Update #AmazonFail

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I am not a business person. My poor sense of the business world began when I dutifully sold wrapping paper for fundraisers, continued with a short-lived knife selling business, and ends with me going in a completely different career direction. Of course, the Girl Scout cookie sale will hopefully reinvent my business savvy—well-known product and super cute brown hair, blue eye girl asking people to buy cookies. Again, not likely, anyone will buy cookies because of my business skills. So, beware ANY business advice from me.

Having disclosed my lack of business savvy, I am updating y’all on my post #AmazonFail. Since the uproar last week over Amazon’s selling an e-book guide to pedophilia, I joined with other bloggers(read their blog posts here and here) demanding that Amazon remove this book from its e-book shelves. This was done. The official statement from Amazon lacked any real apology for this book—more legal pandering than substance, no plan for preventing another such e-book. Without a plan for preventing this mishap, it will happen again. I am hopeful that other online book retailers are also taking note of Amazon’s debacle and searching out any other e-books lurking in the shadows with a similar tenor. But rarely as a society do we learn from our mistakes. Am I surprised? No, Amazon is protecting its profits, its products, and its people. Like a child with its hand in the cookie jar, Amazon’s statement smacks of the “sorry I got caught” rather than a genuine apology.

As a boycott looms over Amazon during the Christmas season, I see the potential for independent booksellers to reap more of the holiday retail spending. While Amazon may promise cheaper books, independent booksellers have smaller inventories that I can easily browse, see their wares, and shop with relative confidence about their ethical platitudes. I can’t browse Amazon’s huge online store in its entirety, but a small bookstore browsing equals an enjoyable afternoon excursion. Perhaps, local booksellers can benefit from Amazon’s fiasco. While my shopping of Amazon was limited to graduate school readings, I do not foresee myself supporting this retailer in the future.

Question: What would it take for you to boycott Amazon or shop at Amazon again in the future? Are there any benefits from #AmazonFail?