Organic Consumers Association

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Local Bookstores Ask Customers To Boycott Amazon Over New Price Check App Offer

For related articles and more information, please visit OCA's Breaking The Chains page.
Should people boycott Amazon? Increasing numbers of retailers and publishers have been daring to ask the question, in the face of aggressive tactics by the book industry leader.

Although Amazon offers an unmatched selection of books and other products via its website, some of the Seattle-based company's recent moves, such as its book lending program and its sales tax policy, have led many retailers, publishers and politicians to turn against it. But would enough customers change their spending habits in order to force a shift in the company's behavior?

Earlier this year, a movement in California called on customers to boycott Amazon over the online store's attempts to avoid paying internet sales tax in the state.

Now an offer related to the company's new Price Check app for smartphones is causing further dissatisfaction with Amazon's aggressive policies.

The free application allows users to go into real-world stores and scan the barcodes of products that they want, using their smartphone's camera. The app then displays the cheapest price for that same product if bought via Amazon, and also allows the user to make the purchase directly from the online retailer.

As Amazon doesn't have to bear the real-world costs involved in running bricks-and-mortar retail outlets, its prices are often cheaper than those of local stores.

This Saturday, Amazon will offer Price Check customers an extra incentive: up to five dollars off products whose barcodes are scanned using their app. The effect of this is to encourage consumers to use their local brick-and-mortar stores as "showrooms," while not spending money supporting them. 
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