Will Amazon suffer a Christmas boycott?

The holiday season is all about spending time with loved ones and, judging by most office mailrooms, shopping on Amazon. Last year, 76% of Americans who shopped online for Christmas gifts said they planned to do most of their shopping on Amazon.

Amazon now accounts for just shy of half of all online sales in the U.S. and Santa’s not-so-little helper is expected to have another big Christmas this year. But there are a growing number of people whose footsteps won’t be graced by Amazon packages this holiday season – consumers boycotting the online retailer. No one denies the convenience of shopping at Amazon, but for some there are a number of reasons – from the working conditions in Amazon’s warehouses, the company’s aggressive anti-tax lobbying, its impact on local businesses or its sale of white nationalist merchandise – that make that convenience too high a price to pay. But even those shoppers admit that their boycotts come at a price.

The most lucrative time of the year

Steven Shamrock, 51, had been considering boycotting Amazon for some time. First when he learned how Amazon workers were treated. Jeff Bezos may be one of the richest men in the world, but Amazon’s average salary is a paltry $28,446 a year. The second time Shamrock considered boycotting Amazon was when he read about the company’s dominance in web services. Amazon Web Services controls about 45% of the world’s cloud computing capacity and provides web services for customers ranging from Netflix to the CIA to the UK Ministry of Justice.

The final straw came in May of this year when he read that Amazon was limiting customers who made too many returns.

“If a firm gets that big, it can start cherry-picking its customers, it’s not really a business that promotes competition,” said Shamrock, who has his own public accounting practice in the Chicago area. According to him, nothing is good at the extremes, especially large companies that can end up controlling prices or distorting them. “I think anytime a company gets that big and gains that much economic power, it never ends well.”

Recently, Amazon announced that it was going to start paying its employees at least $15 an hour and that it will exert some of its influence on Capitol Hill to push for an increase in the federal minimum wage. While on the surface this announcement appears to benefit workers, the move also benefits Amazon. With the unemployment rate dropping below 4% and fewer Americans looking for work, companies have been struggling to attract potential candidates. And to get all those Amazon Prime packages out in time for the holidays, Amazon had to hire 100,000 more people this year.

Shamrock, who said he might reconsider his boycott if the company treated its employees better, was not impressed by the news. “The raise is still not a living wage and I haven’t heard of any improvement in working conditions. We are still boycotting Amazon,” he said. His wife and 21-year-old twin sons have also joined the boycott.

Laura Klein would also like Amazon to do more to get her to end her boycott. When she feels the urge to shop, Klein goes online and checks to see if Amazon is still streaming NRATV, the National Rifle Association’s media streaming service. Shopping at Amazon is convenient, but for the past 10 months Klein has been boycotting the company.

Klein decided to boycott Amazon shortly after the school shooting in Parkland, Florida, in February, which claimed 17 lives. At the time, the New York Times published an article about NRATV, the National Rifle Association’s online television channel, which broadcasts pro-gun content and is streamed on Amazon Fire TV, as well as Apple TV and Roku. It wasn’t long before calls for an Amazon boycott spread like wildfire across the Internet. Months later, nothing has changed.

As a result, Klein has done most of her holiday shopping at a local brick-and-mortar store and has decided to boycott the second season of The Marvellous Mrs Maisel, which premiered on Amazon Prime on December 5.