Posts tagged with "Wayfair"

Illustration by Samantha Miduri for use by 360 MAGAZINE

THE PROBLEM WITH PRIME DAY

By: Andrew Shibuya

It’s Prime Day–an almost dystopian new holiday of sorts, rivaling Black Friday itself and joining the ranks of those days that celebrate the contemporary culture of excessive consumerism. And perhaps almost as equally as dystopian as the day itself is the subsequent full throttle media push from news publications and influencers alike, listing the best deals and items to keep an eye out for.

And it’s not just Amazon that’s having a sale today. Retail giants Target and Walmart began their sales yesterday and today, too, attempting to both rival and outdo Amazon’s own sales. With this comes a massive ripple effect, with almost every large retailer and store offering their own imitative sales. Though indicative of Amazon’s obvious influence over the market, this ripple effect is similarly indicative of some greater ills of the post-modern capitalist world.

The event itself has been objectively well-crafted and carefully engineered. Beginning in 2015 to celebrate Amazon’s twentieth anniversary, Prime Day was introduced as a member’s only sale. And though the event was never truly a celebration for all as the company makes it out to be, now, the sales are hardly even sales. The bargains that are so celebrated are often merely engineered illusions, with prices being hiked initially, only for the appearance of a greater discount, and many items are often lackluster and unwanted models.

So, what is it about Prime Day and the subsequent market spike that keeps customers coming back? There are almost innumerable reasons behind why days like Prime Day and Black Friday are so successful, and there can be little doubt that there is a host of behavioral psychologists called upon to make Prime Day so successful. In general, Amazon employs numerous tried and true marketing and sales tricks that appeal to customers at a psychological level. From the rush of trying to snatch up a “Lightning Deal” to the fear of missing out on “a once in a lifetime” deal, Amazon certainly pulls out all the stops to generate perceived value around Prime Day’s deals.

This Prime Day, the first as the world begins its exit into a post-pandemic society, is worth considering sitting out. Out of everyone in the world, Amazon is one of the only entities for which the pandemic came with remarkable benefits.  The net worth of Amazon and subsequently Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos skyrocketed over the pandemic. In 2020 alone, Amazon saw a reported 70% increase in earnings in the first nine months of the year. And from March to June, Bezos’ net worth grew $48 billion.

It would be one thing – not a good thing by any means – but it would be something else entirely if Amazon did not have numerous documented issues with their working conditions. And these issues are said to only have grown worse with the pandemic. So as more people turned to Amazon as the pandemic forced everyone to remain at home, and as Bezos’ net worth grew, so too did claims of timed bathroom breaks, unreachable productivity requirements, and general unsafe working conditions.

In addition to these concerns regarding Amazon employees is the fact that Amazon in general has a vast environmental footprint. In 2019 alone, the company was reported to have generated 465 million pounds of plastic packaging waste. In air pillows alone, Amazon’s packaging waste would circle the planet more than 500 times. The fact that events like Prime Day are so successful is remarkable to see as the greater world comes to terms with or, in fact, does not come to terms with global warming and the vast detrimental effects of consumerism culture.

But what is most astonishing about the success of Prime Day is that these great drawbacks to the event, and to Amazon in general, are no secret. People are generally not shy about their criticisms of Amazon and Bezos himself. Tens of thousands of people have recently signed a petition to stop Bezos’ return to Earth following his trip to space next month. Innumerable thought pieces are written weekly indicting Amazon’s practices. And still, it’s one of the biggest companies in the world. Is Amazon now inevitable?

Between multibillion dollar business acquisitions and new real estate expansions, Amazon continues to expand its reach physically and to a wider audience. For a company that began as a bookstore alternative, Amazon now owns wholly unrelated companies to its online offerings such as Ring, Twitch, and Whole Foods.

And while perhaps not unexpected, the sheer variety and scale of Amazon’s holdings raise concerns of a further and more dominant monopoly across the entire marketplace. This is especially concerning in a year when more than 200,000 small businesses across the United States closed due to the coronavirus and ensuing lockdowns.

