I’ve fully avoided this post for a while but you know what? It’s been about 8 months since I’ve ordered anything fashion from Amazon and I think I can safely say I’ve walked away from this altogether. I wanted to make sure before I made a public statement just in case I wanted to walk it back…but as it turns out, I don’t miss it at all.

First off, I understand why I, as a consumer and influencer, shopped at Amazon Fashion for years — and why you would too: they have an unending amount of cute styles, fast shipping, fairly cheap clothes. It’s enticing, intoxicating even. In fact, Amazon clothing has become better in quality and style (I didn’t say great, I said better) over the years. Before 2021, it really was a hit-or-miss situation with fit, fabric, quality, but now I feel fairly confident in what I am going to get brand by brand. And to that I will say kudos to the brands who stepped up and started getting sizing correct, more standardized patterns and fabrics and better quality. As an influencer it’s beneficial and dare I even say sustainable for us to wear and link to products on Amazon because the stock is evergreen, meaning I can link to something I bought in 2020 because it’s still online from the same retailer in the same fit, fabric and color. Whereas most brands / designers move through their stock seasonally if not monthly, never to be seen again after 60-90 days online. (I find some retailers like J.Crew, Madewell, Nordstrom are getting better at returning best sellers year over year and their denim stays pretty standard as well. But products move so quickly, it’s hard to keep up sometimes.) As an influencer, this means I don’t have to keep buying new things just to share with you because it is in stock at all times on Amazon. (To those who say I don’t have to do this, I can wear whatever, etc. I appreciate you! However it is a bit more nuanced than that. Sharing clothing and you buying them is how I make money as my job, so items being in stock is the best practice for an influencer.)

Last year I hit a wall with Amazon, everything I ordered I had to talk myself into actually liking. That’s not a good sign. However, it wasn’t just one bad order that made me reached this conclusion of not shopping on Amazon any more, but instead a myriad of personal and professional ones over the past 2 years. With probably the most glaring reason being the overconsumption of it all. Last year when I launched my pre-loved shop I had a full reckoning with myself. I think I’ve sold over 600-700 items that I was simply storing in my closet(s) or bins or racks in an empty room. (note: this was not all items exclusively from Amazon. I’ve sold items that I’ve acquired from multiple retailers over the last few years. I’ve bought a lot of Amazon but not THAT much.) That is an insane amount of clothing for one person to own, even if I can justify a lot of it with my job of 15 years as a style blogger / influencer. I hesitate even sharing that number, as if you didn’t already know, but quantifying something makes me feel a certain way. There was a feeling of guilt? (shame? I’m not sure) that I felt when I realized what I would or even *could* wear versus what I owned was never going to match. If you’ve shopped in the pre-loved shop, you’ve probably received many brand new items because they were only worn for a try on or a shoot and, with the best of intentions, I kept them. That’s the thing about me is that I can see possibility in most things, especially clothes. When I tell you I like something, I really do. So much so that I’ll keep it for years unworn in a closed room on a rack, preserved for no other reason than my personal enjoyment of keeping. While seeing possibilities can be a strength, it’s also a weakness. I tend to keep and keep and keep, all with the best of intentions. What’s the saying — the way to hell is paved with good intentions? Looking around and seeing the overconsumption of try ons, shopping or gifting from PR over the years has felt like my own personal hell I need to get out of. Part of this has been limiting my shopping habits, cleaning out my closet and donating / selling items. But the other part is figuring out what this means for myself as a person and for my job as an influencer.

