Is Amazon’s 1-click button a good thing? | Fun Questions

November 2, 2013 Fun Questions 25

Join me every Saturday as I ask a Fun Question that’s been on my mind. I’ll give you my take, but I really hope you’ll jump in with your answers too, since I’m really curious to know what my fellow readers and bloggers think! So today’s question is…

Is Amazon’s 1-click button a good thing?

If you’ve read any of my Sunday Posts or watched my Twitter feed any random evening you’ve probably noticed that I have 1-click-itis. I buy Amazon books like they’re going out of business. Every day. And I wouldn’t have given any thought to the 1-click button’s dangers, beyond laughing that I use it too often if it weren’t for a recent problem I had. Here’s what happened:

My mom shares my Amazon account. She doesn’t need Amazon for much, so it’s just easier to share. She’s saved all her payment information and when we need to make a purchase we just make sure that we select the right credit card. Well, recently she’s started reading Kindle Books (thanks to my blog- yay!) and she texted me really confused because she was trying to buy books, but couldn’t figure out how to switch it to her payment profile. In fact, she accidently bought a book with my card. No big deal – I probably would have bought it anyway LOL. However, I thought, “Ok, I better turn off that 1-click button” so that this doesn’t happen to either of us by accident.

Guess what? You can’t turn it off for digital purchases! That’s right – if you want to buy anything digital you don’t get to select your card, you have to 1-click. I even contacted customer service to make sure I wasn’t missing something and I wasn’t. So now I have my mom’s card setup as the default for 1-click’s and when I want to purchase something that’s more than a Freebie, I have to go through a ton of extra steps to change the card. The result? Even if a book is just a couple bucks, I’m thinking a little more about whether or not I want to buy it, when before I would have said $2? Sure, why not. So, in my case at least – the 1-click button is actually hurting not helping their sales. Of course that’s now. It used to be a very different scenario.

But the whole scenario got me thinking. Amazon must have it setup that way for a good reason right? Here’s what I’m thinking:

1 – Impulse buys. The more time you have to think about it, the more likely you are to change your mind. Clicking through and selecting your card gives you time to think about where the money for that book is actually coming from.

2- Accidental buys. You might accidentally hit that button when you’re thinking about purchasing an item. If it didn’t cost a whole lot, you just might decide to keep it, rather than going through the pain of asking for a refund (which is NOT a 1-click process!)

They’ve marketed it as being more convenient, but really, how much harder is it to select your card? I say all this with the full intention of never stopping buying books from Amazon – I mean, the deals are great and I love the instant gratification – but I’m also much more aware of the marketing that’s going on. In fact, I decided to take a look at my last month’s bank statement to see how much my 1-click-istis has cost me. You ready for this?

Between October 1 and October 31 I spent $60 on 1-click purchases that were between $0.99 and $1.99!

Can you believe that? I was flabbergasted! Here I am trying to be frugal and I blew $60 on books that were less than $2!! So I’ll continue 1-clicking those Freebies but you better believe I’m being much more careful about those 1-click deals. In a way, I guess I should thank Amazon for being so inflexible with their 1-click button settings! If they hadn’t, who knows how long it would have taken me to stop and look at how much those little purchases were costing?

Do you have 1-click-itis? How well do you monitor your purchases?

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About Berls
Berls has been a book lover her whole life. She reads pretty much every genre and is currently working hard at making her childhood dream of becoming an author come true. She loves sharing her thoughts about books, blogging, and just random fun stuff. She's a challenge and read-a-thon junkie, so it's no wonder that she loves co-hosting the COYER reading challenge. Leave a comment, Berls is always happy to chat!

25 Responses to “Is Amazon’s 1-click button a good thing? | Fun Questions”

  1. Pamela D

    I don’t one-click as much anymore, since my library started buying e-books. However, I still don’t want to look at my bill, because I am sure that it is higher than I think it is!
    Pamela D recently posted…Sunday Update!My Profile

    • Berls

      LOL don’t look if you don’t have too, it will shock the pants off of you! Well, actually after being shocked, I was happy I looked because I really can’t afford to be spending that kind of money every month- especially since I don’t know when I’ll actually get around to reading those books. But I’m a library girl too – I just use that for the books I want to read NOW and kindle discount buys are the books I think I’ll want to read someday. So I’m trying to fix that thinking a bit…

  2. Jonetta (Ejaygirl)

    I’m such a convenience girl so I’m all over 1-click:) Now, with that said, I do monitor what I spend because I only buy with gift cards these days. I just like that when I’m ready to purchase I don’t have to go through all those screens to verify cards, etc., which make me nervous from a security standpoint.

