Amazon started this amazing charity program,  AmazonSmile. They’ve made it drop-dead easy for you to donate Amazon’s money to your favorite charity – at zero cost to you — just by doing what you’re probably already doing: shopping on Amazon.com.
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Of course, if you’re an Amazon Prime customer like I am, then there’s really no reason you shouldn’t always buy through the AmazonSmile program. You’re probably already buying tons from Amazon already. Now, you can alleviate any spending guilt because you are helping folks in need every time you shop! 

 

Go Sign-Up for AmazonSmile Right Now

There’s really no good excuse for not signing up for AmazonSmile right now:

  • It takes about 15 seconds to start donating.  Just head to http://smile.amazon.com, log into your Amazon account and pick a charity.
  • It’s free to you, no obligation and helps others.  Isn’t that worth 15 seconds of your time?   Skip the rest of this post if you need so you have the 15 seconds extra to just go do it.  And you get to give away someone else’s money to your cause!
  • If you don’t know what charity to support, don’t sweat it!  Just pick the American Red Cross for right now to get started.  You can easily change your charity later to a more personal one.
  • Just do your shopping at http://smile.amazon.com, instead of the usual http://www.amazon.com, and Amazon will donate 0.5% of nearly every purchase to your personal choice of charity.

Like I said: easy.    You can read the full details of the program at http://smile.amazon.com/about.

 

My Problem:  I Keep Forgetting To Smile!

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The habit of just typing “amazon.com” into my browser to buy something is one that long ago was ingrained into my muscle memory.  I constant kept forgetting to go to http://smile.amazon.com.
It was ridiculous that such a silly thing was causing me not to help a good cause, so I decided to figure out how to fix it.  Brain surgery or hypnosis seemed like good ideas, but also had some downsides, so I kept thinking about it. Ultimately, a real solution was going to have to just remove my brain from the equation.

 

Work Around Your Brain by Letting Chrome Remember For You

I thought about writing a quick Chrome extension for this.  It’s pretty easy to crank one out for something this straightforward.  I probably wasn’t the first person to need something like this, so I searched for an off-the-shelf I could just use or change a little for my AmazonSmile case.

Of course, there turns out that there is not just one add-on to do this, there are many.  So, if you’re like me and keep forgetting to start shopping at http://smile.amazon.com every time, just install one of these extensions.  You’ll never have to be annoyed that you forgot to “smile” again!

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If you know of an add-on for Internet Explorer that does this, let me know and I’ll add it to the list.

 

You Are Smiling Now, Right?

Please tell me you haven’t read this far and still not signed up for AmazonSmile. I appreciate the time and attention you’re giving my post, but I’d appreciate it more if you joined right now!


  • This extension adds a search bar that always goes to smile.amazon.com, but doesn’t redirect all website address you type.

About the Author -

Hi, I'm Bryan. Thanks for dropping in my little corner of the Internet. I am currently Head of Consumer Products at PayScale, responsible for the design of the company's consumer-facing web and mobile experiences. Before that, I was Redfin's first (and only) Vice President of Products, responsible for the design of Redfin's website, mobile applications, agent tools and information technology systems. Prior to joining Redfin, I worked for nearly ten years at Microsoft as both an engineering manager and a lead program manager. He was responsible for integrating major partners' services with Microsoft's mobile technologies and, prior to that, building Sidewalk.com. I graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison (go Badgers!) with a degree in computer science and communication arts (tv, radio & film.)