Ok so, overconsumption on my part as a consumer and influencer: check. The second reason for leaving Amazon fashion behind: I don’t like anything I buy. I don’t want to speak for my past self because there were a lot of Amazon finds that I truly loved over the years and I don’t want you to feel duped — I mean what I say and believe in what I wear. And I will always standby that one shoulder swimsuit I bought back in 2019 and have shared every year; that one deserves all the accolades. But you know how a ‘yes’ for something means it’s a ‘no’ for something else? Well that’s how I feel about Amazon. Yes it may be cheaper, but If I buy a $50 dress from Amazon and because I don’t have unlimited funds then that is also a ‘no’ to something with better quality from a retailer that I would rather to shop at. Amazon has become an intersection of my own need for convenience and the product’s need for convincing; sure it’s fast and cheap but then I have to convince myself that I like what I bought by heavily weighing the low price and quick shipping to what I actually look for in a product like the fit, quality, fabric, longevity, style, etc. Somehow ‘it’ll work’ has become good enough for now. And as I’ve learned my ‘good for right now’ pile turns into a ‘I never wore that did I?’ pile. I find myself making excuses for poorly constructed pieces, lackluster fabrics that I just know will fall apart when I wash them, or using the age old reasoning of ‘oh I can just send it back’ if I don’t like it, in which, I never send it back.

There are other reasons that I won’t go into for brevity sake, but one I will mention is the company itself just doesn’t sit right with me. However, I know good and well that if I start down that rabbit hole what I find will bleed into other retailers as well and I’ll be honest — I’m not quite there yet. Because the thing is I still shop on Amazon. That’s the other side of this coin; I may not shop their clothing any more but I still use their service, yep, I’m still a prime member. For instance, my coffee is on subscription because while addicted to it I always forget to reorder, and it’s so helpful for when I need to get something quickly like kid goggles for G’s swim class, or a new tripod for our camera that I could only find online. I have however become more conscious about when I shop there, why I shop there, etc. I do still use it from time to time for the convenience, the price, and the absolute breadth of product selection on the most niche of items. I’m keeping a close pulse on how that can change for me once our prime membership is up this year but I’m still wondering if it’s something I can walk away from entirely, if I’m being honest.

The funniest thing is I got kicked out of the Amazon Influencer program last fall. It hurt my pride for a second, I won’t lie, because I was one of the beta members in the fashion program way back when and have been with their influencer program since the beginning. I get it though, it makes sense — I simply wasn’t making sales because I had stopped linking to them and to stay in the program you need to make dedicated sales. I’d kick me out too. They tossed me out like old news via a boiler plate email for low performers to make room for ‘better’ influencers. That’s the Amazon way. In the end I realized something though: I was no longer useful or beneficial to them, so they moved on, cut and dry. But so can I: their clothing no longer serves me and I can find something better, too. Mutual breakups really are the best.

***

Side note: I don’t want anyone to read this with judgement towards you or your purchasing behavior. These are my personal thoughts and reactions to years of shopping on Amazon and realizing it’s not the best avenue for me. It may very well be for you and that is just fine. I wanted to bridge a gap in the content I usually bring (Amazon finds being one of them) and where I am now personally in my own life and style journey. I hope this post illuminates that for you as a reader. 

 

22 Responses

  1. I agree with amazon fashion – the quality is not there I would rather have one quality piece that i love and wear than 5 pieces for a cheaper price

  2. I am curious how this will practicaLly work. I think overconsumption is a problem. But will you continue to have the same amouny of items on the blig but just now at a higher price? Or are you shifting your whole business model to less clothes but better quality even if you make less money that way? It seems the balance is a thin line and that every influencer needs to deal with.

    1. I have no idea! That’s actually what I’m grappling with right now and why content is light (I mean among other reasons but this is one.) I still believe in sharing my style and I still believe that I can find the best things, but I also don’t think higher price always equals better or best and vice versa. So I actually don’t know where this leaves me and it’s a frustrating place for me to be so I suspect it would be frustrating as a reader. I think I’m just at the beginning of this transition, so I’m trying to figure out how I want to move forward without just overconsumption but yeah, it’s a conundrum for sure because a lot of it ties into my income, rather I like that or not. So to be transparent, I don’t know but I would like to figure it out this year. I think that there can be another way to do this, I just have to imagine it 🙂

