Feeling ick about Amazon? Alternatives for a positive Christmas

From the Guardian’s Alternatives to Amazon: MPs spread seasonal boycott message:

Big high street/online retail names: Four were singled out for praise: Debenhams, John Lewis, Next and Lush.

“Bookshops: Researchers rated 22. The two top-scoring names were online charity bookstore Green Metropolis, and Oxfam. Close behind was Better World Books, which works in partnership with literacy charities, followed by eBooks.com, Books etc, our very own Guardian Bookshop and The Book People. Foyles scores pretty well, as does WH Smith, Waterstones and Blackwell’s.”

Amazon aren’t always the cheapest option anyway – you can compare prices for specific books + delivery on booko.co.uk.

And as for why people might be boycotting Amazon, check out Ethical cosmetics company Lush takes ‘bullying’ Amazon to court and My week as an Amazon insider:

“It’s taxes, of course, that pay for the roads on which Amazon’s delivery trucks drive, and the schools in which its employees are educated, and the hospitals in which their babies are born and their arteries are patched up, and in which, one day, they may be nursed in their dying days. Taxes that all its workers pay, and that, it emerged in 2012, it tends not to pay. On UK sales of £4.2bn in 2012, it paid £3.2m in corporation tax. In 2006, it transferred its UK business to Luxembourg and reclassified its UK operation as simply “order fulfilment” business. The Luxembourg office employs 380 people. The UK operation employs 21,000. You do the math.

Brad Stone tells me that tax avoidance is built into the company’s DNA. From the very beginning it has been “constitutionally oriented to securing every possible advantage for its customers, setting the lowest possible prices, taking advantage of every known tax loophole or creating new ones”. It’s something that Mark Constantine, the co-founder of Lush cosmetics, has spent time thinking about. He refuses to sell through Amazon, but it didn’t stop Amazon using the Lush name to direct buyers to its site, where it suggested alternative products they might like.”

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