Generation of science and technology: Amazon “ships before you buy”

Recently, Amazon announced that they’re working on Amazon Air, a system in which drones will have your packages to your home within a matter of hours. The idea is nice, but in reality, there’s bound to be more theft and potential injury if anything goes wrong with the delivering drones. As if Amazon Air wasn’t enough, the online retail giant is developing a ship before you buy program in which Amazon will ship you products based on what you’ve looked at, hovered over with your mouse, or just something you might be interested in. It doesn’t take a genius to realize that this is an awful idea.

Either Amazon thinks they’ve come up with the greatest idea known to man or they’re just really stupid. Since when does checking out a product on Amazon mean you’re going to buy it? If that was the case, I’d have a house full of seventeen different sofas and cat trees. The system is called “anticipatory shipping” developed by a company called The Verge, which is aiming to reduce delivery times to customers. I find this interesting because I doubt customers will be complaining about items that they haven’t even purchased. What I can see is outraged customers complaining about receiving items they didn’t really wish to purchase or pay for, but having to do so anyways because it’s now at their doorstep.

The anticipatory shipping will be determined by wish lists, how long you hovered over an item, and previous searches and purchases. The system can go either one of two ways. In the first case, Amazon will ship the product to the specific area, it’ll be placed into a distribution center or onto a truck, and if someone in that area is looking to buy that product, it’ll be offered at a discounted price or will be there within one or two days. Now, the second scenario is where the issue arises. Amazon will just place a product you haven’t even purchased on your doorstep and hope that you’ll either return it if you don’t want it or pay for it. That’s a lot of work for a product you didn’t even want to order in the first place. And let’s be real here, what are the chances of people actually paying for the product or finding the time to return it?

As of right now, Amazon doesn’t have a set date or time for the new system to take place. However, they’re very determined to make it happen which is a little weird. In the meantime, if you’re stoked on the idea of receiving potential products you don’t actually intend on buying, start keeping your cursor over designer bags and adding premium gaming computers to your wish list. You might just come home to one on your doorstep!