Amazon‘s Echo Look: Exploiting Our Inner Narcissist

The depth to which a corporation will sink to exploit our insecurities and separate us from our money knows no bounds.

Amazon now wants to tell us how to dress.  I can hear is now,

“Alexa, do these jeans make me look fat?”
“No, but these jeans, for $79.99 (free shipping), will improve your look. Make sure you share this with your friends.”

Do we really want an organization, motivated solely by money, to become such an integral part of our lives? Is it in our best interest to give Amazon so much of our personal information, not just want we are wearing, but also what insecurities are?

By giving Amazon so much of our personal information we help them, and anyone else they sell our information to, exploit us for profit.  We are being manipulated without our knowledge and in ways we can‘t fully appreciate or comprehend.

Protect yourselves by protecting your privacy.  

The government is not going to help protect you.  Journalists will let you know what is happening and help you understand why it matters, but their platforms and reach are being weakened every day, and are no match for the slick presentations of Amazon.

All of this while Amazon eliminates jobs across the country.

Back in September of last year (2016), the American Booksellers Association and Civic Economics released a full update of their “Amazon and Empty Storefronts” study.

“The updated study again shows that — whether it’s in dollars lost in sales and property tax revenue, far fewer retail storefronts serving local communities, or significant job losses — Amazon has a massive, overall negative impact on the American economy,” said ABA CEO Oren Teicher. “We need to come to grips with the fact that every American consumer is paying a high price for Amazon’s growth.”
—“Updated Study Drives Home Amazon’s Negative Impact on Economy” By David Grogan, Sep 28, 2016

ESSENTIAL NATIONAL FINDINGS 2015 (read the full report)

  • In 2015, Amazon sold $55.6 billion worth of retail goods nationwide, all while avoiding $704 million in sales taxes.  The cost of lost sales taxes falls equally on state and local governments.
  • These sales are the equivalent of 39,000 retail storefronts or 133 million square feet of commercial space, which might have paid $528 million in property taxes.
  • A total of more than $1.2 billion in revenue is lost to state and local governments.
  • Amazon also operated 75 million square feet of distribution space, employing roughly 111,000 workers.
  • Even counting all the jobs in Amazon distribution centers, Amazon sales produced a net loss of 222,000 retail jobs nationwide.

How Amazon Impact Job Growth and why it matters

  • Brick & Mortars shop have to innovate… once someone forms a habit, it is usually difficult to break.

    I consciously look for alternatives to amazon shopping – but I really have to stay alert. Just the other day, I was looking for a book I saw in the X-Files movie “I want to believe”… So I went on-line. Amazon.com was number in results – but I didn’t stop there. I looked to see if the author was selling the book. I prefer autograph copies – you can’t get that on amazon. Unfortunately the book is out-of-print you can’t buy it new or on kindle. So then I noticed there were amazon sellers but the first listed wasn’t what I wanted. I wanted a new-ish book from a seller with a good rating for shipment and products. I actually had to click through to find it… then today, I read an article that states Amazon now charges third party sellers to rank them first… http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/third-party-sellers-can-now-win-the-buy-box-on-amazon_us_590b309be4b05279d4edc31f?ncid=engmodushpmg00000004

    • You see how complex this is Chris Burns has written a great deal about Amazon’s “marketplace” and the adverse impact on not just vendors but to consumers. Again the VAST majority of consumers would have clicked the first link in Google and the first link in Amazon, few would attempt to more directly support the author or look under the cover or Amazon’s practices.

      • And it gets worse – buy buttons aren’t taking you to the publishers copy either.

        I did a search for my book on amazon and the kindle version is the option offered – telling consumers its the cheapest buy. it really isn’t – it’s marked down from the print version price. Now that’s just damn deceptive!

        kindle version brings the most money for amazon. Without having to incur printing costs. I actually had to take several additional steps to find the print version of my own book – and still there’s no guarantee I’m the preferred seller of my own damn book!

        • I read the article and noticed this but did not understand the motivation for the change. You see while upgrading the website, I’ve been checking many amazon book links. I have actually seen the Amazon page change rapidly in front of my eyes. It would have gone unnoticed to most people, but I was linked to a specific format for a book. Amazon was presenting the book as if it was only available in eBook format, or only through a third party, when I knew the book was still in print and available from the publisher. Of course most book buyers go for cheapest price and don’t care–but I wanted the publisher to to get the sale, for the reasons mentioned in the article.

  • Exactly.

    Would you google yourself and tell me what pages (out of the top 10) are related to you?

    • My website is number 4 on yahoo ! 1, 2, 3 belong to the dead footballer from wales lol

      On Google 1, 2, 3, 4, belong to the footballer – 5 is facebook, 6 -aalbc – mel hopkins, 8-14 is the footballer then my amazon page is 15 & 16…

      hmm yahoo – is becoming a new favorite again

      • OK your results are similar to mine. I mentioned this because Google even more significantly than Amazon is a gatekeeper controlling access to websites. Also, yahoo no longer has a search engine they use Microsoft’s Bing.

        Google, unlike Amazon, does allow a bit of meritocracy. You can probably improve your ranking by making a few simple changes. First add your name to your title tag. Also add your name and go into s bit more detail in your meta description. WordPress makes this change easy to make.