I wish we saw more love for this sort of incrementalism, to be honest.
The giants didn't get giant overnight, we aren't going to get to their better successors overnight.
The giants are giant! Even diverting a fraction of the commerce and attention they draw can still be a lot!
We need to feed everyone's imagination as to what else is possible. A single step into the world outside the silos is a huge step.
One thing on my project list: a Universal Product Catalog. Find a product on the site, and the site will link you directly to all the places you can get it (online and/or local to you) -- the actual product pages, where possible -- eventually with crowdsourced ratings of each source, along various metrics including ethicality.
@woozle @andre @deejoe Those types of services come and go over the years, but they're always useful and needed most now with #Amazon's stranglehold. The crowdsourced ratings will consume a large share of your energy I suspect. The ethics feature is the very needed thing that could make it a killer service distinguished from the rest. So I suggest deferring the ratings for far in the future.
@andre @resist1984 So I've been trying to do this for awhile. So far I have been most successful with electronics and computer parts thanks to http://bhphotovideo.com . I often face two hurdles: selection and return policy. Buying stuff online is taking a gamble sometimes and few other sellers are going to be as accommodating with returns or pay return shipping. I've been burned by this a number of times: something turns out to be low quality and can't return
Also since I mentioned B&H, they do free 3-day shipping for most items, are usually price competitive with Amazon (a few times when not, they have been selling hard drives with full warranty while Amazon sells gray market ones), and have an excellent return policy.
@jgoerzen @andre btw, #Amazon refused a refund back in the days prior to my boycott. I spent 3 months nagging a vendor to ship my stuff. They quit using Amazon, and Amazon said "you are past our 90 day A-Z guarantee-- no refund for you". Then Amazon also refused to reveal the identity of the seller so I had no recourse. My case was regarding non-delivery, but returns are part of the same policy.
@resist1984 @andre I guess what I would find valuable is a list of shops with good return policies, privacy, and ethics. I don't really want to deal with 500 random places, some of which will sell my info or are otherwise scammy. It takes a ton of time to vet a place and that convenience factor is the toughest to leave behind with Amazon.
@jgoerzen @andre w.r.t #privacy, #Amazon is certain to exploit your personal info to the full extent possible. https://www.npr.org/2019/07/31/746878763/how-tech-companies-track-your-every-move-and-put-your-data-up-for-sale?t=1609611133799 And with Amazon Marketplace your are also still gambling with hundreds of arbitrary vendors, many of which operate out of some random person's livingroom.
@andre @jgoerzen It's interesting to note that the cause of #CapitalOne bank's breach of customer data was an #Amazon insider that leaked the data: https://www.zdnet.com/article/capital-one-fined-80-million-for-2019-hack
@resist1984 @andre I did some searching (#DuckDuckGo), and found a few lists like I was thinking of: https://ethical.net/technology/amazon-alternatives-guide-how-and-why-to-avoid-amazon/ https://pollybarks.com/ethical-alternatives-to-amazon/ http://graemeshimmin.com/ethical-alternatives-to-amazon/
@jgoerzen I guess solutions vary depending on your location. Here in Germany, every shop has to refund returns if you send items back within two weeks.
Maybe a decentralized recommendation/rating system might come in handy?
For books, I rely on my local book store which is even faster than Amazon, and I never return books anyway.
Online ordering is great for me because don't live close to any city at all (nearest one with largish bookstore is 60km away), and my interests are niche so rarely do bookstores have what I want anyway.
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