    Does Amazon know what they’re doing from a marketing perspective? They’d better! And, I’m appreciative though when their goals match mind so that doesn’t bug me. It’s smart business and I don’t feel like I’m being duped. Ultimately, I control what I do and don’t spend.

    Bottom line…I love it:)

    • Berls

      I hadn’t thought about the security angle – your completely right about that! I don’t have any Amazon gift cards (am I the only one not winning these things? LOL) but I’m seriously considering buying some for myself as a way to self-budget. That way I don’t have to monitor my spending so much, I can set a budget amount on the gift card and when it’s gone… it’s gone!

  3. A'ishah Rose

    I love 1-click! I use my debit card for it. I think you have to have it to buy books from your Kindle, which is why I originally got it – and I was pretty wary at first. But Amazon is great about letting you immediately (and even up to several days after) return impulse or accidental purchases, with quick credits back to your bank account.

    I check my bank account online every day so I have an idea of how much money I have, and I mentally keep track when I have mini-sprees using 1-click on Amazon, so I may not be able to tell you exactly how much I’ve spent but I’m not shocked when I see $13 or $24 charges on my bank statement from doing a lot of 1-click purchases back to back (they group the charges).

    I mostly use it to buy more expensive books that I have been wanting to read for a long time, or to buy Kindle Daily Deals/other cheap books I find that really catch my eye. I don’t return books I bought on 1-click after I read them because that squicks my conscience, but I will return it if I’ve read a few pages and know I’m going to hate it, if I purchased it accidentally, or if it was an impulse buy I regretted the next day (that I haven’t read yet).

    In the last month I’ve spent roughly $60 on 1-click/Kindle purchases, not including a few returns and the partial refund I got for my Amazon Prime account. I tend to go more 1-click crazy after I get paychecks with lots of overtime (like I did last Friday) – that’s when I’ll splurge and buy a couple of the $5-$10 books on my wishlist that I’ve been holding off on for awhile.
    A’ishah Rose recently posted…Clean Out Your E-Reader Challenge!My Profile

    • Berls

      See you’re using 1-click the right way – you know what your spending! I, on the other hand, was totally (and blissfully) unaware. It was just too easy to say a book was just $0.99 cents, why not? and then all of a sudden it’s up to $60!

      I totally agree with you – if I read a book completely, I’m not going to return it. If I have one that turns into a DNF pretty quickly, then I might return it (depends on what I spent and when I bought it). I think the problem with my spending is I buy these books so quickly and then forget about them – meaning I won’t even know if I should have returned them. So I’m just making myself get way more aware.

  4. Katie Hayoz

    My name is Katie and I’ve got a one-click problem. Like everyone above, I find it just SO easy to click and get what I want immediately. And how many times have I told myself, “Oh!Don’t worry, it’s just $3.99 or $.99.” only to find out that my one-clicks end up costing as much as college tuition! Thing is, I love that button. I’d be sad if it went away. Geesh, do I need help.
    Katie Hayoz recently posted…November: Write it. Read it. Clean it. #COYERMy Profile

    • Berls

      Well at least I’m not alone 😉 Those little purchases add up so quickly, and you don’t feel them unless you actually are paying attention. So dangerous! I think I like the 1 click button, but I want an option right below it to select my payment method before clicking. It would just make things so much easier!

  5. Lexxie @ (un)Conventional Bookviews

    Hi, I’m Lexxie, and I have suffered from one-click-itis for a very long time. *sighs*

    I have also returned kindle books for refund more than once, even a couple of times after having read the books (when that happened within the 7 days) and I didn’t find it very difficult – it only took two clicks instead of one, and it took three extra seconds. Amazon was very quick to send me a confirmation e-mail that my credit card would received the refund within 30 days, so I’ve not been unhappy about that at all.

    These days, I don’t buy a whole lot of books (apart from freebies and sometimes $.99 books) because my ‘might read one day’ shelf has about 4000 books on it – these are books that look interesting, or that have been recommended to me by my blogger friends, and I’m hoping I’ll live long enough to read them all 😉 My TBR shelf only has books that I already own, plus a few that are future books in series I love and have on pre-order. My TBR shelf currently has 646 books on it…

    So yeah, one-click is not a great thing for me at all. But neither is NG or EW…

    Great discussion post, Berls!
    Lexxie recently posted…Sidekick Showcase #24 – Candyhouse WitchMy Profile

    • Berls

      Thanks Lexxie! I’m so glad to see I’m not alone in owning a few more books than I can actually hope to read anytime soon. I just get so excited and if I had more time to read I would. Here’s hoping we both live long enough to read all those books!

