Adios, Amazon

As of February 9, 2019, Mapa Jeff maps will no longer be available on Amazon.
(They may instead be ordered from my online store.)

After three years of paying this company's steep fees to sell my maps, I have decided that my volume of sales there is not worth it - and I plan to do what I have done from the beginning, which is rely mostly on word of mouth.

It would be most useful to small entrepreneurs and craftsmen all over North America to have reasonably-priced access to an online marketplace that had anywhere near the reach of Amazon. And indeed, there are alternatives to buying on Amazon for most of the products one seeks.

However, this one company, having pioneered the online retail space a quarter-century ago, now dominates it completely across almost every sector of retail merchandising and many services too.

There is a reason Jeff Bezos, the company's founder, is the richest man on earth and has enough money to launch vanity projects such as tourism to outer space.

Part of that reason is that I, the one-man-band of fine art maps of Mexico, was paying 30% of every sale on the site (including the postage portion) to Amazon, along with a $40-per-month fee simply for the privilege of being on the platform at all.

But the dealbreaker was when I tried to release my 9th map, Nuevo Vallarta, in the post-friendly foldable portable edition, that I ended up being denied permisson by a bot who required the I prove Jeffrey Obser had authorization to sell Mapa Jeff maps. And no amount of dealing with humans via msm on the Subcontinent could lift the block. The Borg won.

Anyway, Mr. Bezos: Have a nice trip.

I urge everyone who values the part that small publishers, retailers, and entrepreneurs play in our society and economy to boycott Amazon and take your business elsewhere. I have (not just once) written to Members of Congress who have shown interest in initiating anti-trust action against this one particularly powerful company. It's not about punishing Amazon for being wonderfully successful and productive. It's about correcting an imbalance in the equation between its masters of technology and its users who, together, while propelling the incredible wealth and power of the masters, have no real alternative but to keep the money flowing to him by using the site.

I'd rather sell fewer maps and retain my integrity. It's what I've always done: Focus on the art, and be grateful for the interest and delight that my customers have always expressed when they encounter my work.

I do it for you - in the hope (and confidence) that knowing exactly where you are, while out traveling somewhere new, is a wise investment.