These concerns, of course, lead to the primary issues with Prime Day. Even if the discounts were truly exceptional, are the glaring issues with Amazon – from irreversible environmental damages to its troubling work conditions – worth its vast selection and free two-day shipping? It is this dilemma that will be a primary issue of the coming years as the cost and convenience of these trademark Amazon offerings are overshadowed by the inevitable environmental impact and implications of Amazon’s burgeoning monopoly.

Moreover, with respect to Prime Day itself, how often do people buy things that they actually need? Oftentimes, as with many sales, people buy items that they would not otherwise, save for the fact that they are on sale. Putting aside Amazon’s own issues with packaging and other waste, this sort of rampant consumerism in itself has led to an increase in pollutant emissions, increased deforestation, as well as an acceleration of global warming.

And while these issues are rather glaring and easy to point out, the solution is not so easily within reach. Ultimately, it will come down to if the convenience of Amazon is outweighed by their ever becoming ethically or morally untenable, whether because of their environmental or social impact. Until then, it seems that Prime Day will continue to succeed, Amazon will simply continue to grow, and so too will the number of complaints and worries. And thus, Amazon has become the company that everybody loves to criticize but few can resist.

 

Room Makeover illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Spruce Up Your Space

By: Carly Cohen × Vaughn Lowery

It’s time to spruce up your space. Giving your home a makeover is all about being resourceful and strategic. Let’s take a look at a handful of makeover tips to get you pointed in the right direction. We’ve listed the top efficient tips to give your space the ultimate makeover!

Get Organized

Being organized is key to having a well-put-together space. Waking up every morning and before going to bed every night, look around and pick up anything or everything that isn’t where it is supposed to be and put it in its designated spot. Purchasing storage organizers and matching bins are an easy and effective way to keep the space clean. There are so many shops with affordable and aesthetically pleasing organizers such as Marshalls, HomeGoods, Target, Amazon, and any home stores that they can think of. Designate a time out of the day to a particular spot in the space and focus on that space until it looks brand new. Once it reaches that clean and organized look, all that needs to be done is make it a habit to keep it that way.

It’s Time to Say Goodbye

Some clothes haven’t been worn in 3 years, or a kitchen filled with appliances that will never be needed or will never be used can be hard to get rid of sometimes. But please do get rid of it. Make a rule to his or herself while decluttering: “if I haven’t touched it in a few years, I need to get rid of it.” Getting rid of unnecessary products or appliances can help space feel ten times better. Getting rid of things can be challenging for some people, but once it is accomplished, they won’t look back. It will be refreshing to look around the space and only see things that are constantly needed and used and not having to worry about excess items.

Figure Out Your Style

There is no need to rush the process when changing the home or moving into a new space. It’s exciting, so sometimes people buy the first items they see without thinking about it for a little bit. It’s key to figure out his or her style because when they are surrounded by things that make them calm, happy, excited, the energy will radiate off of the environment they are in. If they love color and bright settings, but the place is dark and grey, they will feel that energy without realizing it. If they feel calmer in a spa-like environment with whites and plants, but the home is dark wood and blacks, the same thing happens, it will radiate the energy they are surrounded by. This is why it is so essential figuring out what spaces that give that calm and happy feeling. There are budget-friendly and not-so-budget-friendly ways to provide him or her what they are looking for. Either way, it is possible and crucial if this is the place where they go to bed at night and wake up in the morning.

Accessories

Accessorizing is the best part of updating a space. Accessorizing can be so fun and customizable. A popular way of accessorizing is candles and plants. There are so many candles out there that are incredible decorations and smell amazing, and who wouldn’t want their house to smell amazing? Places to look at for unique and lasting candles could be Anthropology, Nest, Le Labo Santal, and Chester Candle Company. Having plants (real or fake) bring in calming nature and awakens space. If they are into the music, they can create a section for the records and wall art of favorite artists. If they are into statement pieces of art, they can purchase beautiful pieces from the Pastel Paradise line through Desenio. If they are into fashion, they can purchase a clothing rack and place favorite pieces on display. If they love to host, make a bar cart and decorate it with sleek bottles and vintage glass wear. There are so many unique ways to accessorize to his or her liking.

Make it luxury without breaking the bank

Celebrities always have the most unique, modern, and fascinating homes, but it can be costly to get them how they are. There are so many other ways to make the space look luxurious without spending too much. Going neutral and accessorizing with exciting and unique things is key. Making the walls, light fixtures, and furniture neutral and simple can allow them to have so much fun in other ways. They can add texture and patterns to spice it up.