      1. Appreciate your transparency on not knowing the path ahead. I think as consumers, we’re all on this journey together as we realize there’s a reckoning of being able to constantly buy, style and enjoy the things we love and the greater implications of doing so, as it has a huge impact on the planet and people through the resources it takes to make, ship and trash all of it when we’re done with it. I think one thing I would love to see as a reader is how you would restyle the same pieces that you really love more often- regardless of price point. Not a capsule wardrobe but integrating old and new, Old and old, even from many seasons ago to show the true versatility of certain pieces. I know that’s challenging when your income is tied to showcasing new all the time, but it could be a way to balance it out more. Thanks for being real with us!

        1. 100% agree with everything you’re saying here. And thank you for letting me know what you’d like to see! In the spirit of transparency, I’m always afraid that you (as readers) will find me re-wearing the same piece over and over as boring, so it’s a nice reminder that it certainly isn’t. It’s quite real to how I wear my clothes IRL and I’m dying to bridge that gap. Thanks for the encouragement and patience! 🙂

  3. Amazon as a company doesn’t sit right with me either. :/ I’m currently trying to see if i can buy less from from them with the hope of giving them up altogether.

  4. My husband works for AMAZON, SO THAT’s my justification for shopping there. I feel like I’m supporting him, not jeff B.! But I am very selective if purchasing clothes. They can be so hit or miss, I have found a few winners over the years (that one strapped bathing suit being one of them!), but i can typically find better options elsewhere. I have also learned to put something in my cart and then save it for later so i have to think about whether i really need/want it. that has cut down on consumption a lot for me.

    1. Absolutely! And that’s what I mean — it’s such a hard line to draw in the sand. Youre right — they employ SO many people and that’s a good thing and for the record I’m supporting your husband too, lol. There is no absolute solution here. But I do find myself just mindlessly ordering things and it’s like girl, get it together. I love your thoughts on this so thank you 🙂

  5. I’m all for this. I like hearing your insider thoughts on this. I don’t like the company as a whole anymore – I feel like they walmarted (can we use that as a verb?) a lot of small businesses so they can be the one and only stop for everything. But then it’s hard to beat the shipping turn around during the holidays or when you need something niche in a pinch, as you stated. i’m toying with canceling my membership before it renews this year and just paying for it as a monthly expense come christmas. even their prime video has gone down the shitter haha

    1. I know, it’s amazing how well they know consumer behavior and how we all kind of ‘need’ them now. The ads on prime video surprise me every damn time lol but damn it! I’m not paying $3/month for no ads lol.

    1. Oh man, I know. I think I read that article last fall but it was a good re-read, thanks for sharing. It’s a big iceberg to chip away at huh? Thanks for the support in this!

  6. Great post and mostly kind comments as well. When I sorted my closet one year, i found the bulk of the discards were – you guessed it amazon, i shifted then. i have a few good items but most were duds. your thoughts well rounded and so though out – i appreciate you sharing. i hope you find a balance so you can feel even better about your choices.

  7. Wow, I have been thinking the same as you about Amazon Clothing and I totally apreciate your honesty and how you talked it out to why you feel this way. Thank you!

  8. Thank you for taking this step, Kendi! I have not had prime for 2 years now and have no regrets! The ethics are what did it for me—and it easier to stick with something when you associate the decision with your deepest values.

  9. Absolutely love this!!! Thanks for being brave enough to abandon amazon…i feel like very few influencers would do that.

    1. Thanks Carrie! They definitely have a big hold on the influencer market for sure. I’ll be interested to see how it all shakes out because it feels so amazon heavy these days, but for me I think I’ll spend my time and money elsewhere. 🙂

  10. i’d love to see you do more content about mixing and using what you have in your closet. ithink it better reflects reality for most women. i pick a few new items to feel current, but then I am working with what i have. new pairings from more creative people are fantastic inspiration for me. thanks, kendi!

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