Amazon Launches Christmas Attack on Local Shops

Apparently concerned that it's not already doing enough to undermine local physical retailers across the country, Amazon.com announced it will pay customers up to $5 to go into a local store, scan an item, walk out, and buy the same item on Amazon. Please don't do this cheap, sad thing.

To get 5 percent off, up to a max of $5, you're supposed to use Amazon's "Price Check" iPhone and Android app to scan in the bar code of certain qualifying items and then indicate what price the item is being sold at. This gives Amazon valuable intelligence on how various retailers are pricing various items. "We scour online and in-store advertisements from other retailers, every day, year-round," an Amazon director said on All Things D. But now Amazon won't have to work so hard in the future, since hordes of consumers will (theoretically) sell out the merchants who pump sales taxes into their localities, all to save a measly five bones.

By all means use Amazon - they have amazing selection! - but there's no need to be a tacky jerk to your neighborhood store in the process. Unless that store is a Wal Mart, Target, or American Apparel, in which case go to town (by which we mean, go out of town).

Correction: As some readers pointed out, you have to spend $100 to get the $5 discount, and certain items are excluded. We originally said the discount was always $5 and have updated our wording accordingly.

[Image via Getty]