed consumer profile of you?

Sure, you might save a couple of bucks on this order, but what's that compared to supporting local businesses, maintaining a local tax base, and buying your books from somebody who actually cares about books?

It's just a little lark of an app—it preaches to the converted, it doesn't direct you to any other bookstores besides Marcus Books, and it unfortunately doesn't do price checks of books you're about to buy on Amazon, including the cost to your local economy, (that would be incredible) but it's nice to see bookstores starting to realize that they can bring the fight to Amazon.com.

 

Comments (15) RSS

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Kinison 2
Should be an in-store app that says "Chrome huh?". With Chrome netbooks, no wifi or 3G available? Good luck at getting anything to work.
Posted by Kinison http://www.holgatehawks.com on December 19, 2011 at 12:23 PM · Report this
4
Looking over my orders, about 80% of the time, I pay sales tax with Amazon.com. I know that if I bought books from Marcus Books, I would pay sales tax 0% of the time, since they are in California.
Posted by saeculorum on December 19, 2011 at 12:26 PM · Report this
5
@4, you should be paying sales tax 100% of the time, since Amazon has a physical presence here in Washington.
Posted by Citizen R on December 19, 2011 at 12:29 PM · Report this
Dougsf 6
Anyone that would walk into a bookstore and see the book they want for sale, but decide to purchase it from Amazon in order to save—what, $1 after shipping?—is certainly a person that's intolerable to be around in a variety of other ways as well.
Posted by Dougsf on December 19, 2011 at 12:33 PM · Report this
7
Yay, praise Google, the Supreme Leader!

My giant evil corporate preference is the best!
Posted by Devin on December 19, 2011 at 12:37 PM · Report this
8
Similar to the Murdoch Block chrome app that I've grown to love.
Posted by Daily in LA on December 19, 2011 at 1:02 PM · Report this
9
This is just stupid. #1 Marcus Books could give a shit in general about online, ex. their useless website. #2 After taking the time to research from other websites, Marcus Books doesn't actually sell any books that I would read, not that I would have found that information from their app or website. #3 Amazon recommends relevant books based on my interests ALL THE TIME. And then I buy them. And often times enjoy them (but their recommendations for music not so much. My tastes are too varied for their algorithms).

I went to Sonic Boom this past week and they did not have the albums I was looking for. I went to Half Priced Books this weekend and they did not have the books I was looking for. Perhaps you think it is my duty to wander from store to store until I find what I am looking for.

And Paul, Amazon.com is a local business. Just like any of your precious bookstores on Capitol Hill.
Posted by sisyphusgal on December 19, 2011 at 1:16 PM · Report this
undead ayn rand 10
I'm already opinionated in the matter, but "Amazon, huh?" just comes off as incredibly smugface.

@6: "Anyone that would walk into a bookstore and see the book they want for sale, but decide to purchase it from Amazon in order to save—what, $1 after shipping?—is certainly a person that's intolerable to be around in a variety of other ways as well."

Yeah, it's a 5% discount, so barely $1.
Posted by undead ayn rand on December 19, 2011 at 1:30 PM · Report this
aardvark 11
the only damning problem i have w amazon is the issue of how they treat their workers. and i dont know too much about that besides a few anecdotes. would love to see some research and actual numbers comparing their workforce with other companies'.

besides that, supporting outdated business models is not reason alone to "boycott".
Posted by aardvark on December 19, 2011 at 1:38 PM · Report this
12
Did ALL of my holiday shopping (with the exception of oola gift pack) through AMZ. Love that prime! LOVE IT!
Posted by sonder on December 19, 2011 at 2:32 PM · Report this
14
Failing business model, huh?
Posted by decidedlyodd on December 19, 2011 at 3:50 PM · Report this
Cascadian Bacon 15
So Amazon is not part of the local economy?

Mr Constant may need a geography lesson.
Posted by Cascadian Bacon on December 19, 2011 at 4:38 PM · Report this
treefort 16
Amazon hired thousands of people in the Seattle area earlier this year. And yeah, they have the best prices.
Posted by treefort on December 19, 2011 at 8:17 PM · Report this
undead ayn rand 17
@14: Yeah, if you want a "prop up your local bookstore" movement, this ain't it. Instead of attacking Amazon (and constantly referring to their lower prices), emphasize why people should frequent their local shops and what Amazon CAN'T offer. You're not going to starve the beast, you're not really succeeding at comparing Amazon to Wal-Mart, or even the much worse for local booksellers Barnes/Borders chains.

I mean, I know it's the Stranger's job to troll re: local businesses and all, and I sure want local booksellers to survive, but I think this could be handled better than Olbermann-esque "SHAME ON YOU" rants.

That said, Black Books is on Netflix and everyone should watch it.
Posted by undead ayn rand on December 20, 2011 at 11:33 AM · Report this
warreno 18
In places where the nearest major city is 100 or more miles away, online retailers are often a lifeline, or at least a way to get books other than the Jesus-centric, right-wing shit spattered all over the shelves in my vicious little corner of Arizona.

I would love to have an indie bookstore nearby. You'd never get me out of the place. Unfortunately, that is not an option here, and it just about certainly never will be.

Sometimes, Amazon isn't bad.
Posted by warreno http://www.nightwares.com on December 20, 2011 at 12:14 PM · Report this

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