  6. Jennifer K

    I like the 1-click system, but see how it could get people in trouble. It is very easy to buy e-books.

    I am curious re: sharing the account. I know you can put multiple kindles on one account. But does that mean that your mom gets all the e-books you buy? Probably better to get separate accounts unless you want to share books.

    I definitely think that it should be easier to switch methods of payment. But like others I only work with gift cards. And I am careful to only buy books that are on sale. And books that I really want and will read.

    I looked at my October purchases and it totaled less than $7. So that’s pretty good.

    I think amazon is pretty sneaky for not allowing you to turn off the 1-click system for e-books. That does not seem fair.

    • Berls

      Yeah my mom gets all the books I buy and vice-versa, but she doesn’t buy that often so it’s not a huge deal. She’s just a we-bit technologically challenged at times so I made her card the default for one click, even though I use it more.

      I’m amazed at how good you did – $7!!! I’m now being much more careful though, so maybe I’ll have a similar figure for November! Fingers crossed!

  7. Vilia

    I don’t buy through Amazon too much as I have a Kobo now and they have different system. I can see why Amazon has done it and it is a very clever strategy of increasing their cash flow. I do however feel a bit sorry for those who want to ‘opt-out’ like you and can’t. Amazon should give you the choice even if they bury it.

    I have a credit card that acts as a debit card for all my internet purchases and this is really helpful because I only have a small amount on the card at any given time – when it is gone, it’s gone. The fact I have to manually top up the card means I can track what I’m doing.
    Vilia recently posted…Review: Red Heat by Nina BruhnsMy Profile

    • Berls

      That’s smart Vilia. Several of the responses on this post have given me ideas for how I might manage better. I don’t have more than 1 credit card and I like to keep it open for emergencies, but I do think I’m going to simulate what your doing with a gift card that I buy for myself for my Amazon book purchases.

    • Berls

      LOL That’s smart! I recently saw your book budgeting post and I think I’m going to start doing that this month too. I need to force myself to be more accountable! Plus I realize that when I 1-click books I’m not getting to them nearly as quickly – which means I’m spending money and then not reading! Not good money management at all…

  8. Debbie

    Every month when I see my bill and realize what I’ve spent on 1-Click digital purchases, I vow to do something differently… but I still have yet to stop my 1-Click-itis. It’s awfully convenient but oh-so-terrible for my credit card. And yes, I also share an account with my mom but luckily we don’t have the card switching problem since we just divvy the money up separately.

    • Berls

      At least you’ve been semi aware because of your bills. I don’t look at my monthly statements that closely (I know I should) because I know how much money I should have and if it’s right I don’t pay attention. Now that I’m aware I seem to be doing a tad bit better. But that one click button is killer! The divving the money up with my mom is an option, but I think it would mean more work and maybe make me painfully aware of my spending LOL

  9. kimbacaffeinate

    Ha, I love the one click buy and when I buy from B&N I can do that on the actual reader but not website. I do notice that books I one click buy do not get read nearly as fast as those I pre-order but they do make me happy as I have my moments of madness!
    kimbacaffeinate recently posted…Hard As It Gets by Laura KayeMy Profile

    • Berls

      I LOVE getting new books, but I’m thinking that I’ll start being a lot more careful because $60 bucks a month for books I probably won’t get to for quite a while just doesn’t make good sense. Mostly I think I’ll just get more focused on actually reading those books more quickly!

    • Berls

      I wasn’t as worried as I should have been – I really had no idea I was spending so much. It’s a very good thing that I became more aware – I can’t afford that kind of spending every month!

  10. Angie F.

    Hi. My name is Angie and I’m a 1-click-aholic.

    I can’t not press that beautiful orange button when I see a good deal! However, I’m also not sharing my account with another Kindle user. Plus I only purchase Kindle books using gift cards, so I’m less careful than I would be if I were using my credit card.

    That button is totally genius for impulse buys, at least for Amazon, but their returns are kind of a pain when you come to your sense. I accidentally 1-clicked a book I already owned and actually had to chat with Customer Service to get my money back even though it was only a few minutes later! They were acting like I had read it and wanted to return it. Um no, not that fast of a reader, Amazon!
    Angie F. recently posted…November Kindle Fire HDX Giveaway!My Profile

    • Berls

      The gift cards thing is such a good idea! Do you only use ones you win or do you use gift cards to budget yourself from month to month? I could see buying myself gift cards at the start of each month to keep myself more aware. I’ve had a bad return experience as well – when I had clearly accidentally bought the book.

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