That time I locked down the Amazon Prime

In early 2017, I locked my wife out of our Amazon account. Intentionally. Before Mrs YFG was on the wagon, she was a fully fledged impulse purchaser. Need a slow cooker? Reed diffusers? Face electrolysis set? Amazon has it and you can buy it using their ‘patented’ one-click system.

When she had an inkling that she needed something, or wanted something, she’d go straight on and buy it. Why? Because that satisfied her craving at that point for stuff.

Mrs YFG would often splurge on the commute home from work. Usually late at night and tired, you are very vulnerable to the whims of craving for stuff. Some very smart researchers have found loads of empirical evidence about ego depletion. By the end of a long day, making challenging decisions, you find that your willpower and self-discipline has been used up – like a tank of petrol. You find that you mentally replace the not-so-easy question of: “do I really need this?” with: “do I like this?“. Spoiler alert: you probably do like it, otherwise why would you be looking at it; and you probably don’t need it because you’d already have it.

Present day Mrs YFG is selling a lot of this stuff on eBay to get rid of it, or giving it to charity. Much is unused and most didn’t make her happy. She’s also discovered that she can make good money out of selling things that no longer bring her joy.

I have to confess that I myself sometimes fall for the dangers of Amazon Prime. There is something dangerously convenient to be able to buy anything you want at the click of the mouse and have it hand delivered to you the next day. Especially when I’m frustrated if something’s gone wrong or waiting to fix something. Amazon has a seductive lure, promising to make things better. I have to slow myself down and remember the real reason I’m feeling frustrated or down – and that buying stuff won’t fix that.

Comments

  1. I can so relate to this! I used to buy all sorts of crap from Amazon because it was just so easy. This year I’m really trying not to buy anything from Amazon (or anywhere else) without really thinking through whether it adds value or not. In fact, I am beginning to think that I might not renew my Prime account next time – it no longer seems good value for the few benefits I receive.

    1. Hi Fork – thanks for commenting. Amazon does make it so easy and I think that’s a huge part of its success. I have to confess, we’d never get rid of Prime. It’s so useful for us as we don’t have a car. But our eyes are certainly much more open than they used to be when it comes to the seductive dangers of Amazon.

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