By Derek Reimherr
I’m addicted to Amazon. There, I said it.
It all started in 2011 when Amazon Prime was still picking up traction in the public mainstream. They had a special deal on the annual subscription (I think it was $20) for college students. I soon realized I could buy textbooks on Amazon Prime for a lot cheaper. That was only the beginning.
Naturally, I started feeding the Prime beast by ordering more and more things to take advantage of the 2-day “free” shipping. “What?” I would ask myself, “You have to get your money’s worth.”
Then they added Amazon Video. Now if Netflix or Hulu didn’t have it, Amazon probably did. That logo was always there just waiting for me on my PlayStation or Roku home screen. “Why not rent a movie here?” it would ask. Slowly, other on-demand movie rental subscriptions fell by the wayside. Amazon Prime Video became our new Blockbuster.
Then we got Amazon Prime Rewards credit cards. This was truly the beginning of the end for the Reimherr household. All of the sudden, we got 5% cashback on all of our Amazon purchases. Why buy gifts at Target when I could get free 2-day shipping on the exact same thing, probably for a better deal AND I would get cashback?
Soon after we made the switch to the new credit card, we heard about Dash buttons for the first time. Apparently, Dash buttons were physical buttons that tied directly to ordering a specific brand’s product. You pick out your button, Amazon sends it to you (complete with $5 off your first purchase using the button), you pair it to your WiFi, and you’re set.
Now when we are running low on toilet paper, Maggie just opens up the bathroom cabinet and there it is, lying in wait. She presses the button and the small light blinks green. Soon, one of us will get a notification through our Amazon iPhone app saying, “Your Charmin toilet paper has shipped!”
What madness hath we wrought upon ourselves? We thought we were at the point of no return. There was no lower we could sink.
And then there was the Dash Wand.
Amazon has iterated on the Dash Wand numerous times, never quite hitting the mark. In the summer of 2017, the team finally struck gold. The 3rd generation Amazon Dash Wand has Alexa voice recognition built in and a barcode scanner attached….for only $20.
But for a limited time only, the $20 Dash Wand came with a 3-month trial of Amazon Fresh (worth $15 a month), plus a $20 rebate off your first purchase. Amazon was giving me $45 to buy their latest gadget. Our Dash Wand now hangs silently off the provided hook next to our chalkboard in the kitchen.
In Boston, we didn’t have access to the fresh food delivery service because we weren’t close enough to the city center. In Atlanta, we live roughly two miles from the literal center of the city. Amazon was closer than ever to having a remote office in our home. It didn’t take much research to sell us on the service completely.
Soon our free trial will come to an end. But for only $15 a month (on top of our annual Prime membership), we’ll continue to have access. We can peruse all of Amazon’s fresh meat and produce, plus other perishable and nonperishable items, and get an attended or unattended delivery right to our doorstep. Perishable items come in brown paper bags with insulated liners and cold packs to keep our cilantro and basil fresh. After doing a price comparison, it’s roughly the same price, plus the extra $15 for the subscription.
As it turns out, bell peppers are extraordinarily cheap with Fresh. Curse you, Amazon. We love bell peppers.
I shudder to think how much longer it’ll be before we have Amazon Echos strategically placed throughout our home. Soon, I’m sure. I bet the Cyber Monday deals will be amazing.
Now our life is an amalgamation of convenience and brand loyalty.
Whenever we’re running low on milk, I pick up the Dash Wand and scan our Horizon Organic carton. It’s automatically separated into our Amazon Fresh Cart. When Maggie does our meal planning on Sundays, she makes sure our cart costs at least $40 so that the delivery is free.
On Tuesday or Wednesday, depending on the delivery time Maggie selected, we’ll get 3 or 4 bags of food handed to us by a nice delivery person. Since I put on pants for this delivery, I decide to walk down to our package room and check the mail.
Oh, we have a package. I sign in to our delivery lockers - it’s an Amazon box. I guess Maggie pushed the Dash Button for our Tide Detergent Pods.
After dinner, Maggie is brushing her teeth with the toothpaste we ordered on Amazon after we forgot to buy it at Publix last week. I’m sitting on the couch watching Man in the High Castle via Amazon Video.
I’ve got my Amazon iPhone app open casually browsing daily deals. Apparently, we have $50 in Amazon Prime Rewards points from all these Amazon Fresh purchases. I decide to cash them in and buy a new boardgame. It’ll be here in 2 days.
As Maggie and I are laying in bed preparing for sleep, she asks if I want to go see “The Big Sick” starring Kumail Nanjiani. We just finished binging Silicon Valley, so we’re very interested in seeing the movie, especially since it received outstanding reviews on Rotten Tomatoes. We buy tickets for Saturday night.
We’re sitting in the theatre a few days later. The previews end and the opening credits roll.
The movie was produced by Amazon Studios.
Dear God, what have we done.