amazon coins

Will Amazon Coins Last Long?

Will Amazon coins last long?

I don’t have a clue. For those who don’t know what Amazon coins are, you can read more about them here. I’ve been interested in these new Amazon coins since I heard Amazon issued 500 to each Kindle Fire customer. Not from an interested consumer’s POV, but more from a business POV.

I doubt I’ll ever use them. I use an iPad for everything now, even Kindle purchases, so I didn’t get any freebies. And frankly, I don’t want to be bothered with them at this point in time…in spite of how often I actually do make purchases on Amazon. I’ve bought everything there from books to feather dusters. I even buy some of the oils for my lampe berger on Amazon. But the Amazon coins are not something I’m going to deal with.

At first I wondered if there was a way for Amazon to avoid sales tax with these coins. As a small business owner, the only thing I hate more than paying retail is paying sales tax. But then I read this on Amazon:

  • Amazon Coins are not taxed when you purchase them. When you buy an item with Coins on which Amazon is required to charge sales tax, you use your Coins to pay the tax.
  • So even though the coins themselves aren’t taxed, if the government starts to enforce Internet sales tax, which I think they will do very soon, I’ll still be required to pay the tax with my Amazon coins. I have to admit that if it were legal, and Amazon could get away with not charging sales tax with Amazon coins, I would have looked into this more thoroughly.

    But then again, I’ve never liked coupons, or credits, or points of any kind because I’ve always found these supposedly good things for us were only created to make us spend more money…on things we may or may not need. I tend to stick with the old adage: learning to hold on to your money is as important as making it. That’s why I refuse to have Amex…or any credit card that charges a membership fee. And why I don’t belong to any of those large shopping clubs where you have to pay to actually join…and spend money there afterward.

    I did find a great article that delves into Amazon coins more deeply, and it gives examples of other Internet companies, like Facebook, that tried to do their own currency and failed.

    Facebook also tried its hand at virtual currency starting back in 2009 with its Facebook Credits for game purchases and virtual goods. The company even sold physical cards in some stores to redeem the credits. Rumors swirled that Facebook Credits would become the new way for making purchases online. But at the end of last year, the social media giant phased out credits and went back to using local currencies for online purchases. Some have said Facebook didn’t market the credits enough, or that developers didn’t receive enough compensation when Facebook users made purchases with Credits.

    I never bothered with Facebook credits either. But it should be interesting to see how Amazon does with their coins. I could be in the minority. I have to admit that they usually seem to be on target, and they almost always get what they want. And it wouldn’t surprise me if Amazon coins actually turned out to be something people like. Stranger things have happened.

    Photo attribution to Chinese Pu Money, here.