Amazon turns our smile upside down

 


Amazon Smile. Oh Amazon.

 

Amazon Smile is a program through Amazon that gives a percentage of sales to a charitable organization that the shopper has designated. It’s been all over social media lately. You’ve probably seen something about it. I know a few of the charities that my family donates to has sent us information about it.

 

I’m not really sure how to talk about this issue. I don’t want to make an organization that has shared the program with their donors feel bad. Trust me, I understand how difficult it is for a non-profit to have a steady revenue stream and I don’t blame them for signing up.

 

But I do want to give my take on this as a small business owner.

 

At least once a week, I am asked for a donation to an event or group. A lot of the time I give and I am happy to give. I donate knitting classes or products or gift cards or cash money. The gift is a value of between $15 and 50 on average. Many times its more. If one of our customers is asking for a donation, I’ll typically give more.

 

If you have been to a local silent auction or fundraiser for someone in ill health, you’ll notice that most of the gifts were donated by local independent businesses. Local independent businesses give back. They support their community. When you shop in a local business the money is circulated back into your community. It’s a fact.

 

There is a direct impact in our community when you spend a dollar at a local business. That means some of the money you spend in my shop I’ll spend at other local businesses. For example, I pay a Stillwater printer to print our patterns, business cards and other stuff. Your money goes directly from my business to the printer, another local business. The local printer I use pays a local company to repair their equipment. That same dollar you spent with us has now made it through 3 local businesses. Not only that, but the money you spend at my shop helps pay my employees and they will spend some money locally. So when Carly uses her paycheck to buy delicious cheese at the Wedge & Wheel (cause we all know she does), that money continues to travel locally. And the cycle continues beautifully.

 

When you buy from Amazon…no money stays in our community, none.

 

Trust me. It’s easier. Just click and buy. I get it AND if you can give back while you shop, all the better right?

 

Let’s look at the real numbers here.

 

Let’s say you buy something at Amazon and direct your purchase through Amazon Smile to a local charitable organization. That organization gets .5% of your purchase. So, a $20 purchase gets that organization 10 cents. So you’ll need to spend $4,000 at Amazon to send your chosen organization $20. WHAT?

 

Amazon is brilliant, no denying it. Make no mistake, they are doing this to increase sales. Look at the free advertising they are getting from this charitable program. All the social media shares from all the organizations they are “partnering” with. And they get to claim tax-exempt status for the Smile Foundation. Tricky.

 

I’m not saying never shop at Amazon. I’m not saying don’t participate in Amazon Smile. I just hope that when you think about making a purchase you try shopping local and independent first. Businesses like mine are making donations to local charities every single day and I can guarantee it’s more than .5%.

 

Make a few purchases this holiday season at local independent businesses in your community. They’ll donate more to local charities directly. It will make you feel good.

 

 

You’ll smile:)

 

 

 

 

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3 Responses to “Amazon turns our smile upside down”

  1. Linda Schneider says:

    Amy, I totally agree with what you are saying. That is why so many stores are going out of business because everything is online. I will continue to support the
    Community. Well written!

  2. Juanita says:

    Oh my goodness, what an eye opener! Thanks for sharing

  3. MB says:

    Precisely! And the local small businesses are more personable and helpful! Shop small!

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