Last night I realized that I have a very real addiction, and that it would be helpful for me to come clean. I am sure there are others of you out there. I am addicted to ordering things on my iPhone from Amazon Prime. I order at all hours of the day, particularly late at night when I should be going to sleep. I have ordered big things (a canoe), but mainly order little things (toilet paper) that I need for home or office almost every day. When I get a brown box from Amazon each day I am happy. If a few days goes by and I haven't received a package from Amazon, I am sad.
This all started about a year and a half ago, when I was newly single, signed up for Amazon Prime and discovered that I could now buy most things without having to go to the store anymore. In a busy work day I could quickly take care of toilet paper, toothpaste and laundry detergent and have it arrive on my doorstep the next day. I was paying a low price and NOTHING for shipping. It would cost me more to walk around the corner!
Then the buying habits crept. Beyond household sundries, I started to hunt Amazon to see if I could buy other things that I needed too.
My order history now looks like the timeline of my life, and I am sure that it will be used by archeologists to rediscover this civilization if we all disappear tomorrow (hope not).
Here is a partial list of my purchases from the last month:
- 20 PCS Sky Lanterns Paper Lanterns Chinese Wishing Lantern For Birthday Wedding Party
- 2 of Estes C6-5 Model Rocket Engine Pack
- M. Hulot's Holiday (The Criterion Collection)
- Estes 1403 Riptide Launch Set
- The Secret Garden (Barnes & Noble Leatherbound Classic Collection)
- B+W 77mm Clear UV Haze with Multi-Resistant Coating (010M)
- 2 of Damminix 27203 Tick Tube, 24-Pack
- 3 of Magic Sliders 45369 Silent Chair Glide
- Wood Children's Shirt / Coat Hangers (Set of 6)
- Method Smarty Dish Plus Dishwasher Detergent Packs, Lemon Mint, 45 Count
- Glad Tall Kitchen Drawstring Garbage Bags, 13 Gallon, 45 Count
When I look at this list (and I often am checking my order history to see when things will arrive), I feel good all over. The ability to order things I need and have them come to me has changed my life.
I didn't see this as a problem, until my mother commented last week that there were a lot of packages arriving at her door (we were staying with her on vacation). She was shocked to find brown boxes or mailing envelopes sticking out of her mailbox or sitting on her step every day. For the first time, I was self conscious.
Aside from the things that I need, I realize that I now order some things that I don't need. I order books that I want to read when the thought strikes and they often sit for a long time and sometimes don't get read. I buy spontaneous presents for friends and have them shipped directly to them.
I probably buy more things because of Amazone Prime than if I had to go to a store each time.
Which leads me to the big question. Can this continue? For me or Amazon??
With Amazon the prices are low already and the shipping is free, so I can't imagine that I am really paying all that it takes to get these things to me. I feel sympathetic for UPS and the mail service. They must be delivering whole households every day. And the packaging?
Amazon does such an amazing job with logistics and keeping their orders bundled and packaged efficiently, but I am already imagining a day when I will get an email from them telling me that my holiday from gravity, my daily high, my cheap thrill is finally over. Prices will have to go up eventually, right?
But until then, I will probably continue to be happily addicted.
Now I'm off to order more toilet paper.
(Image: Lydia Brotherton / Cory's Former Factory Loft in Berlin)