Make those ceilings tall

A lot of homes and apartments have shorter ceilings which can make space feel smaller. When it comes to windows, a trick to know hang the drapes close to the wall rather than directly above the window. Doing this creates an illusion that the window is taller than it is.

Bring in sunlight

Whenever I get the chance, I open up my shades every morning and open a window to let the sunshine in and listen to the outdoor sounds. This makes my space feel so calming and always makes me feel better to breathe in some fresh air every day without going outside. Even on a rainy day, listening to the rain as background noise while sitting at home is always fantastic. This is a great and extremely easy trick that everyone can manage.

Make the space perfect with:

Conspiracy illustrated by Mina Tocalini for 360 MAGAZINE.

‘Wayfairgate’

By Mina Tocalini

Wayfair Conspiracy irrupts over Twitter and Reddit with #wayfair, accusing the company of being involved in a child trafficking scheme. The trend sparked after Reddit user, PrincessPeach1987, posted a speculation on the conspiracy subreddit last Friday. The post expressed concern over the high prices of cabinets found on Wayfair, and contemplated whether it was a front for the sale of missing children.

Conspiracy Claims:

Counter Claims:

  • Wayfair stated the high prices were accurate for commercial grade products, but the descriptions and images provided by the supplier did not adequately explain the price.
  • Wayfair explained to Reuters that the company’s algorithm uses first names, geographic locations and common words for naming purposes.
  • Newsweek reported that SKUs did not return images of a single child and the same results were presented using a random set of numbers.
  • The Wayfair employee walkout protested contracts with ICE, but no complaints were made regarding posting missing children for sale

Social media’s effective dissemination of information is a clear strength, but we must also acknowledge the fact that it has the power to sensationalize rumors without consequence. The 2016 ‘Pizzagate’ conspiracy accused a Washington D.C pizzeria of being linked to a child trafficking ring run by the Democratic Party. Specifically, it targeted Hillary Clinton, the Presidential candidate for the 2016 election and was yet another attempt to discredit her. ‘Pizzagate’  was widely debunked, but continues to be believed by social media users till this day. The Wayfair Conspiracy expresses similar concerns and is based on the inferences and connections derived from little and inaccurate evidence. Furthermore, its claims can be

considered to be a distraction from more concrete searches for missing children. Like any conspiracy, its influence lies more in faith. Regardless, we each have the right to our opinions. Considering the effect this may have on the welfare of the company and its employees, will you debunk the claims made? Or defend the possibility of children being trafficked?

JOSH BYER

(In the Cool Twilight, Josh Byer)

Josh Byer is an artist residing in Vancouver, Canada. Josh has invented a painting technique called Faux Fauvism. The goal of Faux Fauvism is to pinpoint the moment in cognition when pattern recognition occurs. 

Featured five times on the front page of Reddit, his online galleries have received 12 million views since 2015. Paintings appear in recent features from Style.ca, VICE, OPALUS Magazine, The ARTBO, Creative Boom, and 1968 Magazine. Licensed artwork can be found on products available from Posterlounge, Walmart, Overstock.com, Wayfair, Art.com, Amazon, AllPosters, and Great Big Canvas.


Below are several of his recent pieces:


Greta Garbo

mixed media on wood panel

8” x 10”


Running Away

mixed media on cold press paper

11” x 15”


August

mixed media on cold press paper

11” x 15”


Eclipse

mixed media on cold press paper

11” x 15”


Orchard

acrylic and ink and watercolor on cold press paper

9” x 12”

Audrey Hepburn

mixed media on wood panel

8” x 12”

The Sunday Sisters

acrylic and ink on cold press paper

18” x 24”


In the Cool Twilight

mixed media on linen paper

9” x 12”


The Night That Rock and Roll Came Back

acrylic and ink and watercolor on cold press paper

9” X 12”


The Forest Dancers

acrylic and ink on cold press paper

12” x 18”


The Swan in the Moon

acrylic and ink on cold press paper

12” x 18”

For more information on Josh Byer

Visit: http://www.byercreative.com/