Despite the fact that it’s only a website with no actual salespeople, we all know Amazon has some of the best “salespeople” in the world. The company takes great pride in the prognosticative algorithms they use to predict your shopping habits; once you’ve bought one item from Amazon, they always seem to know what you’ll want to buy next. Click on one item, and it’s even more information for them to get you to the next one.
As you may have experienced, this can lead to a lot of “domino effect” shopping, where you went to Amazon’s site to buy just one thing but ended up with a whole truckload of stuff. Amazon shopping at it’s best.
As a little bit of an experiment, I’ve decided to see where this phenomenon of “domino shopping” takes me, but with one specific element in mind: the OPAS Oregon Advantage!
In case you don’t know, OPAS is located in the state of Oregon. Oregon, beyond having lovely forests with wonderful big trees and mountains, also has no sales tax. Sales tax is usually between 7% and 10% for every other state in the US. So let’s see how much you’d save during a shopping spree just by sending your items to an OPAS Oregon address!
So, starting with the “recommended items” on my Amazon page, the first item I see is a “Troy and Abed in the Morning” coffee cup, merchandise from the exceptional (and sadly, recently cancelled) television show, Community. It’s a personal favorite, and buying the collected seasons from Amazon is no doubt how it ended up recommended for me:
Price: $21.95. Sales tax: $2.19 (I’m going with the nice, round 10% figure for hypothetical sales tax, mainly because the math is easiest, but also because some other forwarders are in 10% sales tax states, so it’s applicable for many international buyers.)
Off to a pretty slow start, but two dollars and change is still savings.
Now the Amazon associative algorithm starts to do its thing – “Customers who bought this item also bought…” Is there a deadlier phrase in internet shopping?
CARDS AGAINST HUMANITY! Great choice!
Price: $25.00. Sales tax: $2.50. Total savings: $4.69.
Now the next level of connective selling kicks in – “other items to consider…” and it shows me a Braun 390cc-4 Shaving System.
I don’t know why, after being interested in Community merchandise and Cards Against Humanity, the Amazon algorithms would think that I’m a beard-wearing man in need of such a fine shaving tool… I am, but that’s beside the point… (hipster alert!)
Price: $149.99. Sales tax: $14.99. Total savings: $19.68. Now we’re starting to get somewhere.
Next it’s linked me to a Roku streaming media player. Ooh. We’ve seen a lot of customers order these, or Google Chromecast, or similar products. I’ll add this one to the spree just because it’s applicable for international buyers out there.
Price: $49.50. Sales tax: $4.95. Total savings: $24.63.
Next, they pull out the big guns. They’ve suggested the Amazon Kindle Fire HD 8.9”. Let’s just say I were to do it, and I were to get the 32 GB storage model…
Price: $299.00. Sales tax: $29.90. Total savings: $54.53.
At this point, I think I’d have to restrain myself. Still, I’ve managed to save over $50 JUST by shipping to Oregon. If I were an OPAS member with a Package & Mail account with yearly billing of $100, I’ve saved enough to cover half of my membership fee for the whole year in just one afternoon! This doesn’t even account for the savings I’d accrue by having lower shipping costs as a result of my Package & Mail membership, or being able to consolidate the items from this spree with future orders, a service that’s available to all OPAS members!
So I think you can see the benefit of an OPAS account, and the Oregon advantage. It’s not just about paying less for shipping, it’s about paying less for the merchandise itself!